The winter months are notorious for bringing a variety of colds, flus and sinus infections. These illnesses can sap your energy and cause you to miss work, school or other commitments. There are many methods you can use to fight off a cold, from supplemental vitamins to sinus rinses. In recent years, essential oils have become one of the leading natural weapons against colds and viruses. Let’s look at several oils which can help your body fight off a cold this winter season.
When you close your windows during the chilly months, the amount of fresh, circulating air in your home becomes limited. Stale, stagnant air is the perfect environment for contagious viruses to thrive. According to Grace Martin, an oil supplier based in California, you can use a number of popular oils to combat the germs and keep your air fresh. An essential oil blend containing Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary oils all work together to boost your immune system. Diffusing this blend in your home or consuming it in capsules can help to freshen the air and improve your mood.
Essential oils can be used both to prevent colds and to fight viruses that are already affecting your body. If you’re feeling ill, you can use oils to address a variety of symptoms. A 2012 study conducted by the Asian Pacific Journal of Biotropical Medicine found that Eucalyptus oil acts as an expectorant which can break up congestion and open the nasal passages. If an abundance of mucus is making it difficult for you to breathe, applying a blend of Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Cardamom, Ravintsara, and Ravensara to your chest and neck can help soothe inflammation and clear your airways.
Another troublesome symptom that often accompanies the common cold is coughing. A cough usually means that compacted mucus has made its way to your lungs and that your body is trying to loosen it. One of the best oils to speed up this process is Rosemary. Rosemary, similar to Eucalyptus, contains cineole which is known to break up mucus and reduce inflammation. When inhaled or applied to your chest, Rosemary can soothe the pain of a sore throat and facilitate easier breathing. Another useful oil for dealing with a cough is Peppermint. A study by the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests that when inhaled, Peppermint oil can relax the muscles in your throat and provide a cooling sensation that eases irritation.
According to William Schaffner, MD, there is currently no cure for the common cold. His suggestion is to try different natural remedies until you find one that lessens your symptoms and help your body to fight off germs. Essential oils, when used properly, can be an effective method for both neutralizing contagious viruses and addressing symptoms like coughing, sneezing, sinus pressure and sore throat. If you are hoping to avoid catching a cold this winter or if you’re struggling to shake persistent symptoms, essential oils can be a powerful tool to help you stay healthy as you wait for spring.