The Best Essential Oils for Flu Season
Flu season is everyone’s least favorite time of the year. When it rolls around again it’s hard to avoid those dreaded germs that seem to be everywhere.
When you get the flu, the best option in most cases is to raise your levels of self-care, get lots of rest and fluids and wait for the virus to work its way out of your system. But while you’re waiting for your illness to run its course, there are ways that you can reduce or alleviate the symptoms and give your body a boost to help fight it off.
Using essential oils for flu season is one of nature’s best defenses. Many essential oils have wonderful properties that may alleviate your symptoms, reduce fatigue and headaches and clear your nasal passages. Certain essential oils have antiviral benefits that can help make flu season more bearable too.
If you want to fight back in flu season and give your boy the best chance of a speedy recovery, this guide can help. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about which essential oils are must-haves for your medicine cabinet and the benefits they offer.
- Essential oil use in medicine
- How to use essential oils for flu
- Use essential oils for flu season to stop the spread
- Top essential oils for flu
- Tea Tree
- What the research tells us
- Lemon essential oil’s antibacterial properties
- Chamomile essential oil and flu symptoms
- Tea tree oil’s antiviral properties
- Lavender essential oil’s anti-inflammatory effects
- How to use essential oils for flu season safely
- Effective essential oil blends for flu season
- Energy Mist
- Relax Mist
- Sleep Mist
- Essential oils for flu FAQ
- Fight flu with essential oils
Essential oil use in medicine
Many cultures throughout history have used essential oils, each with their own purposes. It’s not certain whether they were used for domestic purposes or healing use initially, but that has changed in recent years. These days, consideration has been given to the effective use of essential oils medicinally in a range of scientific studies.
The Ancient Egyptians started using aromatic oils as long ago as 4500 BC in both ointments and cosmetics. The Ancient Chinese and Indians are first recorded using aromatic oils in their traditional medicine between 3000 and 2000 BC. Greek history tells us that they were using peppermint, one of the essential oils for flu we recommend, among others, between 500 and 400 BC.
Chemists in the 18th and 19th centuries started documenting medicinal plants’ active components. These were considered important contributing factors to their biological effects.
Fast-forward to today and essential oils like lavender, another one of our recommended essential oils for flu season, are still being used pharmaceutically. Evidence suggests that, as studies confirm their benefits, essential oils are going to increasingly feature in our medications in the future.
How to use essential oils for flu
There are multiple ways to use essential oils for flu season. Here are some of the best methods we recommend:
Adding a few drops of essential oil to a hot bath is a good way to let it do its work in helping you to feel better. This method combines the benefits of inhalation and topical application.
Make a compress that’s either hot or cold according to your comfort level using a washcloth or pad. Add a few drops of essential oil and apply to whatever area is the cause for concern.
Add a few drops of one of our recommended essential oils to your diffuser. This will ensure the oil is dispersed into the air around you, letting you breathe it in and helping you feel better. This is also a great way to help purify the air around you so fewer germs spread, depending which oils you choose.
Inhalation is probably the easiest way to reap the benefits of essential oils for flu season. You could breathe in the scent directly from the bottle or add a few drops to a towel, bowl of hot water, cotton ball or tissue and inhale it that way. This method is a good choice if you’re suffering from congestion and need to open your airways.
Not only is massage a great way to move lymph, white blood cells, metabolic waste and oxygen around your body, but aromatherapy massage helps you relax, allows your skin to absorb essential oils topically and allows you to target specific areas that might be sore, congested or otherwise uncomfortable.
You’ll need to dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil before you use it for a massage as essential oils may irritate the skin if they're used undiluted or neat. A general rule of thumb is to aim for a ratio of one drop of essential oil per one teaspoon of carrier oil.
Do a patch test first to ensure you don’t have any reaction to the oil you’ve chosen and the ratio you’ve used. If no irritation results, consider using the mix as a massage oil to work away at some of your flu symptoms. A massage will get your blood flowing and promote lymph drainage, both of which are good for boosting your immunity.
Use essential oils for flu season to stop the spread
Did you know that influenza particles can remain viable on objects for as long as two days? Flu spreads via contact with contaminated objects, interaction with infected people and airborne droplets. Make sure your environment is as sterile as possible to combat this using essential oils best suited to the purpose.
The efficacy of using essential oil to kill bacteria has been established, and evidence supporting using essential oils for flu season is mounting. You can enjoy the many benefits they offer as well as reducing the risk of spreading or catching germs, too.
Top essential oils for flu
We all know about the misery the flu can cause, and it’s always a good idea to educate ourselves about possible remedies. If your go-to medicine isn’t providing the relief you need, it may be time to consider alternative methods to manage your symptoms.
Explore the essential oils recommended here and you may find that your symptoms are alleviated and the duration of your sickness is shortened. Bear in mind, however, that it’s not advised to use essential oils to replace medical care. Chat with your medical practitioner before you begin using essential oils for flu.
Studies have shown that Eucalyptus Essential Oil has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Historically, these properties have been very effective in fighting flu symptoms due to the presence of 1.8-cineole.
Not only does eucalyptus directly inhibit viral infection, this compound has anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic and mucolytic effects on the respiratory tract, relieving spasms and allowing you to expel mucus more effectively. The sweet, stimulating scent of eucalyptus will also leave you feeling relaxed and recharged. Add some to your bath, use it as part of a pillow mist before you go to bed or massage a dilution into your chest and throat.
Studies have shown that the antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, chemical composition and cytotoxicity of Lavender Essential Oil means it is effective in healthcare. The presence of camphor, linalool, linalyl acetate, scareol and thujone in lavender means it has many different benefits.
Camphor is an excellent painkiller, and linalool can reduce muscle tension and inflammation, as can scareol. Linalool exhibits antimicrobial properties and thujone antiviral ones, all excellent reasons for using this essential oil for flu.
Lavender can also promote better sleep and overall relaxation as well as ease congestion. Try diffusing it throughout your home or by your bed to help you relax and sleep better, massaging it on sore spots on your body if you have muscle aches, or rubbing it on the bottom of your feet before you go to bed.
Volant’s 100% pure organic Lemon Essential Oil is antimicrobial and can also help to drain blocked sinuses. Because it helps clear nasal passages, it’s a good option when you’re having trouble breathing when you have the flu.
The antioxidant properties of lemon, along with this essential oil’s analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent and stimulatory properties are why it’s on the list of the best essential oils for flu season.
Other important constituents of lemon essential oil are limonene and camphene which give lemon its antioxidant properties. It also contains alpha-pinene, which is why it has anti-inflammatory effects. Sabinene makes this oil antimicrobial, and myrcene helps you relax.
Nagging coughs and scratchy throats see many of us automatically reaching for menthol drops. Inhaling Peppermint Essential Oil can do just as good a job when it comes to soothing your throat and relieving congestion.
This is because it also contains menthol, which gives it the power to kill certain bacteria and relieve minor aches and pains. Research has also shown that peppermint can help your bronchial muscles, easing breathing when you’re feeling under the weather.
Although not usually thought of as an essential oil for flu, Tea Tree has powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Studies show that this oil is potent when fighting germs.
Using it in your diffuser (perhaps combined with more pleasant-smelling oils), spritzing it around your home or adding a few drops to your bath may inactivate airborne viruses and help keep you healthy. This oil can also help speed up your recovery and manage symptoms like bronchial congestion, coughing and a sore throat.
What the research tells us
Recent studies have revealed that essential oils have properties that can alleviate flu symptoms, fight viruses and increase your comfort levels when you’re sick.
Lemon essential oil’s antibacterial properties
A 2019 study revealed that lemon essential oil can ward off harmful bacteria. The list of germs it’s effective against includes Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.
Tea tree oil’s antiviral properties
Studies have confirmed that tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, has antiviral properties. We already use tea tree oil to treat acne, athlete’s foot, insect bites, lice and nail fungus. Flu can now be added to the list.
How to use essential oils for flu season safely
Essential oils are generally safe to use, but like every remedy, you need to exercise some caution and use them correctly to maximize their efficiency.
As delicious as they smell, don’t be tempted to take an essential oil internally, as ingesting them is not recommended. These oils are generally not intended for digestion and may make you ill.
It’s also important that you don’t use essential oils on your skin in concentrated amounts. Undiluted oil can irritate your eyes and skin, so make sure they're always mixed with a carrier oil before you apply them. Remember to do a patch test on the inside of your forearm before you start using them topically, too.
Make sure your essential oils are from a reputable source. This way, you’ll know that material is being sourced ethically, packaged responsibly and that you’re getting the therapeutic compounds you paid for.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding it’s not a good idea to use essential oils for flu. While most oils are safe for everyone to use, it’s always best to double-check with your medical practitioner before using them.
Effective essential oil blends for flu season
One of the many benefits of essential oils is that they work on their own and in combination with other oils. Blending is the perfect way to get multiple benefits at once and can help fortify you when you’re feeling out of sorts.
Volant has several essential oil blends that can help you fight your way through flu season:
Get the flu-combatting goodness of lemon and eucalyptus essential oils in the Volant Energy Mist blend with a dash of cedarwood added in. Cedarwood Essential Oil brings pain relief, a decrease in stress and anxiety and its own antibacterial properties to the table. This blend is a wonderful option when using essential oils for flu season.
Feeling unwell can be very stressful, and your body takes longer to heal when you’re feeling stressed. Relax Mist by Volant is an excellent way to create a sense of calm, and the eucalyptus essential oil in this mix may help reduce your fever and fight viruses. Take refuge in the soft perfume of grapefruit, palma rosa, and ylang ylang as your body works to heal itself when you use essential oils for flu.
Most of us know that sleep is vital for each one of our bodily processes, be they physical, mental or emotional. It also plays a pivotal part in fighting diseases and helps us develop immunity. This is above and beyond its importance to our metabolism and the fact that getting enough of it lowers our chances of developing a chronic disease.
Use essential oils for flu to ensure a good night’s rest with Sleep Mist. With Frankincense Essential Oil, lavender and palm rosa, you’ll be combating your illness as your body restores itself.
Essential oils for flu FAQ
Q: How do you use essential oils for flu?
A: Inhalation is probably the easiest method. Inhale directly from the bottle or put some drops on a tissue, towel or cotton ball. You can also diffuser it or spritz it around you as a mist.
Q: Which essential oils can help with the flu?
A: Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, peppermint and tea tree essential oils may bring you relief from flu symptoms and help fight off infection.
Q: Do essential oils really work?
A: Research is increasingly revealing that essential oils can work in a variety of ways. If hospitals are investigating the use of essential oils against superbugs, then we know they are indeed powerful.
Q: How long should I use essential oils for flu?
A: A good rule of thumb is between 15 and 20 minutes for diffusion or inhalation.
Q: How many times a day can I use essential oils?
A: Try not to exceed between one and three times a day with 30-minute intervals.
Fight flu with essential oils
There is much research supporting the notion that using essential oils for flu season is a good idea. While this doesn’t mean that their use should replace medical care, it’s helpful to know how you can support your recovery process in the comfort of your own home.
It’s long been believed that essential oils have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and contemporary research is backing this belief up in many cases. Using essential oils for flu is highly recommended as long as you do so safely and responsibly.
Volant has a wonderful range of high quality diffusers and essential oils that you can use to beat the flu. By boosting your immunity, helping reduce symptoms and promoting a good night’s sleep, flu shouldn't plague you for too long.