feel better naturally ASAP!Steller Botanical Health - blog
J Landry2020/03/10


Thank you all for your attention and feedback.  Several people responded yesterday that vinegar is not an effective cleaning agent against viruses.

There is an easy solution:  Add a few drops of essential oils to your vinegar spray! (this is a much more planet friendly solution than bleach which breaks down into toxic dioxin)
Many essential oils have been proven to be effective against viruses, and are used in hospitals (more often in Europe) for this purpose.

I have my own mixed opinions on essential oils as it often takes monoculture cropping and intense use of resources to make these.  They are super concentrated herbal medicine.  As a general rule you do not want to ingest them. If they are coming into contact with the skin you want them to be very dilute.  A few drops of essential oils goes a very long way.

As a general rule for an effective cleaner 30 drops of an essential oil per 1 cup vinegar will make a strong aromatic cleanser.  Be careful not to leave this spray around children or to get it in your eyes.   Most essential oils have antimicrobial/antiviral properties that are captured in the volatile oils that are what you buy as an essential oil.  My top recommendations for ones to use:  eucalyptus, thyme, bergamot, tea trea, oregano, fir, spruce, citrus, niaouli.

My favorite source for essential oils:  Original Swiss Aromatics.  Because of the environmental cost of these oils and that they are so concentrated you want to make sure you buy from reputable companies using science and not just sales pitches.

Some of the science:
Pubmed study on influenza virus infection:  "We studied a commercial essential oil blend, On Guardâ„¢, and evaluated its ability in modulating influenza virus, A/PR8/34 (PR8), infection in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells.CONCLUSIONS:  An essential oil blend significantly attenuates influenza virus PR8 infectivity in vitro without affecting viral binding or cellular internalization in MDCK cells. Oil treated virus continued to express viral mRNAs but had minimal expression of viral proteins, suggesting that the antiviral effect may be due to inhibition of viral protein translation

And other pub med study on essential oils:  Essential oils from eucalyptus, tea tree and thyme and their major monoterpene compounds... were examined for their antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in vitro. These essential oils were able to reduce viral infectivity by >96%, the monoterpenes inhibited HSV by about >80%... However, both essential oils and monoterpenes exhibited high anti-HSV-1 activity by direct inactivation of free virus particles. All tested drugs interacted in a dose-dependent manner with herpesvirus particles thereby inactivating viral infection.

And a pubmed study on Eucalyptus:  Recent studies have exhibited its antimicrobial effects against bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral agents. In this study the effects against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacterbaumannii, Streptococcus pyogenes, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhi, Shigella spp., Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis, Anopheles stephensi, Aedes aegypti, A. aegypti, A. albopictus, Culex pipiens, Trypanosoma brucei, Leishmania major, Trichomonas. Vaginalis, poliovirus type 1, coxsackie virus B, echovirus 6, West Nile Virus, herpes virus type 1, HSV-1 virus, Fusarium spp., Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, C. albicans, Alternaria alternata, Setosphaeria turcica and Magnaporthe grisea was revealed.

Lastly I forgot one more cleaning tip that most of you probably know but just to put it out there- dr bronners and vinegar/acids like lemon are also not to be mixed!

It's a good time to take care of ourselves and one another:
May you all

  • get plenty of sleep
  • breathe deep and minimize stress
  • appreciate the wonderful air we have to breathe and get good exercise which moves your lymph tissue and helps keep you healthy
  • stay nourished with good wholesome food.  sugar decreases immunity by about 60%
  • herbs/supplements with extra vitamin C, elderberries, oregano can boost your immune system.  you can go outside anytime and pick some spruce tips for a immune boosting tea!
  • take care of your digestive system.  many of our immune cells are connected to our gut, good digestion is always important and fermented foods or probiotics can help support your health and immunity
J Landry2020/03/09


As the flu circulates around Gustavus and fears of Coronavirus circulate

... a few facts to keep in mind.

1.  We humans love the new and exotic, products we think are "better".  However, basic handwashing- good old soap and water are effective.  Here is a link to an article by the FDA spelling out that:  THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS ARE ANY MORE EFFECTIVE THAN REGULAR SOAP-- and in fact antibacterial soaps can have harmful effects. Scientific American article "Strange but True Antibacterial Products May Do More Harm than Good" (please note this article is dated and the FDA has since banned at least 24 substances in antibacterial products due to such concerns).  Other than this ban, there are no standards for hand sanitizing products.

2.  WHAT ABOUT HAND SANITIZERS?  Generally, handwashing is considered the best and first line of protection.  Hand sanitizers are not meant to replace handwashing but generally recommended for use AFTER having washed your hands (and washing all regions of your hands thoroughly- like for as long as it takes to say the alphabet).  This article by the CDC spells out some of the limitations of hand sanitizers.  My paraphrase:  they don't kill all germs, they don't work as well if your hands are dirty, they need to have at least 60% alcohol content to be effective- read below thought that bacteria are becoming resistant to alcohol, they don't remove harmful chemicals from the hands, and they often contain harmful chemicals.

3.  HAND SANITIZER AND RESISTANCE.  There is new evidence that the use of alcohol in cleansing products/hand sanitizers is now leading organisms to develop resistance to alcohol.

hmm- handwashing so simple, tried and true and still a good answer!

4.  Lastly...Please remember that vinegar is a great non-toxic cleaning product.
However do not mix vinegar with bleach  that results in toxic gas release.  this link also mentions 6 other mixtures you should never make :  vinegar and baking soda, bleach and ammonia, drain cleaners, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, bleach and rubbing alcohol. 

Stay Healthy and keep washing those hands!

image below from the CDC:

Steller Botanical Health Jen Landry RH(AHG), Dipl ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA-CP, FDN-P 1920 Gustavus Road Gustavus, Alaska 99826 907-209-6180