Our ever-increasing sedentary lifestyles expose us to the dangers of a compromised immune system. Every year, new strains of the cold and flu virus make their rounds the world over. Individuals with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk to contract the cold and flu virus.
Fortunately, people with colds can avail themselves of medical and alternative treatments to get cold relief. With the rise of aromatherapy, the use of essential oils to get cold relief has become prevalent in our modern society. The question is: Do essential oils really offer significant health benefits and are they specifically effective against the cold virus? In this article, we look at the top essential oils for cold relief.
What is a Cold?
A common cold is caused by the cold virus which results in various uncomfortable symptoms such as a runny nose, scratchy throat and non stop sneezing. Colds usually resolve on their own and are not a cause for major concern. The symptoms of the cold virus however, force a lot of people to skip work and stay at home resulting in less productivity and efficiency. Since the common cold is caused by a virus, there is no known cure to directly handle the cold virus, There are however, certain steps and alternative treatments that can be employed to get relief from the symptoms of the cold virus such as essential oils.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts used for their various health benefits. These oils are considered natural compared to other prescription medications and as such, should ideally have fewer side effects when used to address certain ailments.
Research data point to the effectiveness of essential oils in addressing a wide range of health issues and there is scientific proof that supports the health benefits of essential oils. Some oils help in relieving anxiety, improving the mood and setting a positive atmosphere, better sleep and relaxation, pain relief, improved immune system and healing skin irritations.
Hence, it is appropriate to choose the right type of essential oils to treat colds. Once the right essential oil is chosen to address the symptoms of cold, then one can get the full benefits of having an alternative treatment for the cold virus that can greatly alleviate the uncomfortable and disorienting symptoms of colds.
The Top Essential Oils for Cold Relief
As stated earlier, while there are a ton health benefits in using essential oils, there is a need to choose the specific and appropriate type of oil for the exact type of ailment to be addressed which is in this case, the common cold. Listed below are some of the best essential oils to get cold relief:
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Helps decongest the nasal passage that usually gets clogged during bouts of the common cold. Decongested nasal passages ensures better air circulation and improved moods and at the same time lessens possible further infection.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Helps relieve fever and muscle pain caused by the common cold. Fevers and muscle pains can occur due to the systemic adverse effect of the cold virus, Lemongrass essential oil soothes the stressful effects of the common cold and helps patients focus on getting better.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Linked to relieving fever, peppermint oil can help give the patient a cooled down feeling and increase blood flow. Fever usually presents itself with increased body temperature and with the cooling effect of peppermint oil, cold relief can be achieved with lowered body temperature and eventual fever dissipation.
Ginger Essential Oil
Gives patients afflicted with the common cold a much needed boost in focus and mental clarity. It also helps in stimulating the mental sharpness of patients resulting in a more positive outlook while recovering from cold symptoms.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil helps boost the immune system and prevents a recurrence of the cold symptoms and future infections caused by the cold virus. A stronger immune system is not just a cure to combat an existing cold but also a preventive measure to avoid future cold infections.
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Similar to Eucalyptus Oil, Cedarwood oil helps aid in decongestion resulting in better sleep and clear nasal passages.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary oil has various cold fighting properties from its anti-bacterial components, mood enhancing the effect, immune system boosts and decongestion of nasal passages. This holistic approach against the cold virus is one of the most effective all around alternative approach in relieving the symptoms of the common cold
Sweet Fennel Essential Oil
Colds usually bring with it abdominal pain and constipation. Sweet Fennel Oil can aid in stimulating digestion and relieving any inflammation which may be causing various respiratory problems such bronchitis.
Risks of Using Essential Oils
Different essential oils have different uses. People looking for relief should first look at the specific ailment they need to address. Essential oils for digestion may not work well against the cold and flu.
Essential oils are alternative medical treatment against illnesses. You should not overly rely on essential oils alone. You must seek medical attention from a medical professional if symptoms persist. Persistent symptoms of the common cold may indicate a more serious health condition such as tuberculosis or pneumonia.
Reliable Brand Essential Oils
Due to the rise in popularity of aromatherapy, a number of aromatherapy brands have flooded the market. Patients seeking aromatherapy as treatment should make sure that they purchase reliable brands with registered licenses to operate, manufacture and distribute essential oils.
Collaborate with a Health Professional before using Essential Oils
It is important to check with a medical practitioner before using any essential oils if one is unsure of their body’s allergic response. While these oils are considered more “natural” than their artificially concocted counterparts, there may be risks of skin allergies if the use of these essential oils is not supervised or recommended by a medical professional.