It is that dreaded time of year: cold and flu season. That means loading up your arsenal and medicine cabinet with antiviral essential oils that will not only help you get over your illness faster but will also prevent you from getting sick in the first place.
Often, when we develop an infection, we are prescribed harsh antibiotics. Although antibiotics are sometimes necessary, they are harmful to your body, killing off ‘good bacteria’ and upsetting the delicate balance of gut flora in your tummy.
This ‘good bacteria’ prevents harmful bacteria from entering your digestive tract and body, establishing a vicious cycle.
Once the bad bacteria get used to the antibiotics being ingested, the virus decides to toughen up and mutate, becoming resistant to antibiotics.
Illnesses resistant to antibiotics makes fighting off a virus that much more difficult. Fortunately, your body will not develop a resistance to essential oils. Essential oils are tough on viruses while gentle on your body.
Unlike antibiotics, essential oils do not destroy everything in its path; rather, it eliminates the virus while supporting your overall health.
So whether you’re using essential oils to prevent yourself from getting sick or in conjunction with other medicine to kick the virus faster, these essential oils will help maintain and restore your health in no time.
Antiviral Essential Oils
Antiviral essential oils are considered a natural antiviral and antibiotic, while each essential oil has its own unique set of benefits.
These essential oils will not only fight off infection-causing bacteria and viruses, but they also provide support to your body, whether it be your immune system, skin, muscles, bones, cells, or emotional health while healing.
Tea Tree Oil
This essential oil packs a punch, being filled to the brim with antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. All of these healing properties combined work hard to stimulate your immune system. If you’re suffering from a stuffy nose, head and chest congestion, and are feeling phlegmy, use in an inhaler or add a couple drops to a nice warm bath.
The tea tree oil and the steam from a warm bath will clear your nasal passages while killing off bacteria. For best results, while sitting in a warm bath, drape a towel over your head and breathe in the vapors for 5 or 10 minutes. Tea tree oil works great topically, but don’t ever swallow it.
Studies show that tea tree essential oil is effective against the herpes simplex virus in the laboratory. (1)
One whiff of eucalyptus essential oil and you’ll know that you’re on the road to recovery. A decongestant and an antiviral, this essential oil will help fight your cold while eliminating congestion, while reducing inflammation. Many use eucalyptus as a natural remedy for a stubborn cough, sinus blockage, and bronchitis, as it effectively loosens up mucus from your airways.
Studies have also revealed that eucalyptus oil is effective against the herpes simplex virus. (1)
Put a couple drops of eucalyptus oil in an inhaler to relieve blocked nasal passages while reducing inflammation and killing off bacteria. If you are suffering from a sore throat, gargle a couple drops of eucalyptus oil and warm water. Be careful not to swallow.
If you are cold and flu virus is accompanied by sore and achy muscles, massage onto your sore muscles with a carrier oil.
Thyme essential oil also works as an antispasmodic, relieving coughs and muscle aches. Lastly, if you have a fever, blend eucalyptus oil with peppermint oil and spritz on your body to reduce your temperature.
If you want to get down to brass tacks and do your body a world of good, reach for lemon essential oil.
Lemon essential oil is rich in vitamins, stimulating your body’s immune system and encouraging the production of white blood cells. By fortifying your body and immune system, you help increase your body’s ability to fight off illness.
Pine essential oil is a fast and fresh way to help clear up blocked nasal passages. Those suffering from a sore throat may find some relief with this essential oil.
This minty fresh delight works as an expectorant. Loaded with antiviral and antiseptic properties that clear your air passages and helps treat your cough. Peppermint essential oil works great in a diffuser, however, make sure not to use this essential oil when children and babies are around.
Cinnamon has been used widely in medicine and treating a wide array of illnesses and ailments. The antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties are an effective way to fight infection.
Cinnamon essential oil is especially known for fighting staph infections and eliminating germs in the gallbladder.
If you have a cold and are suffering from congestion and a sore throat, this essential oil will take care of that in short order. Although cinnamon is a popular flavor, it is not recommended for internal consumption.
Some people may be sensitive or allergic to the powerful effects of cinnamon essential oil, so be sure to do an allergy skin patch test before using.
Being sick is a miserable experience, and if you are congested, sometimes sleep is next to impossible. The soothing scent of lavender essential oil will not only address respiratory infections such as a cough, cold, flu, and sore throat, but it also stimulates your nervous system and relaxes you, helping you drift off to a peaceful sleep.
By inhaling lavender essential oil, you can loosen up phlegm clogging up your airways while the antiviral and antibacterial properties help fight the infection. This healing essential oil stimulates your immune system, protecting you from further infection. So diffuse a couple drops of lavender into your bath and have a nice soothing soak.
Clove essential oil is a staple in many medications as it contains a high amount of antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. This powerful essential oil is typically used to treat a cough, headaches, toothaches, indigestion, and asthma. Clove essential oil fights infection and stimulates the immune system.
Meanwhile, the antiviral properties make your body resistant to diseases while purifying your blood. When mixed with salt, this cooling oil works as an anti-inflammatory, giving pain relief to headaches when applied to the forehead.
This anti-inflammatory effect also works to treat respiratory problems, alleviating cough, colds, sinusitis, and bronchitis. One should practice caution when using such a powerful essential oil. Be sure to always dilute clove essential oil with a carrier oil when used topically.
Clove oil contains eugenol, which many people are allergic too when taken in high doses. Those with sensitive skin should avoid this particular essential oil.
Used in conjunction with lemon, eucalyptus, and tea tree essential oils, this thyme essential oil will help eliminate congestion. Used on its own, this essential oil contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, helping to prevent you from getting sick in the first place. This essential oil is not recommended for those with high blood pressure.
Oregano is not just a delicious spice added to your favorite Italian dish, it is also a powerful antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and anti-inflammatory essential oil. The disinfecting and antibacterial properties of this essential oil have been valued for centuries, protecting food from bacteria.
Fortunately, the antimicrobial properties of this oil also lends its hand to medicine. Oregano essential oil is valuable to your respiratory health, alleviating cough and expelling the phlegm clogging up your airways. If you are sick, you can be coughing so much that your lungs and throat are inflamed and Oregano essential oil works a soothing balm.
Oregano oil protects you from viral infections as well as bacteria and harmful protozoa. The powerful antiviral properties of this essential oil boosts your immune system, helping to keep a smooth running system.
Melissa Essential Oil
And last but definitely not least is melissa essential oil also known as lemon balm essential oil. Studies have demonstrated that melissa oil has excellent antiviral properties and it is a popular and very effective natural remedy for cold sores. Melissa can protect against the spread of several viral infections and is especially useful to people who are resistant to antiviral medications.
A laboratory study published in 2008 found that melissa essential oil was highly effective against the herpes simplex virus when tested on monkey cells. The researchers noted that melissa essential oil could be an effective topical treatment for herpes because of its antiviral activity and lipophilic nature. (2)
What Conditions Can you Treat with Antiviral Essential Oils?
Boost the Immune System
When it comes to staving off viral illnesses like the cold or flu, there is nothing more important than a strong and robust immune system. A number of essential oils can have a very positive effect on your immune system including lavender, geranium, rose, melissa, thyme, tea tree and eucalyptus.
Treat Cold and Flu
Every year, millions of people are affected by common colds and the flu. Although they are not always serious, they are uncomfortable conditions that affect your ability to work and function at full capacity. These common illnesses are much easier to fight if they are caught and treated early.
At the first sign you are coming down with the flu or a cold, you should start your essential oil treatment. A wide variety of essential oils provide excellent relief from symptoms and can also help fight the virus responsible for the condition.
You can apply your antiviral essential oil as a compress, add to the bath, diffuse or steam inhale.
You can treat a fever at home with essential oils long as your fever is mild and you are not worried about your condition. Bear in mind however that your fever may be a symptom of something more serious and seek medical advice when necessary.
A number of essential oils have excellent anti-fever properties including peppermint, lavender, melissa, tea tree, ravensara and sandalwood oil.
Apply your oils ion the form of a rub or cold compress. You can also steam inhale or diffuse them.
Treat Cold Sores
A number of essential oils are very effective when it comes to treating cold sores. Melissa oil is especially effective but other options include peppermint, bergamot and spearmint.
Studies have revealed that several essential oils are effective against the herpes simplex virus. These include melissa, lemongrass, eucalyptus, bergamot and tea tree essential oil.
If you are suffering from a respiratory problem or congestion then essential oils are a wonderful choice of treatment. Eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and many others can help. You can massage your diluted essential oil into your chest and temples but the he best way to treat congestion and respiratory issues is by inhalation.
How to Use Antiviral Essential Oils
Here are some great ways to use your antiviral essential oils….
This is an extremely effective treatment for cold and flu symptoms, congestion and breathing difficulties. Fill up a sink or a bowl with boiling water and add a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oil.
Cover your neck and your shoulders with a towel and lean over the water being careful not to scald yourself on the steam. Inhale the soothing vapors for 5 minutes or as long as you can tolerate the heat.
Massaging your diluted essential oil into your feet can provide a great boost to your immune system and may help prevent against the threat of viruses and other foreign bodies.
Combine a few drops of your chosen antiviral essential oil or oils with a carrier oil like jojoba, sweet almond or coconut oil. Massage the blend into your feet and repeat every evening before bed.
Again dilute your chosen oil with a carrier oil and massage into your chest and temples. This is a great way to improve your breathing and help treat the virus.
Add 8 to 10 drops of your favorite antiviral oils to your bathtub. Hop in, sit back and let the oils get to work on your body.
If you have a diffuser machine, you can diffuse the oils next to your bed through the night and in the office throughout the day.
Disinfect the Surfaces
As well as treating various health problems, these antiviral essential oils can help disinfect your surfaces at home and keep them germ free.
Add a few drops of lemon essential oil or tea tree oil to a damp cloth and then use it to wipe down the surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom and anywhere else prone to grime and germs.