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Essential Oil Series: Essential Oils for Cold and Flu

It’s that time of year again: cold and flu season. As part of the Elite Fitness Essential Oils Series, here is a list of the best essential oils to fight off illness and boost immunity.


Frankincense. Frankincense is a great all-around essential oil for fighting illness. It acts not only as an antiseptic and disinfectant, it also soothes coughs and eliminates phlegm buildup that can occur in the respiratory tract when you have a cold. In addition to its awesome cold-fighting properties, frankincense has very few side effects, so it is safe for many different kinds of people including children and those sensitive to reactions.


Lemon. Lemon is a great essential oil to use when you have the flu since it is famous for being a cure-all fruit. It is especially effective for fever reduction, and it also has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. No matter what your symptoms, chances are a little lemon will provide some relief! It works great with any of the below essential oil methods, but of course you can eat it or infuse your water with it, too!


Peppermint. This one is perhaps my personal favorite for cold and flu relief. Its cooling sensation does wonders to clear nasal/respiratory passages and clear the head. It supports improved concentration and energy, can be a great combat for fatigue caused by sickness, and it also soothes nausea and upset stomachs!

Two of the best ways to use essential oils during sickness are baths and steam inhalation. Both of these are great techniques because heat and steam enable the essential oil to reach deeper into your system than, for example, simply dotting a few drops on your skin would. Heat also helps to soothe achy muscles. To use essential oils with heat and steam, use boiled water or take a hot bath.


To use essential oils with the steam of boiled water, add several drops of your chosen oil(s) to a large pot filled about halfway with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Using a moist towel, cover your head and lean over the pot with the towel draped over the sides. Be careful not to touch the hot pot to your skin! Breathe in deeply for 2 minutes and then take a break. This process can be related after several minutes, but should not be done for more than two minutes at a time, and you should stop if you experience dizziness.


To use essential oils with a bath, fill up the tub with warm to hot water. The hotter, the better because the bath will also emit steam carrying the oils into the air you’re breathing. Just be careful not to make it so hot that it burns. Add three drops of each oil you choose to use, and soak for up to thirty minutes.