It’s cold and flu season here in the Northern Hemisphere and I like to use essential oils as a tool to cut down on instances of cross-infection in the home. This works well in what I would call a “sickroom” – usually a bedroom, or the living room, where someone has been coughing and/or sneezing into the breathing space.

I like to use an ultrasonic cool mist diffuser (see video for example) set on a high fan output setting for 15-20 minutes in a closed room. If you have pets or very young children you can roll up a towel and place it at the bottom gap of the door to prevent the aromatic volatiles from escaping the room you’re diffusing in. An Aromastone is also a nice diffuser for a smaller room space. For more on choosing an essential oil diffuser see here.

Anti-infectious essential oils I turn to for cross-infection control in a sickroom:

  • Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii)
  • Thyme Ct linalool (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora)
  • Scot’s Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

You can use all of the above around children with the exception of the Lemon Myrtle which I don’t recommend for use around young children, and with restricted use during pregnancy.

Once you’ve run the diffuser on high for 15-20 minutes turn the machine off and leave the room for 20-60 minutes. When you return evacuate the air using a fan in the window or a HEPA-type air purification system. Repeat daily, or as needed.