The Cold Season & Essential Oils

Autumn… The crisp air, the falling leaves, drinking tea in front of a roaring fire… 

The reality is more like everyone is in the house because it is pouring rain outside, all of the windows are closed up tight and family members coughing and sneezing. And if you are like me, you are just trying to avoid everyone else’s germs… When you are fighting a cold, it is definitely the time for some self-care. Making sure you get some extra sleep, drinking lots of fluids, and eating your fresh fruits and veggies. And me, I’ll be wiping down every surface that everyone touches. Although now I use cleaners and room sprays… You guessed it, made from essential oils.  For more info on using essential oils for cleaning check out my May 2016 Blog.

Due to their different properties, essential oils are effective for inhalation or diffusing during the winter months & the cold season. They can ease your congestion, calm your coughs & used topically they can soothe a sore throat… Be sure to use the appropriate essential oils for children, elderly family members, pregnant women and people who have a  medical condition. (Essential oils don’t have to be strong smelling to be effective. Personally, I tend to use the milder, child-friendly essential oils).

Essential Oils for Adults: 


Diffuse one or two of these Essential Oils with Antibacterial properties in your home: Eucalyptus Radiata,  Lemongrass, Palmarosa, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Thyme.

If you’re Congested, try diffusing one of the following essential oils: Eucalyptus Radiata, Balsam Fir, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Myrrh, Pine.

For your Coughs, consider diffusing one or two of the following essential oils:  Sweet Basil, Cajeput, Cypress,  Eucalyptus Radiata, Ginger, Myrrh, Myrtle, Niaouli.

For a Sore Throat dilute one or two of the following essential oils & apply topically: Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Sandalwood, Tea Tree.

Essential Oils for Children:


Essential Oils with Antibacterial properties, mild enough to diffuse around younger children: Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Palmarosa, Bergamot,  Rosalina,

If your child is  Congested consider diffusing one of the following essential oils:  Black Spruce, Geranium, Rosalina & White Pine

For your child’s Coughs, consider one of the following essential oils: Cedarwood,  Chamomile,(Roman),  Lavender,  Siberian Fir, White Pine,

For your child’s Sore Throat consider one of the following essential oils: Bergamot, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon

How to Use:
Diffusing: Using essential oils in a diffuser beside your bed will help you breathe a little easier if you have a cold. I would recommend using a diffuser with different settings.I like to use the low setting and run it for 30 min –  1 hour as I’m going to sleep. For children run your diffuser for 15 -30 min at bedtime, depending on the age of the child.

Inhalation: Using a personal inhaler is an easy way to use essential oils when you have a cold or congestion. For adults, add 15  drops of your essential oil blend to the wick of the personal inhaler. For children, depending on the age, add 5 – 8 drops of the blend and use an age-appropriate essential oil.

Topical: Using essential oils topically works well for chest congestion or a sore throat. Just use the carrier oil of your choice like jojoba or grapeseed oil. For children, age 2 and up use a .05% to a 1% dilution when using topically depending on the age and sensitivity of the child. This dilution works well for most pregnant women & the elderly.

For adults depending on health, use a 2% to a 2.5% dilution when using essential oils topically. When in doubt check with a qualified aromatherapist & your healthcare practitioner.

So this winter, when you get that tickle in your throat, or you start to sniffle, slow down and take the time to listen to your body. Maybe take a day off from work, rest, and know that it’s important to take care of yourself too…

My Blog is for information only & is not meant to diagnose or replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.

If you have any concerns, always check with your medical practitioner before using essential oils. To find a qualified aromatherapist in B.C. Canada check out this website.


  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,  The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003

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