Essential oils are a surprisingly powerful and effective way to boost your immune system
Aromatherapy for Colds & Flu Bolster your immune system and ease cold and flu symptoms with essential oils.
With the advent of winter comes a rush of holiday celebrations. But when uninvited guests arrive—e.g., cold and
fl u germs—show them the door with essential oils. Not familiar with some of these unsung heroes? Th ey offer a natural method for combating seasonal ailments, and they also add new scent profiles to your aromatherapy regimen. Here are seven of our favorites for staying well this winter—and for easing colds and fl u symptoms if you do get sick:
Th e leader of the pack has to be eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus globulus).
Th is essential oil packs a punch to ailing respiratory systems, yet it’s gentle enough to put in a child’s diffuser at night to clear stuffy heads. Eucalyptus has a fresh scent that may smell a bit medicinal to some noses, but it’s worth it:
Th e oil’s super antibacterial properties fi ght germs and ease congestion.
With a change in weather, reach for enticing, warm aromatics such as cinnamon ( Cinnamomum zeylanicum). But consider these spices for more than just tasty culinary uses (like that pumpkin spice latte). Essential oil of cinnamon has powerful antifungal and antioxidant properties that help bolster the body’s immune system. A little bit of this essential oil, however, goes a long way. It has a richer scent than the ground spice, but it’s an essential oil you’ll want to use—even a small amount is effective, and the aroma is comforting.
Clove ( Eugenia caryophyllata) essential oil is a rich spice that adds warmth to a cold and fl u blend while opening nasal airways and improving breathing. Clove is also an
excellent companion oil that will boost the scent of other spices or sweeten the sharpness of eucalyptus. Just a drop or two, though—like cinnamon, clove’s robust aroma can overpower. Th ese distinct spice oils (clove and cinnamon) will help you avoid getting sick when it seems as if everyone is sneezing in your direction.
Less aggressive than cinnamon or clove, yet still effective for easing influenza’s aches and pains, black pepper ( Piper nigrum) is a woodsy, green aromatic that smells very little like the table spice, but offers a similar stimulating kick. Blend it with other essential oils to tackle bugs and viruses and add a bright scent to the mix.
A cousin to balancing lavender, lavandin ( Lavandula intermedia or Lavandula hybrid var. Super) offers a more fl oral, herbal scent and a higher camphor level that makes it effective in respiratory blends. Like its cousin, lavandin in small doses is relaxing and perfect for diffusing to encourage restful sleep—one of the best remedies when you’re fi ghting a cold or the fl u.
Opt to go green this season— green Mandarin ( Citrus reticulata blanco), that is. Despite being a member of the typically stimulating citrus family of essential oils, green Mandarin has relaxing properties similar to lavender. When blended with other oils, it offers additional
antiseptic properties and a gentle, fruity aroma. Distill this light citrus oil before bedtime: It’s safe for even the most fretful, feverish child in the family.
Essential oil of grand fi r ( Abies grandis) is a decongestant that
also offers anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties, especially when combined with clove. Grand fi r can be added to a massage oil blend or to a bath (along with a carrier oil) to relieve achy muscles and joints associated with seasonal colds or the fl u.