Prevention is worth a pound of cure … with essential oils

August 21, 2012

Colds, Essential oils, Flu, Healing, Recipes

Essential oils do have a synergistic effect, and blending three different antiviral essential oils may boost their efficacy.

by Carol E. Gutierrez — 

Flu season is on the way and now is the time to stock up your “medicine cabinet” with antiviral essential oils to ward off any ills. Each essential oil has certain properties based on its chemistry.

Antiviral essential oils are numerous and include angelica, bergamot, German chamomile, Eucalyptus globulus and citriodora, geranium, juniper, cypress and ravensara. True and spike lavender, palma rosa, and tea tree are also very useful antivirals. You also might want to spice things up a little with the antiviral essential oils of rosemary, sweet marjoram or peppermint.

This list of antiviral essential oils is not exhaustive, but a great start. You may choose to select the essential oils based on their scent. The list above contains floral, citrus and leafy green smells. You can mix and match, or use a single oil. Essential oils do have a synergistic effect, and blending three different antiviral essential oils may boost their efficacy.

As a preventative during flu season, place one drop of essential oil on a cotton ball and inhale three times a day for five to 10 minutes. Store the cotton ball in a closed container, so as not to offend others. You also can diffuse essential oils in a commercial diffuser for 30 minutes at the end of the day. To relieve nasal or chest congestion, dilute three drops of the essential oil (or your blend) in a teaspoon of carrier oil, such as grapeseed or sunflower oil. Apply this mixture under your nose for nasal congestion or on your chest for chest congestion three times a day. Make sure the blend is a scent you enjoy, as it will literally be under your nose.

Steam inhalations are also effective for nasal and chest congestion. Boil water and pour into a bowl (preferably glass). Add two drops of ravensara or Eucalyptus globulus to the steaming water. Close your eyes, cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam from 12 inches directly above the bowl for 10 minutes.

The scent of the essential oil will be strong at first, and then will dissipate as the steam evaporates. You may add an additional drop of essential oil once during the session, if you feel the need. This process will provide a great opening of the nasal passages, and the antiviral properties of the essential oil will reach deep into your respiratory system.

For aches and pains from cold and flu, you can use any of the above essential oils (with the exception of tea tree), directly on the achy areas three times a day, as needed.

Essential oils are a great way to keep yourself well or get yourself back on track faster if a virus does get a hold of you. Arm yourself with natural tools to support your system.


Carol E. Gutierrez holds certifications in holistic nursing, massage therapy, clinical aromatherapy, healing touch and guided imagery. She specializes in reflexology and toe reading, and is a certified instructor for the RJ Buckle clinical aromatherapy certification program. 480-510-9144 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 5, October/November 2007.

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