How to Use Breathe Essential Oils: 5 Best Essential Oils for Cold & Flu Season by 30Seconds Mom
An estimated 34 to 49 million cases of flu illnesses have been recorded in the United States already in the 2019-2020 flu season. Flu shots are recommended for most people every year, and it's also important to eat healthy foods and practice good hygiene – like frequent hand washing – to reduce the risk of getting influenza. But natural remedies like essential oils, expected to be a $7.3 billion industry by 2024, are becoming a popular way to tackle the flu.
Essential oils can help treat some flu symptoms and may even help you recover faster. If you're new to essential oils, let's start with the basics. Here are some ways you can use breathe essential oils for colds and flu:
- Essential Oil Diffuser: A diffuser is a popular way to release essential oils into the air. Just a few drops of your favorite essential oil and some water will mist the scent into the air for your smelling pleasure.
- Warm Compress: A few drops of essential oils on a warm towel turn it into a scented compress. Lay down and put the towel over your head, then relax and inhale deeply.
- Topical Skin Application: Stirring 2 to 3 drops of essential oils into a carrier oil creates a luxurious combination to rub on your chest and neck.
- Misting: Let essential oils calm and soothe you to sleep. Add a few drops of essential oils to water in a spray bottle and mist your pillow before going to bed. Eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint and lavender are good choices for misting.
- Steam Bath: Have a spa experience at home by adding 4 to 6 drops of essential oils into a bowl of hot water. Inhale the vapor for one to two minutes.
- Directly Inhaling: Open the bottle of essential oils and simply inhale or put a few drops on a cotton ball for this method.
Now that you know how to use essential oils, here are five of the best essential oils to consider trying during cold and flu season:
- Peppermint Essential Oil: Congested or have a cough? Peppermint essential oil contains menthol and menthyl acetate, which causes the cooling effect when you inhale it. This cooling action may help relieve that itchy throat and clear your airway to help you breathe better. Steam-distilled peppermint essential oil also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with congestion and coughs.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Most of us know eucalyptus as the primary food for those cuddly koalas. Native to Australia, eucalyptus essential oil contains cineole and pinene, compounds that may help boost your immune system. The refreshing scent of eucalyptus oil may calm the respiratory system, clear up mucus and soothe those sinuses while fighting a cold or the flu.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil: The grassy, lemony scent of tea tree essential oil not only smells calming, but has immune-boosting properties. Derived from the Melaleuca plant, this essential oil is effective for colds and the flu because it may help protect you from harmful environmental factors, plus it has strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Lemon Essential Oil: Widely used for cleaning, lemon essential oil can also do a number on colds and the flu. Lemon essential is cold-pressed from the lemon rind and contains high amounts of limonene, which may boost your immune system, and detoxify and strengthen the body.
- Thyme Essential Oil: Thyme makes roasted chicken sing, but it may also help relieve respiratory symptoms associated with colds and flu due to its strong anti-microbial properties. Studies have found that thyme oil can relieve sinuses and help with breathing when fighting a cold or the flu.
Possible Risks Using Essential Oils
While most people have no issues using essential oils for health and self-care, some may need to be careful trying essential oils for the first time:
- Have sensitive skin? You may experience irritation or even allergies from essential oils, so always dilute them and try on a test patch of skin first.
- Certain medications may interact with essential oils. Consult your health-care provider before adding them to your regimen.
- If you are pregnant or want to use essential oils on a small child or baby, consult your doctor of your child's health-care provider first.
- Some essential oils may be a hazard for pets. Talk to your vet or do some research before using essential oils on your pet or diffusing them around your animals.
This article is sponsored by Gya Labs. The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.
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