Essential Oils For Cold
It’s unlikely that we’re going to see a cure for the common cold for a long time yet. That means that colds will remain an unfortunate fact of life and will continue to make all manner of activities that much more difficult and unpleasant whenever a bug makes its way through your immune defenses.
But while there is no cure for this unfortunate blight, there are nevertheless a large number of ways that we can boost our immunity to help get rid of it quicker. What’s more is that there are a large number of ways we can reduce the symptoms to make the condition a little less unpleasant to live with while it sticks around.
And one of the best weapons in our arsenals in the fight against the common cold? Essential oils!
How Essential Oils Can Fight Colds
There are a large number of ways in which you can use essential oils to combat the common cold and these will revolve around addressing the symptoms of a cold as well as helping to give the immune system a bit more of a fighting chance.
Some essential oils can be useful for clearing up congestion for instance. These are generally the kinds of essential oils that include menthol and which help to offer a cooling sensation. Apply a little of these on the chest before bed and you can inhale them during the night to break up mucus and make breathing a little easier.
Other essential oils work as general analgesics and can reduce pain and discomfort of all kinds. Then there are those that can help to reduce a fever in the case of the flu by thinning the blood or encouraging sweating.Another advantage is that essential oils can often offer some comfort for muscle tension and pain. Then there are the important nutrients that essential oils can deliver to the blood through the skin.
Essential oils can also have a very profound impact on the mood when they’re inhaled. Used in this way for aromatherapy, they can thereby help to make the cold a little more tolerable and also to offer relaxation that will encourage a good night’s sleep and a speedier recovery.
The Top Essential Oils for Colds
As you can see then, there are a vast number of mechanisms through which essential oils can be used to treat and prevent colds. Often, choosing the right one is going to be a matter of assessing your specific symptoms and the nature of your cold.
Eucalyptus Oil and Lavender Oil
Eucalyptus oil and lavender oil are often combined for a number of benefits, which include a number of benefits that can help combat a cold. Add six drops of eucalyptus and four drops of lavender into different areas on a tissue and then keep it in a sandwich bag. When you find yourself feeling congested, hold the tissue near your nose and inhale deeply to reduce the congestion. You might also find that the lavender oil offers some additional relaxation benefits!
When applied directly to the chest, peppermint oil can be very effective at relieving congestion through the night. That’s because it contains menthol which again breaks up and clears the respiratory tracts.
Peppermint oil is also very cooling for this reason, so it can be useful for addressing a fever and may also alleviate some headaches when applied to the forehead or rubbed gently into the temples.
Bergamot oil is an essential oil that is often used through an oil burner or diffuser. It works because it increases the natural production of serotonin – the happiness hormone. This means that it can liven your mood but what’s also useful about this is that it is the body’s natural ‘pain killer’. So if you’re suffering with a headache from packed sinuses, joint pain or other issues, bergamot oil might just help! Better yet, serotonin converts to melatonin – so this can also help to improve sleep.
This is also important for another reason: stress lowers our immune defenses. When you’re stressed, the body responds by sending more blood and oxygen to the brain and the muscles to get you ready for ‘fight or flight’. This means that your immune system and your digestive system miss out on the fuel they need to perform optimally and as a result, you become prone to illness. To recover, you need to relax! Bergamot oil is a good example of something that can help you do that.
Lemon oil is useful for a number of reasons and can be applied on the chest or even consumed in a mug of hot water. The big benefit with lemon oil is that it is anti-bacterial, meaning it can help your body to fight a cold. Coming from lemons, it’s also very high in vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system and get rid of the cold that little bit faster. As an additional benefit, lemon oil is very refreshing and makes us feel ‘fresh’ and awake.
Oh and it also boosts salivation! This is helpful if you have a dry and scratchy throat but also useful because saliva is naturally antibacterial. The more of this the merrier!
Oregano essential oil is a popular herb but is also useful when consumed as an essential oil. In this form, it has been shown in studies to be highly effective at combating infections, bacteria and other illnesses. It has even been shown in one study to be useful at combating the near-invincible ‘MRSA’ super bug!
Many people use clove oil specifically to try and boost the immune system. That’s because it has (wait for it) antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. All this means that it can help give your immune system a hand in fighting all manner of invaders and thereby mean you have more energy and resources to combat that cold!
Lemongrass oil is another anti-inflammatory oil as well as being antipyretic. This can be used in a bath where it will provide a very relaxing muscle soak that helps you to relax and gives you a better night’s sleep.
Other Tricks to Help make Your Cold More Bearable
There are also a bunch of other things that you can do to make a cold that much easier to bear and to help your body get rid of the symptoms. They include:
Taking a nice warm bath– This is also the perfect opportunity to add a few drops of essential oils, or to burn some essential oil in the room and to properly relax.
Propping yourself up slightly in bed – If you lie flat on your back, then this will make you more likely to become congested throughout the night and to get a poor sleep. Instead then, prop yourself up slightly by piling up pillows and this will help your body to naturally drain itself. Again, this can also be aided with a little essential oil to clear your passageways.
Fortify your diet – As well as getting vitamin C from lemon oil, you can also get it from a large number of other sources. Good options include oranges, apples and smoothies. Multivitamins can also do the trick but it’s always better to get your nutrition from natural sources whenever possible.
Drink water! – This is always important and becomes even more so when you’re fighting a cold or any other complaint. This is also important if you have a temperature, as it can help your body to regulate its temperature naturally.
Relax and Laugh – Remember how we said that stress could damage your immune system? Well, being in a good mood has the opposite effect and can help you to recover more quickly. In fact, laughter and socializing both trigger changes in the body that improve your health (due to a link between laughter and the lymphatic system). Once more, this is something that several essential oils such as bergamot oil can help with.
Rest – Most important of all though, you need to rest and give yourself time to recover. If you’re insisting on going into work, then you’ll not only risk making everyone else ill but you’ll also extend your symptoms so that it’s much longer before you can start being fully productive and useful again.
Take some time out, get some healthy food and a DVD boxset in and burn/apply some oils. It’s the perfect excuse to take it easy!