Viruses are responsible for several illnesses that cause a wide array of symptoms. The common cold, the flu, many respiratory illnesses, and more are all caused by viruses. And more recently, we’ve all learned about the existence of another virus: COVID-19.

Winter is the prime cold and flu season. Weather plays a role in the spread of viruses since we are more likely to spend more time indoors and around others. According to the NIH (National Institute of Health) each year, Americans get more than 1 billion colds, and between 5 and 20 percent of Americans get the flu. (  

While viruses are unfortunately a common part of life, there are many steps you can take to help lower your risk of contracting different viruses and/or reducing the severity of your symptoms. Optimizing the health of our bodies is crucial for staying healthy and minimizing our risk of not only COVID-19 but other viruses as well.

Some simple yet effective ways to keep our immune systems functioning properly include:

  • Washing hands regularly and thoroughly
  • Eating a whole-food diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Getting quality sleep
  • Eliminating any foods that trigger sensitivities or health issues
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Reducing stress
  • Taking vitamins and supplements
  • Spending plenty of time outside
  • Meditating

 So, can we also use our essential oils to treat these viruses? Yes and no. There are many essential oils with anti-viral, anti-infectious, mucolytic, and expectorant properties and they can be helpful in preventing illness and treating symptoms, but little research has been done so far. We do know that certain components in the oils can kill cells in an agar plate. As scientific research expands, we will most definitely learn more about the unique properties of essential oils and just how active they are against numerous viruses and pathogens.

Here are my top 10 favorite essential oils that contain components that can assist with the symptoms of cold, flu, and covid. 

  1. Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus Radiata – expectorant, anti-infectious
  2. Frankincense – anti-inflammatory, stimulates immune system 
  3. Sweet Marjoram – anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, immune support
  4. Tea Tree – airborne antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, expectorant
  5. Lavender – anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal
  6. Rosemary – anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, decongestant, expectorant
  7. Lemon – anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial
  8. Peppermint – expectorant, decongestant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral
  9. Hyssop – anti-inflammatory, mucolytic, expectorant, anti-viral
  10. Oregano – expectorant, decongestant, anti-inflammatory
Here are my top 10 favorite essential oils

How to use these oils:

  • In a diffuser. Add 3-4 drops of essential oil in 100ml water.
  • By placing a drop or two on a tissue and sniffing it.
  • Make an inhaler with 15 drops on the cotton wick. Keep tightly closed. 
  • Make a steam blend. Use 1 or 2 drops of oil in a bowl of steaming water. Place a towel over your head and the bowl, close your eyes and breathe. Great with Eucalyptus!
  • Add several drops to an unscented lotion and blend well. Apply to the chest area. 
How to use these oils
Several cautions:
  • Do not use eucalyptus in children under five years of age, and never place it in the nose. 
  • None of the above oils should be ingested. 

Buy quality oils, not from the drugstore! Here’s a link that will explain more about how to choose a good quality oil.