December 13, 2018

Cold and flu season is upon us and it’s useful to know which of the essential oils to use for a head cold or flu-like symptoms. Several essential oils have been proven to be beneficial for relieving or managing symptoms like a sore throat and congestion. Even though all of the oils have some benefits, not all have the same healing properties. When choosing essential oils for a head cold, you’re going to want the ones that exhibit specific properties. Many of the oils have anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, disinfecting, antiviral, antimicrobial and pain-relieving properties.

Ways to Use Essential Oils for Head Colds

Essential oils can provide relief for many cold and flu symptoms including fatigue, congestion, aches and pains, and headaches. Many of them are effective as natural disinfectants to kill germs and bacteria on surfaces like doorknobs and countertops. They can also be mixed together to form some powerfully potent blends. The most common ways to use oils include:

  • Steam Inhalation
  • Massage
  • Bath Blends
  • Aromatherapy
  • Diffusing
  • Hot and Cold Compresses

Top 5 Essential Oils and Blends for Head Colds

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Ease your respiratory system with eucalyptus EO. You’ve probably seen it used in many over the counter remedies for cold symptoms such as cough drops and ointments. That’s because it is a powerhouse when it comes to helping relieve the symptoms of head colds. It has both antiviral and anti-bacterial properties and can help bring relief. You can use this potent essential oil in a diffuser, a hot bath, with steam inhalation, or make your own chest rub.

Blend for steam inhalation, hot bath, or diffuser:

  • 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of peppermint essential oil

Diffuse this simple blend to keep an airborne infection from spreading:

  • 3 drops of eucalyptus EO
  • 3 drops of tea tree EO

Calm a Chest Cold with this homemade chest rub. Massage it into the chest in the morning and again in the evening.

  • 4 drops of eucalyptus EO
  • 2 drops of myrrh EO
  • 4 drops of cedarwood EO
  • 4 teaspoons of the carrier oil of your choice

This eucalyptus recipe can provide relief for an aching body. Use this blend in a hot or cold compress or a bath. You can also combine it with a carrier oil and use it as a massage blend.

  • 4 drops of eucalyptus EO
  • 2 drops of ginger EO
  • 4 drops of rosemary EO
  • 4 teaspoons of carrier oil to make a massage blend.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood EO is a great way to loosen up congestion in the airways. It’s also a great option when you need to relax and calm down. It has a variety of properties including antiviral, astringent, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory. These make it a great go-to solution for relief from head colds and flu. It’s also good for relieving mental stress. Here are a few ways to use this potent oil.

Ease congestion by diffusing this blend or making a chest rub:

  • 2 drops of sandalwood EO
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus EO
  • 2 drops of peppermint EO
  • 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil – for a chest rub

To relieve aches and pains diffuse these oils:

  • 2 drops of sandalwood EO
  • 4 drops of lavender EO
  • 4 drops of rosemary EO
  • 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil to use as a massage blend

Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme essential oil is not only antibacterial, but it also contains potent antiviral properties too. You may have seen thyme oil listed as an active ingredient in some commercial green cleaning products. It can help ease coughing and drain congestion. However, if you are epileptic or suffer from high blood pressure, this oil should be avoided. Other benefits from thyme EO include fighting fatigue, relieving stress, and antidepressant properties. These are also beneficial for helping fight off head cold and flu discomforts. Here are the top ways to use thyme essential oil.

To use as a decongestant, diffuse these two oils.

  • 3 drops of thyme EO
  • 3 drops of peppermint EO
  • To use as a chest rub, add four teaspoons of a carrier oil.

Create your own bath blend by adding thee oils to a hot bath:

  • 2 drops of thyme EO
  • 4 drops of bergamot EO

To benefit from the immune support of thyme essential oil, use this blend in a diffuser:

  • 4 drops of thyme EO
  • 4 drops of lemon EO
  • 2 drops of clove bud EO
  • Add these oils to 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil to use as a massage blend.

Frankincense Essential Oil

 If you are dealing with a tough head cold or a terrible cough, or a respiratory infection, reach for frankincense oil. Diffusing this oil or using it or steam inhalation can help reduce inflammation in the nasal passages and break up mucus in the lungs. This oil contains remarkable healing and rejuvenating properties. It contains some natural cold-fighters like antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are a few ways to use frankincense essential oil for a head cold.

Steam inhalation to help relieve stuffed up airways and head congestion:

  • Get a bowl of hot steaming water and add a few drops of frankincense EO or a blend of oils.
  • Put a towel over your head and lean over the bowl to inhale the steam coming off the hot water. Continue until the scent of the oil has dissipated.
  • Repeat this several times a day to relieve a headache and congestion.

Hot or cold compresses for the relief of congestion and headaches:

  • Place a damp cloth in the microwave and heat for a few seconds until it is hot then add five to seven drops of frankincense oil to the cloth.
  • If you need a decongestant, add a few drops of eucalyptus too.
  • If you need relief from a headache, add a few drops of lavender to the frankincense EO.
  • Place the washcloth on your forehead or on your chest for relief.

For a hot bath to relieve congestion and help reduce aches and pains:

  • 2 drops of frankincense EO
  • 2 drops of orange EO
  • 1 drop of eucalyptus EO
  • Mix the oils into the hot bath water.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is good for so many things and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to a head cold either. It’s a long time favorite and has a refreshing aroma. Lavender EO is often used to combat anxiety, treat insomnia, for skin ailments, and to relieve pain naturally. It’s also a natural remedy for treating the symptoms of the flu, colds, coughs, and sinus congestion. It is also a great way to alleviate breathing problems and sinus congestion. Here are some of the ways to enjoy its benefits.

To relieve congestion, lavender EO can be applied topically to the neck, chest, and sinus areas for quick relief.

To use lavender oil as a decongestant and sleep aid use this blend in a diffuser:

  • 4 drops of lavender EO
  • 4 drops of chamomile EO
  • 4 drops of cedarwood EO


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