Essential Oils in a Steam Inhalation, a Natural Solution for Cold and Flu Symptoms

Essential Oils in a Steam Inhalation, a Natural Solution for Cold and Flu Symptoms

Children and adults alike experience respiratory symptoms when suffering from the cold and flu. These can include shortness of breath, wheezing, increased mucous production, cough, pain in the chest, throat, sinuses and nasal passages. Similar symptoms are also experienced with sinusitis, asthma and allergies.

Essential Oils in a Steam Inhalation, a Natural Solution for Cold and Flu Symptoms
2 Essential Oil bottles

A simple, natural solution is to do a steam inhalation using essential oils:

1. Boil water and pour it into a glass bowl or a mug.

2. Add 3 drops each of eucalyptus essential oil and tea tree essential oil.

3. Place face 10-15 centimeters over the steaming water.

4. Put a towel over your head to keep the steam in.

5. Inhale the steam for 10-15 minutes up to 3 times per day.

Benefits of the steam inhalation

The warm steam helps to lubricate the respiratory passages, soothes inflammation, and loosens the mucous so the body can expel it through coughing. The eucalyptus essential oil is anti-inflammatory to help with pain relief and opens up the nasal passages. The tea tree essential oil is anti-microbial which kills bacteria and viruses. It also has anti-inflammatory effects like the eucalyptus.

Chamomile and lavender essential oils can also be added to calm anxiety and promote relaxation and optimal sleep.

Essential Oils in a Steam Inhalation, a Natural Solution for Cold and Flu Symptoms
Essential Oils in a Steam Inhalation, a Natural Solution for Cold and Flu Symptoms

Cautions with using essential oils

Essential oils are toxic and should not be ingested. Keep out of reach of small children and pets. Call poison control immediately if they are ingested.  Essential oils can also be irritating to the eyes. Ask children to close their eyes, wear a sleeping mask, or omit the oils and do the steam alone. Essential oils are sourced from plants so be cautious with children who have allergies to plants and pollens. If an allergic reaction occurs discontinue immediately and seek help from a medical professional.

Feel free to share your own experience with steam inhalations or use of essential oils!

Dr. Ellen Simone, Naturopath
Dr. Ellen Simone welcomes you to work with her under a holistic view of health which encompasses the understanding that the mind and body are connected to sustaining long-term health and wellness. As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Simone focuses on family wellness and has special interests in women and children’s health. She loves working with women through different phases in their lives; to regulate the menstrual cycle, ease PMS symptoms, optimize fertility, provide support during and after pregnancy, maintain breast health and welcome menopause. Children are also a primary focus in her practice and she believes that setting healthy habits at a young age is important for long-term health and wellness.

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  1. I’ve never tried essential oils, but have tried steam inhalation! It’s very helpful when your nose is stuffed up.

  2. I used to use tea tree essential oil for steam inhalation when I, or my children had a bad cold – it worked well 🙂

  3. Really enjoyed this post! Great tips for this cold season- I love steaming!!! Before bed, using lavender oil or before I do a facial to open my pores with rose essential oil, there’s nothing better!


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