Aromatherapy & Natural Remedies for Colds & Influenza

Aromatherapy: Versatile, Holistic and Integrative Natural Medicine

woman blowing nose.jpg

Aromatherapy is a complimentary and holistic therapy utilising the healing properties of plants in the form of essential oils. Essential oils are concentrated natural essences of plants and are volatile and therefore highly aromatic and enjoyable to use. An Aromatherapist uses different application methods to treat clients and will use a blend of a few essential oils to help with a particular issue. Aromatherapy can be used as a complimentary medicine to treat some physical ailments such as headaches, digestive issues, women's hormone imbalances, insomnia, muscular pain, fatigue, skin disorders, sinusitus and a cold or flu; as well as mind and mood issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and grief. People also use essential oils on themselves and their families. If the information below sparks your interest and you would like to know more about Aromatherapy please see this page or this blog


The focus of this blog is on integrative medicine - natural remedies to treat the symptoms as well as speed the recovery from colds, coughs and influenza and how to use essential oils for this purpose. Many essential oils are antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic which makes them powerful healing aids against these viruses. They can help prevent you from getting sick when used as an air-antiseptic or if you are sick they can help your body recover sooner and reduce the severity of the symptoms. 

Aromatherapy massage is helpful for general wellbeing as it helps to reduce stress levels so that immune activity can return to it's optimum level and therefore give the body an opportunity to repair itself. The essential oils make their way into the bloodstream via the skin and lungs - to be distributed throughout the body systems to effect change. Note however that aromatherapy massage is not appropriate when you have a cold, cough, influenza or other contagious illness. When you are sick I'd recommend you stay at home, get some rest and utilise good nutrition and natural remedies including essential oils to speed your recovery. 

France: Essential oils and Aromatic Medicine


Nice, France

Just a couple of days taking the essential oils medication and I had more energy for sightseeing. 

In France essential oils are used by medical doctors to treat some viruses (as well as some experimental work and research being done on cancer). When I went to Europe back in 2013 I contracted influenza - the worst I've ever had (I never found out what strain it was). I'd been sick for a week and wasn't getting better and it quickly turned into a chest infection. When I made it to Nice, France I was excited to see I could take some essential oils internally - it was a natural medicine readily available at the chemist. The essential oils were properly diluted and at a specific therapeutic dose in a tincture I would take a few times a day. My chest infection and other symptoms greatly improved. In fact my symptoms improved so much that I thought I was almost better and when I left Nice I neglected to purchase more of the essential oil medicine. Unfortunately the virus took hold again and as my next destination was Spain I was unable to obtain more of that natural medicine. I believe if I had taken that medication for at least another week it would have knocked out that virus fully and I wouldn't have spent the next six weeks still trying to get rid of that nasty virus, but hey you live and learn! When I got back from my holiday I tried quite a few things but it was the herb andrographis that really assisted in my recovery, just wish I knew about this fantastic herb sooner! 

Tip #1: When it comes to natural medicine, sometimes you need to take it a bit longer to know you have fully recovered as it can improve symptoms of a virus so much as to fool you into thinking you are already better!

I use this story as an example of how powerful essential oils are, and the many different ways they can be utilised as medicine - but you should only use essential oils as instructed by qualified health professionals.   


Barcelona, Spain

At Park Güell, by Gaudí. At this stage I was wishing I had some natural medicine with me as my flu was starting to take hold again, but determined to enjoy myself regardless!

As you may know if you have read some of my previous blogs, I do not advocate for the use of essential oils internally as they can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and have to be processed by the liver and some essential oils are dangerous if taken internally. As there are so many "Wellness Advocates" promoting drinking essential oils I'll emphasise again that you should not drink essential oils and especially not in a water-based drink - they are lipophilic so only dissolve in fats, not water. This means that the essential oil molecules will stay together and could irritate the oesophagus, which could cause inflammation over time and lead to health problems.


An Integrative Approach to Treating Colds


Essential oils alone are not going to heal everything, even despite what some people claim! The best way to increase immune activity when you are sick is to take care of yourself very well, using an integrative approach. So here are some general suggestions to help improve the symptoms and help your body heal from a cold/cough/flu:  

  • Rest - this allows your body to heal itself
  • Adequate water intake
  • Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, stimulants
  • Eat healthy foods and include the following foods in your diet as much as possible when you are sick:
    • Garlic - boosts immunity and contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties to aid your body in fighting the virus.
    • Ginger - this is anti-inflammatory, warms the body, relieves sore throat. You can make a ginger tea by grating fresh ginger and put in a tea strainer, pour boiling water over and let sit for a minimum of ten minutes. Add honey to soothe the throat. Ginger is highly effective for coughs. You could also make a ginger, turmeric, honey and lemon tea which is delicious and very therapeutic! 
    • Raw Honey - antiviral, antimicrobial and boosts immunity - honey can help to relieve sore throats and coughs. 
    • Lemon - is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, high in vitamin C and reduces phlegm. Make yourself a hot lemon drink a few times a day - juice half a lemon, include a little bit of honey if you have a sore throat, in a cup of fairly hot water. 
    • Cinnamon - is also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. You can mix it with some raw honey to soothe and treat a sore throat. Or add some to a bowl of porridge with some blueberries and raw honey and you have the perfect breakfast to help your body fight the virus.
    • Blueberries - highest source of antioxidants to help fight free radicals plus high in vitamin C.
    • Turmeric - is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral. Cook with it (curry or soup) or make a drink with it, ensuring you consume it with a good fat (e.g. coconut oil) and black pepper to increase absorption of the nutrients. 
    • Vegetable soup - include fresh garlic, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, a bit of coconut oil, lemon (add at the end), lots of vegetables rich in vitamin C and A, plus some lentils or beans. This is the easiest way to get the nutrients you need and soup is very soothing to the throat and easy to digest. If you are omnivore, you could make it a chicken and vegetable soup. 
    • Green tea - high in antioxidants. Teas are also soothing for the throat. 
    • Rooibos tea - antioxidants without the caffeine (my favourite tea, it comes from South Africa and is usually organic). 
  • Vitamins to consume during onset of cold: 
    • Zinc - has been proven to reduce the length and severity of a cold when taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. You can take a supplement to ensure you get an adequate amount during the first few days of a cold and in general you can include chickpeas, lentils, beans, nuts, whole grains, hemp seeds, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds and cacao (unprocessed/raw cocoa) in your diet to get adequate amount of zinc (it's also found in meat, eggs and dairy - but as I'm vegetarian I talk about vegetarian/vegan options).  
    • Vitamin C - dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are high in vitamin C, as well as vegetables such as red and yellow capsicum, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Fruits rich in vitamin C include blueberries, strawberries, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwi fruit. Vegetables rich in vitamin C are going to be the better choice because sugar and vitamin C use the same pathway to pass into cells and sugar always wins. So if you have high amounts of glucose floating in your blood then you will absorb much less vitamin C. So it's important to reduce sugar consumption generally and especially when you are sick. Vitamin C helps white blood cells kill invading cells/viruses (neutrophilic phagocytosis), thus it is very important for general immunity and especially when you are sick. As a side note as vitamin C aids in the synthesis of collagen a high sugar diet will age you a lot as the skin and other structures in the body require collagen to be strong and healthy. If that isn't enough motivation to increase vitamin C intake and reduce sugar, I don't know what is!
    • Vitamin A - best to eat Vitamin A rich foods such as sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, kale, spinach, broccoli and grapefruit, rather than supplement as you can overdose on this vitamin when supplementing if taking several supplements. Vitamin A strengthens mucous membranes and helps to maintain a strong immune system.
  • I've found herbs are really powerful for helping the body to fight viruses. I have found andrographis and astragalus especially effective. When I take these herbs as soon as I feel the first symptoms of a cold I'm usually better in just a few days. I buy the powders and mix a tincture myself. It tastes terrible (bitter) but it reduces the duration of coughs, colds and influenza! I have researched a lot about natural medicine so I feel okay prescribing myself but please remember you may need to visit a naturopath or herbalist for advice, especially if you are on other medication, pregnant or have a health condition as herbs can interact with pharmaceutical medicine (after all, the therapeutic component of pharmaceutical medicine often originates from plants - so don't assume that because it is natural it is weak).  
    • Andrographis - potent antibacterial, antimicrobial herb which also lowers fever. 
    • Astragalus - potent antiviral herb, stimulates immune system. 
    • Echinacea - can reduce severity and duration of colds.
    • Olive leaf extract - ensure you buy the pure liquid, not the brands with preservatives in them. Relieves sore throats, coughs and increases immunity. 

Essential oils for relief from Colds, Coughs and Influenza


In addition to rest and the nutrition suggestions above, aromatherapy is very easy to use at home to speed recovery and protect others in the household from getting sick.

Here are some of the ways you can use essential oils to treat a cold: 

Air-Antiseptic - Diffuse essential oils to purify the air

You can diffuse essential oils at home (or in the office) when one of the people you live with (or work with) is sick and you want to help protect yourself and your family from the germs - as many essential oils make great air-antiseptics. As you diffuse the essential oil it can help kill the germs floating in the air as well as help treat the symptoms a person experiences when they have a cold. This isn't full-proof for cold/influenza prevention and you will need to take the usual precautions of washing your hands regularly and before eating, and not putting your hands near your face after you touch a door handle or furniture that a sick person may have come into contact with. Washing hands will always be the best prevention measure! The essential oils can help purify the air but of course we cannot know to what extent. 


There are many essential oils that make great air-antiseptics and I would especially recommend cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, fragonia, frankincense, grapefruit, spike lavender, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint and ravensara as they are fairly pleasant to smell and highly effective. If you are just after highly medicinal (strong) essentials some of the most powerful are clove bud, oregano, tea tree and thyme. Personally I like to make a blend that is enjoyable to smell. Don't go taking your clove bud to the workplace and using it there, as you are likely to annoy people! Whereas frankincense, grapefruit, lemon and lemongrass are highly tolerated (and enjoyed) by most people and still effective. I would recommend you choose a few of the essential oils that will blend well together and use them. 

Air-Antiseptic Blend

  • 4 drops Frankincense
  • 4 drops Spike Lavender
  • 4 drops Lemon
  • 2 drops Lemongrass
Aromamist ultrasonic diffuser - i sell these

Aromamist ultrasonic diffuser - i sell these



Inhalation works to treat respiratory ailments because the essential oil molecules go directly into your nose and lungs where they immediately go to work against the virus. They also enter the bloodstream this way, and can help improve your mood - because lets face it when we are sick our moods can be pretty flat and it just so happens that many of the best essential oils for treating viruses are often uplifting for the mind and emotions. Either directly inhale the essential oil by putting a drop on a tissue or use a blend of oils in a diffuser. 


Steam Inhalation

eucalyptus australiana.jpg

Steam inhalation helps by decongesting the sinuses and works to fight the virus at the same time. It is very easy, simply get a big glass bowl and fill with hot tap water (no need to use boiling water). Add about 3 drops of essential oils to the water. Rest the bowl on a table, have a towel ready and sit down. Close your eyes and put your head over the bowl at a safe distance (30cm away) and be careful not to burn yourself. Place the towel over your head to form a tent so that the steam doesn't escape and you get full benefits. Inhale deeply for several minutes until sinuses clear or you've had enough. You can do this every few hours to clear congestion and help you heal quicker. The steam and the essential oils help to expel the mucous from your respiratory passages - many of the essential oils below are natural expectorants.

Both of these blends will help clear a blocked nose.

Steam Inhalation Blend 1 - especially good if you have a cough

  • 1 drop Atlas Cedarwood (mucolytic, calming)
  • 1 drop Eucalyptus (decongestant, expectorant)
  • 1 drop Frankincense (decongestant, expectorant)

Steam Inhalation Blend 2 - especially good if you have a headache

  • 1 drop Peppermint (analgesic, decongestant) 
  • 1 drop True Lavender (analgesic, calming)
  • 1 drop Spike Lavender (analgesic, decongestant)
Tip #2: When using natural medicine - first do no harm! Steam inhalation is too risky to use with young kids or the elderly because of the risk of a burn and there is a risk that the fumes could sting their eyes if they get too close to the bowl. 

Chest Rub

lavender true france.jpg

Forget those commercial chest rubs with their unnecessary additives (mainly there to preserve the product) and get yourself some essential oils and create your own chest rub! If you look at the Vicks vaporub website they list the ingredients which includes petroleum and turpentine. No joke, check it out! You can create a much better home remedy with no harmful ingredients (or if you are in Brisbane and want me to create one for you, instead of you buying the individual oils that is an option too). My recipe below includes all of the active ingredients in Vicks from their direct natural sources, and much more! 

You may notice that most DIY recipes for chest rubs aim for the same consistency of Vicks and require a few different ingredients but this is not necessary - a Chest Oil Rub recipe is simpler and more economical to make and you can keep the ingredients at hand in case you need them. The last thing you want when you are sick is to have to go searching for ingredients. You could use one of the following vegetable oils as the carrier. I recommend you check that you are purchasing a pure and natural oil by reading the ingredients label.  

  • Almond oil is absorbed slowly, and is nourishing for the skin.
  • Apricot kernel oil is a light oil that is easily absorbed so is ideal.
  • Coconut oil - many people have this on hand in their kitchen these days - it doesn't always go with essential oils but for this blend it should be okay. (I usually use almond or apricot oil for essential oil blends). Note that if the weather is cold it will be solidified so you can warm it for 20 seconds in the microwave before you add the essential oils to it. When it solidifies again it's about as thick as a traditional chest rub, very handy indeed! 

Chest Rub Blend 1 - For Adults & Children 11 years and older (dilute a bit more for 11-14 year olds)

You can use this on the chest, neck and back to speed healing and to decongest respiratory passages, as it has anti-viral, antibacterial and expectorant properties. Note that you can divide this recipe by 3 and make up just 10mL. If it is just for you for a current cold 10mL is plenty.

  • 30mL vegetable oil
  • 9 drops Eucalyptus oil 
  • 6 drops Rosemary CT2 oil 
  • 6 drops Frankincense oil 
  • 6 drops of Lemon oil 
  • 3 drops Peppermint oil. Peppermint contains menthol so you won't want to use too much or the fumes will bother your eyes.
  • You can also add 3 drops of True Lavender if you like - it is a very healing oil, an antiseptic and sedative and may help the sick person sleep better. 

Chest Rub Blend 2 - For Children 3-10 years. 

  • 15mL vegetable oil for 3 to 5 years (higher dilution) OR 10mL vegetable oil for 6 to 10 year olds
  • 1 drop Frankincense
  • 1 drop True Lavender
  • 1 drop German Chamomile (optional)
  • 1 drop Spearmint (contains less menthol than peppermint - much safer for kids - please don't rub peppermint oil on your kids chest as the fumes burn their eyes!)


Aromatherapy Bath


Aromatherapy Baths

Fun Fact: Absorption of essential oils via the skin significantly increases in the bath, and you get the benefit of inhalation.

Baths can be very soothing and healing when you are sick. They can increase heat if you have the chills, and help to decongest your sinuses as well as bring some general relief and uplift your mood. Feel free to use my bath blend to help you feel better. 

Healing Bath Blend

  • 1 drop Roman Chamomile - deeply calming, relieves headaches and promotes restful sleep
  • 2 drops Frankincense - calming and an expectorant, can help deepen the breath
  • 2 drops Geranium - calming, relieves headaches
  • 2 drops True Lavender - antiseptic, calming, relieves headaches, decongestant

Mix in a cup of Epsom salts to help emulsify it and then add it to the bath. Or use a natural emulsifying agent such as Essential Therapeutics "Disper" to distribute throughout the water so the essential oils don't just float on top. 


Compress - Warm or Cool


Pour 500mL of warm water into a bowl, add two drops of essential oils and agitate the water and dip a clean wash cloth in and let it soak the liquid. Squeeze out excess water. Apply directly to your forehead to relieve congestion. Use a cool compress for fevers and headaches. As essential oils do not dissolve in water you will need to use a natural emulsifier or use essential oils very safe for the skin such as:

  • Roman Chamomile
  • Everlasting
  • Frankincense
  • True Lavender

Best Essential oils for Colds/Coughs/Influenza

Here are some wonderful essential oils for relief from colds and other respiratory illnesses. They treat the symptoms and many assist your body to fight the virus.  You can diffuse them and some are also appropriate for use on the skin as a chest rub. Feel free to ask me for advice if you need it. 

wild spike lavender.jpg
myrrh 2.jpg
Aromatherapy - rosemary.jpg
Essential oils 1.jpg
  • Cardamom - antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant - great for catarrhal conditions and chronic bronchitis. Gentle tonic for the nervous system - good for uplifting low moods and nervous exhaustion. I love this oil - it is very pleasant and would blend well with the other spice oils listed. 
  • Cedarwood, Atlas - mucolytic effect - great for catarrhal conditions, coughs and chronic bronchitis. This essential oil is also very calming for the nervous system. 
  • Chamomile, German - anti-inflammatory, bactericidal - can increase immune activity and is a gentle oil, considered quite safe for use on children. 
  • Cinnamon Bark - antiseptic, antimicrobial, antibacterial - useful for resistant viral infections. Cinnamon bark is very warming and stimulating and therefore best to use during the day when you need more energy. Use in a diffuser, not on the skin as it is irritating to the dermis. 
  • Clove bud - very strong antiseptic, stimulating, and when diffused it helps to prevent colds and influenza (don't use this one on the skin). This isn't an oil for everyone - some people love clove, others find it too overpowering. As a side note, it kills mould so is an excellent mould cleaner!
  • Cypress - antibacterial, antiseptic - beneficial for coughs, bronchitis and whooping cough. 
  • Eucalyptus - antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, decongestant, expectorant - eucalyptus oil treats coughs, colds, bronchitis, and catarrhal conditions. This is a powerful decongestant and air-antiseptic. A must have for the winter months!
  • Everlasting (Helichrysum/Immortelle) - antimicrobial, antispasmodic, mucolytic, expectorant - helpful for sinusitis, coughs, bronchitis. This essential oil is also calming. As a side note everlasting has amazing healing properties for the skin, but it is expensive!
  • Fragonia - antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, expectorant, immune stimulant - this essential oil has similar properties to tea tree and eucalyptus but a much nicer scent - it has floral notes and is very calming. 
  • Frankincense - antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant - treats asthma, bronchitis, and catarrhal conditions. Helps to deepen the breath and is uplifting for the mind but also calms anxiety. This one is quite gentle for the skin too so is a great addition to chest rubs - a very healing essential oil. 
  • Ginger - analgesic and expectorant - ginger is helpful to increase warmth, especially good for coughs and sore throats. I use ginger if influenza is accompanied with sore throat, cold chills and digestive issues as it is warming and very good for the digestive system. I use it diluted in a vegetable oil and gently massage into the chest and abdominal area. This isn't an oil you would use on the skin all of the time but occasionally is fine, unless the person has highly sensitive skin. 
  • Grapefruit - antiseptic, disinfectant, stimulant - grapefruit is very pleasant and makes an excellent air-antiseptic. It is reviving and uplifting. 
  • True Lavender - analgesic, antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, sedative - lavender is especially good to use at night to help with sleep and is helpful for headaches as well as treating colds, coughs and influenza. 
  • Spike Lavender - analgesic, antiseptic, decongestant - spike lavender smells quite different to true lavender (more like a subtle eucalyptus type smell) and is very helpful for respiratory illnesses as well as treating headaches. 
  • Lemon - antimicrobial, antiseptic, bactericidal - lemon oil is an excellent air-antiseptic and it's antimicrobial effects means it will treat the symptoms of colds, coughs and influenza. It is also uplifting for the mind and increases concentration. 
  • Lemongrass - antimicrobial, antiseptic, bactericidal, sedative, tonic - lemongrass is one of the best air-antiseptics. 
  • Myrrh - anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, expectorant, sedative - myrrh oil is excellent for treating respiratory ailments and is also calming. It's expectorant qualities means it promotes the clearing of the gunk from your respiratory passages. 
  • Oregano - antiseptic, expectorant, immunostimulant - oregano is very powerful against viruses when diffused. It is best not to use on the skin as is a dermal irritant. 
  • Peppermint - analgesic, antiseptic, decongestant, expectorant. Peppermint oil is very helpful for treating colds, fever and headaches. It is especially helpful for sinus congestion as it contains menthol which is a powerful decongestant. Use caution when rubbing on your chest - just one drop (diluted in a carrier oil) will do the job otherwise the fumes may bother your eyes. Do not use this oil on young children. 
  • Ravensara - antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, expectorant, immunomodulant. Ravesara is a fairly new essential oil, but very effective for treating influenza as it is high in 1,8 cineole just like Eucalyptus oil. You could blend it with Eucalyptus oil for a very effective chest rub.
  • Rosemary CT2 - analgesic, mucolyctic - very helpful for respiratory ailments including bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. Also very effective for treating headaches. 
  • Sandalwood, Australian - anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, expectorant, sedative, tonic - helps to alleviate dry cough, bronchitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, earache, sinusitis and sandalwood is very calming for the nervous system. Due to over cultivation, sandalwood has become quite an expensive essential oil in recent years but it is one of my favourites. 
  • Scotch Pine - antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, bactericidal, expectorant - scotch pine is useful for respiratory illness and for clearing phlegm. Also helpful for fatigue and exhaustion. Great for homemade cleaning products too!
  • Tea Tree - antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, bactericide, expectorant, immunostimulant - tea tree oil has powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties - it kills bacteria, viruses and fungi! It stimulates the immune system. Tea tree treats bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis and whooping cough. I really don't like the smell of this oil so only use it if I'm really sick but it is very effective and as a side-note is also helpful for keeping insects away, as well as treating warts, fungal infections and skin issues such as cold sores, insect bites, and acne. For this reason it is a must-have oil but it is not an oil to diffuse to create ambience, rather it is best reserved for medicinal purposes. 
  • Thyme (red or wild) - antiseptic, bactericide, expectorant - it is recommended for all infections as it stimulates the immune system. Thyme is great for colds with weakness, chills and congestion and will benefit sore throats, bronchitis, fatigue and catarrhal coughs. 

Prevention is always better than cure!

The stress response lowers immunity, so it is important to have adequate rest and "play" time. It's great to have a hobby, socialise or do something you enjoy as that will encourage your body to release happy hormones that further reduces stress which keeps your immune system working at its most optimum to help prevent illness. Rest time could include daily self-care practice such as using essential oils in a diffuser while you do a restorative yoga practice or taking an aromatherapy bath. Regular aromatherapy massages can really help to manage stress and mood issues. Taking holidays is important too. Regular exercise is also important and increases immune activity. Also, eating a healthy diet and washing hands often are really going to help reduce the chances of getting sick. 

Yoga woman water trees.jpg

Essential Oils - Where to Purchase

Most essential oils found in shops are not therapeutic grade. I sell Essential Therapeutics essential oils directly to my clients as these are a trusted Australian brand and are 100% pure and first grade oils. If you are living in Australia and interested in purchasing essential oils and would like a products price list sent to you, please email:

I sell other products too, including organic detox teas, natural botanical face oils, natural aromatherapy perfumes, French clays, Epsom salts and essential oil diffusers. 

Thanks for reading.

- Belinda


Battaglia, S (2003) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (second edition), Brisbane, Australia: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy

Price, S, Price L. (2007) Aromatherapy for Health Professionals (third edition), China: Elsevier

Mojay, G (1997) Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, China: Gaia Books Limited

Worwood, V, (1990) The Fragrant Pharmacy: A complete guide to aromatherapy & essential oils London: Macmillan London Ltd

Sellar, W (2005) The Directory of Essential oils, London, UK: Random House. 

Research Articles

There has been a lot of research done on the antibacterial action of essential oils, here's just a few research articles: 

  • This article summarises a lot of the current research so if you are going to read any of them, I encourage you to read this one. The summary reads "The essential oils extracted from various MAPs possess strong antimicrobial activity against various bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. The reactivity of essential oils depends upon the nature of their functional groups and orientation. Essential oils are considered to be potent against a diverse range of pathogens.".  

    • Swamy M K, Akhtar M S,  Sinniah UR (2016) 'Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review' Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Available from: [accessed 23 June 2018]

  • Lemongrass and geranium essential oils found to reduce airborne bacteria. 

    • Doran AL, Morden WE, Dunn K, Edwards-Jones V, (2009)  'Vapour-phase activities of essential oils against antibiotic sensitive and resistant bacteria including MRSA.' The Society for Applied Microbiology, Letters in Applied Microbiology - Available from: [accessed 23 June 2018]

  • Essential oils shown to have high antibacterial action when diffused at high vapour concentration, especially cinnamon bark, lemongrass and thyme.

    • Inouye S, Takizawa T & Yamaguchi H (2001)  'Antibacterial activity of essential oils and their major constituents against respiratory tract pathogens by gaseous contact'  Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy - Available from: [accessed 23 June 2018]

Information provided by Essential Restorative Massage is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a health condition or symptoms of one, please consult with your doctor before using complimentary remedies and therapies.

Copyright © Essential Restorative Massage, all rights reserved.