Essential Oils for Colds, Flu, Fever and Nasal Congestion

Essential oils for colds and flu
During the winter season, the cold weather and the weakened immune system leaves us prone to colds and flues, and we may need more natural therapies.
According to several scientific studies, some essential oils have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and are natural remedies for colds, flues, fever and nasal congestion.


Cold vs flu – how to know the difference between flu and cold symptoms

A cold is a milder respiratory condition than the flu. The symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, difficulty breathing, cough. Fever is uncommon in adults, but a slight fever is possible. If the cold symptoms last for more than a week, you may have a bacterial infection, which means you may need antibiotics.
The flu symptoms are usually more severe than the cold symptoms. They include fever, headaches, muscle aches and soreness, nausea, congestion, and cough. Body and muscle aches are also more common with the flu. Flu symptoms can last anywhere from 2-5 days to a week or more. A common cold rarely has symptoms of fever above 101 degrees.
A common complication of the flu is pneumonia and hospitalization, particularly in people with a weak immune system. If you experience shortness of breath, talk to your doctor immediately.


Essential Oils for Colds, Flues, Fever and Nasal Congestion

Essential oils can help improve cold and flu symptoms in combination with other medications or natural therapies, but first check in with a doctor if symptoms are persistent, or if existing health disease (such as asthma or other conditions) can make you vulnerable to complications.
Dr Axe likes to use the essential oils as part of his first line of defense during the cold season.


Check out this video: Fall Essential Oils for Colds, Sore Throats and More

There are many essential oils for colds, flues, fever, sore throats and nasal congestion. Finding the ones that works for you is based on your personal preference and experimentation.


Below is a list of the top essential oils for the common cold and flu based on research.
According to several scientific studies, these essential oils have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and are amazing natural cold remedies:
  • Lemon oil – has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps boost the immune system, stimulates lymphatic drainage and energizes (1*);

Organic Lemon Essential Oil (4 oz), USDA Certified Premium Therapeutic Grade

Organic Lemon Essential Oil
Organic Lemon Essential Oil

Visit the Mary Tylor Naturals Store on Amazon


  • Eucalyptus – is one of the most tested antimicrobial oils, a natural aid for easy breathing. It protects you from getting a cold, boosts the immune system and improves respiratory conditions: it relieves cough, clear sinuses and throat (2*);
  • Peppermint – relax the respiratory tract and modulate the immune system, has important antimicrobial and antiviral activities. It can help with colds, flues, sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma etc (3*);

Cliganic USDA Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, 100% Pure Natural

Cliganic USDA Organic Peppermint Essential Oil
Cliganic USDA Organic Peppermint Essential Oil

Visit the Cliganic Store on Amazon


  • Patchouli – a member of the mint family, patchouli also displays calming and antimicrobial properties. Topically, it can also help with skin irritation caused by dry winter air;
  • Tea tree – has important antimicrobial and antiviral properties, killing bacteria that promotes respiratory conditions (4*);
  • Lavender – is soothing and when inhaled, can help calm the respiratory system. Use it in combination with other essential oils for improved results;
  • Thyme oil – is another researched oil that is beneficial to the respiratory tract and it has even been tested against some cultures of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with positive results (5*);
  • Ginger – is known to help with nausea, but it’s also good as a natural remedy for colds, flues, coughs and bronchitis (6*);
  • Frankincense – studies showed a strong immunostimulant activity (90% lymphocyte transformation) killing bacteria, viruses and other germs (7*);
  • Oregano – Antiviral and antibacterial, it boosts the immune system and helps fight infections. One study concluded that carvacrol, the main substance in oregano represents „an inexpensive source of natural antibacterial substances that exhibited potential for use in pathogenic systems”  (8*).


How to use the essential oils to get their most therapeutic benefits

Firstly, it’s important to choose premium-quality essential oils to get the most of their therapeutic properties, especially during the cold season. Organic formulas with certifications are the most trustworthy.
Secondly, if you diffuse them, choose the nebulizing technology which preserves the most of your essential oils properties.
AromaTech patented nebulizing technology ensures that there is no damage to the essential oils’ properties and creates a longer lasting and consistent scent. All of AromaTech’s scent machines are designed for aesthetics as well as proficiency. These revolutionary home fragrance diffusers release scent in the form of micro-mist to ensure precise diffusion that is long-lasting, pure, and high quality.
AromaTech AroMini BT Bluetooth Essential Oil Nebulizing Diffuser
AromaTech AroMini BT Bluetooth Essential Oil Nebulizing Diffuser


You can also apply them topically with a generous amount of carrier oil. Make an essential oils rub and mix it into your forehead, chest and aching muscles. Rub it on your forehead for a relief of sinus congestion, or on your chest for a soothing relief of chest congestion.
Another way to diffuse the essential oils is through steam inhalation. Steam inhalation is done by adding a few drops of the recommended essential oil (typically Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Frankincense, Tea tree, Thyme) into a bowl of hot water. The effect is an instant nose, sinus and chest decongestion, which is more powerful than diffusing the oils into a room.
Taking a bath with essential oils is another way to experience their benefits. Add 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oils into a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil, dilute the mix in warm water, relax and breathe deeply.


How can I prevent flu or cold symptoms?

The most important prevention measure for colds and flu is frequent hand washing. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds helps to get rid or germs, bacteria and viruses from the skin.


Secondly, use any opportunity to enhance your immune system.
The immune system is the body’s chief defense against germs, viruses and cancer. A healthy immune system can defeat invading germs while protecting healthy tissue.
A healthy immune system can fight off viruses, bacteria and cancer cells, as well as infections. Understanding how the immune system works, what it needs to be strong, and how you can help protect your body is essential to staying healthy.


Here are some tips to naturally enhance your immune system

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables – especially fruits and veggies high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, leafy greens, kiwi, peppers.
Stay physically active – Exercise is one of the main pillars of healthy living and a key factor in preventing illness. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight and protects against diseases. Not only does it help boost your immune system but also makes you feel better emotionally and mentally.
Get enough sleep – Sleep is the best way to support your immune system. When we sleep, our bodies produce a protein called cytokines, which target infection and inflammation, creating an immune response. A growing body of research has shown that getting enough good sleep is essential for your immune system.
Reduce stress and avoid stress triggers – We’re probably all familiar with the connection between stress and getting sick. When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. Colds, influenza and other diseases seem worse when we are stressed.
Massage therapy – Research has shown that receiving regular massage therapy helps boost our immune system and flush toxins, increasing blood flow throughout the body. Massage increases the activity of white blood cells that help our body fight diseases and may help with reduction of cortisol (a stress hormone). Clinical research also suggests that regular massage naturally increases the immune system’s ability to fight various viruses, germs, bacteria and other diseases.


Real Relax 2022 Massage Chair

Real Relax 2022 Massage Chair
Real Relax 2022 Massage Chair



Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager





  1. Evaluation of Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Citrus latifolia Tanaka Essential Oil and Limonene in Experimental Mouse Models
  2. Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices
  3. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.)
  4. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties
  5. Antibacterial activity of thyme and lavender essential oils
  6. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger
  7. Chemistry and immunomodulatory activity of frankincense oil
  8. Essential Oil Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Origanum vulgare subsp. glandulosum Desf. at Different Phenological Stages

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