6 Essential Oils to Combat Colds and the Flu

Whether it’s cold and flu season or not, it always seems like there is some kind of nasty bug going around that you need to combat. While modern medicine is a great thing, sometimes there is only so much you can do and so much you can take. I personally have loved adding essential oils to my every day routine, including the times that I’m sick. I’ve found several that are great for helping with the headaches, congestion, sleepless nights, and body aches that seem to come with being sick. Today I thought that it would be fun to share with you how I use essential oils when I’m sick. And if you happen to have any oils to add to this list, leave them in the comments below! I’d never be upset adding some new oils to my stash.



Eucalyptus is hands down my go-to essential oil when I start feeling sick. This oil is known for its strong smell and ability to relieve sinus congestion, so I love using it in both my diffuser and in place of a menthol rub. This past semester in school I ended up with a horrible virus that left me with lots of congestion in my lungs and sinuses. I would put a few drops of eucalyptus into my diffuser to help with the sinus congestion and then rub the oil onto my chest to help relieve the congestion in my chest. Yes, I strongly smelt of the oil, but it was definitely worth it because I was able to have almost automatic relief.


I always seem to get horrible allergy or sinus related headaches. It always feels like a ton of pressure has built up in my sinuses and my head hurts horribly. While an over-the-counter medicine can help with my head hurting, I had never been able to find anything that helped with the pressure I felt from my sinuses. My mom did a little looking and handed me her PastTense roller ball and told me to apply it to my forehead, across my cheeks, and behind my ears. I couldn’t believe that I had found something that finally helped me to relieve the pressure that I felt in my sinuses during the headaches. It’s not anything like a sinus infection that I’m experiencing, it’s all purely related to the headache.

Deep Blue

While this oil is known as being a bit intense, because it is, it is worth it. If you have the flu, mono, a virus, or whatever else and it’s causing you pain, turn to deep blue. It’s in a protective, sealed bottle for a reason because you can feel it working as soon as you put it on. This past fall when I had mono I turned to deep blue to help with the horrible body aches that I was experiencing. While there is no immediate cure for mono, there are some things you can do to help with the horrible side effect symptoms, the body aches included. I recommend rubbing it on where you have pain, being cautious to not get it near any sensitive areas, and then relaxing on the couch or in bed to let it work.


It wouldn’t be an essential oil post of mine without mentioning lavender. Personally, no matter what I am sick with I always seem to toss and turn in my sleep and wake up consistently. When I know I’m sick I put a few drops of lavender essential oil into my diffuser, rub some onto my wrists, and then sometimes even spray it onto my pillow! I used to laugh hearing that particular scents would help you sleep, but I can’t laugh at it any more. I’m not sure what it is, but lavender always works its wonders and helps me sleep.


To be completely honest, when a friend recommended that I try this when I was sick, I laughed. In my mind, lemon oil was used simply to disuse and in my water, that was it. Boy, was I proven wrong. Way, way wrong. A friend of mine that also loves essential oils told me to try using some lemon oil around my ears and throat to allow them to drain. For me personally, this burned horribly since I have such sensitive skin. Then I learned that if you experience that it’s a good idea to add 2-3 drops of lemon oil to a small amount of coconut oil to dilute it and then rub it around your ears and throat. Once again, I immediately found relief from doing this because it allowed my ears and throat to drain.


If you have a cold or virus that comes with horrible hacking or wheezing, frankincense is the way to go. It’s another great thing to use in place of a vapor rub because it helps to open up your lungs to make the hacking a lot less nasty. My favorite way to use this method when I’m sick is to put it on immediately when I wake up in the morning, put it on throughout the day as needed, and then to rub some on my chest before I go to bed. I have even found that when I wake up in the middle of the night hacking it’s a great thing to rub on more off to stop the wheezing and hacking in your sleep.

Do you use essential oils? If so, which ones and do you use them to combat colds and the flu? If you don’t use essential oils would you ever consider using them? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!


  • Maria.T @simplyearth

    Megan, you have a great content here. Thank you!