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Posted in Essential Oil Basics by Rocky Mountain Oils

Essential Oils for Colds in Children

Cold and flu symptoms make you feel so crappy, and using essential oils for colds can be a great way to combat this household scourge. They can be especially useful for your children! While you can use the recipes and ideas in the previous article, you will need to make absolutely sure you dilute them appropriately for your children. You can refer here for an excellent dilution chart for children, according to their ages. Always respect the powerful nature of essential oils. Just one drop is very potent so be mindful with your children and dilute properly. Erring on the side of caution is always your best policy. This article is about treating children ages 7-12. For younger ages, you can refer to the article about ages Newborn to 6.

To Begin With

First things first, don't panic. While they are annoying and make you feel awful, colds are not the end of the world. In some ways, it helps the child to go through the illness because it strengthens their immune system. So while it's good to do things to prevent problems, don't go so overboard that you make it impossible for them to function in the world. The time to really worry is if your child is constantly sick, as in colds or flu lasting a few months. This is when you need to take more vigorous action. Take a look at your house. Is it messy all the time? How often are you cleaning? Is there a lot of dust? Are your children washing their hands before eating? Are you washing your hands before dealing with food for your family? For help with new ways to clean your house, you should look through the series on Cleaning House with Essential Oils. Those articles will give you some great pointers on natural ways to clean your home. And going through and regularly cleaning the doorknobs in your home will go a long way to keep germs out.

Best Essential Oils for Colds

Essential oils: Ravintsara, Tea Tree, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Melaleuca, Thyme, Peppermint, Lemon, Myrtle Herbs: Eucalyptus, Marjoram, Peppermint, Thyme, Chamomile, Hops, Linden Flowers,

Points of Interest

  • Diffusion is your best method of application for a child. You can also apply topically, but as I have said and will say many times in this article, dilute them properly!
  • Never have children ingest essential oils.
  • Herbal baths are really good to use on children. You can make them by putting herbs into a cheesecloth bag and hang under the tub faucet so the water runs through the bag as it's running.
  • Keep the child warm, snug, and calm. Give plenty of love. Most children will need more love and attention than normal. They might be grouchy and whiney but they still need you nearby.
  • Clear the air in your home. Fresh air is always better than stale air. If you live in an area with bad pollution or with air inversion issues during the winter, it's time to invest in a good air purifier for your home.
  • You can make an air spray of any blend you like in particular and use that to freshen air and clean out germs. Just get a 4 ounce, fine mist spray bottle. Use distilled or filtered water and add approximately 50-75 drops of essential oils to spray bottle. Shake well before and during every use. You can refill water 3-4 times before needing to refill the oils.
  • Drink hot lemonade. Make it with freshly squeezed lemon juice, add a pinch of powdered ginger and a little bit of honey to sweeten it. It's yummy and it helps especially with a sore throat. The lemon cuts through and helps break up the mucus and the honey helps coat the throat. Honey also helps get rid of bacteria.
  • Make sure you give your children healthy food. Plenty of vitamin C fruits and vegetables. Make sure the child also gets in protein and plenty of fluids. A good hearty chicken soup is still a great remedy.
  • Make sure your children know to cough and sneeze into their elbows rather than their hands or, even worse, uncovered. The reason for this is because when they sneeze or cough into their hands, the germs are spread nice and thick into their hands, to be passed on to everything they touch. Inside the elbow, however, will keep the majority of the germs from flying free.
  • Watch fevers. If it's a low-grade fever, under 103 degrees, leave it alone. The higher body temperature is Nature's way of fighting illness. The body creates a a hostile environment for the virus, which kills off the virus much more quickly. However, if the fever goes above 102 degrees you need to take measures. Call your pediatrician and take measures to cool off your child.
  • It's best to not immerse children in cold water to lower fevers because it causes too much shock to their systems. Leaves them vulnerable to other problems.
  • If your child has an earache or neck pain, or if their difficult breathing does not improve, consult with a doctor immediately.
  • If your child is asthmatic, diabetic, or has a weakened immune system, you must consult with a medical professional.
  • Rocky Mountain Oils also has some essential oil blends particularly designed for cold & flu season: Breathe Ease, Respiratory Ease, Flu-Time, and Immune Strength. These can be used in all the same ways listed in the recipes below. Add a few drops of the blend to a carrier oil and  massage into child's chest and back, or use in a diffuser. Just make sure when you apply it topically, you dilute appropriately.


Always test on a small part of the skin first before using on your child. Please be sure their skin can handle the blend before being covered in it. These essential oils for colds can be very strong!


  • 4 drops Thyme
  • 4 drops Eucalyptus citriodora
  • 4 drops Lavender

Diffuse to help prevent the spread of infection during illnesses and epidemics.

The Colds Mix

  • 30 drops Myrtle
  • 30 drops Ravintsara
  • 15 drops Tea Tree
  • 9 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Thyme

Add to a dark colored glass bottle, shake well for 2 minutes. Cap and label. Store in a dark cabinet for 24 hours before using. Can be used in a variety of ways. You can diffuse it, add to a bath, or apply topically. For topical and bath treatments, dilute according to age.

Sinus Massage

  • 2 drops Lemon
  • 1 drop Melaleuca
  • 5 drops Colds Mix
  • 1 tablespoon Carrier oil

Mix blend together. Using a tiny amount at a time, being very careful the oil does not go near the eyes, smooth over the nose, sinus area of the upper cheek, and above the eyebrows, and wipe off the excess with a tissue. Do not use on a child younger than 9 years old. This can be applied to a child after they fall asleep, if they are too wiggly. Store extra in a dark colored, glass bottle. Make sure you label it.

Nighttime Diffusion

  • 2 drops Thyme
  • 2 drops Sweet Marjoram
  • 2 drops Cinnamon Bark
  • 2 drops Clove Bud

Diffuse at night in the child's bedroom.

Children's Cold Cure

  • 10 drops Eucalyptus citriodora
  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Tea Tree

Mix together and use any or all of the following ways. You can diffuse a few drops. Massage a couple of drops into the child's chest and back, dilute properly.


  • 6 drops Eucalyptus citriodora
  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Peppermint
  • 2 drops Rosemary

Mix together and use any or all of the following ways. You can diffuse a few drops. For  children 9 and up, massage a couple of drops into the child's chest and back, dilute properly.

A Last Thought

There is a lot that can be done to help strengthen your children during times of illness. Which essential oils for colds do you use? Please share in the comment section below. Many people would love to hear more!   Disclaimer: Rocky Mountain Oils is not liable for any damage caused by use of these recipes. Each recipe was tested by employees of RMO and did not cause damage to home or person, but we still implore our customers to use caution before trying a recipe in their home. Test recipes on small areas before applying them to the entire surface and do not apply recipes to areas that are potentially sensitive (i.e. priceless Victorian tubs, Baby Grand pianos, etc.).