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5 Best Essential Oils for Cold and Flu Relief

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If you’re like most people, you’ll do whatever you can to avoid getting sick during the cold and flu season. And with cold and flu season being in full swing, if you get sick, you’ll want to get relief as quickly as possible.

Essential oils can be a great way to ease cold and flu symptoms.

In this blog post, we will discuss the best essential oils to use for cold and flu relief, and we will explain why they work so well. We will also provide information on what causes the cold and flu, as well as some natural remedies to prevent them.

How do we get the cold and flu?

Has anyone ever told you not to go outside when it’s cold so you don’t catch a cold? Or to dress warm so you don’t catch a cold?

That’s actually not how you catch the cold and flu.

Th common cold is caused by the rhinovirus and there are many different types of influenza strains. It is spread from person to person via the mouth and nose, just by breathing it in. Or rubbing your nose after touching an area an affected person has touched.

The common cold causes inflammation in the upper respiratory system. Symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Sore Throat
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Cough Fever

A cold will last between 2 to 7 days, depending on the severity of the symptoms.

The flu has the same symptoms as above, but also including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Dizziness

The flu can last for a few weeks at a time.

a woman inhaling essential oils

5 Best Essential Oils for Cold and Flu Relief

While essential oils are highly effective in helping you get rid of the cold or flu, it is important to understand that it’s not an immediate cure.  The common cold and influenza simply need time to run their course. The best way to do that is by providing the body with what it needs to help strengthen your immune system. This way you can fight off the infection and is also a good way to prevent getting sick in the first place.

Essential oils work so well because they have certain properties:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Potent antioxidants
  • Anti-fungal
  • Expectorants
  • Decongestants

Essential oils destroy viruses and bacteria that cause the cold and flu in the first place. They are able to open up your nose and sinuses so you can breathe easier! They can even soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation.


Lavender essential oil is one of the most versatile out there. Even though it’s well known for its calming effects and has potential to lower blood pressure and reduce stress, it has several properties that will help provide relief from the cold and flu!

  • A very potent antioxidant to help strengthen the immune system
  • Strong antimicrobial against infections and disease. Studies show that combining lavender with either cinnamon or orange, maximizes each oil’s potential for a stronger effect.

 Combined with peppermint oil, which can help open up blocked sinuses, this combination has been proven effective in combatting the common cold.

You also need your rest when you’re sick. Enjoy the calming effects of inhaling lavender right before bed!


What makes peppermint essential oil so interesting is that it contains menthol and menthone, the main ingredients in those over-the-counter vapor rubs!

  • Natural anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and antimicrobial, making it perfect for fighting infections
  • Analgesic properties are helpful in reducing inflammation and acts as a pain reliever

Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil is one of the best essential oils for cold and flu!

  • Acts as a natural expectorant to help loosen congestion
  • Antibacterial properties help kill bacteria that cause infection
  • Also acts as an antiviral to help fight off virus infections
  • Antifungal

Tea tree essential oil is a powerful addition to any cold or flu blend.


Eucalyptus oil is another great option for using in a blend because it has not only antiviral and antibacterial properties, but also antispasmodic and expectorant effects. Studies have proven this essential oil is extremely effective against human viruses.  

This means that if you add this oil to your lemon-peppermint or tea tree essential oil blend, you may find relief from more than just your runny nose and scratchy throat.


Lemon oil helps kill bacteria and viruses and is also a powerful antioxidant that can help stimulate the immune system to better fight off infection. This essential oil is derived from the rind of a lemon. Some of the extracts found in this part of the fruit help break down mucus from that congestion we all hate!

How to Use Essential Oils for Cold and Flu Relief

While essential oils are highly effective in helping you get rid of the cold or flu, it is important to understand that there is no cure.  The common cold and influenza simply need time to run their course.

There are three ways to use essential oils for cold and flu relief:

  1. Cleansing your environment with disinfectant spray!
  2. Make a topical rub
  3. Use a diffuser

Cleansing your environment with essential oils can help prevent you from getting sick in the first place. Just by killing any potential germs on surfaces in your house or in the air!  You can make an air purifier by combining 5 drops each of lemon oil, tea tree oil and lavender oil into 1 ounce of water.  Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, shake it to mix and spray it into the air.

Making a topical rub, similar to a vapor rub, using essential oils is a natural way to find relief from the cold and flu without exposing yourself to all the chemicals and toxins in conventional medicine.

Using a diffuser can be the most effective way to fight the cold and flu!

According to David Crow, world leading expert in botanical medicine and grassroot healthcare, says that diffusing oils “neutralize air-borne illnesses and enhance immunity [and essential oils work best] when pathogens are exposed to the vapors of the oils.”

So, just by diffusing your favorite essential oils, you can purify the air around you while inhaling all the properties of essential oils for your cold or flu!

Want a FREE Printable including these Recipes you can easily reference?

Essential Oil Recipes for Cold and Flu

Recipe 1: Boost Your Immune System



  • Add essential oils and carrier oil to the roller bottle
  • Shake well
  • To boost the immune system, apply to the back of the neck or top of feet
  • Use a few times a day

Recipe #2: Congestion Support



Drop the essential oils in the water and diffuse away!

Recipe #3: Chest rub


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (solid)
  • 1/8 cup beeswax
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon menthol crystals
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil or 7 drops peppermint and 8 drops eucalyptus


  • Melt coconut oil and beeswax together
  • Remove from heat and stir in menthol crystals, almond oil, and essential oils
  • Pour into a glass jar and allow to cool before putting jar on it
  • Use twice daily when symptoms occur

If you try any of these essential oil recipes for your next cold and flu, please let me know how it works for you!!

Check out my other Essential Oil posts!

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