Can essential oils ease cold and flu symptoms?

essential oils and diffuser

Congestion, coughing, runny nose, body aches – we’ve all been there during cold and flu season. And it’s positively miserable.

If you’re looking for a holistic treatment option for cold and flu symptoms, essential oils are a simple-yet-effective complimentary treatment option to help ease your cough and congestion – and even help your body fight off the illness more quickly.

One of the most popular ways to use essential oils is to diffuse them in a room. Using a diffuser – a device that breaks down essential oils into molecules and mists them into the air – can help relieve cold and flu symptoms, especially through the night. The extra moisture the diffuser makes also helps when it’s cold outside and the heat inside is running more. You can also put a few drops of essential oils on a paper towel or cotton ball if you don’t have a diffuser.

If you’d prefer to apply essential oils topically, use a carrier like coconut or olive oil. Make sure to never apply essential oils to your skin without diluting them with a carrier, because essential oils are concentrated and could irritate your skin, eyes or mouth at full strength.

What essential oils can help cold and flu symptoms?

Experts suggest the following oils as the most effective for combating cold and flu symptoms:

These essential oils can be diffused or mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically. You can purchase essential oils at local grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as specialty stores and online.

Can essential oils help COVID-19 symptoms?

While the COVID-19 pandemic has only been part of our daily lives for two years, almost everyone is familiar with its hallmark cold-and-flu like symptoms. A recent study highlighted in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that essential oils can be an effective complementary treatment for COVID-19. The report cites eucalyptus as the most helpful essential oil for alleviating cough and congestion due to COVID-19.

If you are sick with a cold, flu or COVID-19, speak to your doctor about incorporating essential oils as a complementary treatment option to your current regimen. It won’t impact your existing treatment path – and it could help to ease your symptoms.

One final tip: if you’re a pet owner, double-check with a vet that your essential oil selections aren’t toxic to your furry friend. Certain essential blends can be harmful to diffuse around pets, so directly applying oils might be a safer route. Consult with your vet to check on your pet’s potential sensitivities.

Find a doctor

Are you looking for a primary care doctor to help with your healthcare needs? From cold and flu season to preventive care, our team has you covered. Call (843) 402-CARE or visit to find a doctor today.

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