Getting a cold is never fun (trust us, we’re just getting over a bug), but there are things you can do to make your time under the weather a little better. Essential oils have been shown to prevent and even treat various health conditions, and can be used to help speed up the healing process. But, with hundreds of options out there, which essential oils for colds work best?
Before we share our go-to essential oils for when the cold bug hits, there are a few terms to know:
Antimicrobial: an agent that either kills or stops the growth of microorganisms
Antibacterial: an agent that kills bacteria
Antispasmodic: an agent that suppresses muscle spasms
Anti-inflammatory: an agent that reduces inflammation or swelling
Antiviral: an agent that stops the growth and spread of viruses
Now that these terms have been defined, here our favorite cold-fighting essential oils.
The 5 Best Essential Oils for Colds
1. Peppermint (antimicrobial, antiviral, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory)
A staple in any essential oil user’s collection, peppermint is truly a miracle oil. Here’s how peppermint can help various cold and flu symptoms:
- Headache—Add peppermint to a carrier oil and apply to temples to reduce swelling and relieve pain
- Upset Stomach—Drink some peppermint tea to help with nausea, indigestion and other stomach issues
- Cough and Stuffy Nose—Steam peppermint either in hot water or in the shower to open up lungs and nasal passages for easier breathing
2. Eucalyptus (antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory)
Similar to peppermint, eucalyptus can be used for a wide array of cold and flu symptoms:
- Sinus Congestion—Steam in hot water or combine with a carrier oil and rub on chest to break up mucus
- Muscle Pain—Apply this homemade pain relief cream to tired and achy joints and muscles
Cold/Flu Preventative—Use in a diffuser to increase phagocytic activity, which boosts the immune system and makes it easier to fight off cold and flu bugs
3. Chamomile (antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial)
Chamomile has been proven to destroy two powerful strains of bacteria: staphylococcus and streptococcus, which can lead to cold and flu symptoms. In addition, it is a natural sedative and can help you drift into a more peaceful sleep. Here is how you can use this essential oil to get you through flu season:
- Sleep Aid—Drink some warm chamomile tea to soothe your throat and help you sleep off any bugs
- Cough—Add chamomile to hot water and steam it to calm inflamed areas of the respiratory tract
RELATED: THE BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR SLEEP
4. Tea Tree Oil (anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial)
Like the other essential oils for colds, tea tree oil is good for reducing inflammation, and can be used in the following ways:
- Sore Throat—Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil and a pinch of salt to warm water and gargle for relief (just don’t swallow it!)
- Bronchial Congestion—Mix tea tree and a carrier oil and rub on chest and throat for a refreshing and soothing vapor rub
- Earache and/or Infection—Create a homemade remedy to get rid of earaches and infections quickly
5. Lemon (antiviral, antibacterial)
Lemon essential oil is great in that it can help prevent cold and flu symptoms. With antiviral and antibacterial properties, it’s a great, all-natural way to stay healthy year-round. It can also be used to support the immune system when you’re fighting a bug:
- Cleaning Products—Make some of these chemical-free cleaners to stay clean and healthy during cold season
- Immune Support—Support lymphatic drainage by combining lemon essential oil and coconut oil to your neck
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to the essential oils for colds. The trick is to determine which ones work best for you! Taking care of your mind and body is an easy way to avoid getting sick, which is why people who get regular massages get sick less often. After some of our massages, if we feel it benefits you, we will use White Flower Oil to open up the sinuses and provide relief to the temples and other pressure points.
Schedule our most popular Signature Massage (with Young Living’s Raindrop Collection) massage today at (303) 573-7484!
Before using essential oils, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you.