10 Tips & Tricks for Using Essential Oils to Fight Cold & Flu

Image Credit: Sulen Lee

10 Tips & Tricks for Using Essential Oils to Help You Survive Cold & Flu Season

Don’t let cold and flu bugs get you down this winter.  Stock up on immune-boosting, germ-fighting essential oils then put them to work around your home with the following ten techniques to beat the bugs before they beat you!

Know Your Essential Oils

Before getting into the variety of ways you can use essential oils to survive cold and flu season, familiarize yourself with these three categories of essential oils which are up to the task.

Preventative Essential Oils

All of the following oils are recognized for their anti-microbial abilities:

Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemon, Lemongrass, Cinnamon, Clove Bud, Grapefruit, Sandalwood, Thyme (white), Peppermint, and Sage.

Immuno-Modulating Oils

Use any of the following essential oils to stimulate immune function throughout the body:

Cajuput, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, Sandalwood, and Tea Tree.

Depurative Essential Oils

Use these essential oils to help remove pathogens and other toxins from the body and speed the healing process after an illness.

Cypress, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Rosemary.

While there are seemingly endless ways to use essential oils to improve your life, here we’ve compiled some of the best methods to put them to work during cold and flu season.

1. Make Your Own Germ Fighting Spritzer

Prevent the spread of illness by keeping a bottle of this spritzer in your home, at the office, or even in your pocket!

To fill a 2 ounce container,

You will need:

  • 1 3/4 oz ounces of distilled water
  • 10 – 30 drops of various essential oils (…less when [using] intense aromas)
  • (optional) 1/4 teaspoon … witch hazel to emulsify the oils and water. This is important [when mixing thicker] oils…

Fill the bottle with water, add oils, and shake before each use.”

Make your own blend using anti-microbial essential oils or try this spicy combination:

(Recipe borrowed from commonsensehome.com.)

2. DIY All-Purpose Protective Oil Blend

Make your own DIY All-Purpose Protective Oil Blend and keep some on-hand at all times to ward off cold and flu bugs.

You will need:

  • 20 drops Clove oil
  • 18 drops Lemon oil
  • 10 drops Cinnamon bark oil
  • 8 drops Eucalyptus oil
  • 5 drops Rosemary oil

Combine all oils and store in a dark glass container.”

(Recipe borrowed from theprariehomestead.com.)

  • Use this blend in your essential oil diffuser to purify the air.
  • Mix into your homemade cleaning products for extra disinfecting power.
  • Dilute the blend in a carrier oil and rub it into the soles of your feet.
  • Add it to your personal care products. (Remember to test any new oils for skin sensitivity or allergies first!)
  • Mix with Epsom salts and take a healing bath.

3. Use Essential Oils to Breathe Easier

To clear up a stuffy nose, create a mixture of Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon, and Eucalyptus oils (or purchase it pre-mixed.) Inhale the fumes from the oil blend by applying a few drops to a cloth and holding it under the nose. You can also inhale directly from the bottle or add the mixture to your diffuser.

Add the same mixture to a carrier like grapeseed or olive oil and massage into the chest before bed to help you breathe easier while you rest. (Remember not to touch your eyes!)

4. Try Anti-Microbial Steam-Inhalation

Add several drops of oils like Thyme, Sage, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Grapefruit into a bowl of warm water (steaming, but not boiling.) Close your eyes and lower your face over the bowl with a towel draped over the back of your head and covering the sides of the bowl to trap the steam. Inhale deeply for several minutes to allow the vapors from the oil to cleanse your airways.

5. Apply Anti-Inflammatory Oils

Steam-inhalation is also the perfect delivery for anti-inflammatory essential oils like Lavender and Chamomile which can help to relieve sinus pressure, ease away a headache, and soothe the body.

6. Detox Your System With Essential Oils

Mix healing oils like Cypress, Grapefruit, or Lemon with a carrier oil and massage into the bottoms of feet to help your body cleanse itself of pathogens and other toxic compounds.

7. Use Essential Oils to Manage a Cough

Drop a bit of Cypress, Peppermint, or Eucalyptus oil under your pillow before bed each night to help reduce coughing while you’re trying to sleep.

8. Create Your Own All-Natural Homemade Chest Rub

Gently melt the beeswax and olive oil/coconut oil in a double boiler. Remove from heat, allow it to slightly cool, then stir in essential oils. Store in a small glass container. Apply it to the bottoms of feet and chest.”

(Recipe borrowed from theprariehomestead.com.)

9. Take An Essential Oil Soothing Bath

If your cold or flu bug includes body aches on its list of symptoms, try adding about 10 drops of Lavender essential oil into an Epsom salt bath and take a nice long soak. (Or mix things up a little with this blend of Lavender, Marjoram, Patchouli, Mandarin, Geranium, and Chamomile for a wonderfully soothing bath.)

(Further Reading: 20 Mind Blowing Reasons Why Epsom Salt Should Be In Every Home!)

10. Diffuse Essential Oils For Immune Support

All of the following blends combine essential oils known to boost the immune system and ward off sickness.  Choose your favorite (or favorites) and use them to cleanse the air in your home or office.

Lavender + Lemon + Peppermint

During the spring and summer months, Jill of The Prairie Homestead suggests diffusing 2 drops each of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils “to maintain clear breathing and a healthy immune response.”

Peppermint + Rosemary + Eucalyptus + Citrus

To strengthen respiratory function during cold and flu season, Jill also recommends blending 1 drop each of Lemon, Lime, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus essential oils.

Orange + Eucalyptus + Juniper + Pine

On Birch Hill Happenings, Roberta Wilson recommends mixing this Cold Combating Blend, a combination of 20 drops Orange, 10 drops Eucalyptus, 10 drops Juniper Berry, 10 drops Pine, 6 drops Basil, 6 drops Rosewood, and 4 drops Ginger essential oil.

When you feel a bug coming on, simply add a few drops of this premixed blend to your diffuser to help your body fight it fast!

Lavender + Eucalyptus + Ravensara + Bay Laurel

Also for Cold and Flu Prevention, Birch Hill Happenings offers this excellent blend of 5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Eucalyptus, 3 drops Ravensara, and 2 drops Bay Leaf essential oils. “This blend should be diffused throughout the cold and flu season.”

Peppermint + Lemon + Lavender

For allergy symptom relief, Laura of Green Living Ladies offers her Allergies Be Gone blend of 2 drops each Peppermint, Lemon, and Lavender essential oils.

Cleansing Citrus & Mint Blend

To Purify The Air, Laura suggests adding equal parts of a citrus oil blend such as Eden’s Garden Simply Citrus or doTERRA Citrus Bliss plus a cleansing oil blend like Eden’s Garden Purification or doTERRA Purify to your diffuser.

Peppermint + Rosemary + Lemon + Eucalyptus

Laura of Green Living Ladies also delivers a blend to help you Breathe Easy during cold and flu season. Combine 4 drops of a respiratory blend like Eden’s Garden Breathe Easier or doTERRA Breathe with 2 drops each of Eucalyptus and Peppermint oils.

Need Help Choosing a Diffuser?

If you don’t already own one, take a look at this article where we review five of the best rated on Amazon to remove some of the guesswork and help you find your perfect diffuser!

Also, be sure to read these 20 Natural Tips to Help You Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season to further fortify your home against cold and flu bugs and keep you and your family healthy this winter!


This is part 2 of our 5 part series: “The Ultimate Guide To Beating Cold & Flu With The Power Of Nature“. To check out the rest of this series, use the links below:

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