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  • Writer's pictureJust Natural Therapies

Aromatherapy for Coughs, Colds, Viruses and Influenza

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Aromatherapy Oils

There seems to be a lot of infections going around at the moment. Contributing factors are probably include the time of year, but also we have not really had a long cold patch to kill them all off. There are many natural ways to help fight off infections and also to stop them developing in the first place.

Aromatherapy Oils are brilliant in helping relieve the symptoms of colds, coughs, sore throat and earache as well as influenza and high temperatures.

Some ways you can use them.

In an Aromatherapy diffuser – these are a safer alternative to using an oil burner and are available from Argos and Amazon.  Again, you add a few drops of your essential oil blend to the diffuser with water in the water resevior, plug in, and the oils will diffuse around the room. When choosing a diffuser I would look out for the following features:

  • A large water resevior - I would recommend at least 400ml.

  • An automatic turn off safety mechanisim. This will ensure that if water does run out, it will turn off automatically.

  • A quiet diffuser, if too noisy will not be relaxing.

Safe and easy to use.  An ideal way to diffuse Essential Oils
Essential Oil Diffuser

As a steam inhalation – get a large bowl of very hot water, put a few drops of your essential oil blend into the water.  Place a towel over your head, bend over the bowl and breath in, taking in the vapours of the essential oils.  (Probably not the best way for children as the water needs to be very hot).

In an oil burner – fill the burner cupto about 3/4 full with hot, add 3 or 4 drops of your essential oil blend into the burner and the essence of the oils will diffuse around the room.  This is especially good if you are feeling particularly contagious as will help to stop spreading to people you are with. 

Safety Tips

OIl burners can be a safety hazzard, for two reasons;

  1. There is a naked flame from the candle, so is a potential fire hazzard. To reduce this risk, do not let the water burn dry, (when looking for an oil burner choose one which has a larger size water/oil holder. Also, keep away from soft furnishings such as curtains and keep out the reach of children.

  2. The water in the burner can get really hot, this is intensified as it is mixed with oil. Keep out of the reach of children and in a place that it cannot be knocked over easily.

Essential Oil Burner

On a tissue – drop a few drops of your essential oil blend on to a tissue and breathe in the essential oil vapour.  Try not to allow the oils to come in contact with your skin.

Aromatherapy Inhaler sticks – these are a great way of utilising the healing benefits of the essential oils in a safe, portable and clean way.  Essential oils of your choice are added to an absorbent cotton stick, the stick is then inserted into a plastic tube and a top screwed on.  There is a slight whole down the other end of the tube which you can smell the oils through.  A really brilliant way of getting the benefits of essential oils. Just Natural Therapies provides the nasal inhalers and offers an aromatherapy blend specifically suited to your needs.

As an oil blend.  Pure essential oils are too concentrated to put directly on the skin, so they needed to be diluted by a carrier.  Carrier oils are the most frequently used carrier, these include oils such as sunflower oil, sweet almond oil and grapeseed oil.  If you are new to using Aromatherapy oils I would suggest you try a quite dilute blend to begin with.  My advice would be to use 1 drop of essential for every 2 ml of carrier oil for example if using 5 drops of essential oil, use 10ml of carrier oil.   

Blending Aromatherapy Oils

Once you have made your oil blend up, you can use as a massage oil.

For coughs and colds I would recommend rubbing into chest and back area and around neck. For headaches – massage into the temples and into your forehead, also along the back of the neck. For ear ache – all around the ear area, up the side of neck and along the jaw. For sore throats – all around the throat and the upper chest area. A really good place to rub essential oil into is the soles of your feet.  The soles of the feet readily absorb the small molecules of the essential oils and they are transported around the body by the blood stream. 

In the bath - if you are well enough to have a bath, then it would be beneficial to use aromatherapy oils in the bath.  Again these need to be diluted.  However, if you have not got a carrier oil, you can use milk as a carrier, (not skimmed as has no fat for the oils to diffuse in).  I advise you use the same dilution as if you were using a carrier oil.  (Caution – if using citrus oils such as lemon, orange or bergamot, be careful, as not only can they be very strong on the skin if undiluted, but also they are phototoxic, which means that once on the skin they can attract the sun’s rays and may lead to burning of the skin with too much sun exposure).


A Few of My Favourite Essential Oil Bends

Colds and Flu

A blend that I like to use with colds and flu is:-

Eucalyptus                          5 drops

Tea Tree                            3 drops

Niaouli                                 5 drops

Sweet Orange                   7 drops

(40ml carrier oil if using directly on skin or in the bath)

These oils blend really beautifully together and have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties.


Sore Throat

Jasmine                                3 drops

Marjoram                             7 drops

Lavender                             2 drops

(25 ml carrier oil if using directly on skin or in the bath)

One of my favourite blends for a sore throat.


Ear Ache

Lavender                             4 drops

German Chamomile          2 drops

Yarrow                                 2 drops

Mandarin                            4 drops

(25 ml carrier oil if using directly on skin or in the bath)

A soothing and anti-inflammatory oil.


Chesty Cough

Benzoin                               3 drops

Frankincense                      6 drops

Marjoram                            3 drops

Niaouli                                 3 drops

(30ml of carrier oil if using directly on skin or in the bath)

A warming and anti-viral and anti-bacterial oil.

I hope you have found this helpful and of interest – for further information regarding any aspect of aromatherapy please contact me by email at

Please note – essential oils, under any circumstances should not be swallowed or ingested or used near the eyes and if used in contact with the skin must be diluted with a suitable carrier.  Keep essential oils away from children.

Essential oils are extracted from flowers, plants, tress and roots.
Lavender Oil and Lemon Oil

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