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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

Inhaler Recipe: Anise + Citrus Oils for Colds

how to make Inhaler Recipe: Anise + Citrus Oils for Colds

Staying healthy during cold and flu season calls for some seriously effective essential oils.

Using citrus oils for colds is an excellent choice!

Citrus essential oils are rich in a natural component called d-limonene, which has been well-researched. We know it can support white blood cells, calm inflammation, and even reduce the presence of certain microbes.

Thanks to d-limonene, citrus oils can help
your respiratory system stay healthy.

They’re especially helpful for clearing out blockages to your breath.

Citrus oils and d-limonene have also been studied for their mood-boosting effects. Use these oils when you want to soothe physical or emotional stress—which can definitely both be present if you’re dealing with a cold (or the flu, or even allergies).

Using citrus oil inhalers for colds

This recipe is for a citrusy cold care inhaler. 

I love using inhalers for colds and other respiratory issues, because they deliver the essential oils (and, in this case, d-limonene) right to the “scene of the action”: your nose!

Inhalers are also convenient. 

They’re about the size and shape of a tube of lip balm, so your inhaler will fit right in a pocket or a bag, or wherever you’d like to stash it. You can take it out and use it any time, anywhere. No one smells the essential oils but you.

Citrus & Anise Inhaler for Colds

Citrus & Anise Inhaler for Colds

  • 4 drops Bergamot essential oil (Citrus bergamia)
  • 4 drops distilled Lime essential oil (Citrus aurantifolia)
  • 4 drops Orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis)
  • 3 drops Anise essential oil (Pimpinella anisum)

Never made an essential oil inhaler?

It’s super simple!

Just slide the cotton or polyester wick into the inhaler’s plastic sleeve, then drop your essential oils onto the wick. Snap the plastic bottom into place, and you’re ready to inhale!

You can watch Andrea walk you through the process in this video.

Andrea’s recipe in the video is for another cold & flu inhaler. Her recipe doesn’t include any citrus oils, so it gives you a few more choices when you’re blending for respiratory health. Any of those oils would work well as substitutes in this recipe, and vice versa.

A hint of Anise essential oil for colds!

Anise adds its own inflammation-soothing touch to this inhaler thanks to its dominant component: trans-anethole. 

Studies have also shown that trans-anethole can reduce inflammation, and that it may be active against some viruses. 

And Anise oil has a delicious licorice-like scent! In this inhaler recipe, it layers a lovely spicy-sweet scent beneath the bright citruses.

However, trans-anethole does have some safety considerations you should be aware of.

In Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition, Tisserand and Young recommend avoiding anise essential oil if you’re pregnant, breast-feeding, or if you have endometriosis, estrogen-related cancer, or a bleeding disorder. 

Anise is also contraindicated if you’re on anticoagulant medications. It’s too strong for sensitive skin and for children under 5 years old. 

If you’d like to skip the Anise in this blend, go right ahead. The citrus oils are strong on their own!

You could also substitute the Anise with any of the essential oils Andrea uses in the YouTube recipe mentioned above. (Here’s the link if you need it again!)

Protect Your Family From Colds and Flus Using Essential Oils

Hirota, R., Roger, N.N., Nakamura, H., Song, H.-S., Sawamura, M., and Suganuma, N. (2010) Anti-inflammatory effects of limonene from yuzu (Citrus junos Tanaka) essential oil on eosinophils. Journal of Food Science 75, 87-92.

Lima, N.G., de Souza, D.P., Pimenta, F.C., Alves, M.F., de Souza, F.S., (2012a) Anxiolytic-like activity and GC-MS analysis of (R)-(+)-limonene fragrance, a natural compound found in foods and plants. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 103, 450-454.

Baylac, S. and Racine, P. (2003) Inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase by essential oils and other natural fragrant extracts. International Journal of Aromatherapy 13, 2/3, 138-142.

Lang, G. and Buchbauer, G. (2012) A review on recent research results (2008-2010) on essential oils as antimicrobials and antifungals. A review. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 27, 13-39.

Karen serves as Co-Director of Education at Aromahead Institute, where she works closely with students and helps them earn aromatherapy certification. Karen’s strong values for healthcare, education, and sustainable practices have guided her entire career, and remain the principles that shape her daily activities at Aromahead. Karen loves sharing her knowledge of essential oils and how they can enhance the beauty of ones’ journey through life and has authored numerous articles and guides on the safe and effective therapeutic uses of essential oils. In Karen’s free time, she can be found hiking amongst nature, reading, and enjoying her family.

Topics: cold and flu, essential oils for colds, how to make inhaler, how to make aromatherapy inhaler, how to make essential oil inhaler, make an inhaler for colds, anise essential oil

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