I’ve got a disgusting cold right now, and this Essential Oil Cold and Flu Roller is my new favourite thing. It helps clear the sinuses, soothes my assorted aches, and helps cut through the pea-soup fog that has temporarily replaced my brain. Loaded with refreshing, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral essential oils, it’s easy enough to make when you’re so congested it feels like your synapses are on strike, and it’s downright lovely to have on hand when you’ve devolved into a sniffling, red-nosed, achy, whingey mess. Urgh. Colds stink.
This roller was inspired by my popular Essential Oil Headache Eraser, which I love. I was using it last night in combination with a hot bath and an early bed time, and got to thinking I’d like something that’s a bit more targeted at colds and flus. Something that works both topically and as aromatherapy, that clears the sinuses and helps with sore muscles and headaches. So, after a night of much-needed sleep and some nasal rinses I headed down to my essential oil cabinet to whip something up (Seriously, nasal rinses are amazing when you are congested—you’ll never need decongestants again! I use the squeezy bottle one instead of the pot and I have been known to take it to the office when I’m recovering from a cold and use it in the bathroom. No burning, and you can breathe again!).
I started with a handy 10mL (0.34oz) glass roller bottle that YellowBee (a Calgary based packaging company) sent me back in the winter. I’d been saving it for some sort of high-concentration essential oil project, and this one definitely fit the bill. Amazon also has some similar ones that look great.
The bulk of the essential oil blend is anti-bacterial, refreshing eucalyptus and tingly, fresh peppermint. Both help clear the sinuses, along with some crisp camphor and a hit of pure chilly menthol from some menthol crystals. Warm clove is antimicrobial and antiviral, and paired with wintergreen we’ve got some painkilling action for sore muscles. Uplifting lime brightens and sweetens the blend, bringing along some added disinfecting powder, while ravensara is a potent anti-viral.
Once everything is blended together you’ve got a fresh, clean, camphoraceous blend of essential oils designed to clear clogged sinuses, help soothe sore muscles, battle headaches, and help you feel at least a little bit less awful. I’m loving it on my temples, and the roller bottle is sturdy enough that I can give myself a fairly sturdy shoulder massage with the roller head (I tend to really cramp up through the neck and shoulders when I’m sick), which feels great at the time and leaves a lingering tingly cool sensation that I really like.
This blend would also be lovely in an ultrasonic diffuser while you’re sick, so there’s really no reason not to make it 🙂
I no longer recommend making this due to the very high essential oil concentrations.
Essential Oil Cold and Flu Roller
35 drops eucalyptus globulus essential oil (eucalyptus radiata is also a good choice)
30 peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada)
25 drops clove bud essential oil
2 drops wintergreen essential oil (optional)
20 drops lime essential oil
10 drops cajeput essential oil
5 drops ravensara essential oil or tea tree essential oil (optional)
2 menthol crystals
Perfumery alcohol or high-proof clear grain alcohol (minimum 140 proof/70% preferable) or a low scent, fast-absorbing carrier oil (the best choice for those with sensitive skin); to fill
Count out the drops of essential oils into your roller bottle, and add the menthol crystals. This should fill about half of the 10mL bottle.
Use a small funnel or an eyedropper to top off the bottle with your filler liquid (I used perfumery alcohol from Saffire Blue), cap, and turn over a few times to combine. The menthol crystals will dissolve in about half an hour.
To use, roll the blend over anywhere that’s sore (I love it on my temples and neck), and inhale it to clear the sinuses and help refresh your mind. Enjoy, and feel better soon!
Makes 10mL (~1/3 fl oz). The shelf life should be indefinite, though if you use a carrier oil that will go rancid in a year or two, and the essential oils will lose their potency over time, so you should try to use this roller up within a year of making it.
Examples of low scent, fast-absorbing carrier oils include grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, sweet almond, apricot kernel, rosehip, camellia seed, and hazelnut. For more information, read this.
Looking for information on essential oil substitutions? Read this.
Wondering about essential oil concentrations? Read this.
Have a sore nose from all those tissues? These salves are hugely helpful.