Best Essential Oils for Colds – Top 5 List

Essential Oils for Colds

There are few illnesses as misunderstood as the common cold. Though the phrase “common cold” suggests a single illness, over one hundred different viruses can cause the collection of symptoms associated with the condition. Some people encounter runny noses, stuffy noses, coughing, congestion, itchy and watery eyes, chills or fever and more, in varying combinations when the illness is present, but normally symptoms subside on their own over a period of a few days. Though not generally considered a serious illness, the symptoms related to the common cold can be challenging and can make working and even some everyday activities downright unbearable. Since antibiotics are not useful in the case of a viral illness, symptom management is typically the only form of available treatment. Over the counter remedies can help reduce some discomfort, but may come with side effects like drowsiness or its opposite. Home care such as rest, fluids and vaporizers also provide some relief, and some people find natural remedies such as using essential oils for colds valuable as well.

Long before cough medicines and nasal decongestants lined store shelves en masse, plants provided a vast majority of medicine and were regularly used to treat conditions and symptoms. Seeds, leaves, flowers and potent plant oils were less understood than they are today, but were used regularly for their evident health benefits. Although many essential oils uses from folkloric and anecdotal telling historically are generally regarded as home remedies today, new research is uncovering valuable medicinal properties – particularly in plant oils – that may one day change the way society looks at medicine. In the meantime, essential oils uses are limited to holistic and alternative healing and still little is known about their true potential. But, using essential oils for colds is a practice that has existed throughout history, and although many relate to treating the symptoms of the condition, some are believed to have antiviral properties, potentially targeting the source of the illness, a feat that if proven, would accomplish something that still is a challenge today.

Unfortunately, because the medicinal use of essential oils remains relatively unstudied, unregulated and untested, there are some concerns to understand before using them. Most importantly, their safety has not been evaluated fully, and while taking some steps in responsible purchase such as ensuring only the purchase of certified therapeutic grade oils can help, they still do not guarantee safe use. Not all essential oils for colds and other ails are appropriate for ingestion, and some can be toxic or poisonous, especially if not diluted as in with fractionated coconut oil or comparable substance. There is even some risk with topical application, as some oils can cause irritation or even photosensitivity, even if a carrier oil is used. These risks can be compounded by illness or medications, so it is imperative to speak to a healthcare provider before trying any essential oils for colds, including the five best choices that can be found below.

1. Thyme Oil: Of all essential oils studied recently, thyme essential oil is one that has potentially gotten the most attention. It is most important chemical compound is thymol, which is used often in some products many people use today. What makes thyme interesting are its purported antiviral capabilities, which although unproven, are believed by many in the alternative healing community to help battle the source of the cold.

2. Bergamot Oil: Being around someone who is sick can equal high alert, and that is why some of the best essential oils for colds might be those that are thought to strengthen immunity. Supposed immunostimulant oils like bergamot essential oil may help fend off a wide variety of illnesses, including pathogens that cause the common cold.

3. Eucalyptus Oil: Symptom relief may be possible with aromatherapy, and one of the best choices for adding to a diffuser is eucalyptus, especially if excess mucus is present. Eucalyptus essential oil may help loosen mucus up and is also thought to benefit other mucous cavities that might be affected by the illness, including the nasal passages and throat.

4. Ravensara Oil: Though its medicinal aroma may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Ravensara essential oil can be blended with other soothing scents to create one of the best blends of essential oils for colds for aromatherapy use. Ravensara’s antiviral and antimicrobial effects are celebrated in the natural healing community, explaining its popularity for common cold sufferers.

5. Frankincense Oil: Up until very recently, many people had forgotten about this ancient remedy and once prized and pricey substance. Frankincense essential oil is widely associated in alternative therapy for helping breathing, especially when associated with respiratory ailments. A popular method of use involves rubbing a single drop onto the chest, typically mixed with another balm or ointment, in order to help open up the lungs, so to speak. It may be one of the most effective essential oils for colds when congestion is present, based on some user testimonials.