Top Essential Oils For Cold & Flu Season

by Charity Dykstra August 18, 2020

Top Essential Oils For Cold & Flu Season

When the flu or cold strikes, you know you’re in for a serious bout of coughing, congestion, and chills. To state the perfectly obvious, getting sick is no fun. 

And when you do get sick, there’s not much you can do to stop it. Either the virus will run its course, or your body will eventually fight it off. This is another good reason to use hand sanitizer spray and wash your hands constantly during flu and cold season. That said, there are also therapeutic essential oils you can use to strengthen your body and alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of being sick. 

So, what are the best essential oils for colds and flu symptoms? Let’s review. 

What Essential Oils Are Good For The Cold & Flu? 

Year after year, a new strain of the flu returns. Knowing this, it’s wise to start preparing your essential oil regimen early before the Fall season arrives. There are several different ways to use essential oils for head cold or flu relief, including:

  • An essential oil diffuser

  • Hot or cold compresses

  • Inhaling essential oil in a steam

  • Diluting with a carrier oil and then adding to a bath

  • Diluting with a carrier oil and then massaging into head, neck, or feet

Inhalation is the most effective method, particularly if you’re attempting to clear your sinus congestion, suppress a cough, or get better sleep. There are dozens of essential oils, each with different cold-fighting properties and applications. They include:

  • Bitter Orange – The hallmark of the flu or cold is nasal congestion—stuffy nose, sinus and head pressure, postnasal drip. Obtained from the peels of the Seville orange, Bitter Orange essential oil is rich in antioxidants and antimicrobial properties that help support the immune system and relieve congestion, an effective essential oil for stuffy nose, making it easier to function during the day. 

  • Lavender – Sleep is one of the most important ways your body can fight off a virus. But it’s hard to get deep, restful sleep when you’re coughing, have a sore throat, or you have a stuffy nose. The enchanting aroma of Lavender essential oil helps put your body into complete relaxation mode. It can help you get better, deeper sleep. Just diffuse, and you’ll soon be snoozing.  

  • Peppermint – Do you have a killer cough? If so, Peppermint essential oil can be used as a natural decongestant and cough suppressant. In addition to its pleasant minty aroma, Peppermint EO has antiviral and antimicrobial properties that can support your immune system.  

  • Clove BudClove Bud essential oil has an exotic and spicy aroma that smells like a spice cabinet. The warming aromatic spice has both antiviral and antifungal elements that can help relieve the symptoms of a cold. 

Because they all work in different ways, sometimes, the most effective use of essential oils comes from creating an essential oil blend. 

For instance, the Immunity Synergy Blend combines Sweet Orange oil, Lemon oil, Eucalyptus oil, Moroccan Rosemary oil, Tea Tree oil and Frankincense oil into one powerful cold reliever. It works as a decongestant to help ease cold or flu symptoms and has a wealth of antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that strengthen the immune system.   

The Fighting Five Synergy Blend is also a great choice. This blend helps fight germs to boost your immune system. Its properties include Lemon, Cinnamon Leaf, Moroccan Rosemary, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus Globulus and Eucalyptus Radiata. If you’re looking for germ-fighting essential oils for kids we recommend Healthy Hero or Germ Ease.

How To Use Essential Oils During Cold or Flu Season

So, once you’ve got the best essential oils for flu and cold, what’s next? The easiest ways to apply them are either topically or by inhalation. 

When using 100% pure, undiluted essential oils, it’s vital that you dilute with a high-quality carrier oil before applying it to your skin. Our dilution chart works as follows: 

  • 6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil for 1% dilution

  • 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil for 2% dilution 

  • 18 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil for 3% dilution

  • 24 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil for 4% dilution

  • 30 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil for 5% dilution

After you’ve prepared the mixture, rub it into your temple, forehead, neck, chest, or feet. 

Another way to use essential oils is with an Ultrasonic Diffuser. Simply fill the tank with purified water, then carefully select a blend from the above-mentioned oils. A good diffuser recipe would be:

  • 2 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil

  • 2 drops Clove Bud essential oil

  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil

  • 2 drops Sweet Orange essential oil

In no time at all, you will be diffusing some very tough, virus-hating essential oils as well as contributing a pleasing Fall aroma to your room. If you don’t want to create your own blend, you can buy a pre-made, immune-supportive Synergy Blends such as Fighting Five and Immunity. 

You can even add an immune-booster to your bath routine thanks to the Fighting Five Bath Salt.

Therapeutic Essential Oil Blends for Colds

Anyone who has ever endured the misery of a cold knows that the symptoms are no fun at all. Chest and nasal congestion, headaches, coughing, and difficulty breathing can all be a part of the way our bodies combat this invasion. However, the therapeutic nature of essential oils can also assist in lessening these symptoms as well.

Below are some very effective essential oil blends and single essential oil solutions for helping you manage your symptoms.

Tissue Breather Aid

Onto a tissue, place 3 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil and 2 drops of Lavender essential oil in different areas on the tissues. Place your tissue into a sealed zip lock bag and carry with you when you are battling a cold. When your nose is congested, holding your tissue up near your nose and breathing deeply will help lessen the sinus congestion. You can also use Synergy Blends such as Breathe Easier, Deep Breath, or safe versions for kids such as Breathe In, Breathe Out.

Calming Blend for Congestion and Cough Relief

At night when ready for bed, the following blend of essential oils for cough may be applied to lessen congestion and coughing:

  • 1 tbsp Fractionated Coconut Oil

  • 4 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil

  • 1 drop Thyme essential oil

Mix the above in an amber glass jar or bottle. Rub a teaspoon-size amount over your chest area and go to bed, allowing easier breathing and deep rest to follow.

Now that you know what the best essential oils for cold and flu season are, it's time to start diffusing. Whether you prefer our single oils or our diffuser blends for colds, we are happy to support you on the journey to staying healthy during this season.


  1. NCBI. Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial. 

  2. NCBI. Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents—Myth or Real Alternative? 

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Edens Garden

September 14, 2021 at 11:33 am

Hi Jenny! Oregano is a good option. We suggest diffusing it.


September 14, 2021 at 9:51 am

Thanks for the great article! Would oregano be a good addition to the mix as well? I read it has antibacterial and antiviral properties? What are your suggestions?