Flu season is right around the corner and with flu season, comes colds.
No matter how often we wash our hands or how much orange juice we drink, a cold can still manage to creep up on us. The misery of constant nose-blowing, sniffling, coughing, and sneezing is one to be avoided at all costs. Sometimes, all the hand-sanitizers in the world can’t seem to keep that bugger of a cold away.
When we do happen to fall prey to a cold and those unpleasant symptoms start to show themselves, there are the standard medications like Cold-FX, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen that have always been there for us. They’ve served us well in the past, but times are changing; now more than ever consumers are turning to more natural and holistic medicinal treatments, like the use of essential oils.
While an essential oil can’t cure a cold or even prevent it, there are a heap of essential oils you can use to help soothe and relieve some of the discomfort that comes with the season.
What do you know about essential oils? You’ve probably heard all about their wonderful smells and how they’re used for relaxation, as a sleeping-aid, and to boost mood.
Essential oils are a plant-derived substance used in aromatherapy. Essential oils have been around for thousands of years and originally came from ancient Egypt, India, and China. They’ve been used as folk remedies for centuries and to this day are one of the only ancient health traditions that are still being widely practiced. How have they endured through all the technological and pharmaceutical advances?
Because they work.
If magic potions were real, we’re pretty sure they’d take form as essential oils.
Essential Oils for Colds
With over 90 essential oils out there all coming with their own unique set of joys and benefits, it can be overwhelming to decipher which oils will serve you in the ways that you need. Good thing we’ve already done the research and compiled it into this nice, easy to follow list. We’ve got your back!
Keep in mind that these oils are listed in no particular order - they all work to soothe symptoms in their own unique way.
Peppermint oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It contains high levels of menthol, which is a main ingredient in many topical creams and liquids that help to relieve congestion. Menthol is also used in many cough drop medicines. When inhaled, peppermint oil can provide a cooling and soothing sensation for the throat and nasal passages.
On top of promoting clear breathing, peppermint oil can help soothe the windpipe. With the seemingly never-ending coughing sprees that colds seem to bring with them, this oil will provide much-needed relief for strained throats.
Keep in mind that the use of peppermint oil is not advised for children younger than 8 years old or pregnant women.
Tea Tree Oil
The soothing properties of tea tree oil can also help reduce irritation, which can help calm swelling in the sinuses.
The use of rosemary goes far beyond our beloved kitchen recipes. Rosemary oil has soothing properties which can help relieve discomfort from congestion.
Rosemary oil contains a compound called cineole (which is mainly found in Eucalyptus oil). Cineole has shown to help break up mucus in our sinuses and reduce irritation. Rosemary is also a rich source of antioxidants, making it useful for overall health and wellness!
If you already love keeping rosemary in the kitchen cupboards, try introducing rosemary oil to your medicine cabinet for its health benefits as well. Rosemary is one of the main ingredients in our Destress Pure Essential Oil.
Many over-the-counter decongestion chest rubs already contain eucalyptus oil because of its soothing properties. Eucalyptus oil can also help temporarily relieve pain and ease muscle tension.
The main chemical compound in eucalyptus oil is cineole (which you may remember having just read about in regard to rosemary oil). The high concentration of cineole in eucalyptus oil is what makes it an ideal oil for the promotion of clear breathing. The aroma of eucalyptus oil is commonly described as an “airy, forest scent,” which sounds pretty suitable if you ask us.
Eucalyptus oils not only help soothe our airways, but is also known to promote feelings of relaxation - which is definitely much-needed after a long day of coughing and nose-blowing!
Before your mind goes straight to pizza, chicken, and vinaigrette recipes, let us tell you how oregano oil can also help you in essential oil form.
Outside the kitchen, oregano oil is known for supporting a healthy immune system, aiding in healthy digestion, and supporting normal respiratory function. Oregano oil is also full of powerful antioxidants. Oregano essential oil contains a high level of a compound called carvacrol, another strong supporter of a healthy immune system.
We love lavender for so many more reasons than just its lovely floral scent. Lavender oil has been used for centuries as a natural tool to ease muscle tension and its abilities to calm the nasal passages due to its soothing properties.
Lavender oil can also help you with its calming properties that help many people feel relaxed. How relaxing can it be? Well, lavender oil is a common ingredient to promote peaceful sleep, which sounds pretty relaxing if you ask us. You don’t need to have a cold to be able to enjoy lavender oil - you can use it as an everyday oil to help you unwind after long days!
How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils come in droplet bottles, roll-ons, or can be used in an air diffuser.
Inhalation is the most beneficial way to use essential oils for their internal soothing effects--you can use any of the three usage methods to achieve this (but don’t ever ingest an essential oil directly by mouth!).
If you have a droplet bottle, you can sniff the open bottle directly or add a few drops to a handkerchief and hold it underneath your nose. Alternatively, you can apply a few drops into your palms and cup your hands around your mouth. If you’re using essential oils for the first time, remember that less is more.
Essential oils vary in potency and just a couple of drops can go a long way.
With a roll-on applicator, we suggest applying the oil onto your wrist and inhaling it from there. You may think to roll the oil above your upper lip in order to place it right under your nose - we’re going to stop you right there.
While this may seem to make sense, we don’t advise it. Although most essential oils are 100% pure and natural (like ours), facial skin is usually much more sensitive than the skin on the rest of our bodies. With so many other ways to experience the benefits of essential oils, there’s no need to risk irritating your skin.
An essential oil air diffuser will emit the essence into an entire room, allowing you to breathe naturally while soaking up (breathing in) the benefits of the oil. An air diffuser will also fill the room with the scent of your essential oil.
Don’t feel like soaking in a room full of oregano or rosemary alone? You can also mix and combine different oils into the diffuser to create your desired aroma.
Another fun way to use essential oils is by adding a few drops into the bath. Not only will you be breathing in the oil as it evaporates into the air, but a bath is also highly calming and relaxing. Stuck with a cold on a frigid Fall day? Make yourself a healing, comforting, and colorful bubble bath. Baths don’t have to be boring; throw in a bath bomb and pamper yourself by soaking in a fun swirl of sparkly colors.
Essential Oils Can Soothe You, Naturally
Natural remedies are a hot topic these days, and essential oils are quickly becoming one of the favorite go-to’s as the colder weather approaches.
We’ve only listed six here, but there are many more essential oils that are good for soothing and easing you when you really need it--these are just our favorites.
Essential oils provide an array of benefits that promote overall health and well-being, so go find your new favorite essential oil today!