8 Best Essential Oils For Sinus Congestion, Stuffy Noses & Cough

8 Best Essential Oils For Sinus Congestion, Stuffy Noses & Cough

Prevent Stuffy Noses By Using These Essential Oils for Congestion

Nasal blockage is not a pleasant experience. In fact, I dread the condition more than common cold or flu. Nasal (Sinus) congestion, also known as 'stuffy' nose is a result of inflammation of the mucus membrane or sinus cavity, leading to a partial blockage of the nose air passageways. It is caused by the cold viruses, bacteria, or fungi, and can inflame even the mouth and cheek cavities.

Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis often results in headaches, catarrh, and fever. Congestion is sometimes associated with the buildup of thick nasal mucus. This particularly can prove very embarrassing, especially if you forget your handkerchief or tissue paper at home. Symptoms include nasal discharge, congestion, pain in between the eyes or forehead, sore throat and cough, toothache, and bad breath.

Sinusitis can be either chronic or acute. Acute infections usually happen overnight. However, chronic infection means your nose has stayed blocked for a long time leading to dull pain and tension. Essential Oils have proven very effective in the treatment of many ailments. Whether acute or chronic, you can get permanent relief by using essential oils for nasal congestion.

Best Essential Oils for Sinus Congestion

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil is one of the most popular and best oils for sinus congestion. With menthol as its major component, it is a good oil for stuffy nose. It is also a potent oil, containing antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory analgesic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. It contains a strong expectorant, an antispasmodic component that helps to combat the accumulation of mucus and free the nasal passageways. With astringent and sedative properties, using peppermint oil for sinuses contributes to relieving nausea and severe headaches that result from sinus congestion.

Usage: Before using peppermint oil for nasal congestion, note that the oil is toxic and should be diluted with a carrier oil before topical usage. You can use peppermint oil by inhaling. Put 1-2 drops on your hand, rub your palm together, cup over your nose and inhale deeply. You can even drop a few on your pillow before sleeping. It will help decongest your nasal passages.

Add 1 or 2 drops into your hot tea or coffee.

You can also use the oil with a diffuser. Having the molecules in your air will not only help with congestion, but it will also fight the air microorganisms and prevent future occurrences.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil is extracted from the aromatic leaves of Eucalyptus globulus. Its primary component is the eucalyptol, a minty fragrance used majorly in cough syrups, throat drops, etc. It is an excellent essential oil for sinus congestion, cough, blocked air passages, and many respiratory conditions. It also has antispasmodic properties that will help get rid of phlegm and mucus. Its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties fight against the activities of microbes that cause cold and flu. You can also use Eucalyptus essential oil for congestion in toddlers.

Usage: You can dilute Eucalyptus oil with your preferred carrier oil and use as a vapor rub. You can also mix 20 drops of the oil with a bottle of peroxide, and spray the mist in the air.

Eucalyptus oil also works well with a diffuser.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is a popular Oil around the world. It is a versatile oil and used as an essential oil for nasal congestion and to treat various illnesses. It has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that will help you get rid of the germs or microbes causing illness. Using the tea tree oil will help with your stuffed nose, sore throat, and cough.

Usage: Tea Tree oil can cause irritation in people with sensitive skins. Try to dilute the oil with a carrier oil like olive before rubbing on your back, chest, nose, or neck. Repeat it for about 6 times a day to get relief from stuffy nose, and to ease breathing.

Alternatively, you can add 2-3 drops into a glass of water and gargle for a few minutes. Try not to swallow.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is gotten from the flower buds of Lavandula angustifolia and is known for its interesting aroma. It has outstanding antibacterial, antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties will help soothe your nerves, fight illnesses and help your breathing get easy. The essential oil is a decongestant for nasal passages.

Usage: You can use topically by rubbing on your feet and chest. Its sedative properties will help you relax comfortably.

Alternatively, you can use the Lavender oil with a diffuser.

Rosemary Oil

The core component of rosemary oil is the rosmarinic, gotten from the leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis. This gives it its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps to relieve inflamed nasal passages and rid you of illness-causing germs.

Usage: You can use the rosemary oil alone or blend with other oils like lemon, lavender or eucalyptus oil. Simply rub the oil on your chest, nose, temples, or cheekbones to get relief from sinus congestion.

Lemon Oil

Extracted with the cold-pressing of the lemon rind, Lemon oil is an excellent essential oil for sinus congestions. It works by helping to clear a stuffy nose and gets rid of bacteria and other germs. It also helps the body strengthen the immune system to prevent future occurrences.

Usage: Lemon oil, like other citrus-based oils, is photosensitive, which means you should avoid sunlight after using the oil. Massage the oil on your chest, sinus, or temple. It you have sensitive skin, dilute with a carrier oil before topical use.

Oregano Oil

Oregano Oil contains high amounts of phenol and is commonly used as a flavoring agent and disinfectant. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that work effectively against sinus congestions.

Usage: Oregano Oil is toxic and should be diluted with a carrier oil like olive or jojoba oil before use. Rub over your nose and chest to help get rid of phlegm and mucus to improve breathing.

  • You can also use with a hot compress. Dip a washcloth in hot water, squeeze and put 1-2 drops on the cloth before laying it over your nose.
  • You can also use with a diffuser.

Thyme Oil

Thyme oil has anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties that make it an outstanding essential oil for stuffy nose, cough, and the common cold. It is one of the best essential oils for congestion in babbies.

Usage: You can inhale the oil directly from its bottle, or use with a diffuser. Alternatively, you can add a few drops to your bath water to gain relief.

Essential Oil Blends for Congestion

Blending two or more essential oils for stuffy nose helps to enhance their properties and provide faster relief. You can try any of the following recipes.

Recipe 1 Rosemary Thyme Blend for Sinus Congestions

  • 3 drops rosemary
  • 1 drop of thyme
  • 1 drop of peppermint

Recipe 2 Great For Steaming

  • 3 drops of rosemary oil
  • 3 drops of peppermint oil
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • Bowl of hot, steaming water

Recipe 3 Spicy Pepper Eucalyptus Essential Oils Recipe for Stuffy Noses

  • 4 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 4 drops of rosemary oil
  • 4 drops of peppermint oil
  • 5 teaspoonful of carrier oil (coconut, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed)

Dilution Ratio: After mixing the essential oils, dilute 5 drops of the blend in one teaspoonful of carrier oil.

How to Use Essential Oil blends for Sinus Congestion

Hot Steam: In a large bowl containing hot water, add a few drops of essential oil blend. Cover your head with a towel and face the bowl to inhale the escaping aroma vapors. Heat the water every 10 minutes.

Hot Bath: Add a few drops of the oil blend into your bath water and soak yourself in it for 20-30 minutes. It will give relieve for sinus congestion.

Topical Application: Massage the oil blend on your nose, chest, the pressure points, over your forehead and your neck.

Final Note

The use of essential oils for congestion and cough will give substantial relief. You should however use with caution and buy only therapeutic grade essential oils. Also, try to watch your diet. Dairy products, wheat, sugars tend to increase mucus production; instead, drink a lot of water. Sinus infections can sometimes be a result of allergies, low immunity, and are contagious; meaning you can either get it from sick people or transfer it to others. If in doubt, or if symptoms persist, seek an expert’s advice.

About the author

    Sally Wong

    Sally Wong is a manual therapist for about 15 years now and also a massage specialist. She is actively taking care of her body to stay healthy and in shape by doing Yoga and Tai Chi. She has a lot of knowledge and interest in Essential Oils because of her Oriental background. She learnt many things from her Grandmother. Originally from a small village in South China, now she lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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