"224/365 - Dear Flickr, I'm Sick" by Courtney Carmody, , used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

3 Ways To Use Essential Oils When You Have A Cold

Ever since I learned Essential Oil Therapy, based on Chinese Medicine, a few months ago, not only do I regularly create essential oil blends for my patients when they visit (which they love), but I have my own bunch of bottles at home for my own personal concoctions, too!

Everyone, and their mom, has been getting sick, lately, with the dry Fall air. And, I was not exempt! Although I was grateful that the acute and contagious phase was brief, my lingering, dry cough proved stubborn. For a while, there, I seriously thought it wouldn’t go away. My dramatic mind began to envision an apocalyptic scenario at the end of time, where the only things left standing, aside from zombies and cockroaches, would be my lingering, dry cough.

Thankfully, with some raw Chinese Herbal Formulas (I love those vacuum packs of decocted raw herbs, so convenient), an herbal syrup of marshmallow, licorice, red cherry bark, fennel, sweet orange peel, and slippery elm bark, a ton of Ricola throat drops, ginger root/raw honey tea, quality sleep/rest, and a non-ending hydration of water, I have been on the mend!

Another thing that I’ve been making use of is my essential oils. In the past, I’ve created blends for myself as need be: space clearing sprays, or special blends to massage into sore body areas. I’ve also been making use of them when I had my cold, as well as to address my cough. I wanted to share these healing essential oil methods with you in this post, so you could enjoy strengthening your Wei Qi (our first line of Qi defense when fighting off a cold), as well!

Something to note: Do not ingest essential oils! I am not a fan of the trend where they are taken internally. Essential oils are strong, and can often irritate the lining of the esophagus and digestive tract. I have checked out too many studies and cases where this type of essential oil application was a cause for internal organ inflammation. So, enjoy self-treatment responsibly!

Here are my 3 favorite ways to use essential oils when you have a cold:

  1. Epsom salt bath with eucalyptus globulus, pine, and ravensara essential oils. Take 1 cup of epsom salt + 1 cup of baking soda + 6-8 drops each of eucalyptus globulus, pine, and ravensara. Eucalyptus globulus, pine, and ravensara tonify the Lung Qi and release the exterior (an action in Chinese Medicine that prevents the incoming pathogen from lodging deeper into the body, and also pushes it to the surface to be released). In addition, ravensara is great when you have flu-like symptoms (fatigue, muscle aches/pains). Blend all the ingredients together, dump into your bath, and enjoy! At least 20 minutes will do, although I like to stay in there at least 30-45 minutes.
  2. Apply ravensara and palmarosa essential oils on Lung acupuncture points for cough. By blending 4-6 drops of each essential oil with a dime-size dollop of carrier oil (jojoba oil is an excellent carrier oil), and applying it to certain Lung points, you can help ease your cough more readily. One favorite Lung point for just this job is Lung 5. You can find this point by locating the inside of your elbow, and feeling the biceps brachii tendon right in the middle of it (it’s the one that pops up when you tense your upper arm muscle). In the depression right outside of it is Lung 5. Lung 5 (Chize or “cubit marsh”) clears heat from the Lung and descends rebellious qi. In non-Chinese Medicine terms, that means stimulating this point cools down the heat that’s accumulated in your Lungs, and calms down the coughing reflex. And, yes, applying acupressure on that point is helpful for coughs!
  3. If you feel a cold coming on, apply some peppermint or pine essential oils on acupuncture points around the neck. Peppermint is excellent in helping the Lung qi and releasing the exterior. It is a quickly moving herb, which is why it’s great for a quickly moving pathogen that’s trying to make it’s way into your system! Pine also has the same indications, and also happens to be an expectorant, anti-fungal, and anti-infection essential oil, as well. There are lots of juicy acupuncture points at the area of the neck where it meets the skull, and also at the acupuncture point DU-14, which is located right below C7 (the most prominent and pointy vertebrae that sticks out at the base of your neck). Giving both areas a nice swab of essential oil love (in a base of carrier oil, as listed in #2, above) will do the body good!

Note: to learn the basics on how to use and apply essential oils, check out my article on the right (and wrong) ways to use them!

What are your favorite ways to use essential oils when you have a cold?
I’d love hear them!

Happy Wei Qi,







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All information on this website is my own opinion, and not to be taken as medical advice. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. Please refer to your medical practitioner before making any medical decisions.


  1. Jackie Rivey
    October 29, 2014

    Margarita … Thank you so much for this wisdom! Definitely will incorporate this into my Fall Regime as needed. Best, Jackie

    • Margarita Alcantara, M.S.Ac., L.Ac., Reiki Master/Teacher
      October 29, 2014

      Hi Jackie,

      Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the post, and will find the essential oil tips helpful.

      I hope all is going well in your quest, by the way!



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