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Five common and affordable essential oils to strengthen the upper respiratory health

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Omicron attacks mostly the human’s upper respiratory system with symptoms that are similar to cold and influenza. While we should seek proper medical advice, we can also use essential oils as natural home remedies to help ease the symptoms and strengthen our immune systems.

The help of essential oils

Most essential oils are anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and thus can help soothe a sore throat, reduce inflammation, clear away mucus, etc. Essential oils that are recommended for flu and cold mostly contain a high level of oxides, especially 1,8 cineole, as it is both mucolytic and expectorant. There also are many other essential oils to deal with different symptoms.

As there are many options, a question arises as to which ones are inexpensive and easier to obtain. We recommend five common and affordable essential oils that help deal with cold or flu-like symptoms. The focus here is on cough, sore throat, running nose, phlegm, and fever, which are also seen in positive cases of Omicron.

#1 Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, and Eucalyptus smithii)

Eucalyptus is commonly used in a variety of OTC vapor and chest rubs. It has traditionally been used to treat upper respiratory ailments, especially nasal congestion, and painful cough as it helps in reducing mucous and inflammation. Research shows that it supports the health and functioning as well as the production of T-cells. A recent study reported that eucalyptol (1,8 cineole) from Eucalyptus oil can be used as a potential inhibitor against COVID-19. It is also anti-viral and can be used to reduce body temperature. There are different types of Eucalyptus oils, and we recommend Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, and Eucalyptus smithii for children.

Symptoms to treat: Cough, sore throat, fever, catarrh, cold, and flu

#2 Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea tree oil (“TTO”) is well-known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, such as Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenza responsible for cold, flu, and other illnesses. TTO’s potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties give it the ability to boost our immune systems.

Symptoms to treat: Cough, sore throat, fever, catarrh, cold, and flu

"It doesn’t get much greener than essential oils: when used correctly, they are among Mother Nature’s most potent remedies" – Amy Leigh Mercree

#3 Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is a multi-functional and balancing essential oil. Its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-infection properties are an excellent addition to our natural defense toolkit. It has an immediate cooling effect and promotes sweating when the body temperature is too high. Inhalation of lavender oil can also promote restful sleep as it helps us relax and reduce anxiety.

Symptoms to treat: Cough, sore throat, fever, catarrh, cold, and flu

#4 Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

It is a well-known and well-accepted fact that peppermint oil can quickly relieve congestion along the airway. It helps to ease the breathing problem and is a natural fever-reducer. However, we recommend using peppermint hydrosol, and not diluted peppermint oil for a body wipe because the cooling effect of the oil could be too strong. When using peppermint oil on kids, special care should be taken as it is nerve anesthesia. According to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, peppermint oil should not be used on kids below 30 months.

Symptoms to treat: Cough, catarrh, fever, cold

#5 Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

We call it a happy oil - it always brightens the day. This citrus oil is anti-viral and can be used to reduce body temperature. It also acts as an expectorant to help loosen up phlegm in the respiratory tract. Its uplifting property helps regain energy, and boost mood from fatigue and poor appetite during the sickness. JAN's Uplift Blended Oil mixes bergamot and lavender orange sweet, which could give extra strength during the illness.

Symptoms to treat: Cough, catarrh, fever, tiredness

So, how to use essential oils?

You can use a single oil or choose 2 to 3 oils. We consider inhalation and topical application the easiest and most effective ways for usage. Another option is to take a hot bath with the oil. For inhalation, inhale the vapor from the hot steam (please make sure it is not too hot) or a diffuser. You can apply the diluted essential oil (dilute with a base oil) on the forehead, nose, back of neck, throat, and chest for topical application. A body wipe is a great option to release fever.

Last but not least, you can diffuse these oils to strengthen the immune system.

Stay safe and healthy

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