10 BEST Essential Oils to Fight a Bad Cold (How to Use Essential Oil to Soothe & Relieve Cold & Flu)
I wrote recently about natural remedies and herbal remedies you should either have ready to go or at least have the ingredients for this Fall. This is because cold and flu season is upon us! I’ve already run across those who are too sick to leave home, and I just know the “yuck” is going to start flowing through populated areas soon.
What about essential oils? I always laugh at this saying of the MLM distributors, “There’s an oil for that.”
Well, often (but not always) there is! And colds and flus are no exception. There are several great essential oils that are good to use during times of cold and flu.
Personally, I like to combine my herbal practice with the use of occasional essential oils. They work synergistically together to make a wonderful healing team!
But many people seem to be more comfortable using essential oils as they have become more and more mainstream. This article is going to concentrate on the best essential oils to use for helping with the common cold.
With the rampant overuse of antibiotics (especially in our meat, due to the sick food system in this country), colds and flus are becoming more resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics and even OTC drugs.
Essential oils and plant medicines are becoming the best ways to go for best results in keeping the flu bug away and getting it gone sooner. Not to mention, dealing with the ugly and unpleasant symptoms.
Here are my favorite essential oils to have ready to go right now! You’ll have some wonderful plant allies to help you out if you get sick, especially if you take a look at the articles in the links above for natural home remedies you can easily make, too.
By the way—-I’ve got a free mini eBook for you with lots of remedy recipes you can easily make using these essential oils! You’ll want to add this to your cold care arsenal this year! You can get it by completing the form at the end of the article!
FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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What is a Bad Cold, Anyway?
A cold is caused by one of over 200 identified viruses, the most common being strains of the rhinovirus. Since there are so many viruses that cause a cold, there is no way anyone could have built up the antibodies needed to fight them all off.
Since colds are caused by viruses, this means that antibiotic your doctor may hand you may be more for your mental benefit than being effective against getting rid of the cold.
Most colds just have to run their course. They can take (normally) anywhere from a week to 10 days to progress to recovery, although you can speed recovery naturally if you know what to do.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) most adults will get two to three colds a year, while children may get up to 12 per year! This statistic was shocking to me, I’ll be honest. Before I started using herbs and essential oils, I definitely fell into that range.
But since I began using herbs and essential oils many years ago? Well, I can actually count the number of colds I’ve had on one hand. Pretty amazing.
Symptoms of a Bad Cold
Symptoms of a cold are slightly different than those of a flu. Bad colds generally result in:
congestion (Find out how to make the BEST natural decongestant)
stuffy or runny nose (Find out how to get rid of a stuffy or runny nose)
sore throat (Click here for my throat soothing tea)
blocked up nose
And once in awhile, with very, very bad colds, people may experience chills, mild fever, and weakness.
Colds CAN lead to other complications if they are not handled properly or for people who are high risk, such as children or infants, the elderly, and the immune-compromised. Some of these complications include strep throat, trigger an asthma attack, sinusitis, or ear infection.
Fall and winter are the most common seasons for bad colds, but you can get a cold any time of the year. It’s best to just prevent a cold by following good hygiene habits, reducing stress, staying away from people who are ill, and getting enough rest.
BEST Essential Oils to Have Ready to Fight a Bad Cold and the Symptoms
Well, DARN it all! You got a cold? I’ve sure been there. Well, here are some essential oils you can keep on hand to help fight that cold right off. These are the same ones I keep in my own home!
You can get my free recipe remedy guide to using these essential oils by completing the form at the end of the article.
Here is a rundown of the most powerfully effective essential oils for dealing with colds:
Eucalyptus comes from a tall evergreen tree, often known as a “gum” tree. The chemicals that make eucalyptus so effective are Eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol. Eucalyptus is a cooling and soothing essential oil that helps with relaxation.
It’s wonderful vapor helps clear difficult breathing and nasal airways, helping you feel better more quickly.
Eucalyptus is a wonderful cleaning essential oil, too, and will kill a certain number of pathogens. I like to use it in cleaning sprays.
One quick way to use eucalyptus is to drop a few drops just outside the water flow of your shower. The steam will carry it up and help clear you relax and breathe easier.
2) Tea Tree essential oil:
I love Tea Tree essential oil, although that was not always the case. It has very potent antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It helps with congestion when applied to the chest area in a carrier oil. Dilute 10 drops in a 10 mL roller bottle. If you have a cough, it may help soothe it.
Tea tree essential oil is probably the best germ-fighting essential oil in this list! Use it for cleaning to help keep the bugs gone.
3) Peppermint essential oil:
Peppermint essential oil is a gentle yet powerful ally in helping with winter time ailments like the cold and flu. It contains a great amount of menthol, which opens airways and helps breathing.
It’s also useful for soothing headache and helping with digestive issues. When used in combination with eucalyptus, you’ll have a wonderful natural way to soothe congestion. You can find out more about Peppermint essential oil here.
Peppermint is wonderful for helping with sinus headaches. It’s also cooling to the body.
4) Rosemary essential oil:
I just love Rosemary essential oil! It’s a fabulous essential oil for stimulating the immune system, as well as its antimicrobial capabilities. When combined with essential oils that help breathing and congestion, it enhances the actions of the other essential oils because of its high camphor content.
Rosemary essential oil also helps with lymph flow. This helps get the bugs out of your system faster!
NOTE: Rosemary should be used with caution if you have high blood pressure. Speak to your doctor first.
5) Lavender essential oil:
Lavender essential oil is calming and soothing. When you have a cold, your body is stressed. Trying to breathe through a stuffed up nose is just no fun. When you add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your remedy choices, you’re giving your body a chance to be calmed and soothed.
Lavender has a compound called linalool in high amounts. This compound is what helps calm a tense body and a anxious mind. By helping your body calm down, you are giving it a better chance to rest—-and that helps you get better faster.
6) Ginger essential oil:
Ginger essential oil is warming and stimulating and is soothing for inflammation. It’s been proven to kill strains of the rhinovirus, so if you have a bad cold coming on….get your ginger out to diffuse.
Since it is a warming essential oil, you would not want to use it if you are trying to calm down. But rubbing some diluted ginger essential oil (5-10 drops in a 10 mL roller bottle) on your throat may just help may it feel better fast!
Sage is a crazy germ fighting power house! Along with its anti-microbial properties, sage is an expectorant that helps dry and tone inflammation with wet mucous. It’s great for soothing coughs. Diffuse a few drops in the air to help give your house a clean feeling.
Rubbing some diluted sage essential oil (5-10 drops in a 10mL roller bottle) with come carrier oil onto swollen lymph nodes may help soothe and move the lymph fluid.
Oh….Frankincense. One of my most favorite essential oils of all. You can find out some INSANE things you need to know about Frankincense essential oil here.
But as far as a cold goes?
Well, frankincense happens to be astringent, expectorant, disinfectant, and anti-inflammatory. You can combine frankincense with any of the oils on this list for a great boost for getting that cold gone faster. Like sage, it is helpful in moving lymph and getting the toxins gone from your body.
9) Oregano (or Thyme) essential oil:
Oregano essential oil is one of the “hot” oils. Be sure you dilute this essential oil well. I actually had a friend who burned the bottoms of her feet with a distributor from one of the big multi-level marketing companies told her to rub this essential oil on her soles. She neglected to tell her to dilute it WELL.
Oregano has some pretty powerful germ fighting characteristics. It’s great to diffuse in small amounts for cleaning the air. Just be aware your home may smell like a pizza. :-)
10) Black Pepper essential oil:
Black pepper essential oil is a warming and stimulating essential oil, much like rosemary is. It can be helpful if you feel a low fever, as it can help you sweat. You can apply a few drops to a warm moist washcloth to make a compress for your forehead.
Black pepper can also be used in a tub to help with achy muscles. In fact, if you decide to go this route with a bath, add in a couple drops of eucalyptus and peppermint to help with your breathing at the same time.
Where to Buy Your Essential Oils?
I like to purchase my essential oils from companies I’ve researched and am familiar with. Here is an article about my criteria for how to choose a good essential oil company, if you’d like to take a look. The links in the article above are for Amazon, for your convenience, though.
Right now, I personally buy my essential oils from Rocky Mountain Oils (I love this company for many reasons), Starwest Botanicals (great quality, and you can purchase in higher quantities for soap making, etc.), and Plant Therapy ( I love that they have a Kidsafe line of essential oils that you can feel confident using.
I hope those choices help give you a good starting place!
These germ-busting, symptom relieving essential oils are wonderful to keep around your home in all the seasons, but especially during times when you have the cold or a flu!
These essential oils are special because they also will serve a variety of purposes in your home. You can find out more by clicking through any links to articles I added here.
Hey! Would you like a free mini eBook with actual remedy recipes you can make easily with these essential oils? You can get it now by completing the form below.
Also, I’d love to hear what you think and if you have ideas for favorite recipes using essential oils you like to use in your home for your family? Leave a comment in the comments section!
Hugs, Health, and Self-Reliance,
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. No statement made here (or anywhere else by me) is meant or implied to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease or illness. Please seek advice from your medical professional. Also, always seed medical advice before using herbs or essential oils, as many of these can interact with medications or affect pregnant/nursing women, the elderly, children, or the immune-compromised.