Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

3:43 PM Posted by jo

This is the time to make preparations so you are ready for the cold and flu season. Essential oils are very healing but you don't have to wait until you are sick to use them. You can use essential oils in many ways around the house to boost your immune system.   Most essential oils are antiseptic and bactericides, which will inhibit bacterial growth. Some oils are also anti-fungal and antiviral so you can see why they are beneficial during flu season. 

Some of the most powerful anti-microbials known today
Essential oils have been used in perfume making for a long time. It is easy to overlook the important fact that essential oils are some of the most  powerful anti-microbials known today. I think they should be used  in every home during cold and flu season since they are very important in fighting many types of infectious disease. It is said that glove makers and perfume makers were spared in  England during the plague. The entire city of Buklesbury, England, was spared from the plague because it was the center for the lavender trade. Lavender is a known for its anti-microbial properties. 

Don’t wait until you get sick
You don’t have to wait until you are sick to take advantage of the healing benefits of the oils. Most essential oils are antiseptic and bactericides, which will inhibit bacterial growth. Some oils are also anti-fungal and antiviral so you can see why they are beneficial during flu season. You can use essential oils in many ways around the house to boost your immune system.  I like to clean with my favorite bacteria busters such as cinnamon, clove, lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, thyme and pine. Not only do they assist in cleaning my house but they also benefit my immune system.  I also like to diffuse oils in my diffuser several times a day. You can make a room spritzer and spray in the air if you don’t have a diffuser. 

Basic Spritzer Recipe
2 ounce glass bottle with spritzer/mister top
1 ¾ oz ounces of distilled water
10-30 drops of various essential oils ( I use less amount when I use intense aromas)
Optional: ¼ teaspoon vodka or witch hazel to emulsify the oils and water. It is important with thick oils like myrrh and jasmine.
Fill the bottle with water, add oils, and shake before each use. Make your own blend or try my favorite spice recipe:
2 drops cinnamon
1 drop clove
2 drops mandarin 

You don’t need to buy the whole store
It is not necessary to have a whole bunch of oils at home, it is more important to choose wisely what oils to buy. The oils need to be of high quality so they posses the therapeutic properties you want. Quality is very important since many companies dilute their oils with synthetic substances to cut cost. This can cause harm and change the therapeutic effect of an oil.
I put together a list of oils that are most useful during this time of the year.  You don’t need all of them, but research has shown that there is a greater antimicrobial activity when several oils were combined.  Therefore, I like to mix several different oils into one blend for enhanced therapeutic value.

Immune Stimulants

I make sure that I have at least a couple of different  immune stimulants at home during cold and flu season. Immune stimulants can strengthen the immune system by directly inhibiting the micro-organisms, or by stimulating the immune system. The essential oils of  lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary, tea tree and thyme are considered immune stimulants. Dr. Jan Valnet, M.D, lists eucalyptus, garlic, sandalwoodcinnamon, lavender, German Chamomile and peppermint as being very useful.
Clove, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, mountain savory, and peppermint are said to have the strongest antimicrobial actions. Tea tree, pine, patchouli, lavender, cajuput, and black pepper are other oils with antimicrobial properties.


Get rid of the toxins! Essential oils also have depurative (cleansing) properties that eliminate waste material and toxins. According to Steven Horne, germs don’t attack healthy tissues, so it is important to keep the internal environment clean. Angelica root, carrot seed, cypress, grapefruit, juniper berry, lemon, and rosemary have depurative properties. I like to add these oils to massage oil, unscented body lotions, bath salts, and body spritzers.
Be ahead of the game and use them before you need them. Be creative in how you use the essential oils during this time of the year:

How to use essential oils for preventing 

There are different things you can do to boost the immune system. Here are some of the things that I do:
  •  I inhale deeply straight from the bottle. I also diffuse appropriate oils in my diffuser
  • I mix the essential oils with massage oil and apply on  areas such as chest, sinuses, or back
  • I add a few drops on a handkerchief and inhale deeply. Sometimes I put 2 or more drops into the palm of my left hand, rub clockwise with the flat palm of my right hand. Cup your hands together over the nose and mouth and inhale deeply. Don’t touch your eyes!
  • I often add immune boosting essential oils to the bottom of the feet. This is especially useful for children since some oils may be too strong to apply on other parts of the body.

    • Essential oils can be used in so many various ways so be creative. As mentioned above, you don’t need a lot of oils. The best anti-microbial oils are strong and may irritate the skin so inhaling and diffusing may be better choice when used as prevention. Oregano, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, and thyme are some of my favorite oils but I don’t apply them topically unless necessary for a specific condition. I may include them in a in a rub used topically for a small area, but I would not add them to a bath or a whole body massage blend.

    Spice oils are very intense so it is best to mix them up with some other oils before diffusing them in the room. For example, diffused clove oil can irritate the eyes so it should not be diffused more than a couple of minutes at a time. Spice oils such as cinnamon and clove can be mixed with citrus oils to make them less irritating.

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.

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