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Essential Oil Help for Colds & Flu - Ask the Aromatherapist

Colds and Flu - Essential Oil Help in a pulse point roller

Essential Oils to help with colds and flu? This time of year we all need help with colds and flu. Essential oils and natural remedies can really make a difference. In this #askthearomatherist post we will talk about some positive steps you can take to help deal with them.

Q: I’ve got flu.   Can essential oils help? 


A: Essential oils can’t cure you of flu, but they can help to relieve certain symptoms, like congestion and headaches.


For most of us, (and that particularly means me atm as I’ve gone down with it!) having the flu means increasing self-care as you wait for it to run its course. 


But you can make flu a lot easier to cope with by using essential oils.  Use them in a pulse point roller, in a diffuser, bath or on a hanky to make yourself as comfortable as possible.  So, in best Instagram fashion, here are the top 3 oils would I choose to help


Peppermint or Eucalyptus Oil both have powerful decongestant properties that help open airways and increase oxygen flow. Of the two I prefer peppermint as it not only do I find it more soothing but it helps with headaches 


Oregano or Thyme essential oils contains a high level of a potent compound called carvacrol, an antimicrobial which can help fight the viral or bacterial causes of a cough. 


Chamomile or Lavender essential oils are both good at dealing with flu, helping with headaches and stress.  I am listing them here to help me rest and sleep because I find that helps me recover best of all.   

Q: Can I do anything to help prevent me from going down with a cold or flu?

rosie pouring out some elderberry and rosehip syrup in her kitchen

A: This is a recipe my Scottish granny used to make to see off colds and flu in these grey and dreich days.    


Elderberries in have been shown to reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu and rosehips have been used for hundreds of years to boost our intake vitamin C.   Ginger, cloves and cinnamon bring much needed warmth and anti-inflammatory properties and then there is the sweetness and goodness from raw honey - in this case from my own bees!!   


If you haven’t got your own bees or foraged rosehips and elderberries all ingredients are available online quite easily.  I doubled the recipe as I like to make some for a friend as well as me!!


100g dried elderberries 

Thumb sized knob of fresh ginger, chopped

1 cinnamon stick

8 cloves

500ml water

120g dried rosehips 

175-350g raw honey (depending how thick you want the syrup)


Put elderberries, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in pan with water.   Bring to boil, cover pan and simmer gently for 45 mins


Remove from heat, add rosehips and leave to infuse for a further 30 mins.  


Strain and add honey.   


Decant into bottles and keep in fridge.


Adults take 1-3 tbsp daily.  Children 1-3tsp daily.   

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