11 Essential Oils That Combat The Cold & Flu

Farmers are hard at work bringing in this year’s harvest, and in many parts of the country, deciduous leaves are boasting a myriad of beautiful colors. We love much of what autumn offers, but these days also bring with them some of our least favorite things: viruses, mainly colds and flus.

Cold and flu season is quickly approaching. The cool, dry air of fall keeps the mucous membranes dry, leaving them vulnerable to invading viruses. In addition, most of us spend a lot more time indoors during the fall and winter months, providing additional opportunity for viruses to spread.

There are many ways to prevent cold and flu viruses from affecting you. First, frequent hand washing is a must. Making a conscience effort to keep your hands away from your face is also a great way to lessen the chance of you contracting one of the many viruses out there. Second, make it a habit to get a good night’s rest. Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on how effective your immune system is in resisting harmful bacteria and viruses.

Another line of defense can be made with judicious use of essential oils. Using essential oils as cleaning agents, topically, or through a diffuser can not only kill viruses, but also can strengthen your immune system to more effectively fight off seasonal illnesses. An alternative way to reap the benefits of using essential oils while on the go is to use an oil diffusing pendant. These pendants may be made from porous stone, or unglazed clay, allowing them to absorb oils that are then slowly released throughout the day. Other pendants are essentially lockets that include a mesh cover and felt swatch to absorb the oils. Either method will allow you to use essential oils effectively while working on the homestead or traveling around town.

Not sure what to buy or use this fall and winter? Below are 11 suggested essential oils to help you stay healthy this season.

Tea tree oil is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, making it an important part of many preventative measures. The frequent cleaning of door handles and light switches alone with a cleaning solution that includes tea tree oil will greatly reduce the possibility of spreading germs to others. Tea tree oil used in a diffuser will combat pollutants in the air, while topical applications will reduce cold symptoms by relieving congestion.

A blend of lemon eucalyptus oil and balsam fir oil will fight viruses, bacteria and fungus and is also effective when used topically with a carrier oil or when diffused. Additionally, it relieves fatigue, muscle and joint pain commonly associated with flu-like symptoms when used as part of a warm soak.

Cinnamon, clove, lavender and sweet orange oils combine to create a seasonal smell that is an anti-virus powerhouse. Use this blend in a diffuser to clean the air in your home.

Lemon oil alone is a wonderful agent for boosting one’s immunity by naturally increasing the production of white blood cells. Use lemon as a single oil or combine it with clove bud oil and pine oil for a potent blend that fights infections.

Peppermint oil, coupled with eucalyptus oil, provides an extra layer of defense against common viruses. These oils continue to work well for those who are suffering with cold and flu symptoms by relieving nausea, congestion and fever-induced pain.

A blend found in writings from hundreds of years ago, thieves is a popular blend that provides antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic qualities when used in several different ways. This blend of eucalyptus, clove, lemon, cinnamon bark and rosemary can be used as a disinfectant around the house and to clear the air of pollutants. It also can be used topically to support immune function and fight infections.

Please be aware that as with any substance, you may build up a tolerance if used topically for prolonged periods of time. It is best to switch up the types of oils you use, or alternate a blend with a single oil, every seven to 10 days for maximum effectiveness. For topical applications, a few drops applied to the soles of the feet before bedtime, three to four times a week, is a good baseline.