TOP Essential Oils For Colds and Flu + Effective Natural Remedies

Colds and flu are very common around the world today. Every year, about 62 million people living in the United States catch the Common Cold, with many taking the flu vaccine to protect themselves during the flu season around winter and fall. This article mainly explains the use of essential oils for colds and flu as well as some other effective natural remedies. The use of essential oils for medicinal purposes can be dated back to early civilizations of Egypt, India and China where the oils were used to treat many diseases including respiratory infections.  These oils can be found in various parts of a plant including the root, leaves, flowers, bark, wood, seeds, resin, and balsam. With many different types, essential oils offer a quick relief and protection from colds and flu.

1. How Essential Oils Can Treat Colds and Flu?

The Cold is mostly caused by the rhinovirus and coronavirus affecting areas of the upper respiratory tract like the nose and throat. It causes sneezing, sore throats, runny nose, difficulty in breathing and malaise. Conventional antibiotics often do little to remedy the unpleasant situation with many people turning to natural herbs or in some cases simply waiting it out.  The Flu is another viral infection caused by the influenza viruses. It displays similar symptom as common cold but those that are far more severe and extensive including fatigue, aches and pains. Like the common cold many people with Flu now turn to natural remedies to get rid of it. In the following sections, you will find interesting information about many essential oils for colds and flu treatment and what makes these oils effective cold and flu relievers.
When it comes to natural treatment, very few substances can rival the effectiveness of essential oils as a cure for colds and flu. This is not surprising since many essential oils are antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic. There is no known virus or bacteria that has developed an immunity to essential oils for cold or flu. Delivering high levels of oxygen and ozone to the cells, these oils induce an oxygen rich atmosphere in the body where pathogens cannot survive. Essential oils also contain immuno-stimulants, activating and boosting the immune system to fight off infection.
The best essential oils for colds and flu are the ones that contain immune-stimulants and antiviral properties, these help to decongest the nasal passage, soothe sore throats and coughs as well as relieve other cold and flu symptoms like fevers or general feeling of malaise. 

2. TOP Essential Oils for Colds and Flu

2.1) Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil

Eucalyptus oil is a colorless oil that contains 72% Cineol. It is a strong expectorant that is used to reduce mucus in the lungs. In a 2003 study, cineol was found to control airway mucus hypersecretion and asthma. This makes eucalyptus essential oil a strong decongestant which helps to improve respiratory circulation while reducing respiratory inflammation. It is also an immuno-stimulant with antiviral properties.

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2.2) Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme essential oil

Eucalyptus oil is a colorless oil that contains 72% Cineol. It is a strong expectorant that is used to reduce mucus in the lungs. In a 2003 study, cineol was found to control airway mucus hypersecretion and asthma. This makes eucalyptus essential oil a strong decongestant which helps to improve respiratory circulation while reducing respiratory inflammation. It is also an immuno-stimulant with antiviral properties.

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2.3) Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano essential oil

Oregano is a very potent antibiotic and antimicrobial essential oil. The oil is known to dramatically reduce symptoms of upper respiratory ailments including coughs and sore throats. In his book “Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition” Paul Pitchford explains that colds and flu respond well to oregano oil, used for lung conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, whooping cough and tuberculosis. However some controversy surrounds its effectiveness to treat influenza, in fact a 2004 study by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry was found to be ineffective against the influenza virus. Notwithstanding, the oil has been scientifically proven to treat colds.

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2.4) Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil

Tea tree oil is a very effective for bronchial congestions, coughs and sore throats as it contains antimicrobial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. According to a 2000 study, tea tree oil has been found to display protective activity against yeast, fungi and bacteria. And as microbes play a part in coughs and congestion through inflammation, tea tree oils help the body to get rid of these microbes and thus reliving cold and flu symptoms. It is usually applied externally as cough remedy around the neck and nose.

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2.5) Rosemary Essential Oil

rosemary essential oil

Like the eucalyptus oil, the rosemary is another potent essential oil for colds and flu treatment. Containing a lot of the beneficial eucalyptol compound, it is very effective at softening up mucus and treatment of microbes, thus reducing inflammation. This makes it an effective expectorant and immune supporting oil. It is also a warming oil that helps to relieve bodily pains and nausea while promoting blood circulation. Epilepsy patients are advised to avoid rosemary essential oil due to its high camphor content which can induces seizures.

 

2.6) Noble Laurel Essential Oil

Noble Laurel

The noble laurel essential oil is also known as the bay laurel essential oil which is not to be confused with bay oil. Laurel bay oil is an effective expectorant. It is recommended by some doctors to treat asthma and chronic bronchitis that come with a thick chronic phlegm. Laurel bay oil is also commonly used to treat flu and flu fevers, dyspepsia, flatulence and virus infections.

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2.7) Pine Essential Oil

Pine essential oil

The pine oil is an extract from the leaves of the pine tree that have been used for many years to help clear the respiratory tract. The oil contains antibacterial, analgesic, diuretic, antiseptic, energizing and aromatic properties which make pine one of the most effective essential oils for colds and flu. As an analgesic, it helps to reduce sore throat pain too.

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2.8) Niaouli Essential Oil

Niaouli essential oil

Also antimicrobial, expectorant, decongestant and immune-stimulant, Niaouli Essential oil promotes better respiration and clears any congestion caused by phlegm from the nose, trachea, pharynx, larynx and lungs during colds or flu. This is possible as a result of its expectorant qualities that loosens up the toughened depositions of phlegm around the respiratory track, easing the feeling of shortness of breath and also coughs.

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2.9) Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil

The cool flavor of Peppermint essential oil is many a time linked with relaxation. A study on peppermint oil found the antiviral compounds in peppermint oil were effective enough to kill the HSV-1 and HSV-2 virus. The main ingredient in peppermint oil is the volatile compound menthol, which is also the active ingredient in many drugs. Menthol is a great decongestant, as it acts on thin mucus in order for the body to eliminate it. It is also an effective expectorant, loosening phlegm and breaking up coughs, which aids in their elimination. The cooling effects of peppermint oil act to numb dry, scratchy coughs.

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2.10) Ravintsara Essential Oil

ravintsara essential oil

Ravinstara essential oil is a clear oil that has a fresh, earthy, eucalyptus-like aroma. It is often confused with ravensara oil which is a different essential oil. Ravinstara oil is antiviral, antifungal, anti-rheumatic and antibacterial. It is well known for its sinus clearing properties. The oil also helps to treat bronchitis, influenza, lung and throat infections. It is usually administered by inhalation form a steam bowl or applied directly to the less sensitive parts of the skin such as the chest or feet.

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2.11) Lavender Essential Oil

lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil has one of the best scents amongst the essential oils. The stems and leaves of the lavender tree give a camphoraceous odor alongside the sweet smell of its flowers. With its refreshing fragrance, the oil is very effective in the treatment of respiratory diseases. It is useful for the relief of cold and flu symptoms such as coughs and sinus infections. Lavender oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which helps to alleviate breathing problems when mucus is trapped within the respiratory track.

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2.12) Lemon Essential Oil

lemon essential oil

The lemon essential oil, extracted from the lemon tree is quite unique amongst the essential oils. This is because the oil contains a wide range of important vitamins needed by the body. These vitamins help to strengthen the immune system of the body by boosting the development of white blood cells, the body’s defense mechanisms and protects against bouts of sickness and unfriendly medical conditions.

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3. How to Use Essential Oils for Colds and Flu?

Essential oils for colds and flu relief can be used in many different ways, many are applied externally due to high levels of toxicity although a few can be ingested. Here are some of the different ways to use essential oils at home:

3.1) Steam Inhalation

steam inhalation

Steam inhalation is one of the most effective ways to introduce essential oils for colds and flu treatment to your body. To do this you first need to add some drops of essential oil in a bowl of boiling water. Then cover your head over the bowl with a towel with eyes closed. Try to inhale as much as you can of the rising steam. It is ok to take breaks at regular intervals when the heat becomes too intense but not too often or you will miss most of the rising steam. Make sure that your face is not too close to the bowl, a foot away is fine. This method allows the steamy oil to enter the respiratory tract and organs relieving you of the cold and flu viruses and their symptoms over time.

3.2) Quick Inhalation

Quick inhalation

This method is similar to steam inhalation, but instead of using boiling water and steam, just add some few drops of oil on a piece of cloth or a tissue and inhale the scent as you move around. Moving around will ensure that you get the full benefits of this method as you are forced to breath more deeply as you move around. As in steam inhalation, breathing in the oils will help clear phlegm from the nose and lungs

3.3) Room Diffusion

essential oil diffusion

The room diffusion method is also similar to steam inhalation method in that both use steam to disperse the essential oils. However, it is less effective and less intense than the steam inhalation process. In this method, a bowl of hot water is placed in a room and then mixed with various essential oils. As the steam emanates and begin to cover the room, inhale as much as you can to boost your immune system before it escapes to the atmosphere.

3.4) Beverages

beverages essential oils

Essential oils for colds or flu treatment can also be taken orally with tea or other drinks. Be sure to check the toxicity levels, reactions or allergens before ingesting them. Milk or water is a preferable when preparing these medicinal drinks. In the case of lactose intolerance, coconut or almond milk can be used as an excellent replacement. Preparing these kinds of beverages are quite simple, first heat the base liquid and then add five drops of peppermint oil and lemon oil and then a few drops eucalyptus oil. Stir and consume while it is hot to get maximum benefits. In this way, the medicinal drink clears the phlegm from the nose and lung whilst soothing the throat.

3.5) Direct Application

massage

Another way to use essential oils for colds and flu treatment is to directly apply it on the skin. This is particularly effective when suffering from lung infections during which the body temperature around the lungs is cold. Applying warming essential oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint helps to increase body temperature and boost the immune system to fight off infection. For much impact, massage these essential oils on the back of the neck, chest, temples and back; or apply any of these oils on a warm cloth and place around the chest.

4. Effective Recipes of Essential Oils for Colds and Flu

Recipe 01 : Direct application (massage)

   – 40 drops of Rosemary essential oil
   – 10 drops of Peppermint essential oil
   – 20 drops of Noble Laurel essential oil
   – 30 drops of sweet Almond oil

How to use?

Apply to the chest, forehead, and wings of the nose. Gently massage, in circular movements, to make well penetrate.
Apply three times a day.

Recipe 02 : Beverage (very effective formula)

  – 2 ml of Eucalyptus essential oil
  – 2 ml of essential oil of Ravintsara
  – 1 ml of essential oil of Niaouli
How to use?

Mix all the ingredients in a 5 ml codigout flask.

Put 1 drop of the mixture in a small spoon of honey. Take 4 times a day for 3 to 4 days + deeply breathe the flask 4 to 5 times a day to release the sinuses.
Do not use in pregnant or lactating women and children under 10 years of age.
  

Recipe 03 : Massage (very effective formula)

   – 3 drops of Eucalyptus essential Oil
   – 2 drops of Lavender essential oil
   – 1 drop of Pine essential oil
   – 1 drop of essential oil of Niaouli
   – 1 drop of Peppermint essential oïl
How to use?
Pour into the hot water bowl.
For inhalation; Cover your head over the bowl with a towel with eyes closed. Inhale as much as you can of the rising steam before going to bed.

Recipe 04 : Diffusion

  – 1.9 ml or 64 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
  – 3 ml Ravintsara Essential Oil
  – 3 ml Rosemary essential oil
  – 0.5 ml or 19 drops of Tea tree essential oil
  – 0.3 ml or 11 drops of Niaouli essential oïl
How to use?
Pour all essential oils into a graduated cylinder. Mix.
Transfer the preparation to a 10 ml amber flask. Spread this composition for one hour in the morning and in the evening. This recipe is very effective against blocked nose, sinusitis and in prevention of influenza.
It is also useful for releasing the respiratory tract, fighting against viruses and stimulating immune defenses.
  

Recipe 05 : Quick Inhalation

   – 50 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
   – 50 drops of Niaouli essential oil
   – 25 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

How to use?

Pour the mixture in an amber flask. Pour 3 drops of the mixture onto a handkerchief then breathe. Repeat 4 to 6 times a day.
Not recommended for pregnant and children under 6 years of age.

Recipe 06 : Inhalation

  – 2 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
  – 2 drops of Niaouli essential oil
  – 1 drop of Thyme essential oil
How to use?

Mix all the ingredients in a small codigout flask. Pour the mixture into a large bowl filled with warm water, cover its head and breathe deeply. Do not lean too close to the bowl but keep a small distance from it. To be done twice a day.

 

5. TOP Commercial Blends of Essential Oils for Colds and Flu

In the previous sections, we explained how to make his own recipes of essential oils to treat coughs. There also exist many commercial blends that have proven their effectiveness for fighting coughs. Healthy Trends Haven have chosen for you the top rated of these blends.

5.1) Respiratory Essential Oil & Sinus Relief Blend Living Stone Pure EOS

This spicy flavored blend contains an entirely organic mixture of clary sage, rosemary, cedar wood, eucalyptus and peppermint oils. This blend is just what you need for effective chemical free relief for allergies, asthma, bronchitis, aromatherapy, sinus relief & colds. It contains no additives, toxins and is 100% organic.

 

5.2) Breathe Essential Oil Blend by Prime Natural

Breathe blend contains a natural mixture of eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lemon, lavender, cardamom and bay oils. Together these ingredients acts as antimicrobial and anti-allergenic to block infections whilst promoting faster relief from flu, colds, sinusitis and allergies without the drowsiness of drugs.

5.3) Immunity Synergy Blend Essential Oil by Edens Garden

The Immunity Synergy blend contains 100% certified pure therapeutic grade quality oils. With a delicate balance of unique essential oils, this blend smells very pleasant. It is very effective against colds and flu offering a fast relief to coughs and blockages in the nasal passage.

 

6. Other Supplements and Homeopathy for Colds and Flu

A lot controversy surrounds the effectiveness of Homeopathic treatment of colds and flu. Based on the belief that homeopathic treatment involves introducing into the body of the sick person similar vaccines called remedies that would otherwise cause a healthy person to become ill. Whilst many see it as a pseudoscience, some believe that it is a safe and effective healing method that is better than conventional medicine with all its side effects. Apart from homeopathic remedies, supplements are also taken to support the actual treatment of colds or flu by providing additional nutrients and healing compounds. Supplements occur naturally although some are manufactured for human convenience. Below are some of the supplements and homeopathic remedies used to treat colds and flu:

6.1) Vitamin C

Vitamin cVitamin C is widely used as a health supplement to treat colds. It is a natural occurring element in citrus fruits and many vegetables. It a very important vitamin and antioxidant that play an important role in repairing the body. Vitamin C acts in the body as a drainer; It collects all kinds of waste, including those of the virus. It can also reduce the duration of the cold from 7 days to 2 or 3 days only. According to a study by the University of Wisconsin, people with cold sores who take 500 mg of vitamin C four times a day have half as many symptoms as those who do not take this vitamin, provided that taking this high dose of vitamin C does not exceed a few days to avoid adverse effects.

6.2) Elderberry

ElderberryThe berries of the elder tree are a common supplement for both colds and flu. They contain active immune-stimulants that boost the immune system of the body helping it to get rid of cold and flu symptoms. A 2009 study published in the Journal of International Medical Research showed that extracts used within the first 2 days of the onset of flu symptoms, shortens the duration of flu symptoms to an average of four days. Meanwhile in 2016 another study demonstrated that elderberry supplementation can reduce the cold symptoms in air travelers.

6.3) Astragalus

AstragalusAstralagus herb native to china have been used over many centuries to promote health and strengthen internal body health, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it can specifically help to treat colds and upper respiratory infections.

6.4) Golden Seal or Echinacea

EchinaceaThe golden seal is a natural antibiotic and immune-stimulant. Used to treat colds, flu and many other diseases, it is one of the fastest selling herbs in the United States. The Echinacea is a Native American herb considered one of the most effective herbs for respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis colds and flu. These two herbs are sometimes used together for better outcome as they complement one another when fighting infections.

6.5) Oscillococcinum

OscillococcinumThis remedy usually taken at the onset when a person first catches the flu. Patient take one dose for the first 24 hours and continue as needed. It is believed that the flu virus is often averted following the treatment or symptoms decreasing in severity and duration.

 

7. Other Natural Remedies for Colds and Flu + Daily Tips

Apart from using essential oils for colds or flu treatment, there are plenty other natural remedies that can also be used to treat these ailments. Below, you find some of the natural remedies and some of the daily tips to get rid rapidly of colds and flu:

  • Keep warm so that the immune system concentrates all its efforts to fight against the cold.
  • Avoid over-rich foods such as meats and dairy products, and prefer fruits and vegetables.
  • Take chicken broth: According to a study at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, chicken broth contains a substance that speeds up the flow of nasal secretions.
  • Drink plenty of liquid (water, juice, tea) to replace the fluids lost during the cold.
  • Gargle with salt water to relieve the irritation of the throat.
  • Lubricate the nose because blowing the nose can become irritated. You can use a nasal spray for this purpose.
  • Moisten the air: increasing the humidity in the room will soften the misery of the cough, sore throat and dryness inside the nostrils.
  • Take lemon juice because lemon is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, it helps to support the body’s immune system. In his book “Back to Eden” Jethro Kloss explains that boiling a whole cut-up lemon with onions in a pint of water, gives you a medicinal drink that will help to reduce and clear mucus in the chest.
  • Ginger: drinking the juice from a few slices of fresh ginger in hot water is known to boost health and soothe an itchy throat.
  • Consume garlic: garlic contain allicin which is an immune boosting compound that also helps relieve cold and flu symptoms.

 

Conclusion:

There are many different essential oils that can be used to treat colds and flu. As you can see essential oils vary in heat, smell and components. Treatment is hardly one oil to cure them all, people are different and one oil that worked well for one person does not mean it will also work for you. The catch is to try and experience as many different types of oils and find the one that best appeals to your needs. Blends containing many different oils will help in this area, giving you all the benefit of its constituents. Application of the essential oils also vary, some are inhaled, others can be ingested whilst some can be applied directly to the skin. Users are advised to understand the properties of each oil or blend before using to avoid side effects. Finally, other natural remedies and supplements can be used alongside the essential oils for quick and lasting recovery.

 

 

 

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