Top 5 Essential Oils for Cold & Flu January 13, 2017 17:25

Over the counter cold and flu medications and decongestants can leave you feeling drowsy, fuzzy and unpleasant. As a result, essential oils and natural remedies are becoming widespread ways to fight sickness and compromised immune systems. In addition, the prolonged use of synthetic cough and cold relieving drugs isn't healthy for your body on the whole. 

We've selected our top 5 favorite essential oils that are used to help relieve symptoms of the cold and flu. They also help the body to fight off infection, strengthen the immune system and can even prevent you from getting sick in the first place! 

 

1. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is probably the most well-known of all the cold and flu relieving oils. Its strong, herbal scent makes it an ideal decongestant for both the nasal passages and the chest & throat. 

Method: Add 2-5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil into about 4-6 cups of hot water that has been brought to a boil. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam from the bowl of water. Adding eucalyptus to your bath or shower is also very helpful.

 

2. Frankincense Oil 

Frankincense has been used for just about everything throughout history, and its use as a chest decongestant and cold remedy is often overlooked. Frankincense relieves tightness in the chest and deepens your breath. 

Method: You can use frankincense the same way as eucalyptus (see above). You can also make a massage oil using frankincense, eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon, diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Proceed to rub it onto your chest and throat.

 

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree is the type of oil that should be in everyone's medicine cabinet, as it is a strong all natural antiviral. Tea tree oil actually fights infections, rather than just masking the symptoms. 

Method: Use tea tree oil when you feel a cold coming on, or at the first signs of the cold or flu. Add a few of drops to a hot bath (along with lavender oil if you choose) to help fight infection. Tea tree is also a germ killer, so you can use it to make a homemade cleaning spray. 

 

4. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is pretty similar to eucalyptus oil in that they both have potent herbal aromas, and are adept at relieving congestion. Rosemary is an immune-booster and is beneficial for the immune system when diffused in the air. 

Method: Combine peppermint, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils and drop onto a washcloth. Place it under the nose and inhale deeply. You can also take the same blend and dilute it in a carrier oil (i.e. grapeseed, olive oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, etc.) and rub or massage it onto your chest. 

 

5. Thieves Oil

Thieves oil is actually a common blend of a few different essential oils- clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary- all of which are excellent for the immune system and relieving colds. It also clears mold from the air when diffused. As an added bonus, Thieves has a delightfully warm and spicy aroma. 

FUN FACT: During the outbreak of the bubonic plague, thieves would cover their hands and bodies with this oil blend so that they could rob the dead. They believed the thieves oil protected them from contracting the plague. This common practice is where the name 'Thieves oil' comes from.

Method: Add thieves oil to a spray bottle filled with distilled water and a tiny bit of alcohol and use to clean surfaces and kill germs to prevent spreading illness. Diffuse to eliminate airborne bacteria. Dilute Thieves oil with a carrier oil to make a multi-purpose massage oil (for chest, shoulders and neck).