Oils can be used not only in diffusers for helping one avoid or heal from a cold or the flu but can also be used as compresses or teas, and can be rubbed on feet or chests to relieve and ease our bodies fighting those nasty bugs off. Below are some good choices for the germs that try to get us down.
Avoiding It Altogether: Young Living makes an awesome blend oil called Thieves that can be put on the feet or taken internally (I personally just throw a few drops down the back of my throat) the moment you have a tiny indication you might have caught something. If it doesn't knock it out completely it quite possibly will shorten the life of that bug considerably. Also an apple a day may keep the doctor away, and an orange helps to add vitamin C to help heal from colds and the flu, but a little lemon every day, whether in essential oils or the fruit, can help one avoid colds and the flu completely. And I thought those people who ask for water with lemon just liked the taste! Didn't know they were so smart!
Breathing Easier: Peppermint and Eucalyptus just can't be beat for helping one breathe easy. I like to add a few drops to hot water and put a towel over my head, (yes, just like our parents did) lean over the container and breathe deeply. Peppermint and Eucalyptus are safe to apply to the skin, especially the chest area for use throughout the day and night, without dilution but avoid the eyes, as they can sting!
Cold or Flu Quick Recovery: (Sunbathing in Tahiti, just thought I'd see if you were paying attention, doesn't that sound good?! ) or using Peppermint, Tea Tree, Thyme or Rosemary as compresses or teas.
Congestion During: Ginger, Myrrh, & Sandalwood are wonderful for loosening up mucus membranes.
Immune Boost while Fighting that Cold: While our bodies are fighting those germs we are vulnerable to so many others and could get cold after cold. Use Cinnamon or Frankincense during a cold to help boost the Immune System and keep the other nasty bugs from finding a way in! Both can be taken internally if therapeutic grade, but inhaling cinnamon (as it is another "hot" oil and one should be careful as it can "burn" a little on the skin), or rubbing Frankincense on the feet are preferable.
Kick It: (Already discussed Thieves which can help one kick the cold or flu as well) Oregano is the tough guy but should be used with caution as it is considered a "hot" oil. Oregano should always be diluted, before use, with a carrier oil such as olive oil or other such "fatty" oils for protection of the skin. Apply to back, shoulders, or feet and keep away from face or throat.
And don't forget that the best, tried and true method of avoiding these bugs altogether is to wash, wash, and then wash again. Dry hands after washing so much? Don't forget, we have some Great, healing lotions for those poor hands at Mind Body & Spirit as well!
Blessings and Healthy Living!