Essential Oils for The Cold and Flu Season

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Essential Oils for Colds and Flu, woman sneezing

Each of us will suffer through the runny noses, persistent coughs or aches and pain of the cold and flu at some stage in our lives. When we are run down, we become susceptible to the dreaded lurgies and illness will always come at the most inconvenient time.

Essential Oils for Symptom Relief

Essential oils really stand out when it comes to symptom relief. They have a natural affinity with our respiratory system and have the ability to reduce congestion and thin out mucous, reduce our cough response, ease the pain of fever and kill off air borne bacteria. They can also ease that desolate feeling that only a bad snuffle can produce.

Tailor Made Aromatic Chemistry

Knowing your aromatic chemistry really pays off at times like these. We can tailor our blends to suit individual needs and use nature in a directed way. Bring out the 1,8-cineoles and feel the benefits. Cineole-rich essential oils will reduce inflammatory reactions and prevent the spread of infection. Terpene alcohols are excellent choices for chronic bronchitis. Monoterpene alcohols will be pleasantly uplifting and safe and antiseptic.

Recently I developed a very bad flu, which was lovingly passed to me from my beloved. I was stressed out, overworked and then out action for 2 weeks!

My 5 Oil Response List and How I Use Them

I have included my 5 oil response list and these choices are a mix of essential oils which I have a personal affinity for:

  1. Myrtle Myrtus communis
  2. Lemon Citrus limon
  3. Eucalyptus Eucalpytus radiata
  4. Honey Myrtle Melaleuca teretifolia
  5. Pine Pinus sylvestris

It’s possible to mix and match depending upon your situation, and I like to swap each oil synergy every 48 to 36 hours in order to avoid sensitisation. I also have found anecdotally, that by rotating my blends, their efficacy improves – or I feel a sense of improvement, at least. Let’s face it – when struck by flu, any positive mood enhancement is a plus! This is how I used my experience in Clinical Aromatherap

Myrtle Myrtus communis and Lemon Citrus limon combined at a 1& dilution for a chest rub and foot rub and applied 3 times a day for three days eases head congestion, warms the chest and soothes the cough response. I used Olive Oil out of my pantry as a base.

Eucalpytus radiata is a wonderful inhalation that eases catarrh and decongests the head. I added 3 drops to a cup of Magnesium sulphate and added it to the bath for the relief of aches and pains. As I had my flu when the weather was still warm, my choice was cooling to my body, and clearing to the mind. Inhalations significantly improved my respiratory function.

Note for Asthmatics and Small Children: Do always be careful with Eucalpytus oils though, People who have Asthma, or small children under 5 years of age should choose their oils carefully. Eucalyptus can actually be too much for some people, so start with minimal doses and work your way up if unsure.

Honey Myrtle Melaleuca teretifolia eases congestion and kills air-borne bugs. 4 to 6 drops added to a electric oil vapouriser gets rid of that ‘sick smell’ and brings a sense of freshness. Even though I was snotty and miserable and feverish, I felt clean. I find Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus will have a similar effect, even though my preference is to use the herb over the oil.

Pine Pinus sylvestris is a safe and gentle decongestant and disinfectant which contains 50 to 97% monoterpene hydrocarbons. It is suitable for prolonged use and is one of the best oils to clear cold phlegm from the lungs. Sometimes I would add this to my bath and I added drops to my Shower Gel base and used it on a face cloth in a steaming shower at night. It was less stimulating than a Eucalyptus oil, and similar in its decongestant effect.

This was my healing kit, which allowed me to sleep with only one pillow at night and without cold and flu medication. My body was able to heal itself naturally and the infection did not travel from my head. My room smelled prettier than it could have, which was an added benefit.

Choosing Your Own Essential Oil Kit

When choosing your own essential oil kit it is important to choose oils that will possess a wide range of properties. Your choices should be antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral. They should also be immunostimulants.

Rest and proper nutrition should help with the rest.

Katherine Lloyd
About the Author: Katherine Lloyd is the Principal of Aminya Academy Adelaide campus. She was a journalist before embarking on her 25 year journey learning about aromatherapy.  Her speciality lies in the mind-body aspect of essential oils. Katherine creates custom blends and botanic artisan perfumes. Her love and passion is education and empowerment. “I have humbly witnessed essential oils and botanicals support our physical bodies while simultaneously soothing our spirits. I think Aromatherapy is one of the kindest and most nurturing of all the healing modalities as a result.”

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