Oils for coughs and colds

I honestly don’t know how I used to get through coughs and colds with my little kids before I knew about essential oils. There were the over the counter meds that I tried periodically, but I never felt 100% comfortable using them since it seemed like more and more of them were pulled off the pharmacy shelves each year due to safety concerns. And I always wondered if they even did anything for the cold besides for knocking my kid out for 4-6 hours.

Good news: Essential oils are safe and effective, i.e. they won’t just make your child drowsy! Here are my top “Go To” oils for coughs and colds:

1. Lavender Oil – not only is lavender a calming oil, which always helps a sick and uncomfortable child, but it is extremely effective for a runny nose. Place one drop on your finger and rub gently around the insides of both nostrils (just at the opening, no need to go too deep here). This will dry up a runny nose faster and better than any OTC drug I have ever tried.

2. R.C. Oil – this is a Young Living blend made up of a few different types of eucalyptus, myrtle, pine, marjoram, lavender, cypress, and peppermint oil. It is specifically designed to help with any respiratory or congestion issues, and in my opinion is a MUST HAVE for anyone dealing with chronic sinus or asthma issues. I have found this oil blend to be very effective when diffused in the bedroom of a child who is congested, and it even kept my friend’s child from being hospitalized when he had a bad case of croup.

3. Eucalyptus Oil – there are a few different types. In the absence of R.C. oil, grab any kind of eucalyptus that you have and diffuse for congestion relief.

4. Thieves Oil – I don’t even know where to start with Thieves oil because it helps with just about everything. I have even found that when I use it at the first signs of being sick, I can often ward off the actual illness. And when used after that, it can help lessen the severity of the symptoms. When my kids have colds I usually diffuse R.C. at night and Thieves during the day. (For more on Thieves, see my previous post Stop Thief.)

My Essential Oil Protocol for Coughing:

Last month each of my 3 big kids had a virus that lasted 10 days or so. Their main symptoms were fever and a bad cough that would wake them up (and me as well, of course) multiple times a night. I kept the following oils next to my bed and applied them in a layering technique (view demonstration here).  They found relief each time from the applications within 5-10 minutes, and were able to fall back asleep. Please note – you don’t need to have every single oil that I used.   I happen to have many different oils since I have a minor obsession with essential oils, but you can use any of the following that you have:

Single oils:





Eucalyptus Blue (especially for good for coughs)


Roman Chamomile

Young Living blends:




Do not mix the oils together;  it is far more effective to apply in a layering technique – rub one drop of any of these oils on the chest. Wait 30 seconds or so between each oil. For a video demonstration of a layering technique please check out this video)


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