Essential oils have been used throughout history for their many medicinal and cleansing properties. Some essential oils work especially well when fighting a cold. Lavender essential oil contains anti-stress properties, promotes sleep, boosts the immune system and is antiseptic. Eucalyptus essential oil works as a decongestant, an antiseptic, and a fever reducer. It also contains antiviral properties. Sandalwood, peppermint, cedarwood, rosemary, and frankincense essential oils also work as decongestants. Tea tree essential oil is antiseptic and anti-viral. Garlic essential oil is a powerful anti-viral oil while ginger essential oil is anti-bacterial. Essential oils can be used in gargles and homemade vaporizers to help the body fight a cold.

Essential Oil Gargle for Sore Throats

Fill a medium-sized glass with water. Pour the water into a pot and simmer until lukewarm.

Add 1 or 2 drops (no more than 2) of eucalyptus, garlic, sage, ginger, and tea tree essential oils to the warm water.

Gargle with the solution. Do not swallow the mixture.

Essential Oil Decongestant

Fill a medium-sized pot with water and heat until boiling.

Add 1 to 2 drops of eucalyptus, sandalwood, peppermint, rosemary, and frankincense oils to the boiling water. Use all or at least two of these oils.

Place a towel over your head and lean over the pot. Inhale the vapors deeply. Take at least five deep breaths for maximum results. Congestion should clear up partially or completely within minutes.


  • Warming any of the recommended essential oils in an aroma lamp by your bedside will also help fight congestion and other cold symptoms. Putting a few drops of recommended essential oils on a tissue and inhaling whenever possible also helps fight a cold. A few drops of essential oils can also be used in combination with a carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil) and massaged into the chest for cold relief.