18 December 2017

Best Essential Oils for Cold and Flu

It's cold and flu season, and I've got one kid still suffering from allergies.  My essential oil diffuser has been working overtime for since September.  

I'm not completely opposed to medicine, but I like to try natural remedies first. I haven't found a cold medication that doesn't make me drowsy, including the ones labeled non-drowsy.  I get a brain cloud that doesn't allow me to work or teach my kids like I should be able to.

So we turn to essential oils.  I'll share the best essential oils for cold and flu with you so you can choose the best ones for your family.  

I like that there are options in what to use.  Sometimes I don't use a particular oil often, so I don't keep it on hand.  That's ok!  There are usually other oils that you can use.

This is my personal experience that I'm sharing with you.  I am not a doctor, and this is not meant to replace a doctor's advice.  Always check with your doctor before using any oils.  

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Cold weather doesn't directly cause a cold or the flu.  However, during the colder weather, people are more likely to be inside and share close quarters, which certainly  helps spread germs.

Cold air is also drier than warm air.  Both colds and the flu are caused by viruses that thrive in dry, cool air.  You can help combat this by running a dehumidifier in your home, but be sure to keep it clean.  

If you don't have a dehumidifier at your house, try setting bowls of water on your floor registers.  

My son's doctor also prescribed him a nasal spray to keep his nasal passages moist.  This has helped him.  

When I have a cold, chest congestion, or a stuffy nose, a hot shower helps me more than anything else.  I haven't made any shower discs yet, so I just put about 10 drops of essential oils on an old washcloth and put it on the floor of the shower.  The vapors rise to help clear my congestion.  

If I take a bath, I use my bath salts for cold and flu.  The bath really helps with any body aches for me, too.  


Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.


Before we go into the specific oils to use, let's talk about how to use them.  The easiest way for me is to use my diffuser.  I love mine so much that I bought another so I could have one in the main living area and one in a bedroom.

To use a diffuser, place 3-4 drops of oil in 100 mL of water.  I let mine go for 20-45 minutes before I shut it off.  I turn it back on in a few hours.  There have been studies that suggest that after 45 minutes, you don't get as much benefit from the oil.

Read: The Best Essential Oil Diffuser and How to Use It

If you don't have a diffuser, you can also put the oil on your skin.  Do not ever put oil directly on your skin though.  You need to have a carrier oil to dilute it with.  If that's too messy, try a solid carrier oil stick.   

You can also make a homemade vapor rub recipe with any of these essential oils. 


There are custom blends available for congestion, coughs, and allergies. I use Breathe Easy from Crafty Bubbles. Since this is the only blend that I use, I can't speak of other blends. 

Breathe Easy essential oil blend from Crafty Bubbles is a blend of:

We use this for allergies and colds, and it works very well for us.


If I'm not using Breathe Easy, I use eucalyptus essential oil.  This oil is found in most commercial products for chest congestion, and it's probably the most popular of the best essential oils for cold and flu.  I usually mix this with a carrier oil and rub it on my chest for a vapor rub.  You can diffuse it, but I find it overpowering when I do that.  It's personal preference.


Peppermint essential oil is said to help reduce chest congestion and headaches.  I've used this in the diffuser as well as with a carrier oil on my chest to relieve congestion.


Lemon essential oil is another great essential oil for when you're battling a cold.  It's naturally antiviral.  It also has a fresh scent that helps boost my mood.  I add this to my diffuser to make the house smell great while I'm reaping the benefits.


Oregano oil is said to be antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial.  This can be diffused or applied to the skin with a carrier oil.


Pine essential oil is one of the best essential oils for cold and flu.  It helps relieve congestion and reduce cold symptoms quickly too.  Personally, I don't like the smell, so I always use this in a blend in my diffuser.


Frankincense essential oil is also said to be a natural expectorant.  It's also anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and a great cold fighting essential oil.  It's is also said to help reduce anxiety, which can help calm you when you are sick.


Tea tree oil is one of my most used oils.  It's naturally antiviral and antimicrobial.  It can help with congestion as well as act as a natural disinfectant.  I mix this with another oil in my diffuser, usually eucalyptus,  when we are sick.


German chamomile essential oil is soothing, so it can help relieve aches and pains.  You can diffuse it, but I like to mix it with a carrier oil and use it directly on my aches and pains.  You can also put a few drops in a warm bath.


Lemongrass essential oil is said to be calming and help lower fevers.  Some say that it helps reduce stomach aches and headaches too.  It is a natural analgesic and has antimicrobial properties, making it one of the best essential oils for cold and flu.

Note that lemongrass can irritate your skin.  Always use a carrier oil with any essential oil, but definitely for this one.  I don't use it topically or in a bath.  I only use it in a diffuser.


Lavender essential oil is also calming for your mood, but it also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.  You can diffuse it or add it to a carrier oil to massage sore muscles while you are sick.


Sandalwood essential oil is a good oil to add to a blend when you diffuse.  It doesn't help with your cold as much as with your mental health.  It's calming and relaxing, so I like to use it with another oil that will help relieve my symptoms.  


As I mentioned, I usually use blends in my diffuser.  I will use peppermint or eucalyptus alone, but I usually blend all of the other ones.  

Try one of these blends.

Essential Oil Blend for Cough and Cold #1

  • 5 drops peppermint
  • 5 drops eucalyptus 
  • 4 drops tea tree oil
  • 2 drops lemon

Essential Oil Blend for Cough and Cold #2

  • 4 drops oregano
  • 4 drops peppermint
  • 4 drops lemon
  • 4 drops tea tree oil
What are your favorites essential oils to use when you have a cough or cold?

Like this post?  Pin it! 

If you like this post, then you'll love these:
Bath Salts for Cold and Flu

DIY Breathe Easy Wax Melts
How to Make Vapor Rub

Newsletter Signup