Essential Oils for Cold and Flu Relief

It’s cold and flu season, the season of sneezing, achy joints, fever, coughing, and congestion. Suffering with these symptoms is pretty miserable, but aromatherapy with essential oils can offer wonderful support when you, or a loved one, are sick. Remember, the flu and flu complications can be a serious illness requiring medical attention.

Beware of aromatherapy sites that claim essential oils prevent or “cure” the flu. While safe and proper use of essential oils can help lessen your chances of catching a cold or the flu and relieve your symptoms if you do get sick, there is no guarantee that their use can prevent or cure such illnesses.




Protect Your Home and Hands

To help ward off seasonal illnesses, use a diffuser with essential oils blends known for their antimicrobial properties, such as eucalyptus and myrrh or tea tree oil and lavender.

Or you might want to try our Germ Buster Essential Oil Blend, a combination of oils with antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infectious properties. A similar blend was tested at Weber State University (1997) for its potent antimicrobial properties and found to have a 99.96 percent effectiveness rate against airborne bacteria.

Aromatherapy Cold and Flu Recipes:

Use the following recipe to make an antibacterial spray to clean your home anytime, but especially when a lot of sneezing and nose blowing is going on.

Antibacterial Cleaning Spray Recipe

  • 14 ounces distilled water
  • 3 tablespoons castile soap or dishwashing liquid
  • 15 drops tea tree oil
  • 15 drops oregano oil

Mix all of the above ingredients in a 16-ounce spray bottle.

Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer Recipe

Make a little bottle of essential oil hand sanitizer to carry with you for those times that you have to be out and about or at work amongst folks who are coughing and sneezing and you can’t wash your hands.

  • 3 ounces jojoba oil or aloe vera gel
  • 4 drops ravensara essential oil
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil

Combine all in a small bottle.


Aromatherapy for Symptom Relief

If you get sick despite preventive methods, reach for essential oils for support as you fight the symptoms.

Using Aromatherapy to Relieve Body Aches

To use essential oils to help with the aches and pain that can come with colds and flu, blend 4 drops of lavender and 2 drops of marjoram in a tablespoon of carrier oil (such as sweet almond or olive oil) and massage the mixture gently into and around your joints.

Essential Oils to Relieve Headache and Congestion

You can use any of the following essential oils by themselves or in a combination in a diffuser to help with headaches or congestion:

  • eucalyptus
  • ravensara
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • peppermint
  • frankincense
  • or manuka

For more intense therapy, steam inhalation may both help you to decongest and help you fight an infection.

For a decongesting aromatherapy steam inhalation:

  1. Combine 2 parts lavender essential oil to 1 part tea tree, eucalyptus, thyme, or lemon.
  2. Add 1 to 3 drops of this blend into a bowl of steaming water.
  3. Cover your head with a towel, close your eyes and inhale the aromatic steam a few times.
  4. Repeat every 3 to 4 hours or as needed.

Two Homemade Vapor Rub Recipes

A vapor rub can be very soothing when you are struggling with a cold or the flu, but the most popular commercial brand contains both a type of petroleum and spirits of turpentine.

Simple Homemade Vapor Rub:

Make your own chest rub by combining 3 drops eucalyptus radiata, 2 drops peppermint, and 2 drops thyme or rosemary essential oils in 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil, such as almond or grapeseed oil. The thyme will supply warmth, and the peppermint and eucalyptus will relieve congestion.

Beeswax Vapor Rub:

For a chest rub with soothing beeswax, here's what you'll need to do:

  1. Melt 1/2 ounce of beeswax with 1/4 cup of a carrier oil in the top of a double boiler.
  2. While the beeswax is still soft, stir in 30 drops peppermint, 15 drops eucalyptus radiata, and 15 drops rosemary essential oils in the top of the double boiler. Mix well.
  3. Store these rubs in a small glass container with a tight-fitting lid. (Note: we don't recommend using this vapor rub on children ages 12 and under).

Having a cold or the flu is really no fun at all, but essential oils can be an important part of your arsenal to help your body fight its way back to health.

Remember, many essential oils are not considered safe for babies or small children. Always check with a doctor about using essential oils with children.


Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and not intended to treat, prescribe, cure, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or other health care provider. Dreaming Earth Botanicals is not responsible for any adverse effects resulting from the use of any of the suggestions, preparations, or procedures discussed. All matters pertaining to your physical health should be supervised by a health care professional. Keep all aromatherapy products out of reach of children.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published