The common cold is a viral infection of the lining of the nose, sinuses, throat and large airways. There are many different viruses, which cause colds and why some people are more susceptible to colds than others isn’t entirely known but this time of the year often finds people battling colds and their uncomfortable symptoms. People under prolonged stress are often more susceptible to colds.
Symptoms of the common cold start 1 – 3 days after infection. The first symptom is usually a discomfort in the nose or throat. Then the sneezing starts and one has a runny nose with copious watery secretions. Although a fever doesn’t usually develop with a common cold there is sometimes a slight fever when the symptoms are beginning. Many people will also develop a cough. Symptoms will usually disappear in 4 – 10 days although a cough can often last into the second week. Most colds are readily diagnosed based on the typical symptoms, however bacterial infections and allergies can cause similar symptoms. The same viruses that cause colds can also cause symptoms similar to influenza. A high fever usually suggests that the infection is not a simple cold. Traditional treatment is that one should stay warm, comfortable and drink plenty of liquids.
Prevention is always better than cure – and while the cure for the common cold still eludes us – here are a few ways in which essential oils can be used to make the cold sufferer more comfortable and help support the immune system fight off the virus.
Colds are spread through the air when the infected droplets are coughed or sneezed into the air so your first line of defense should be to get a blend of essential oils into the air around you. Vaporize, diffuse or mist spray your blend into the room around you. The right essential oil blend can help to clean the air around you so that you don’t re-infect yourself or infect others around you.
Tip: As a preventative measure diffuse or mist spray a germ busting blend of essential oils. This could help prevent colds from developing.
A drop or two of your cold fighting blend can be added to a tissue to be sniffed as needed. Adding your blend to a warm bath can help not only relax one but also to clear up the congested passages. Remember that essential oils do not dissolve in water so add an equal number of drops of emulsifier, or if you don’t have an emulsifier add an equal number of drops of liquid soap to disperse the essential oil droplets through the water. Add your blend to a base cream or carrier oil and apply to the chest, upper back and sinus area.
Check Methods of Application for the correct number of drops of the blend to be used depending on the method of administration.
To make up a mist spray – fill a spray bottle with 125ml distilled water or hydrosol and add 18 drops of your essential oil or blend to this. Shake well before using. Spray into the room or around your head and shoulders – do not spray directly into the face.
There are quite a lot of essential oils you can consider using when suffering from colds these include:
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – has mucolytic properties.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) – has expectorant and decongestant properties.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) – has antiviral properties.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globules) – has antiviral, decongestant, expectorant and mucolytic properties.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) – has antiviral and expectorant properties.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus smithii) – has antiviral and decongestant properties.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) – has expectorant and mucolytic properties.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – has expectorant properties.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) – has antiviral and antiseptic properties.
Spike Lavender (Lavendula latifolia) – has expectorant and antiviral properties.
Lemon (Citrus limonum) – has antiviral, decongestant and calming properties.
Marjoram (Origanum majorana) – has antiviral properties.
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) – has antiseptic properties.
Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora) – has strongly antiviral and decongestant properties.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – has expectorant and mucolytic properties.
Pine (Pinus sylvestris) – has expectorant properties.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – has expectorant, decongestant and mucolytic properties.
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) – has antiviral properties.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – has expectorant properties.
Oregano (Thymus vulgaris) – has antiviral properties.
Blends for the Common Cold.
|Goodbye Germs||Head Clear||Cold Ease||Prevention|
|3 drops of Niaouli||3 drops of Lemon||3 drops of Frankincense||2 drops of Tea Tree|
|2 drops of Oregano||1 drop of Eucalyptus||2 drops of Ginger||2 drops of Niaouli|
|1 drop of Peppermint||1 drop of Rosemary||1 drops of Spike Lavender||4 drops of Lemon|