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  • Writer's pictureSimone Grove

Top 5 Antiviral Essential Oils

Updated: May 8

You may be familiar with essential oils for their relaxing, therapeutic properties and delicious, heady scents – often used in diffusers or oil burners. And essential oils also have a variety of incredible health benefits that have been harnessed for thousands of years.


When I first discovered the powerful benefits of essential oils many years ago now, I just knew I needed to incorporate them into my range of therapies. Easy to use and generally safe for all to enjoy and benefit from, adding essential oils into your daily routine is a wonderful way to enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing.


What are essential oils?


Essential oils are essences distilled from plant extracts – petals, bark, leaves and roots can all be used to create essential oils. The distillation process differs depending on the raw material, but often it involves steaming, distilling or processing the natural elements of the plants to extract the purest possible essence.


How can I use essential oils?


Essential oils are incredibly versatile – most can be used in a number of ways, including on the skin, added to salts for a therapeutic aromatherapy bath or blended to roll on the temples when you’re in need of a pick-me-up.


A few notes on essential oils to be mindful of, before we begin:


Choose premium quality oils: If you’re inhaling or applying essential oils to your skin, be sure to choose pure, natural high-quality brands to work with. There are many out there which use added synthetic fragrance and chemicals that do not have the same therapeutic properties.


Use with caution: Although anybody can use essential oils with ease, there are a few ground rules to be mindful of. For example, if adding to a bath or to the skin, be sure to dilute pure oil with a carrier oil like grapeseed or sweet almond. Caution is required for some oils during pregnancy. It’s always best to research any essential oils or double-check with a qualified aromatherapist prior to use.


Keep away from pets and children: Sadly, some essential oils can be harmful to pets like cats and dogs. Check to ensure the oils you have aren’t toxic to animals before adding to a diffuser or using around (or on) your pets. Also be mindful of using essential oils around children – although some may be safe to use on children, always dilute heavily when using on the skin and keep out of reach as essential oils can be irritating and toxic if they come into contact with the skin or eyes or are ingested in large quantities.


My top 5 antiviral essential oils


Different essential oils have different properties that come from the naturally occurring compounds and chemicals within them – from relaxation for the mind to anti-fungal and anti-bacterial benefits.


These are my favourite five essential oils with anti-viral properties. You can use these around your home or on your person to offer preventative protection or support when you’re feeling under the weather.


1/ Manuka: a plant native to New Zealand has been used by the Maori people as an important part of their indigenous medicinal system. It may be used in winter to ward off seasonal illness. Manuka’s antiviral and antibacterial properties make it a great cleanser for surfaces and the air around us – simply add a few drops with pure alcohol in a spray bottle to sanitise on the go.


2/ Eucalyptus: Native to Australasia, eucalyptus is a scent we’re all familiar with and is often used in commercial cold and flu remedies and balms. Eucalyptus can help to reduce fever and has potent anti-viral properties.


3/ Lemon: Zesty lemon is a wonderful airway-opener – as well as having natural anti-viral benefits, it also helps to clear and soothe blocked nasal passages to encourage easier breathing.


4/ Tea Tree: Tea Tree is another pungent scent that reminds many of us of the home remedies we’d be given as children when suffering from a cold or flu. Tea Tree is a powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent which also helps to clear airways to promote better breathing and oxygen intake.


5/ Peppermint: Cooling peppermint has been used for many years to help treat coughs and throat infections – it can also soothe symptoms of sinusitis.


How to use anti-viral essential oils


Aromatherapy bath: Mix a few drops of essential oil (you can use just one, or a blend of several) with Epsom salts or a carrier oil such as sweet almond or grapeseed. Add to a hot bath and soak in the goodness!


Self-massage: Add a few drops of essential oil (again, you might like to use your own unique blend or a recipe online) to a carrier oil and massage either on your pulse points or temples, or on your chest if you are suffering with cold or flu.


Hot or cold compresses: Essential oils can be used with hot or cold compresses to ease the symptoms of cold and flu.


Steam facial: Add a couple of drops of essential oil (you don’t need much) to a bowl of steaming water and breathe in the vapours under a towel to ease congestion and headaches.

Diffuser: If you have a diffuser, you might like to add a few drops of essential oil to it to infuse into the air around you.


Want to learn more about how essential oils can help to enhance wellbeing and support better emotional and physical health? Get in touch today for personalised guidance on the healing properties of essential oils, or to book a deeply relaxing aromatherapy massage or reflexology treatment.





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