Friday, February 09, 2024
Essential Oils

Best Essential Oils For A Cold

Many people ask, what are the best essential oils for a cold? A variety of essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties that can relieve cold and flu symptoms. Apart from using essential oils for many ailments and their beautiful aroma, they also act as a first line of defense against colds, which have been used throughout history, from ancient Egypt to the times of Christ, to healing wounds in the World Wars and finally to today on how they are changing the way people view healthcare.

Essential Oils For Colds And Congestion

Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is widely regarded for its antibacterial and antiviral qualities. It can help relieve congestion and clear your nasal pathways which is why I like to use it in my homemade vapo rub recipe. (I included this recipe below)
It’s one of the best essential oils for cold and cough relief.

Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil has antiseptic and antiviral properties and can be used as an expectorant. Use in a steam inhaler to reap these benefits.

Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties and is safe enough to use around children. It is even known to kill E.Coli.

Thieves essential oil
Thieves essential oil is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus and rosemary. It is antiviral, antibacterial and an antiseptic. This is a great oil to diffuse to help kill airborne viruses or purify the air in your home.

Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties and helps relieve congestion and discomfort.

Clove essential oil
Clove oil has antimicrobial properties and can protect your body against infection.

Frankincense essential oil
Frankincense essential oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties which is ideal for treating a cold or the flu.

Oregano essential oil
Oregano essential oil has an antibacterial compound called carvacrol which some studies have shown to be just as effective as standard antibiotics in fighting different kinds of infections. It can treat respiratory issues such as cold and coughs, sore throats, flu and bronchitis.

Thyme essential oil
Thyme essential oil is antiseptic and antibacterial. Can be blended in a hot bath with other essential oils such as eucalyptus and lemon.

Tea Tree essential oil
Used in a bath or an inhaler, tea tree oil helps you fight congestion and the discomfort caused by the cold or flu.

Lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil helps boost the immune system and can increase your ability to fight off illness.

How To Use Essential Oils For A Cold

While many essential oils can be used in a diffuser, you can also mix them in to your skincare products, add them to your bath, inhale them directly from the bottle, rub them on the soles of your feet or apply them topically. Some people take them internally depending on the oil however I do not recommend this as each person can react differently to their potency.


An essential oil diffuser normally requires you to mix a small amount of water with a few drops of an essential oil. The diffuser will then disperse a mist that carries the scent of the oil with it. While these diffusers can work well and provide a nice aroma, I tend to think the best diffuser for killing germs in the air and assisting with cold and flu symptoms is an atomizing diffuser or nebulizer. One of the best ones I have come across is the Aroma-Ace Atomizing Diffuser.

This diffuser works by forcing the breakdown of essential oils into tiny particles. It requires a high velocity, pressurized air stream and has a specifically designed jet nozzle. The rate of evaporation is highly accelerated and occurs almost instantly. It kills airborne viruses, bacteria and mold. With this process, it does not use heat or water and therefore you are getting the highest potency of the effectiveness from the essential oils.


Want to make your own natural vapo rub? This is great for chest and nasal congestion. All you need is grated beeswax and a carrier oil of your choice (I like jojoba oil). Melt them in a double boiler and add Eucalyptus essential oil (No more than 25 drops) Once cool, pour into a small jar and you now have an all natural vapo rub on hand when needed.

You can also mix a few essential oils together with a carrier oil of your choice to create your own massage oil that can help with relieving achy joints and muscles that many of us feel when we come down with a cold.

Try this massage oil recipe

2 drops oregano essential oil

2 drops rosemary essential oil

2 drops peppermint essential oil

2 drops eucalyptus essential oil

4 tsp carrier oil (I like sweet almond oil or jojoba oil)

*If using for a diffuser blend, omit the carrier oil.

Hot Bath:

Run a bath of hot water, add 2 drops frankincense essential oil, 2 drops of orange essential oil and 1 drop eucalyptus essential oil. This will help with aches and pains and act as a decongestant.

The History Of Thieves Oil

Thieves oil is an essential oil blend based on a legend from the 15th century when the bubonic plague was spreading through a large portion of France. The legend states that four thieves from Europe who were robbing the bodies of the dead of all of their possessions miraculously never contracted the plague, however eventually the four thieves were captured and charged for stealing from the sick and dying. The crime these four men committed was punishable by being burned alive. The judge was so intrigued that he offered the thieves a deal, their secret on how they didn’t contract this disease for a reduced sentence.

The thieves took the deal and told stories of their herbal knowledge and their powerful medicinal properties when combined in certain ways. They had prepared an essential oil recipe to their hands, ears, temples, feet and a mask over their mouths which kept them safe from infection. This story is known to be recorded in the Royal English Archives.

So, why diffuse Thieves oil in your home? It helps to purify the air, support your immune system, support the healthy function of your lungs and sinuses and eliminate odors. Oh, and it has a wonderful cinnamon scent too. This is great to have on hand for when a cold or flu strikes your family.

How To Make Your Own Thieves Oil

Here is a quick and easy way to make your own homemade Thieves oil.

40 drops of clove essential oil

35 drops of lemon essential oil

20 drops of cinnamon essential oil

15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops of rosemary essential oil

Put these essential oils in a dark glass bottle and shake it up. You’re done. You have your own Thieves oil to use!

All Purpose Disinfectant Spray

To make your own disinfectant spray, add 1 drop of Thieves oil to each 1/2 ounce of water in a glass spray bottle (using glass instead of plastic preserves the potency of the oil). Shake well with each use. Use to clean and disinfect counters, tables, door knobs, tub and shower, etc.


In the search for an over the counter product to remedy our cold symptoms, we unfortunately take certain medications that often mask the symptoms which may result in possible side effects. Many plants have the power to help us heal, just as in ancient times. Whether you’re looking to boost your immune system, reduce congestion or reducing the intensity of your symptoms, there’s an essential oil for it that can help. What’s in your medicine cabinet?

Just a note that if you are applying any essential oil topically, you should always do a patch test to see if it irritates your skin. You should do this with any new product you are using for the first time. Wash off immediately with soap and water if irritation occurs. Additionally, you should always consult your doctor or healthcare professional to avoid any interactions with medications. Do not use essential oils if you’re pregnant or breast feeding.

If you have any questions about using essential oils for a cold, please leave your comment in the section below and we will be happy to assist you.

2 thoughts on “Best Essential Oils For A Cold

  1. Renee,
    Great website. I had never heard of thieves oil. I want to make some now. I am glad you shared a recipe. I loved the story that goes along with it.

    1. Thanks Sondra. It’s a great oil to diffuse and clean with and I love it’s many uses. Fascinating story it has for sure. I would love to hear how you like it.


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