The approaching winter months bring the dreaded cold and flu season. There are quite a
few oils that can drastically reduce cold and flu symptoms, namely lemon (Citrus limonium),
individually for the relief of isolated symptoms, but when used together, they provide a
powerful remedy for the annoying and debilitating symptoms brought on by a virus.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties, and is also a great expectorant and can
assist particularly in congestion relief.
Lemon oil has antiseptic properties and stimulates white blood cells, which play a key role
in the body’s immune defense. These help the body boost and maintain immune strength.
Lavender oil is antiseptic and antimicrobial, and helps the body to relax for a good night
sleep. Sleep is exponentially important when it comes to fighting a virus, so the calming
properties of lavender oil make this a great provider of added relief.
In order to most effectively treat a virus with essential oils, use them early and reapply
Try to incorporate 1-2 drops of lemon oil into every glass of water you drink throughout
the day. Lemon is particularly helpful in boosting the immune system from within. It does
possess some photosensitive properties (skin sensitivity to the sun) when applied topically,
and you can avoid this by taking in liquid or capsule form.
At the onset of symptoms, soak in a tea tree oil bath. Place 10-20 drops in a warm bath and
soak for as long as you’d like. The antiviral properties of this oil make for a great full body
Sleep is perhaps the greatest weapon against a virus. Use lavender oil to maintain healthy
sleep patterns and strong immunity. Diffuse in your room at bedtime, add 5-10 drops to
a small spray bottle of water for a pillow spray, or add 3-5 drops to unscented laundry
detergent when washing sheets for a lasting and relaxing scent.
How to use tea tree, lavender and lemon oils to treat cold and flu symptoms:
For coughs and congestion, use all three of these oils can provide great relief. Use a vapor
diffuser and add 2-3 drops of each oil to disperse the scent. Tea tree and lemon oils assist in
opening the airways, and lavender oils help to calm breathing passages and relax coughing
spasms. For a quick fix, apply a drop of each oil to hands and rub together. Cup hands
around nose and mouth and slowly breathe in. Repeat as necessary throughout the day.
When a sore throat hits, tea tree oil can be very powerful, both at onset of symptoms and
when they become full-blown. While the taste may be slightly odd, taking 1-2 drops on the
tongue every 3-4 hours can help in fighting and eliminating symptoms.
For a sore throat, you can also place 3-5 (or more) drops of tea tree oil in a small amount
(less that ¼ cup) of water and use it to gargle several times a day. For an added boost and
pain relief, add half a teaspoon of unrefined sea salt.
To treat a runny nose, rub a tiny drop of lemon oil underneath and on the sides of each
nostril. Photosensitivity should not be a huge risk with this method, but use caution when in
To soothe a fever, rub lavender oil (neat, no dilution) on the bottoms of your feet. Cover with socks and leave on overnight and/or all day.
When full-blown cold and flu symptoms hit, use all three oils to soak the entire body. Add
10-15 drops of each to a warm bath and soak as needed for relief.
This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe,
treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. As always, before you begin any
sort of regimen using essential oils, please consult with your physician, naturopath, or
aromatherapist before doing so. The use of oils can be very empowering and effective
in the treatment of a variety of ailments. However, use your own discretion; the medical
community is there to help us when oils can't.