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When it comes down to trying to prevent against colds and the flu, there are some very basic but effecting things you can do. Wash your hands, eat healthy, and take that elderberry syrup!
Of course, you an also add in sanitizing hands and objects with diy hand sanitizer and diy reusable disinfecting wipes but personally, I try to leave these more extreme measures for more extreme cases (like pandemics or when your family of 7 has had the flu cycle through for weeks.)
That said, I do love using herbal remedies and essential oils are like super concentrated herbs. Essential oils are powerful although you must be mindful to use them safely.
*Please note, I do not recommend ingesting essential oils.
Which Essential Oils to Use When Sick
When it comes to using essential oils to help aid against the flu and cold, it’s important to know which ones work best for what you are trying to accomplish.
Some oils are great antimicrobials, some are wonderful antibacterials, some are great at opening up airways to help you breathe if you do get sick, and so on.
*Note: This is a helpful list on what essential oils may help you with the flu or colds. It is not a cure or guarantee that you will avoid illness.
*It is also not necessarily safe for all individuals so if you have any underlying conditions, allergies, or other issues that may be negatively effected by essential oils – please do your research before trying these out.
Essential Oils To Help With the Flu and Colds
Essential Oils to Help Kill Airborne Viruses
The essential oils listed below have both shown (in vitro studies) to have abilities to kill airborne influenza viruses. Best practice is to diffuse for 30 minutes in a closed room, wait for 15 minutes, and then air out the room.
- Tea Tree
- Blue Mallee
Essential Oils to Help Kill Viruses on Surfaces
The essential oils listed below have been shown to have abilities to kill influenza viruses on surfaces. You can diffuse for 30 minutes in a closed room, wait for 15 minutes, and then air out the room or you can use them in cleaning solutions to help clean non-porous surfaces.
Essential Oils to Help Control the Body’s Response to Viruses
Patchouli essential oil has been shown to have abilities to help moderate and control your immune response to influenza. You can diffuse or use a personal inhaler like an aromastick.
Essential Oils to Help Prevent Pneumonia Due to Viruses
These essential oils have been shown (in vitro studies) to have abilities to help prevent pneumonia due to influenza. You can diffuse or use a personal inhaler like an aromastick.
Essential Oils for Easing Congestion and Coughs
The essential oils listed below are all great options for easing congestion, reducing coughs, and reducing respiratory issues.
One important thing to note with these oils is that some are not safe for children. You can read more about this in my post on how to use essential oils safely but the quick answer is that eucalyptus is not recommended for kids under 10 years, rosemary is not recommended for kids under 6 years.
I have a great homemade vapor rub recipe for those over 10 years old as well as a kid-safe vapor rub recipe. In addition to the vapor rubs, I also have a post on a diy kid-safe decongestion blend for the diffuser.
Essential Oils for Helping with Nausea
These essential oils are well known and excellent options for helping diminish nausea. Best practice would be to diffuse the essential oil or use a personal inhaler like an aromastick. Note: peppermint is not safe for kids under 6 years.
Other noteworthy essential oils:
Lemon & Oregano for disinfecting.
Need Ideas on How to Use Essential Oils and Herbs in Remedies?
Homemade Vapor Rub (for 10 years and older)
Kid-Safe Vapor Rub
Kid-Safe Decongestion Diffuser Blend
Lemon Thyme Tea
Homemade Elderberry Syrup
DIY Cough Drops & Cough Drop Lollipops (You could easily add herbs to these)
100+ Natural Remedies You Need To Know
For references (and tons more info):