With cold and flu season now in full swing — as well as the lingering, spiking pandemic — there are a lot of stuffy noses and scratchy throats. And if you have young, school-age children like me, you’re even more susceptible to these common seasonal symptoms…
Congestion is no fun, and can actually be painful. However, you may be able to find relief with something as simple as essential oils. They may be “small,” but they are mighty.
Today, we have an essential oil blend to share with you that can help open your respiratory passages and have you breathing a bit more freely.
They might seem like a fairly modern remedy, but they’re actually quite ancient. Dating back as early as 4500 BC, ancient Egyptians were recorded as having used these oils for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. They were clearly on to something.
Essential oils are produced by distilling oil from a plant usually via steaming or pressing. The therapeutic oils are typically found in the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, or fruits. And these essential oils are being used to combat various conditions including anxiety, depression, nausea, insomnia, and even cold and flu symptoms such as that congestion we talked about earlier.
Many different oils can be used to help relieve signs of congestion but a recipe I like to use consists of peppermint, oregano, tea tree, and lemon.
And here’s why…
Seems kind of fitting to use peppermint during the winter months, doesn’t it? (Think candy canes…) But in all seriousness, peppermint essential oil gets an A+ when used for respiratory conditions.
And further earning it the A+ in grading, peppermint (mentha piperita) has natural anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties — all the things you look for and need when battling infections.
Similar to peppermint oil, oregano oil also has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that help your body fend off those unwanted germs.
But along with fighting infection, oregano oil, when used in aromatherapy, can ease your breathing respiratory tract by suppressing coughing fits and loosening up a buildup of phlegm and mucus. That alone will do wonders when suffering from congestion.
Tea Tree Oil
One of the most widely used essential oils, tea tree oil is nature’s antiseptic. It gets to the root of the infection and works to inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes sinus and respiratory issues.
What makes tea tree oil so effective as a remedy for cough and colds is that it can kill airborne viruses and bacteria. It becomes your body’s first line of defense, killing potential germs before they even have a chance to enter and attack your body.
**Note – Use caution when using tea tree oil around children and pets.
A popular essential oil because of its fresh, clean scent, lemon oil is often added into aromatherapy blends to help act as a bronchodilator by relaxing the air passageways and increasing airflow to the lungs. Lemon oil is a natural, potent anti-inflammatory that reduces stress and eases breathing and overall respiratory function.
When you blend these four healing oils together, you get one powerful remedy to help treat respiratory and nasal congestion.
Here’s a recipe for you to make your own respiratory-opening essential oil blend:
Natural Essential Oil Decongestant
- 15 drops of Peppermint
- 15 drops of Oregano
- 15 drops of Tea Tree
- 15 drops of Lemon
Essential oils can be dispensed in a variety of ways. The easiest way to use essential oils is by simply inhaling them straight from the bottle. Open the bottle and take a couple of deep breaths.
You can also inhale them using steam. Add a few drops to your steaming shower, or add them to a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam for several minutes.
Using a diffuser is a great way to safely enjoy the oils over a longer period of time. Simply follow the manufacturer’s directions for water to oil ratio. The diffuser will disperse the essential oils into the air of a room. You can also make your own air diffuser by adding essential oils to a spray bottle with water. Spritzing into the air will create a similar effect as a store-bought diffuser.
If congested, add a couple of drops to your pillowcase and place the essential oil-side down before going to sleep.
If you want to use topically, it’s best to dilute with a carrier oil such as coconut or avocado oil before applying to your skin. Once diluted you can apply to your wrists, neck, or other pressure points.
Essential oils are natural and safe; however, it’s important to listen to your body. Everyone reacts to essential oils differently. Pay attention to how they are making you feel. You may need to dilute them more if they’re too overpowering or causing you to feel woozy. Remember… a little goes a long way!
It’s truly amazing what these simple yet complex oils can achieve.