• 11/07/2023

How to Use Essential Oils for Sinus Infection and Congestion

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When you have a sinus infection, everything is uncomfortable. The most basic function in your body is impaired. It’s difficult to breathe, and on top of that, your head hurts, you feel stuffy and you just want to sleep. Medications are available in pharmacies, but many people also turn to natural remedies to help relieve the symptoms of sinus problems. Here’s how to use essential oils for sinus infections.

Top Essential Oils for Sinus Infections

Essential oils are an age-old natural remedy for a variety of ailments. To this day, people still swear by their effectiveness, and some studies have proven it. Here are some of the top essential oils used to alleviate sinus conditions:

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has plenty of uses for health and wellness. People use it to treat body pain, coughs and colds, itching and more. It can provide a cooling, calming sensation that helps provide relief when breathed in or applied on the skin. 

Menthol is a major component of peppermint oil. You can find menthol in several over-the-counter products like nasal sprays and inhalers. Menthol works by stimulating the receptors in nasal mucous membranes, which relieves stuffiness and other symptoms.

Peppermint essential oil: $9.99 on Amazon

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus is another plant that can help with sinus infections. It is a common ingredient in a lot of decongestant products. It works similarly to peppermint oil and also has a cooling effect. 

Eucalyptus essential oil: $8.88 on Amazon

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has potent antibacterial benefits. It can help alleviate sinus conditions by battling the source of the infection. This oil also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help you breathe easier.

Tea tree essential oil: $9.99 on Amazon

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil can also help combat infection-causing bacteria. It is packed with carvacrol and thymol, potent anti-bacterial compounds. A recent study showed that oregano oil significantly improved symptoms and quality of life of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. 

Oregano essential oil: $11.99 on Amazon

Thyme Oil

Thyme oil, like oregano oil, contains carvacrol and thymol. Because of their similar composition, thyme and oregano oil work the same. Thyme oil is anti-bacterial and can fight the source of sinus infections.

Thyme essential oil: $12.95 on Amazon

Clary Sage Oil

Clary sage oil is used in herbalist and traditional medicine. Though there’s not enough research on its benefits, those who have used it swear by its effectiveness. Those who have used clary sage for sinusitis report that it has a mucus-clearing effect. It can also ease congestion and inflammation.

Clary sage essential oil: $9.99 on Amazon

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has significant anti-inflammatory effects, which can help with sinus issues. Inhaling lavender essential oil can help clear and soothe your airways. Lavender oil also has antimicrobial properties, which can help fight bacteria in your airways.

Moreover, lavender oil is also widely used for relaxation and sleep. You can use lavender oil when you find it difficult to sleep due to painful symptoms of sinusitis.

Lavender essential oil: $12.91 on Amazon

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary is an herb used in medicine for thousands of years. Its long list of medicinal benefits includes antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Rosemary oil can aid in relieving sinusitis by reducing swelling and restoring clear airways.

It can also help with boosting mood and reducing anxiety. Being down with a sinus infection can affect your mental well-being, too. Rosemary oil can help you feel better about your condition.

Rosemary essential oil: $14.98 on Amazon

Lemon Oil

In traditional medicine, lemon essential oil is used for its pain-relieving benefits. People also use it to help with respiratory issues involving the nose and throat. A study shows that lemon oil contains natural antimicrobial properties, making it suitable as a treatment for many conditions.

Lemon essential oil: $8.98 on Amazon

Clove Oil

Clove is an aromatic spice used for both its flavor and medicinal properties. Many cultures have used cloves to treat dental, respiratory and digestive disorders. With its anti-inflammatory and expectorant qualities, clove is an excellent supplementary treatment for sinus infections.

Clove essential oil: $9.89 on Amazon

How to Use Essential Oils for Sinus Infection

It’s worth noting that essential oils won’t fully cure you of sinus infections. However, they can be effective at soothing your air passages and helping you alleviate symptoms. 

When you choose essential oils for sinus relief, choose the ones with the benefits you need. For instance, if you can’t sleep because of your symptoms, you can go for lavender essential oil. 

You can also choose ones that have an appealing smell to you. The last thing you need when sick is to aggravate your senses further. 

Here are some ways to use essential oils to combat sinus issues and to bring you relief:


You can breathe in the essential oil by using an oil diffuser. Use a few drops of your chosen oil and let the scent diffuse throughout your home. You can diffuse scents at night to help alleviate your sinus troubles right before sleep.

Direct Inhalation

Use a tissue, cloth or cotton ball to inhale the essential oil directly. You can also inhale directly from the bottle. Remember to keep the oil away from your face. Pure essential oils are harsh and can cause skin irritation.

Steam Inhalation

You can also do a more intensive inhalation treatment through steam. The hot steam can work with the essential oil by helping soothe nasal passages and loosen mucus. 

Prepare a basin or bowl of boiling water. Add a few drops of essential oil. Place your head directly above the basin, right in the path of the rising steam. Then, cover your head with the towel and breathe the steam in slowly.

Adding to a Warm Bath

When you run a warm bath, add a few drops of essential oil to your water. Like steam, the warm water will work with the essential oils to relieve pain and help make you feel better.

Diffuse in Your Shower

You can diffuse essential oils in the shower if you don’t have a tub. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil at the corner of the stall. The warm water from the shower will diffuse the oil into the air. As you shower, breathe in the steam slowly.


You can use cooling oils like peppermint and eucalyptus to help provide a soothing sensation topically. Essential oils are too harsh on the skin. If you want to use them topically, mix a few drops into a carrier oil like jojoba. Once you create your diluted essential oil mix, rub and massage your chest to get comfort from symptoms.

Essential oils for Better Breathing

Whether searching for more natural remedies or supplementing over-the-counter medicine, essential oils are perfect for relieving respiratory issues. You can find relief from congestion, sinus pressure, headaches and all the uncomfortable symptoms of sinus infections.

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