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Having a cold can be annoying and can interrupt your daily life. But then add in a cough or flu and you are out of commission for a while.
This is where essential oils for colds and cough can be a lifesaver. They are natural remedies that can be done at home while you are recovering.
How to use essential oils for colds
One thing to note though is that essential oils are not necessarily to be used as a preventative cure — meaning, you don’t need to apply them or ingest them daily to keep something from happening.
But they can support various body systems through inhalation and other aromatic methods.
When you use essential oils when you have a cold or the flu to support your immune system, your body will be better able to defend itself.
They can be used as a support for your immune system in a few simple ways.
I like to diffuse them to clear the air of airborne germs and use my homemade cleaning spray to clean surfaces, which is another breeding ground for germs.
If illness does strike, use them topically (diluted) to help relieve congestion and other symptoms. Keep reading to find tips and recipes for using essential oils to support and boost your immune system.
The best essential oils for colds
If you are looking to create your own personalized combinations, the first thing to do is divide oils according to how they support your body.
Depending on what you want to create, choose one or two from each category and then create your own blend. Many of these oils serve more than one purpose but are easier to understand in this format.
The best essential oil blends for colds include these components:
1. Antibacterial and antiseptic oils
Essential oils with antiseptic and antibacterial properties are your go-to for immune support.
Three common antibacterial oils for colds include:
- Tea Tree
Cinnamon and Clove essential oils are “hot” and need to be highly diluted for safe use.
2. Citrus essential oils
Citrus oils are a natural partner with antibacterial essential oils and make great smelling essential oil blends.
They contain constituents that support the respiratory system and they are natural disinfectants (great for household cleaning products).
Common citrus essential oils for colds are:
3. Respiratory support
If you get sick or start to feel stuffed up, you’ll want some oils to combat those symptoms.
Common respiratory support essential oils for cough are:
4. Relaxation and rest
If your blend is for evening add some oils that will help with relaxation and rest.
Common relaxation essential oils for cold and cough include:
5. Energizing blend
Need to get through the day, even when you’re not feeling well? Include a few energy essential oils in your blend.
Common energizing essential oils for colds:
Use a personal inhaler for colds
If you’re out and about, you can derive the same benefits from diffusing with a personal inhaler.
Choose the oils you want to use, add the drops to the cotton insert, and snap the cover in place.
To use open the cover and inhale deeply. The scent should last around two months.
Here’s an energizing immune boosting blend that will help you get through the day:
- 5 drops Eucalyptus
- 5 drops Rosemary
- 5 drops Lemon
Cold and cough essential oils
If you’ve been exposed to someone who has the flu you can use essential oils to keep yourself healthy. You can also use essential oils to help alleviate cold and flu symptoms.
You don’t need to use topical application of essential oils as a preventative but it really comes in handy when you are feeling sick.
I like to mix up some oils in an ounce of carrier oil so it’s ready to apply when we need it.
This combination of oils works well to relieve symptoms from colds and cough.
The Cedarwood and Cypress oils are great for respiratory support, Tea Tree is a great antibacterial, and Lemon adds a refreshing, energizing aroma.
Cold & Cough Fighting Blend
- 5 drops Cedarwood
- 5 drops Cypress
- 5 drops Tea Tree
- 3 drops Lemon
Add the essential oils to one ounce of carrier oil and apply topically to the chest and neck.
This is a 2% dilution and can be used on adults and children two years and older. Do not use this blend for children younger than two years old!
For a stronger dilution use the same amount of essential oils but cut the carrier oil in half (3 teaspoons).
This creates a 4% solution that is good for short-term use only and should only be used for adults and older children (older than six).
Soothing bath remedy
If a calming bath is more your style, add 2-3 drops essential oil to a teaspoon of bubble bath before adding to your bath.
You can include a ½ cup Epsom salt to your bath. Add the mixture to your bath and relax!
Marjoram is a great essential oil for calming and relaxing and would work well for this. It’s not recommended for children under 6 years old (substitute Lavender instead).
If you’re feeling congested, steam inhalation is another great method to use when you’re under the weather.
Fill your sink with hot water, add 2 drops of essential oil (Eucalyptus works great for adults and children older than ten), and cover your head with a towel.
Take deep breaths of the steam to clear the congestion.
Want an essential oils kit that’s ready to go? Try the Mom’s Essential Starter Kit. It has some great oils and blends that are perfect for dealing with colds and cough!
Related: How to Make an Essential Oil Blend