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essential oils for cold flu
Wellness
Published Wednesday Oct 30, 2019 by Jasmine Smith

The Best Essential Oils for Cold and Flu Season

Personal Growth
Expert Advice

The common cold is annoying. It can stop us from living our best lives and leave us feeling depleted, depressed, and laid out for days. If we do come down with the common cold, doctors tell us the best treatment is to rest, hydrate, and let the virus run its course. Here’s how essential oils can help.


 
What causes the common cold?

The common cold is caused by a virus. Unlike bacterial infections, viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics, because they need your cells to ‘host’ them. They penetrate our cells, duplicating more viruses and breaking through barriers. This is something bacteria, fungi, parasites, and almost all other elements cannot do. 
 
Viruses grow and reproduce only after they’ve invaded our living cells. The body’s immune system can fight off some viruses before they cause illness, but others (colds, for example) are typically said to “run their course.”
 

How do we stop it? 

Many of our modern medicines are simply synthetic versions of nature’s oldest medicine - essential oils. With the power of plants in the form of essential oils, we can help strengthen our immune system during a viral attack, and/or shorten the length and severity of the common cold or flu. Every time we place something synthetic or processed into our body, we create more work for our systems. When we take synthetics, our bodies have to do more work, filtering the ingredients through our kidneys and liver to make sure none of them are harmful.

When we are sick, our bodies are spending so much energy fighting those icky viruses; we don’t have any extra energy to expend. Our bodies recognize plant-based treatments like essential oils as natural and don’t need to take extra precautionary action.

Unlike antibiotics and synthetic medicines, essential oils are small enough to pass through our cells’ membranes. This means essential oils are the only defense that can enter the cell to fight off the virus for you. Pretty amazing! 
 
 

For a stuffy nose...
 
Eucalyptus 

Eucalyptus oil can be an effective remedy in easing congestion, chesty coughs, and thinning mucus. It helps to relieve stuffy noses and may safely fight viruses and respiratory problems such as bronchitis.”

 
Thyme 

Thyme was commonly used by the Egyptians and ancient Greeks to help fight against infectious illnesses. “Thyme oil is thought to have antispasmodic properties and has been shown to be effective at reducing coughs and reducing the duration of respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold.”

 
Douglas Fir

Respected for its ability to help support the respiratory system, this oil is effective in antibacterial activity against the respiratory tract and was found to demonstrate an antioxidant effect in the body.
 

1
For a stuffy nose...
 
Eucalyptus 

Eucalyptus oil can be an effective remedy in easing congestion, chesty coughs, and thinning mucus. It helps to relieve stuffy noses and may safely fight viruses and respiratory problems such as bronchitis.”

 
Thyme 

Thyme was commonly used by the Egyptians and ancient Greeks to help fight against infectious illnesses. “Thyme oil is thought to have antispasmodic properties and has been shown to be effective at reducing coughs and reducing the duration of respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold.”

 
Douglas Fir

Respected for its ability to help support the respiratory system, this oil is effective in antibacterial activity against the respiratory tract and was found to demonstrate an antioxidant effect in the body.
 

For a sore throat...
 
Melaleuca

Melaleuca, also known as Tea Tree oil, has been researched extensively and shown to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Use this essential oil for coughs, bronchial congestion, and sore throats. Studies show Melaleuca essential oil may inhibit influenza virus entry into the host cell. Tea Tree essential oils can also be used as a natural disinfectant, use it to kill germs on surfaces and in the air.

 
Rosemary 

Rosemary essential oil was found to have analgesic (pain-blocking) and anti-inflammatory activity. As a warming oil, Rosemary is good for relieving aches and pains, a sore throat, and any symptoms due to inflammation. 

 
Lemon 

Lemon essential oil is antifungal, antioxidizing, and aids rhinitis. A natural disinfectant, Lemon oil is ideal for fighting viruses as well as reducing the most common cold and flu symptoms. It’s no surprise Lemon has long been considered a cure-all. 
 

2
For a sore throat...
 
Melaleuca

Melaleuca, also known as Tea Tree oil, has been researched extensively and shown to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Use this essential oil for coughs, bronchial congestion, and sore throats. Studies show Melaleuca essential oil may inhibit influenza virus entry into the host cell. Tea Tree essential oils can also be used as a natural disinfectant, use it to kill germs on surfaces and in the air.

 
Rosemary 

Rosemary essential oil was found to have analgesic (pain-blocking) and anti-inflammatory activity. As a warming oil, Rosemary is good for relieving aches and pains, a sore throat, and any symptoms due to inflammation. 

 
Lemon 

Lemon essential oil is antifungal, antioxidizing, and aids rhinitis. A natural disinfectant, Lemon oil is ideal for fighting viruses as well as reducing the most common cold and flu symptoms. It’s no surprise Lemon has long been considered a cure-all. 
 

For a cough...
 
Cardamom 

Cardamom essential oil is a powerful antispasmodic, decongestant, and expectorant that helps the respiratory system relieve cough symptoms. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to aid the reduction of muscle aches and pains.

 
Marjoram 

Marjoram comes from the mint botanical family and has been shown to have antifungal properties. It serves as an expectorant; aiding to expel loose mucus from the system. It can also be relaxing and serve as a sedative to the muscles that constrict sometimes contributing headaches.

 
Basil

Basil essential oil was used anciently for respiratory problems and is shown to have antibacterial properties that strongly inhibit drug-resistant bacteria. Basil oil also has powerful antispasmodic properties helping to reduce cough symptoms.
 

3
For a cough...
 
Cardamom 

Cardamom essential oil is a powerful antispasmodic, decongestant, and expectorant that helps the respiratory system relieve cough symptoms. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to aid the reduction of muscle aches and pains.

 
Marjoram 

Marjoram comes from the mint botanical family and has been shown to have antifungal properties. It serves as an expectorant; aiding to expel loose mucus from the system. It can also be relaxing and serve as a sedative to the muscles that constrict sometimes contributing headaches.

 
Basil

Basil essential oil was used anciently for respiratory problems and is shown to have antibacterial properties that strongly inhibit drug-resistant bacteria. Basil oil also has powerful antispasmodic properties helping to reduce cough symptoms.
 

For nausea...
 
Peppermint

For centuries, peppermint has been used to aid digestive difficulties and freshen breath. Peppermint oil has even been shown to reduce the intensity of nausea to cancer patients during chemotherapy.

 
Ginger

Ginger, an ancient esteemed spice known for its support of the digestive system, can lower nausea, fever, and decrease vomiting.
 

4
For nausea...
 
Peppermint

For centuries, peppermint has been used to aid digestive difficulties and freshen breath. Peppermint oil has even been shown to reduce the intensity of nausea to cancer patients during chemotherapy.

 
Ginger

Ginger, an ancient esteemed spice known for its support of the digestive system, can lower nausea, fever, and decrease vomiting.
 

For inflammation…
 
Copaiba

Copaiba is a flowering plant, and Copaiba oil is simply the steam distilled from its resin. Copaiba essential oil has been shown to increase antioxidative properties in the body, reducing inflammation.

 
Roman Chamomile 

Known for its calming and relaxing properties, Roman Chamomile can block the signaling chemical involved in inflammation.

 
Frankincense 

Frankincense has been considered a holy oil in the East for centuries and is studied as an anticancer remedy. Not only can it reduce inflammation caused by cold and flu viruses, but it has shown to produce cellular death in infected human cancer cells.


If you’re a science nerd like me and love to geek out on essential oils, check out my video, The Hype on Essential Oils! Jump to 15:15 to see the breakdown of the cellular membrane and viruses or visit SoulPerspective365 to learn more about essential oils.

5
For inflammation…
 
Copaiba

Copaiba is a flowering plant, and Copaiba oil is simply the steam distilled from its resin. Copaiba essential oil has been shown to increase antioxidative properties in the body, reducing inflammation.

 
Roman Chamomile 

Known for its calming and relaxing properties, Roman Chamomile can block the signaling chemical involved in inflammation.

 
Frankincense 

Frankincense has been considered a holy oil in the East for centuries and is studied as an anticancer remedy. Not only can it reduce inflammation caused by cold and flu viruses, but it has shown to produce cellular death in infected human cancer cells.


If you’re a science nerd like me and love to geek out on essential oils, check out my video, The Hype on Essential Oils! Jump to 15:15 to see the breakdown of the cellular membrane and viruses or visit SoulPerspective365 to learn more about essential oils.

Jasmine Smith MINDBODY
Written by
Jasmine Smith
Yogi | Meditation Teacher
About the author
Jasmine Smith is a spiritual development coach, yogi, meditation teacher, science nerd, essential oil junkie, hypnotherapist, and a former medical assistant. Not one for labels, you may find it difficult to categorize her and she's okay with that. An international teacher and innovative thought leader, Jasmine brings a depth of experience, a fresh perspective, and a new way of being 365 days a year.
woman running outside
The Latest
Published Tuesday Jun 30, 2020 by Dermatologist's Choice

The Summer Skincare Routine for Outdoor Workouts and Activities

Beauty
Fitness
Skincare

Summer is officially here, and with that, there are so many fun activities that will motivate you to get outside to stay in shape and strive for those post-quarantine fitness goals. But before you decide to get outside to enjoy some walking, yoga, swimming, or hiking, remember these best practice skincare habits to protect your skin from common skin concerns, such as, sunburns, chafing, and excessive dryness. 

Here, board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bottiglione, shares some advice to help your skin stay healthy as you embark into the great outdoors.  


But first, protect

When going outside, the sun is going to be your biggest culprit for damaging your skin. While the sun boosts benefits like vitamin D production, take notice when your skin is overexposed to the sun’s harmful rays as it becomes dangerous. When overexposed to direct sunlight, the skin is irritated, causing sunburns, dryness, and sensitivity that can increase the chances for wrinkles and skin cancer as we age.  

Luckily, staying inside when it’s so pleasant outside is not the only skincare alternative to avoid the sun’s damaging rays. Here are a few simple tips to prep your skin before stepping outside.  
Opt to protect your skin with a clinical-grade sunblocking lotion of 15 SPF or higher.

“Anytime you go outside, you need to apply sunscreen to your skin,” advises Dr. B. “Ensure you apply sunscreen to the full body and reapply often. In the morning, after cleansing your face, is the best time to apply.” He recommends a spray for oily skin, or the Dermatologist’s Choice Sunscreen Enhanced Moisturizer for dry to combination skin types that needs a little extra hydration.  
 
 
The key is the more intentional you are about proactively protecting your summer skin, the healthier it will be. It may sound simple, but your skin will be happier when you take a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach—for example, applying the sunscreen moisturizer before a walk to help to avoid the treatment of a sunburn after. When prepping your bag for the fun day ahead, make sure to add sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.  
 
 
Now the real excitement begins! However you decide to get your fitness outdoors, we have the skincare routine you need or a carefree and healthy day. 


Yoga / Walking 

Deep breath. Like our favorite flow, these skincare tips will keep our mind—and our skin—at ease. If you take your yoga practice outdoors, wear an SPF shirt, and lay your mat under a nicely shaded tree to help shield you from excessive sun exposure. 

“Avoiding direct sunlight and wearing protective clothing is smart to protect your skin from sun damage. Even if you are going for a relaxing walk or doing just a few sun salutations. Staying out of the direct sunlight will reduce your risk of sun damage and wrinkles.”     - Dr. B


Swimming 

Swimming is one of the best cardio and strength training workouts, while also an enjoyable activity during the summer. Whether you are swimming in open water or laps in the pool, the excess amount of water with exposure to pool chemicals and environmental pollutants can cause skin irritation and dryness. To keep your skin hydrated and protected, Dr. B. recommends applying the Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil to your skin before entering the water. This will seal your skin’s protective barrier to avoid skin irritation from chemicals and debris. He adds, “The Pre-Bath Oil is what I give to all my patients with eczema or dry skin. It is the only thing that will protect and also deeply hydrate the skin.” Just apply this serum before you put on your sunscreen, and you're good to go! 


Hiking 

With warm temperatures during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for hiking and exploring the mountainous outdoors. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid your skin becoming sunburnt, irritated, or breaking out. “Wearing a hat with a large brim that will shade your face and neck is key. A baseball cap is just not enough for the sun protection you need. After your hike, it is important to clean your face and pores of sweat, dirt, and toxins with Dermatologist’s Choice Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to avoid breakouts from occurring,” Dr. B. warns. Keep them in your bag for easy cleansing after a hike. 


Cycling/ Running 

One of the biggest skin concerns cyclists or runners usually bring to dermatologists is chafing. Even if you’re just cruising along the seaside or taking a cycling class, those tight clothes and friction can cause some intense irritation and redness. “When you have an issue with chafing, you need to protect your skin. You need armor over the skin. Beeswax, for example, is thick to coat the skin and protect it. Another effective option is the hydrating Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. For best results, moisturize your skin, and then add a piece of clothing to cover it (that is actually like armor),” Dr. B. shares. Are you a runner? Feel free to use this tip too before your next mile or 30.  


Workout done, now what? 

At the end of your activity, the real results of that skin preparation set in. But sometimes, you need a little extra support afterwards. After any good workout, cleansing off the sweat, dirt, toxins, and irritant is paramount. Dermatologist Choice pH Balanced Cleanser helps to gently but effectively remove sweat, oil, and restore the skin’s natural pH levels.  

Did you end up getting a sunburn, or is your skin dry from the elements? Soothe with the Pre-Bath Oil with natural oils like sunflower and jojoba oil for deep hydration and healing.

“Sun damage can manifest in multiple ways. Most often, you will notice a sunburn first, which can then lead to irritated skin—and over time, sun damage increases the appearance of wrinkles.” For safe measure, at night regenerate sun-damaged skin with Dermatologist's Choice Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with 15% non-neutralized glycolic acid to your skin. This powerful dermatology treatment rebuilds the collagen and exfoliates fine lines, sunspots, and acne on the skin. “Do not apply the Ultra Anti-Aging Cream on a sunburn or irritated skin,” Dr. B. shares. These are long-term habits to aid in maintaining your best skin health.
 
 

Capture your best skin with everything you need this summer with the Dermatologist’s Choice Skin Kit, and get 20% off your order with code MB20 at www.dermchoice.com.

Dr. B Dermatologist
Written by
Dermatologist's Choice
Clean and Clinical Skincare Brand
About the author
Dermatologist’s Choice is founded, formulated, and tested by award-winning dermatologist, Dr. B. It's not just about keeping your skin clear, but providing clean and clinical formulations. DermChoice has no parabens and no fragrance, is certified cruelty-free, and is formulated with natural and organic ingredients.