To mask or not to mask….that is the question. Apparently, one of the reasons people wear surgical masks in Japan is to help prevent the spread of contagious disease.
And while breathing germs is one way of spreading them so is touching things.
Travellers often handle money that has been handled by a thousand hands and more. These germ-ridden hands often end up touching our face and scooping our food, especially in cultures where your digits are your utensils.
One of the most effective and natural ways to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands! Cue aromatherapy.
Essential oils have been used for their antibacterial and antiviral properties. Apply topically in a base of witch hazel or as part of a natural hand sanitizer prior to eating and after handling money. Lavender, tea tree and white thyme (linalool) are ideal choices as they have rarely generated adverse reactions in most people.
For more on the research, see the following article entitled Effect of Essential Oils on Pathogenic Bacteria:
As for breathing in germ-ridden air (e.g. recycled air in a plane) essential oils can also work their magic. Apply the same mix of oils as above in a body lotion. A couple drops of each oil should suffice (a little goes a long way in aromatherapy). Mix in 30mL of lotion and apply daily to help support your immune system.