The Common Cold

9:51 AM Posted by jo

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Prevention is the best treatment for the cold, but sometimes in spite of our best efforts we catch a cold anyway. The main goal should be to build a strong body that can resist the microbes. I  wrote a post, Essential Oils for The Respiratory and Immune System last year so check it out to learn more about using essential oils for respiratory concerns and immunity.

Tips to Activate the healing 
First you want to give the body an energy boost to help it push the irritants out of the system. The Chinese have an energy system they call wei qi which protects the body from disease. The energy pushes outward on the surfaces of the mucus membranes lining of lungs, digestive tract and our skin

Herbs with a pungent taste, such as capsicum, horseradish, ginger etc help generate this wei qi energy. When you eat spicy food your eyes water, your mucus clear from your throat and lung, your nose runs and you start to perspire. 
Pungent herbs activate the energy that helps the body discharge whatever it is irritating it. Make them your best friends during  a cold. As soon as you feel a cold coming on, stop eating, start drinking lots of fluid and start taking some of these pungent herbs.

Use essential oils even when you are not sick

In the beginning of the flu season I make sure that I use antimicrobial oils when I clean the house, and I also diffuse the same oils in my diffuser. I let my children inhale straight from the bottles to boost their immune system and  I add oils to the bottom of their feet as well.

Essential oils are some of the most powerful antimicrobials known today, and as such they are very important in fighting many types of infectious disease. 

Add Powerful oils

Several essential oils have anti-microbial actions and they work directly against the micro-organisms. Most essential oils are antiseptic to a certain degree, but these oils have historically been used  for the treatment of respiratory disorders such as flu, colds, tonsillitis, cough, sore throats and other infections:
cajuput, clove bud, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, lemon,  pine, rosemary,  hyssop var decumbens, tea tree and thyme. 

Learn more in my post, Essential Oils for The Respiratory and Immune System 

Synergy enhance the therapeutic effect

My favorite  blend of oils consists of some of the most anti-microbial oils available such as clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. An easy throat spray can be made by adding a few drops to a small glass spray bottle filled with distilled or purified water. It is best to dilute these oils before using it topically since it is a pretty strong oil. 

I would use essential oils liberally if we were sick right now. I would:
  • make massage blends for chest and back if my children were congested 
  • add essential oils to the bottom of the feet
  • make steam inhalations
  • put essential oils on the bottom of the pillow if any of my children were suffering from a cough
  • add essential oils to handkerchiefs to inhale when needed 
  • activate the healing with pungent herbs
  • diffuse anti-microbial oils in the air to ward off germs

Here are some quick facts, tips, and recipes taken from From the Essential oils Integrative Medical Guide.

How Essential oils can benefit the respiratory tract according to the Integrative medical guide:
  • Pine dilates and opens bronchial tubes
  • Myrrh is very effective for throat problems and hoarseness
  • Rose, sage, and sandalwood may help chronic bronchitis
    Suffer from bronchitis? Read my post,
    Essential Oils and Bronchitis for more information.


According to Gary Young, these oils can be considered:
Peppermint, thyme thymol, Bay laurel, oregano, rosewood, Eucalyptus radiata, tea tree, ravensara, rosemary cineol, mountain savory.

Head cold/sinus congestion

According to Gary Young, these oils can be considered:
Ledum, German chamomile, Eucalyptus radiata, frankincense, pine, peppermint, rosemary cineol, balsam fir, ravensara, lemon

This information is all based on using therapeutic grade essential oils. 

As always, this information is for educational purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose or prescribe.  If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffer from a medical condition, consult with your health care practitioner prior to using essential oils.

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

This is linked up to 
Healthy 2 Day Wednesday hosted by the Humbled Homemaker
Organically Thought – Alimentary Tuesdays Blog Carnival
Simple Lives Thursday
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