Essential oils are one of the cornerstones of natural medicine. They have powerful therapeutic benefits and many different applications for health, beauty and much more. Here is a list of some of the most popular essential oils for cold and flu applications and what they are commonly used for.
This is one of the most versatile oils there is. It can be used for so many things but it is best known for it’s calming and relaxation properties, as well as it’s help with pain relief. Lavender essential oil is antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory decongestant, deodorant, diuretic and a sedative. It’s fabulous for the skin and is excellent for pain relief, especially muscle aches and headaches. A very effective hand sanitizing spritz can be made from some lavender essential oil and distilled water to kill those nasty germs. Burning it in your humidifier or in an aromatherapy burner with eucalyptus and rosemary helps kill germs in any sickroom.
Great for headaches, pain relief, stomach upset, congestion and fevers, peppermint essential oil is another very versatile oil. It’s wonderful refreshing scent reminds us of holidays and warm memories. Peppermint oil can be applied “neat” (undiluted) to the skin for irritations and redness. Peppermint essential oil also helps sharpen mental focus, clear up cobwebs, and to refresh and brighten moods. Burning this in an aromatherapy burner or humidifier with eucalyptus, sandalwood and cedarwood is great for respiratory problems and congestion.
This oil is one of the kings of medicinal oils. Like lavender, it’s applications are many, from treating minor cuts to dandruff and everything in between. A few drops of tea tree oil added to a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar makes an excellent disinfectant spray. Add a bit more water to the mix and you can use this as a wonderful skin toner. It’s important for cold and flu season because burning it in the aromatherapy oil burner will not just deodorize the room but actually kills the bacteria causing the odor. It can be a little overwhelming when used this way (it smells like Pine-Sol and is actually one of the active ingredients in this popular disinfectant), so if you are sensitive open the windows. Tea tree oil is antiseptic, antifungal, an immune system booster and a natural insecticide. If you have no other essential oils in your home at all, you should have tea tree oil.
World-renowned for it’s relaxing properties, chamomile is also great as an anti-inflammatory agent. Chamomile essential oil is antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant and a mood booster. There are two types of chamomile, Roman and German. The healing properties of both are similar, with the German type being better suited for digestive and urinary problems. Both help reduce fever. Makes a wonderfully relaxing tea that cures any stomach ache or just those nights when someone simply feels awful.
You’ll recognize the scent of this one immediately; it smells like Vicks Vapo-Rub and it’s uses are similar. Eucalyptus essential oil is used best for coughs, colds, sinus problems and decongestant. Burning it in the aromatherapy burner will kill the germs in any sickroom. It’s great in the vaporizer or in the shower, where it can work with the steam to ease respiratory problems. Combining it with lemon essential oil works wonderfully but some find it too stimulating. Eucalyptus oil is antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, diuretic and a stimulant. It’s cooling, like peppermint and helps with headaches and muscle pain.
This powerhouse is one of the big daddies in essential oils. It is antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, relieves pain and many other things. Use oregano oil in your humidifier to help with respiratory problems and congestion, as a (very diluted) oil to massage pain away or to clean and disinfect sickrooms. You should not not routinely apply most essential oils to the skin undiluted but oregano oil should never be applied to the skin undiluted; it can cause a chemical burn. This stuff is potent!
Need more info about essential oils? Looking for information on blends and more?
You can download the most popular essential oil encyclopedia app on Amazon. This app is also available on the Google Play store.
Portions of this originally posted in the blog “5 Best Essential Oils For Your First Aid Kit.”