Having these essential oils on hand can help prevent and treat the common cold and cough.

I don’t like the way over-the-counter cold and cough medicine make me feel, so when I started working with essential oils years ago I was drawn to using them as an alternative to all the products available at the stores. These oils will ease the symptoms of a cough or cold by soothing the throat, fighting bacteria and reducing inflammation.

Essential oils are derived from the leaf, bark or flowers of plants. How they are extracted from the plant and where the plant is grown determines the price of the oil. You only use several drops of each one, so once you build your natural medicine cabinet, it lasts for a long time. Eucalyptus oil is a natural decongestant that contains cineole and pinene, which work as a natural bronchodilator. It also has analgesic and natural anti-inflammatory.

Rosemary oil also contains cineole and helps break up mucus. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which is a common ingredient in over-the-counter remedies. Menthol helps relax the muscles in the windpipe, which can ease breathing in people with coughs. Frankincense oil also has a calming effect on the respiratory system.

Oregano and thymes oils contains a high level of a compound called carvacrol. This potent ingredient can help fight off many types of germs. Bergamot, nutmeg and cypress essential oils all contain camphene, a similar compound to camphor. When inhaled, camphene can have a cooling, refreshing effect. It also has antioxidant properties, which helps protect cells from damage and ward off harmful germs.

Geranium oil, one of my favorites, not only has a refreshing floral scent, it also is an effective herbal cough treatment. Cinnamon oil, although commonly thought of as a spice, also has been proven to protect against germs that can cause respiratory problems.

Last but not least there is tea tree oil. This oil is a natural disinfectant and inhibits the growth of bad bacteria that can cause sinus and respiratory issues.

There are many ways to use these oils. I like to make a synergy, which is a combination of oils, and use them together. I store this in a dark glass vial to preserve it’s qualities. One of my favorite combinations is peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oils. It’s invigorating, helps clear the nasal passages, combats inflammation and kills common germs associated with the common cold and cough. You can use synergies several ways. Add them to a spray bottle, 12 to 16 drops combined to 4 ounces of water and spritz in the air or use to clean counters and common areas. You can also use these oils in diffusors – a few drops does the trick – or a warm bath.

If you’d like more information, I encourage you to sign up for my aromatherapy workshop. Not only do you learn about the qualities of oils, you get to make your own products and leave with a notebook full of ideas and recipes. For more information contact me at 401-497-5656, [email protected] and check out my blog at

Next week I’ll be giving tips on essential oils that help with aging a skin care.

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