With the fall and winter holidays approaching, cold and flu season is in full swing. Influenza is a contagious viral infection of the respiratory system. The flu can slam you on many levels, requiring a variety of treatment options to address the symptoms. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, dry cough, headaches, fatigue, aches and pains, and even vomiting and diarrhea with nausea.
With a list like that, you can see why multiple therapies are needed. As with all viruses, antibiotics are not appropriate for the flu. Essential oils are one of the safest and multi-faceted forms of therapies to alleviate the symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the primary essential oil for flu treatment and how they can specifically help.
Common Essential Oils for Flu
Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha Piperita)
Peppermint oil has antiviral and antiseptic properties. A good essential oil for flu because it is effective in reducing a fever. Peppermint can also help with the relief of congestion.
Adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a hot bath can benefit you by just soaking in it and breathing it in. You can also diffuse it while you are resting or even working from home. Place a couple of drops of peppermint oil in a carrier oil, such as pure coconut oil, and rub a little on the bottoms of your feet to reduce fever. You can also place a little of this on your temples to soothe a headache.
Peppermint oil is quite strong, so always dilute it. Keep in mind that you can clean with peppermint. This is a very good way to disinfect your bathroom, door knobs, and light switches so that you are less likely to pass along the flu to your family.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus Globulus)
Eucalyptus oil is very aromatic and has analgesic properties. It is exceptional for easing sinus and lung congestion. It can also provide much relief for achy muscles.
You can add a drop or two to a steaming bowl of water and breathe in the steam from this aromatic oil to loosen up phlegm. Just be careful that the steam isn’t too hot. When added to a carrier oil, such as jojoba, you can rub a little on your chest to help you breathe better. Massage some of this mixture into your achy muscles for relief.
Oregano Essential Oil (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano oil is anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. This essential oil for flu therapy is often the first treatment option for fighting upper respiratory infections. Oregano oil is very potent and could be irritating unless well diluted.
Add some oregano oil to a diffuser and allow it to remove air-borne bacteria in your bedroom. If you are using a vaporizer, add a drop or two of the oil to help with a sore or inflamed throat. Some practitioners recommend placing a drop of oregano oil into a quart of drinking water to kill internal microbes by sipping it throughout the day. As with all essential oils, always consult with your caregiver about the safety of consuming oregano oil and how to properly dilute it.
Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender oil is one of the gentlest and effective oils used to treat flu symptoms. It is antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory in nature. Yet, it smells lovely. Lavender is terrific for easing the anxiety that often accompanies the flu. It is also relaxing and helpful for getting a good night’s sleep.
You can make a spray with filtered water and a few drops of lavender oil. This is nice sprayed into the air or directly on your bed linens to help you rest. When mixed with a mild carrier oil, such as almond oil, lavender can be rubbed into your neck and back to ease muscle tension.
Essential oils can be very effective in treating the flu and for relieving the symptoms. It is recommended that these powerful oils be diluted when using to treat a viral infection. This includes bath water, steam diffusers, and carrier oils. It is important that you search for therapeutic or food grade essential oils that are sourced from organically grown plants that are pesticide free.