How To Use Aromatherapy for Flu Relief

Flu Symptoms | Using Aromatherapy for Flu

You can use aromatherapy for flu prevention and to help relieve flu symptoms and speed the healing process if you become sick. 


Prevention is the best cure for flu. Wash your hands frequently and stay generally healthy by eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and negative thinking.

As part of prevention, you can make your own disinfectant hand lotion:

  • 10 drops Eucalyptus globulus essential oil (for children, use Eucalyptus radiata)
  • 10 drops tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unscented hand lotion

Blend essential oils into the lotion and use as desired.

Source: Bev Day, Registered Aromatherapist

You can also diffuse essential oils regularly to help stop the spread of flu viruses. Some helpful oils to diffuse include eucalyptus, lavender, pine, and rosemary, although any oil with properties that help fight viruses is a good choice.

Aromatherapy Flu Bath Recipes For Adults

Use the following bath recipe to help boost your immune system and prevent flu or to help relieve body aches if you have the flu:

  • 15 drops ravensara essential oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops thyme essential oil
  • 8 drops eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata or the stronger Eucalyptus globulus) essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons carrier oil
  • Epsom salt
  1. Blend the essential oils into the carrier oil. 
  2. Pour the Epsom salt into a tub of warm/hot water.
  3. Stir the oil blend into the bath.
  4. Soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes, adding more hot water as needed for steaminess. 
  5. When you get out of the bath, wrap yourself warmly, and have a hot soup. 

Here's another flu-relief bath for adults:

  • 1 drop wintergreen 
  • 2 drops eucalyptus 
  • 3 drops blue cypress 
  • 6 drops frankincense 
  • 6 drops spruce (black spruce or Idado blue spruce)
  • 15 drops ravensara
  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt or baking soda

Stir the  essential oils into the salt or baking soda. Add to hot bath and soak until the water cools.

Source: Essential Oils Desk Reference

Diffuser Blend for Flu

If you do come down with the flu, use the following blend (it's safe for kids) in an aromatherapy diffuser while you are resting:

  • 2 drops tea tree
  • 2 drops lemon 
  • 2 drops pine 

Source: Massage & Aromatherapy: Simple Home Techniques


  • 4 drops clove
  • 3 drops cinnamon 
  • 5 drops lemon
  • one ounce water

Caution: Do not use if pregnant. Possible irritation to the mucus membranes.

Source: Sedona Aromatherapie

Children's Aromatherapy For Flu Relief

Healing With Aromatherapy recommends that at the first sign of flu in a child, have the child take a moderately hot bath with 3 to 6 drops of added tea tree essential oil. Then, tuck the child into a warm bed.

To help relieve flu symptoms:

  • 2 drops lavender
  • 1 to 2 drops Eucalyptus radiata
  • 2 drops Roman chamomile
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Gently massage the blend into the child's chest, moving from the center of the chest out to the armpits. You can also massage the blend into other areas of discomfort.

Here's another aromatherapy for flu blend for children that you can massage over their lungs (you can also use this blend for adults):

  • 5 drops Eucalyptus radiata
  • 5 drops tea tree 
  • 5 drops lavender
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Also see essential oils for colds and aromatherapy for earache.

Click here for where to buy essential oils.

Photo Credit: Mikael Häggström [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

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