As we head into the fall, it also means that we're headed for cold and flu season. Being sick is terrible and disruptive to both your personal and work life and catching an illness could mean it ransacking your entire family.
When I was pregnant last year, I contracted a cold. It was terrible because you can't take the majority of medications out there without possible harm coming to the baby. Having to suffer through it without an effective remedy was terrible. We don't realize how lucky we are to have treatments to mask the symptoms of illness. I wish I had known more about how I could have used essential oils during the time I was pregnant. It's best to consult with your doctor before using these as some of them could stimulate contractions as discussed below.
What's great is that essential oils are becoming more popular and have more applications than you can imagine! This will show you how to use essential oils to treat colds.
What you will need to follow this Tutorial
There are a variety of essential oils that can be used. Here are the different options and what they can best be used for:
Eucalyptus oil is derived from the eucalyptus tree, which is native to Australia. It can boost the immune system, help with respiration and offer antioxidants.
Lemon Oil is a strong antimicrobial agent and is effective at helping drain swollen lymph nodes and cleanse the body of harmful toxins.
In addition to being a sleep aid and having a calming effect, lavender oil can also help breathing and congestion.
Rosemary Oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. This can help flu symptoms, calm a sore throat, fight congestion and treat respiratory infections. It can also boost the immune system.
Chamomile Oil is derived from the flower, which is similar to a daisy. It can boost mood, reduce inflammation and act as a mild sedative. It also has antibiotic, antiseptic and disinfectant properties.
Its warm scent is soothing and it also can improve immunity and promote cellular health.
Peppermint Oil can be calming and relieve parts of the body.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil has strong antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can help fight infection as well as cleanse the body.
Pine Essential Oil
Pine Oil can help loosen mucus phlegm and also relieve stress.
Ravensara Oil is from Madagascar and also has relaxant, antiseptic, expectorant, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Oregano Oil can help boost the immune system and fight infections. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Ginger Oil can help if you're feeling sick to your stomach by helping to ease your nausea. It also promotes good digestion.
Lime Oil is antiviral, antiseptic and antibacterial and can help your immune system fight germs. It can also treat fever.
Cinnamon Oil has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Prepare to Use Essential Oils For a Cold
1. Dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil
There are different recommended dilutions depending on your specific circumstances. If it is to be used on a child over age six, a pregnant woman, an elderly adult, someone with sensitive skin, a compromised immune system or other serious health issues, you want to use a 1% dilution. This is one drop of essential oil to one teaspoon of a carrier oil. For most adults and for daily skin care, it's safe to use a 2% dilution, which is two drops of essential oil per one teaspoon of carrier oil.
2. Then use the diluted solution to perform a patch test.
This is done by applying the solution to the inner portion of your elbow.
3. Bandage the section where you put the solution.
4. Wait one day to see if it begins to itch or swell.
5. If there are any issues, do not use that essential oil.
6. Repeat with all the oils you're considering using.
How to Use These Essential Oils to Treat a Cold/Pro tips:
- Take a few drops of Eucalyptus Oil with a diffuser overnight so you inhale it as you sleep. You can also dilute a few drops into water and rub on your chest as a decongestant.
- Mix a few drops of Lemon Oil with coconut oil or dilute it in water. Then to help stimulate drainage, rub the mixture around your lymph nodes, throat or ears.
- Put a few drops of Lavender Oil into your bath before bed to help relax you as well as relieve breathing by breathing in the steam. This also works well with Pine Essential Oil.
- Like Eucalyptus Oil, you can put Rosemary Oil into a diffuser and inhale it for a cleansing effect. You can also mix it with olive oil or coconut oil and massage on your lymph nodes.
- Use a few drops of Chamomile Oil onto a cold cloth and use as a compress for your forehead
- Like Lavender Oil, put a few drops of Frankincense Oil into a bath and breathe in the steam. Pro tip- put a towel over your head and close your eyes as you breathe in the steam. It can also be diluted in water and put on your chest or used in a diffuser.
- Mix a drop or two of Peppermint Oil with olive oil, water or coconut oil and rub into temples, forehead and neck.
- If you use one or two drops of Tea Tree, Peppermint or Ginger Oil into warm water and gargle it for a couple of seconds before spitting it out, you can help prevent a sore throat from turning into a cold.
- Diffuse Ravensara Oil after you're healthy again to protect yourself from getting sick again.
- If you use 10 drops of Oregano Oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil, you can create a natural hand sanitizer! Pro tip- Be careful not to use it on cuts as this essential oil is potent and can cause irritation.
- Put a drop of Ginger Oil onto a paper towel, or use it in a diffuser, and inhale the scent to help calm your upset stomach.
- To make an all-purpose protective oil blend, take 20 drops of Clove Oil, 18 drops of Lemon Oil, 10 drops of Cinnamon Oil, eight drops of Eucalyptus oil and five drops of Rosemary Oil. Store it in a dark glass container. Pro tip- This can be use in a diffuser to purify the air and used with Epsom salts for a healing bath.
Words of Caution:
- Do a skin test as the one above to make sure you don't have any reactions to the essential oils you're planning to use.
- Do not use peppermint, rosemary, wintergreen or eucalyptus around babies or young children because they contain menthol and 1,8-cineole. In young children, menthol can cause breathing to stop and can cause severe jaundice in those with a G6PD deficiency. Check out this video for advice on essential oils that can be used on infants, still be sure to check with your doctor first.
- Chamomile, lavender, lemon, orange and frankincense are considered safe in diluted form on children, but still do a skin test and check with a doctor before using these on children.
- Many oils are considered safe to use while you're pregnant, but some can induce labor so make sure to check with your doctor first. They can be of great relief if you're sick, but you want to make sure that you won't have problems.
- Of the ones listed above, do not use cinnamon, chamomile, rosemary, ginger, oregano or peppermint if you're pregnant. Do not use Peppermint Essential Oil if you're breastfeeding as it may decrease milk supply. A more complete list can be found here. Use extreme caution because essential oils can cross the placenta and into the baby. They can also cause hormone imbalances while pregnant.
There are many ways that essential oils can be safe and can help decrease your cold symptoms as we head into fall. Just be sure to check with your doctor if you are expecting!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial about the different ways you can use essential oils to treat the common cold! There are many medications that you can take, but they aren't without problems. With all the choices out there, it's great to know that you have some all natural options as well that actually work! It's important to know what we're putting on and into our bodies. Many people buy and use products without regard for what is in them.
Please comment with what you thought of this article and feel free to share it if you liked it! Thank you for reading!