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Benefits of Essential Oils

May 16, 2022

Having allergies, a cold, or flu can be miserable.

Congestion, achiness, and sleepless nights make allergies, colds, and flus awful experiences that send people to local pharmacies searching for over-the-counter remedies to relieve symptoms.

If your go-to allergy, cold, or flu medicine isn’t providing relief, consider using essential oils to treat symptoms like congestion and sleeplessness.

Some strongly scented oils can help alleviate your symptoms, clear your nasal passages and reduce headaches. Some oils may even have antiviral benefits to help treat infections and reduce fever.

Here is a brief rundown of nine essential oils that may help get you through:

  1. Thyme essential oil. Thyme has powerful antibacterial properties that can help to fight common antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It also reduces muscle spasms, which may help to prevent coughing.
  1. Lavender oil. Lavender is known for its relaxing effects, which may help you get some sleep. It may also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  1. Tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects against germs and is often used as an antiseptic for gum infections and other oral problems.
  2. Cinnamon, wild carrot, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oil blend. This blend of oils has antibacterial and antiviral properties and may ease flu and bacterial pneumonia symptoms.
  1. Eucalyptus essential oil. Often used as an antiseptic to treat colds, sore throats, and coughs. Oil from the eucalyptus fruit has the most antibacterial properties, effective even against some drug-resistant bacteria.
  1. Lemon essential oil. Studies have found lemon essential oil has potent antibacterial effects against the bacteria that cause listeria, which may make it effective against other bacteria that cause sore throats.
  1. Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint contains menthol, the main ingredient in throat lozenges and cough drops. One study found that peppermint essential oil also has antibacterial properties. Inhaling peppermint oil may also help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  1. Ginger essential oil. Ginger is a natural remedy for the common cold. Its anti-inflammatory benefits may also help relieve throat pain.
  1. Garlic essential oil. Allicin, a garlic oil compound with antiviral and antifungal properties, may help treat sore throats. One study found it offers multiple therapeutic benefits.

So, how do you use essential oils? In general, you can use some form of aromatherapy or apply a small amount to your skin.

For aromatherapy, you can sniff the bottle of essential oils directly, put a few drops of oil on a cotton ball or handkerchief and set it near your pillow, add a few drops in a room diffuser, or put a few drops into 2 cups of boiling water, then cover your head and the hot water with a towel and breathe in the steam through your nose. These approaches will help to clear your nasal passages so you can breathe better, and help you sleep better.

You can also dilute essential oils in a carrier oil – like coconut, avocado, or castor oil – before applying it to your skin. Mix a few drops of essential oil into an ounce of the carrier oil, then lightly dab your neck or temples.

But be careful. Essential oils are potent. Never take them by mouth. Undiluted, they can irritate your skin if applied directly.

Try Essential Oils – But Talk with Your Doctor

Before you try essential oils, you should discuss them with your doctor especially for pregnant women, children, and infants. If you do not have a doctor, Grady can help. If you need a primary care physician, call us at (404) 616-1000. We’ll arrange an appointment at a Primary Care Center near you. Doctors there can treat most conditions and provide access to Grady’s unparalleled medical specialty expertise.