Aromatherapy for Colds

Make your own home remedies for colds and flu... and feel better!

Lots of people use aromatherapy for colds, even if it's just a mentholated chest rub. But essential oils have healing properties far beyond simple decongestants.

Aromatherapy cold home remedies can relieve your aching muscles, soothe your throbbing headache, clear your stuffy nose, and give you a healthy boost of energy when you really need it. Or help you sleep if your misery is keeping you awake.

Best Essential Oils for Colds & Flu

Benzoin, cedar, coriander, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, helichrysum, hyssop, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, naiouli, oregano, palmarosa, peppermint, petitgrain, pine, ravensara, rose, rosemary, sage, spearmint, spruce, tea tree, thyme

More Cold Home Remedies

Make Your Own Aromatherapy Inhaler

This is one of the handiest natural cold remedies you can make because you can take it to work (if you must go!) and use it whenever you need to take a breather.

Pour a teaspoon of salt or menthol crystals in a very small dark glass or PET plastic bottle and add 15 drops Eucalyptus and 5 drops Rosemary essential oil. Put the cap on and shake the bottle to mix everything together.

To use, take three long, slow, deep breaths of the aroma, trying to inhale through your nose. Take a short break, then take three more deep breaths. Do this up to three times.

The Dish on Commercial Vapor Rubs

In a nutshell - they're BAD for you!

Commercial chest rubs are usually made in a base of petroleum jelly (also commonly known as Vaseline) which often contains cancer causing impurities. In fact, petroleum jelly has been banned from use in cosmetics in Europe for that reason.

Here's a healthy, inexpensive alternative you can make yourself.

Chest  Rub  Recipe


2 tablespoons (30g) shea butter or virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup (75ml) jojoba or olive oil

15 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

7 drops Peppermint essential oil

2 drops Cedarwood essential oil

1 drop Thyme essential oil


  1. Put about an inch (2.5cm) of water in the bottom of a medium-sized pot and heat to a low simmer.

  2. Place the shea butter or coconut oil in a medium sized heat-proof glass measuring cup (such as Pyrex.) Place the measuring cup in the water and warm slowly over a low heat until the butter is melted.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the jojoba or olive oil.

  4. Pour the oil mixture into a dark glass or PET plastic jar. Drop in the essential oils.

  5. It's best to wait at least 24 hours after blending to let the chest rub 'cure' if you can. Remember to keep the bottle in a cool, dark place.

Caution: Thyme essential oil may irritate sensitive skin, which is why it's at a low concentration. If your skin is sensitive, leave it out. Also, do not use eucalyptus if you have high blood pressure or epilepsy. Tea tree is a good alternative here.

Handy Hint: You can make this into a massage oil by replacing the shea butter or coconut oil with jojoba or any other carrier oil of your choice. Grapeseed oil absorbs fairly quickly.

What Next?

I hope all these recipes and remedies have got you inspired... to make some chicken soup... jump into a hot bath... or take a look at some of these related pages for more interesting facts and recipes on aromatherapy for colds...

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