This morning I woke up sounding like a frog; the red flag I'm about to get sick. But I can't get sick now! We're two weeks from a vacation we've been planning all year. Rather than over-the-counter products with terrible side effects, I reached into my arsenal of essential oils. Into a big bowl of steaming water went drops of frankincense, lavender, oregano and eucalyptus oils for some homemade steam inhalation therapy. With a towel over my head, I breathed in the healing aromas and began to feel better. Read on to learn more about the best essential oils for fighting colds.
What Are Essential Oils
The piney scent of rosemary, the refreshing scent of citrus or calming aroma of lavender - these wonderful fragrances come from naturally occurring volatile oils within the seeds, bark, stems, roots, and other parts of plants and flowers. Used for thousands of years as natural healing remedies, each has a distinctive smell and health benefit.
It was several years ago that essential oils became part of our natural health maintenance routine. A sweet girlfriend brought me essential oils to relieve the misery of a bad chest cold and help me heal. They made an amazing difference in how much faster I recovered. That experience made me a believer and user of essential oils. If you are not using essential oils, you are missing powerful tools to naturally stay well, feel better and thrive.
How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are concentrated so just a few drops deliver big benefits. They are used in a variety of ways depending on individual properties. Some essential oils are best applied topically to the skin, taken internally, or used aromatically while some are better diffused into the air or inhaled. Additionally, many oils can be used in cooking or for household cleaning purposes.
The Best Essential Oils for Fighting Colds
Drops of the following essential oils went into my steam inhalation bowl this morning. Add boiling water to a large bowl, add a few drops of oils and place a towel over your head to trap the steam. Take care not to scald your face. Breathe in for about 10 minutes or until the oils have mostly disappeared. Another way to use the oils is to rub a few drops on your chest and neck. Check the links at the end of this post for more information.
An essential oil expert once told me that if you only get one oil on you a day, make it frankincense. Called the king of essential oils, Frankincense has a variety of health benefits such as reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, and providing feelings of relaxation. Frankincense is also called Boswellia as it comes from the Boswellia tree grown in Africa. I take it daily in capsule form for joint health benefits.
Oregano essential oil is natures antibiotic with antiviral and antimicrobial properties shown to reduce upper respiratory issues such as coughs and sore throats. This is another one I take daily in capsule form as needed to fight getting sick. When using topically, dilute oregano oil with a carrier oil because of its strength. A drop or two will do.
The soothing, clearing smell of eucalyptus is good for respiratory problems such as coughs and stuffy breathing. Try using it with steam inhalation, diffused into the air or with a hot bath. This oil you do not want to take internally as it can be toxic.
A favorite among essential oil users, lavender oil promotes relaxation and works as a pain and anxiety reducer. It's a wonderful overall healing oil particularly good for respiratory ailments. I use it every night at bedtime for the relaxation and sleep-promoting benefits.
Tee Tree (Melaleuca)
With natural antiseptic, antiviral and antimicrobial benefits, tea tree oil is beneficial for coughing, congestion and sore throats. It's also a natural disinfectant with purifying properties and boosts the immune system.
Boosts energy and reduces fever, body aches and headache. Peppermint's high menthol content promotes respiratory function and healthy digestion. Another much-loved favorite and basic essential oil for your collection.