Editor’s Note: This article comes to us from Rochelle Ludovisi, Holistic Health & Fitness Coach. Rochelle has worked with clients for over 15 years in the fields of Pilates, nutrition, lifestyle counseling, and fitness. She also has extensive experience in the use of essential oils. Read her tips below!
As we look into ways to support the body essential oils are a gentle, simple and effective natural solution to help ease many of the symptoms of a cold.
There are hundreds of studies on the effectiveness of oils on the human body and the incredible ability for just one oil to impact your body in numerous ways.
Let’s take a deeper dive into why you might want to think about adding these into your toolkit for optimal health.
We all know what it feels like to be hindered by a cough, the flu or sinus congestion. With the winter months upon us the flu and cold activity peaks between December and February according to the CDC.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in a variety of cultures for medicinal and health purposes. An essential oil originates from an aromatic plant such as a peppermint leaf, Lavender plant or from citrus fruits like oranges.
By using steam distillation or cold pressed process, the oil is extracted from the plant and is 50-70% more powerful than its dried counterpart.
For example 1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil is equivalent to 28 cups of Peppermint tea!
Why Use Oils When You Have a Cold
The oil penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream within 30 seconds, especially when applied to the bottom of the feet, which has the largest pores in the body. Blood flows upwards toward the heart, making for even faster support.
All viruses live inside of a cell and in order to penetrate any cell membrane, which is composed of fat, the body needs a fat soluble source. Essential oils are lipids, a fat, which means they can penetrate the cell membrane to help maintain the quality of our immune system!
More than just nice smells these oils are antibacterial, antiviral, anti inflammatory, antidepressant, stimulating, detoxifying, antiviral and have calming properties.
Top 4 Oils to use for Immune System, Congestion & Cough
Peppermint – Peppermint can be great at cooling down a raised body temperature. It can also be supportive of head tension or upset stomach. The high menthol content along with the properties of being both antibacterial and antiviral make this a prime oil to use. Peppermint is also able to relieve a scratchy throat.
Application: Roll down sides of the nose and across forehead to ease sinus tension. Apply on neck for throat support. For head tension, apply to temples and rub. Pure Peppermint oil is great to diffuse in a room.
OnGuard – This powerful aromatic blend with Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary supports your immune system and Rosemary, which contains cineole, has been shown to provide antioxidant and antimicrobial properties as a natural immune support.
Application: Apply 2 drops daily to the feet. Dilute with a carrier oil like coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil, or jojoba. Many individuals have reported increased energy when feeling a bit run down when they put a drop under their tongue or in an empty capsule to swallow.
Breathe – This blend with oils like Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Melaleuca and Cardamom is a very effective respiratory blend. The oils in here, like Eucalyptus, have antimicrobial effects against many bacteria, viruses and fungi. While other constituents like Cardamom help open up the airways and Melaleuca give antibacterial properties.
Application: Apply 2 drops on your chest with a little coconut or other oil. Place 1-2 drops in a bowl of warm water, cover the bowl and your head with a towel to create a “tent” and inhale the steam through the nose. Keep eyes shut.
Lemon oil is great to add into your water or support a sore throat. It supports lymphatic drainage and as a daily routine it is a great way to support your body all year long with the antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Application: Apply 1 drop daily in your water bottle (preferably a glass or stainless steel container) and drink throughout the day. Mix it with warm water and honey or simply mix 1 drop of lemon oil and raw honey on a spoon (for kids over 1 year).
I see oils everywhere, which ones do I use?
Purity and quality matter, the way a plant is grown (soil, sun, water) all make a difference in the quality of the oil. The brand I choose that continually delivers high quality, therapeutic grade oils is doTERRA.
Their rigorous testing ensures that there are absolutely no chemicals, no synthetics and that every plant is grown and sourced in an environment that is supportive of that specific species of plant.
Not sure what oils you want to start with? Rochelle offers a free 15 minute consultation to help guide you. Sign up here.
About The Author
For 18 years I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the Health and Wellness world. My work started as a Pilates Instructor 18 years ago and I still continue to teach privately with a focus on rehabilitation. I blend the work I’ve learned in several modalities from Pilates, Yoga, rehabilitation, Meditation, Yamuna’s body rolling to tailor the sessions toward each person.
I received my Health Coaching Certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) as well as received my IAHC certification. I continued my education with a Digestive Intensive and coached students entering the IIN coaching program to help them grow their knowledge and businesses to a deeper level.