A guide to essential oils for treating colds

It’s true that in the winter months we’re more likely to suffer from a cold. On average, Australian adults get 2-4 colds per year. That’s one cold every 3-6 months, which translates to many days off work, gym sessions and social occasions missed, and a lowered immune system. It’s not much fun and a cold usually lasts 7 to 10 days once it takes hold.

How do we “catch” a cold?

Well, contrary to the name and to popular belief, we don’t catch colds from cold temperatures! The cause of a cold is a virus infection and has absolutely nothing to do with winter. What’s the missing link? It’s thought that in the winter months we are more likely to catch a cold virus because we spend more time indoors – sharing space and air with more people than we tend to do in the warmer months. Thus providing the perfect environments for the cold virus to incubate and spread from one human to the next.

Colds mainly affect our upper respiratory tract and airways. The symptoms are usually things like a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches, congestion, headaches, fever and generally feeling unwell.

Essential Oils – the natural way to treat a cold

The only cure for a cold is time; however time can be reduced with the right treatments and supports. Of course it’s important to always take medical advice, but I find that when I’m feeling slightly run down or my immune system is fighting something off, it’s time to slow things down. Time to rest and boost my mind and body with natural remedies that have been tried and tested for thousands of years.

I’m talking about essential oils – used in Ayurvedic medicine and drawn on by many ancient cultures all around the world to prevent and treat a wide range of ailments, including colds.

Why? Because the remedial benefits are far superior to other natural remedies. Essential oils are potent and can treat a wide range of health ailments quickly.

Top essential oils for treating a cold

  1. Oregano
    Oregano is one of the most powerful anti-bacterials. Although colds are not bacteria infections, a virus can quickly become a bacterial infection if not treated, such as a chest infection or pneumonia. It also has immune stimulating properties that will give your body the boost it needs to fight cold symptoms.
  2. Menthol
    Menthol is made from leaves of various mint plants, such as peppermint, which naturally relaxes and cools the mind and body. Its sharp scent works to open the respiratory system to ease the effects of congestion.
  3. Camphor
    This potent vapour helps clear the lungs to increase respiratory circulation and promotes feelings of freshness and clarity. Its stimulating aroma boosts the immune system, assisting the fight against viral infection.
  4. Niaouli
    The antiseptic properties of this gentle yet concentrated oil can help prevent air-borne infection. This has huge benefits for when you’re flying or traveling and sharing combined spaces with other people for long periods of time. Its sweet, therapeutic effects aid in opening and clearing the respiratory system as well as the mind. So make sure you get your dose pre-flight!
  5. Peppermint
    Zesty and fresh, peppermint is the perfect mood lifter. Its unique aroma eases stress and works on your olfactory system (sense of smell) to ease exhaustion and irritability. This is helpful as a cold can take away our sense of smell, and thus our appetite.
  6. Lemongrass
    Its light, fresh citrus power makes it a natural stimulating mood lifter and calming agent. It brings balance to the mind and promotes mental clarity. As well as an essential oil, fresh lemongrass has some extraordinary benefits for easing cold symptoms. An Ayurvedic cure for cold, in a team lemongrass can help break down mucus and phlegm caused by congestion.
  7. Ginger
    Renowned for its remedial benefits for nausea, the fresh spicy scent will ease some of the most stubborn symptoms of illness in both the body and the mind.
  8. Rosemary
    This fragrant woody scent has been used in healing remedies since the 16th century. It strengthens the immune system, making it a perfect component to boost the body’s fight against infection.
  9. Eucalyptus
    Natural and fresh, eucalyptus brings a positive and uplifting energy to your mood. It can relieve muscle tension and boost your immune system in changing climates. The scent clears the head and nasal passages to promote deep breathing and calmness.
  10. Frankincense
    Mood-boosting frankincense will help to balance and ground an anxious mind. It can deepen your breath helping to centre the focus and calm the nervous system.
  11. Thyme
    This gentle oil is the perfect pick-me-up when your body and mind need a boost. It can refocus and cleanse mental energy and it aids in treating muscle pain and stubborn respiratory conditions.
  12. Clove Bud
    With a versatile and distinct aroma, clove bud is a powerful mood lifter. It helps to promote clarity and focus, but best of all – it acts as an aphrodisiac to stimulate and excite your mind. Always helpful in fighting off a cold when your mood is low.

How to use essential oils

There are many ways you can use essential oils, and I’ve created a few products that make it really easy for anyone to get the benefits of all the above ingredients.

The Black Chicken Remedies Respire Essential Oil Blend is designed to treat colds by reducing inflammation, clearing airways and strengthening the immune system. Here’s a few ways you can use oil blends to treat colds:

  1. An essential oil diffuser such as the Black Chicken Remedies Skypipe™ Essential Oil Diffuser will quickly and safely “charge” the air around you with minute particles of potent essential oils in a cool mist.
  2. Add a few drops of the Respire Essential Oil Blend to your bath for relaxing relief from cold symptoms, perfect for body aches, fevers and general feelings of sickness. I usually add the drops to a flannel so they don’t float around on the surface of the bath.
  3. For relief anytime, you can get all the above-mentioned essential oils in a portable, compact form in the Black Chicken Remedies Respire Nasalette™ Essential Oil Inhaler. They are little pocket diffusers you can take anywhere with you, refillable, and full of potent, targeted, all natural goodness.
  4. Drop some essential oil onto a tissue and place inside your shoes as the soles of your feet absorb oils faster than any other part of your body. I know this sounds odd, but it’s because our feet have larger pores than the rest of our body and therefore the soles of our feet are a very efficient way to feed the health-giving compounds of essential oils directly into your bloodstream.

Stay healthy, happy and chilled this winter,

Chey xx

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