10 Essential Oils for Colds That Will Make You Feel Better

There is nothing more frustrating than being laid up with a cold and not able to get some relief. Essential oils are a great addition to the classic treatments doctors suggest for cold symptoms. However, some essential oils for colds are better than others to help you cope.

It is important to remember that essential oils are never meant to be a cure for an illness. Always combine essential oils with doctor-approved treatments and see a doctor if you experience:

  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • High fever
  • A fever that lasts more than a week.

Let’s take a look at how to use essential oils for colds and the best ones to choose.

How to Use Essential Oils for Colds

There are five methods for applying an essential oil to your cold treatment.

  1. Massage oil – You should never apply undiluted essential oils to your skin as they are very potent and may irritate the skin.  For topical application it is best to use a carrier oil like almond oil, coconut oil or sunflower oil with essential oils.  This can then be used for massage.
  2. Diffusion – Here are a few different methods for diffusing essential oils but one of the most popular is by using one of the lovely essential oil diffusers on the market.
  3. Steam inhalation – Steam inhalation is when you place the essential oil in a steaming pan of water.  You then cover your head (usually with a towel) over the steam to inhale it.
  4. Warm compress – Combine your essential oil with a small amount of liquid soap in a bowl of warm water and soak a towel in it to lay around your neck.
  5. The handkerchief method – Drop a few drops of essential oil on to a handkerchief and press it close to your mouth and nose to smell it when cold symptoms flare up.

10 Essential Oils for Colds and How to Use Them

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon Bark

There are a lot of health benefits to cinnamon oil. It is a natural antiseptic that can help your body fight off the virus. It also boosts circulation and blood flow, as well as relieving indigestion and nausea.

Cinnamon oil is also used to decrease inflammation in the throat, so it relieves sore throats, sore lungs and suppresses coughing.

The best way to use cinnamon oil is to diffuse it into the air or add it to a steam inhalation.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

If you walked into your local drug store and looked at the cold remedies on the shelf, you will see a common ingredient, eucalyptus. There is a reason for this, eucalyptus has antimicrobial effects that fight against fungus, bacteria, and viruses. It is a natural cough suppressant and mucus expectorant.

Eucalyptus essential oil is a prime ingredient in chest balm and cold relief bath products. It is worth mentioning that eucalyptus is an external cold aid. You don’t want to ingest eucalyptus in any form, it is toxic to people.

Obviously, eucalyptus oil is most effective in a steam inhalation or diffused through the air. It also works well as a massage oil and a warm compress.

Frankincense Essential Oil

This earthy scent is known as a natural antiseptic and mucus expectorant. So not only does it disinfect the surfaces in your home but it helps loosen that annoying mucus that makes a cold so miserable.

Inhalation is the best approach to use Frankincense essential oil. A steam inhalation and warm compresses are soothing additions to your cold treatment and can help you breathe a little easier.

Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger Root

Much like eucalyptus, ginger is a common ingredient in cold medicines. Especially if the medicine is “all natural.” Ginger is able to expel phlegm and mucus from your chest and lungs.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may relieve sinus pain. Plus if you don’t have much of an appetite, the scent of ginger may help.

Diffuse ginger essential oil into the air to get the most benefit or add it to a steam inhalation.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass is an overall great cold remedy. It is not only a natural fever reducer but it boosts your immune system. Lemongrass eases headaches, muscle pain, and congestion.

Lemongrass is ideal for massage oil and vaporizing treatments. It has a citrus note which energizes some people.

If you are suffering from a cold that is affecting your whole body, then lemongrass essential oil may be your go-to cold treatment supplement.

Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano has more uses than just your favorite Italian recipes. Oregano essential oil is used to fight intestinal parasites, allergies, sinus pain, arthritis, cold and flu, swine flu, earaches, and fatigue. The chemicals in oregano suppress coughing and kill bacteria and viruses.

Oregano works best as a sublingual (under the tongue) treatment but make sure you use an edible carrier oil if you choose this method. You can also add the oil to a steam inhalation method or diffuse it into the air.

Peppermint Essential Oil

The refreshing scent of peppermint is a common addition to cold remedies. The menthol in it clears the sinuses and relieves congestion in your chest. If you like to use chest rubs to relieve your cold symptoms there is a good chance that peppermint is one of the ingredients.

Inhalation techniques are the most effective way to use peppermint essential oil. So try steam inhalation, warm compresses, diffusing, and of course, massage oil.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary sprig

Another staple in most people’s spice cabinets makes a great cold remedy in essential oil form. Rosemary boosts your immune system and relieves stuffy sinuses, congestion, and suppresses coughing.

Rosemary essential oil is most effective as a massage oil or inhaled through diffusion or a steam inhalation.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

This popular essential oil has antiviral properties that make it a first line choice for fighting illness and winning! It is an anti-inflammatory that reduces swelling and relieves pain. Perfect for that annoying headache that makes a cold extra unbearable.

For best results, mix up a massage oil and apply it to your pain points. Also, you can use tea tree oil to disinfect the surfaces around your home.

Thyme Essential Oil

Dive back into the old spice cabinet for thyme when you are feeling a little under the weather. Thyme essential oil is antiviral in nature, meaning that it fights viruses. Thyme is also great for boosting your immune system and is thought to be an antidepressant.

Diffuse thyme essential oil to get the most benefit. Add it to a steam inhalation or make a massage oil to aid with congestion.

In Conclusion…

Essential oils for colds are great companions to any cold treatment. Choose any of these ten oils or a combination and you will see fast relief.

Remember to stick with classic cold treatments like steam inhalations, warm compresses, and diffusers and you can’t go wrong!

Stay warm, keep cozy and remember this too shall pass. Get better soon!

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1 thought on “10 Essential Oils for Colds That Will Make You Feel Better”

  1. Loved this article Kristy. I’ve only really started using essential oils over the past couple of years. But I’m already addicted to them! I absolutely LOVE Lemongrass. And I’m definitely one of those people who finds it energising and invigorating as you mentioned above! 🙂 It’s great to know it can be used a remedy for colds too. I’ve saved this post on my Pinterest account to refer back to you. Thanks for sharing these fantastic tips. 🙂


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