Essential Oils for Illness, Part 2

In case you missed Essential Oils for Illness, Part 1.

Essential oils are gaining in popularity as of late. At least, it seems that way to me because everywhere I turn I find someone else is using them, whether on a small or large scale. It’s exciting to me because I feel like I’m not alone in my search for more natural remedies.

This two-part series is my way of sharing some of the essential oils I’ve been studying that are great when illness strikes. We always seem to get sick at the worst possible times and it is so nice to have a way to address the issue with something you already have at home instead of needing to run to the pharmacy. As always, I suggest doing your own research into each specific oil you would like to use to make sure it won’t have a reaction with any current medications or your own body systems.

Ten Essential Oils for Illness


Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil, like frankincense, seems to be one of the go to essential oils for the immune system. But that isn’t the only way it can be useful. It can also be used to provide relief from achy muscles and body aches; stimulates digestion; helps fight stress, and energizes mind and body. Not only that, but it tastes great. I love putting basil in so many different foods I make at home.

But the point of this post is it’s immune boosting powers. Basil has antimicrobial actions, making it a strong fighter against foodborne bacterial and fungal infections. It is also helpful in detoxifying the body of bacteria and viruses, making it a strong contender for the cold or flu.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Fresh garlic has become one of my favorite things to add to pretty much everything I cook. It tastes so good. And I get the added benefit of health benefits from it, as well. It has anti-inflammatory properties and acts on the skin, making it great for treating skin conditions like psoriasis, and its antibacterial properties make it affective against acne. Garlic can also be used to help boost hair health; ease bodily aches and pains; and relieve toothaches.

It seems like that would all be enough but garlic provides even more health benefits. Because it is packed with nutrients (like B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, potassium, Vitamin C, and more) smelling just one drop of garlic essential oil will activate your immune system, sending your white blood cells into high gear to attack any infection lurking in the body. And because it has expectorant, antibacterial, antiviral, and decongestant properties, garlic is also an effective treatment for the common cold.

Lemon (Citrus limon)

Everyone knows about the cleansing power of lemon. You can find lemon scent in so many different cleaning products on the market today, and it’s because it is so effective at cleansing whatever it touches. The same is true of your body’s systems. Using lemon essential oil helps your body get rid of bacterial infections. It also improves your blood circulation, helping your body process the illness faster.

Whenever I’m sick and decide to drink tea (sometimes I am just not in the mood), I always add lemon. The smell alone makes me feel better, but I truly believe that drinking lemon helps to get rid of whatever I’m fighting just a little bit quicker.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)

Cinnamon is another one of those spices that I love to use everywhere. On breakfast toast, in oatmeal, pancakes, tea – this list could just go on. Before beginning my research into essential oils I just thought it tasted good. But now I know it also provides numerous health benefits. Cinnamon essential oil is antidepressant, helping to lift your mood; and astringent, which helps to contract, tighten, or bind tissue (think closing the pores on your skin).

My favorite property of cinnamon essential oil is that it is warming. When you have a cold or flu, drinking tea with cinnamon in it just makes you feel so much more like a person. Using cinnamon can also help to stimulate the immune system and ease coughing. What more could you ask for in a seemingly innocent spice?

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

The Latin name alone for this herb tells you that it is officially recognized as a medicinal herb. Not only that, it makes your food taste great, and it just plain smells fantastic. I had never smelled fresh rosemary until my grandma gave me some cuttings from her garden a couple months ago. Man, oh man, I didn’t know what I was missing. And the health benefits of this small plant are incredible. I won’t even list all the healing properties of this plant because that alone would take an entire paragraph. I will say, though, that of all the amazing benefits you get from using rosemary essential oil my #1 reason for using it is my migraines. Knocks them right out.

Rosemary essential oil can also be used to help knock out illnesses like the cold or flu. It is an amazing anti-inflammatory, which helps to relieve aches and pains often associated with having the flu. It is also a tonic to the lungs, helping with colds, chronic bronchitis, and the flu.

With winter coming soon and flu season upon us I hope these essential oils (or even just the herbs) can provide you some relief as you fight the illnesses that strike your home. Please remember, though, that these oils are not the be-all-end-all. If, after some days, you are not feeling any relief please see a doctor. Sometimes the illness we are dealing with require more power behind the remedies that just can’t be found in essential oils.

I love essential oils. I love that, when used correctly, I can use them even on my toddler. I love that these are natural remedies and I don’t have to worry about side effects. I love that I can use essential oils whenever and wherever I am for whatever reason I need. I hope that as you try using them, and you have any questions, that you know I am happy to answer what I can. I admit I don’t know everything but if I know the answer I am happy to share it.


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