My Top 5 Essential Oils for Cold & Flu Season
‘Tis the season for colds, flu, and for many, holiday stress. I personally have an arsenal of essential oils for every occasion and ailment. Recently I was asked by several families what the must-haves were for this time of year. I did my best to narrow my favorites down to the top 5 (not in any particular order) from Young Living.* Disclaimer: I’ve personally been using essential oils almost daily for over 15 years and have been using them with my children ever since they were infants, so we can handle using the oils undiluted. In general, some of the methods I describe below are NOT recommended for first time users, people with skin sensitivities, or small children. Consult your health care provider and/or your own wisdom for what is right for you and your family.
*Young Living Oils are premium, therapeutic essential oils. I have tried many high-quality companies, but I continue to come back to YL which I’ve used for almost two decades, professionally and with my own family. I particularly like their blends. They also have a great, user friendly website.
Peppermint ~ It’s great for headaches, reducing fever, digestion, breaking up mucus, increasing vitality, and making yummy holiday recipes! When my kids have a fever and/or headache, this is what I grab first. I put it right on their upper forehead close to the hairline (away from eyes) and at the occiput (back of the head/at the base of the skull). It gives a nice cooling sensation which the kids (and adults) really like, and it helps calm fever. (Fevers are the body’s way of fighting infections. Fever-reducing medications can actually prolong illness)! For mucus & stuffy noses, put some drops in your hands and INHALE, then rub it on the chest! For poor digestion/upset stomach, rub it on the belly or even ingest a few drops.* A great kid tip is to put a few drops in a bit of yogurt or ice cream for a minty treat that is good for the belly and for breaking up yucky mucus. *Only ingest premium oils that are safe for consumption! For nausea, rub peppermint on wrists and/or the bellly. Peppermint WILL irritate the eyes, so be careful, especially with kids who might accidentally rub their eyes. You can always diffuse into the air if nothing else with a low heat/no heat diffuser (sold by YL and other reputable companies), a wise investment if you are going to incorporate oils into your personal wellness regime.
R.C.™ ~ This is a Young Living blend that is FABULOUS!!! It is my savior when anyone (from keiki to kupuna) are stuffed up and coughing. Use it in place of cough syrup and to help break up mucus. Rub it right on the chest (dilute if you have a skin sensitivity or are a first-timer with this blend). It has a nice, kind of earthy smell that is very grounding. Young Living does not list this one as as “dietary.” However, my family has also used this one internally. A quick drop on the tongue has proved to calm our middle-of-the-night sniffles and coughs. My favorite kid trick with this one…. put a little on your finger and gently touch their tongue. If they use a pacifier or suck their thumb, you can put it right on that too. At first they might turn up their nose, but soon they’ll be asking for more when they make a connection to being able to breath easy! As with all of these oils, one little drop goes a long way.
Peace & Calming® ~ This is another blend my family LOVES! It is truly amazing… a favorite among many, particularly children. I’ve used Peace & Calming® (as well as Gentle Baby™) with my kids since they were just weeks old. It’s very mild and pleasant- aiding in sleep and general calmness. (I often carry it in my purse. It comes in handy more times than I can count). Rub it on the belly, chest, feet, neck…wherever you feel drawn to use it. I often just place a few drops in my kids hands and let them put it where they feel they need it. Kids are SUPER intuitive. They know their bodies more than we give them credit! Who doesn’t need more Peace & Calm, particularly during the holiday season???
Thieves® ~ This is another must-have blend for the cold & flu season! It is an excellent preventative and a great go-to during a health crisis. It smells very spicy (cinnamon, clove, etc.). Interestingly enough, Thieves® was created based on research about four thieves in France who covered themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing plague victims! This proprietary blend has been university tested for its cleansing abilities. It is a rather strong oil, best used on the soles of the feet to start. Thieves® may also be taken internally as it a serious anti-microbial, very effective for clearing out a nasty virus or bacterial infection. You can even clean with this powerful oil by adding it to your spray bottle, laundry, dishwater, etc. YL makes various Thieves® products specifically for cleaning, but it’s also simple to make your own. A really effective and spirited way to use Thieves® during the holiday to season is to diffuse it into the air. This helps keep your home healthy when you are hosting events and keeps germs from spreading when someone in the household is sick. Again, it is important to use the right kind of diffuser so as not to damage the therapeutic properties of the oil.
Valor® ~ This is another Young Living Blend that I love! It is an everyday oil for me. Valor® is an empowering combination that works with both the physical and spiritual aspects of the body. I find it to be very grounding and to assist with mental clarity as well as boosting feelings of strength and courage. Valor® has proven effective with energy alignment in the body and is therefore helpful in overall wellness. I’ve heard health professional refer to it as a “chiropractor in a bottle.” I know several Warriors Living Well who’ve headed off to combat zones with a bottle of Valor® in their rucksack! To me, the ingredients make this blend a holiday favorite: spruce, rosewood, blue tansy, and frankincense in a base of almond oil. It smells heavenly! You can get it in a 15 mL bottle or as a roll-on. I personally like the roll-on. I use it in lieu of synthetic perfumes and ALWAYS get complimented. It’s nice when nearby people get a gentle dose of aromatherapy. I’m always amazed at how it shifts those around me into a more pleasant state of awareness. (My little secret when I go into social situations that may be challenging or stressful)!
Again as a general rule, it is always best to dilute essential oils when using them for the first time or with small children. I like to use organic coconut oil as a carrier which easy to find at the grocery or even the drug store. Any vegetable oil or unscented lotion will work as well. Another safe way to explore essential oils for the first time is to use them on the feet (diluted or undiluted). The soles of the feet are an effective way to use any essential oils at anytime as they correspond to every organ in the body as well as the spine. You can also add these oils to bath water…a GREAT way to introduce them to kids for the first time.
If you are interested in purchasing these or other high-quality essential oils. I invite you to explore purchasing options via my website:
I wish you all a very merry holiday season and a bright and beautiful new year!
Aloha & Mahalo,
Susan Pualani Alden