How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

A man using hand sanitizerWho doesn’t love sanitizer? Unless you love germs, you have to love the convenience of hand sanitizer. But nothing is ever entirely perfect. The smell is horrible, and last I, checked sanitizer isn’t the most moisturizing thing in the world. But…what if I told you it’s possible to get your hands on a non-toxic, non-drying, and great-smelling sanitizer that still has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties?

Take a look a this great homemade hand sanitizer recipe below!

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What You Will Need:

5-10 drops lavender essential oil
30 drops tea tree essential oil (at least a 0.5% concentration)
1 Tablespoon witch hazel extract or high-proof vodka
8 ounces 100% pure aloe vera gel
¼ teaspoon of vitamin E oil (doubles as a natural preservative and skin softener)



Add essential oils and Vitamin E to a small glass bowl or container then mix
Add witch hazel to the oils and mix some more
Add the aloe vera gel to the mixture making sure to mix extra well
Put your newly created mixture into a squeezable topped container


  • Make sure to shake gently before each use. With the natural preservative the sanitizer should last a few months.
  • The use of lavender balances out the strong scent of the tea tree oil. Alternatives for the lavender are rosemary, sage, sandalwood, or peppermint. Each of these essential oils have there own unique scent, yet still offer the antibacterial component of the lavender.
  • Essential oils are heavily concentrated plant extracts. If you aren’t familiar with them, it’s best to do a patch test for possible allergic reactions (just mix a drop with 1 tbsp of olive oil and rub on your elbow).


Visit the Colds and Flu center for more articles.

Is Your Cold Medicine Safe For High Blood Pressure?

blackwoman-with-fluWhen you feel that first funny tickle in your throat or cough one too many times, you may be tempted to run out and buy the first over-the-counter (OTC) medicine that promises fast relief. However, if you’re the “1” in 1 in 3 American adults living with high blood pressure, it’s important to exercise extra caution.

Many cold and flu remedies can actually do you more harm than good by raising your blood pressure or conflicting with blood pressure medications.

Stay well this winter by learning the types of cold and flu medicines to steer clear of and some safer alternatives.

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One of the major (and most annoying) symptoms of a cold is sinus congestion and decongestants are usually the go-to remedy of choice. Decongestants thin the blood vessels in the nose, relieving the stuffiness. Other blood vessels throughout the body may be affected as well.

With high blood pressure there is already increased pressure on the blood vessels, and narrowing the vessels more increases the risk of raising blood pressure. Decongestants may also prevent high blood pressure medications from working properly.


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are pain relievers (like ibuprofen, for example) and are taken to relieve the aches pains that often come along with a cold or the flu. Most cold and flu medications contain NSAIDs, but these may cause your body to retain fluid and increase your blood pressure due to decreased kidney function.

Like decongestants, NSAIDs can conflict with high blood pressure medications and additionally cause issues in people with high blood pressure who are not on medication.

Products containing decongestants or NSAIDs should be clearly marked on the packaging for your convenience.


If you have high blood pressure and need to treat a cold or the flu, it’s best to look for medications that specifically say they are approved for use with high blood pressure, such as Coricidin.

Using a saline (salt water) nasal spray or Neti pot instead of a decongestant is also a good option.

Some of best cold and flu remedies, even with high blood pressure, are “old school” favorites:  stay hydrated with water or tea, keep warm, build up your immune system with fresh fruits and veggies, and get plenty of rest.