The Essential Oil Combinations To Combat The Common Cold

Essential oils have been used for centuries by folk doctors, but recently have become more mainstream. Though they may have seeped into popularity for their sweet-smelling and calming scents used in aromatherapy, they are now becoming more widely known for their curative means (via WebMD).

Many people are now turning to essential oils to provide natural relief alternatives to synthetic medications. They've been thought to help alleviate a cascade of discomforts including anxiety, insomnia, headaches, inflammation, and stress, and they also are said to improve mood (via Cleveland Clinic). 

Some essential oils have antimicrobial agents, while others exhibit anti-fungal properties — these include oregano, thyme, clove, lavender, clary sage, and arborvitae (via Scientific Reports). When blended together, they can produce a healing effect, but can also work as a barrier against bacteria and viruses as well as help decontaminate your living space. When certain essential oils are blended together, they can help lessen symptoms of the common cold. 

How to use oils to prevent the common cold

Though there is no foolproof way to prevent catching a cold, there are things we can do that make us more resistant to getting one. The key is to strengthen our immune system, which can be done in a variety of ways.

Getting sufficient sleep is one of the best things we can do for our immune system. According to Healthline, those who sleep less than six hours each night are four times more likely to get a cold than those who sleep at least seven hours a night. To improve sleep — and thus avoid a cold before it's even on your body's radar — try using lavender, chamomile, bergamot, and sandalwood essential oils.

In addition, clove is an antioxidant that is anti-inflammatory and helps ease pain. Lavender not only smells good and helps you sleep, but it's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (via Verywell Mind). Tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils also lower inflammatory cytokines, which help decrease inflammation.

When we boost our immune system, it helps us experience fewer symptoms and complications when a cold does find us.

Use these essential oils when you already have a cold

So, despite attempts to ward off a cold, you've found yourself with a stuffy nose, congestion, and a cough. You can try over-the-counter medication — which will likely mask symptoms — or you can go the natural route and use essential oils to ease symptoms and get you back on your feet again.

The best way to use essential oils when you're sick is to place them in a diffuser so you can breathe them in. "By aerosolizing the essential oil into the air, the essential oil can reduce viral counts in the environment as an antiseptic," says Dr. Yufang Lin (via Women's Health). "As we inhale the essential oil, we get the benefit, as well, since colds and [cases of] flu start in the respiratory tract."

Making an essential oil cocktail may be the most helpful in beating the cold (via The Natural Side). Try a concoction of five drops of rosemary, four drops of eucalyptus, four drops of peppermint, three drops of cypress, and two drops of lemon. Sniffing in these scents can help alleviate headaches, open up nasal passages, and promote sleep and relaxation, which helps you heal faster.

If you don't have a diffuser, simply place a drop on a cotton ball or run a warm bath and add a drop or two of the mixture.