A cold, allergies, a sinus infection and the flu are common causes of sinus congestion. Some essential oils, including eucalyptus and peppermint oils, may help open the airways and ease congestion.
Some research indicates that essential oils can reduce inflammation, fight bacteria and relieve pain. These effects may help relieve symptoms associated with congestion.
Here are some of the best essential oils to help treat sinuses:
Peppermint oil contains menthol. This compound affects the mucus receptors in the nose, helping to open the airways and clear mucus and provides a soothing effect.
We are all familiar with this essential oil as several famous over-the-counter decongestant products, such as chest rubs, contain eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil contains a compound called cineole. Studies show that cineole to be a safe and effective treatment for sinus issues.
- Tea Tree
Tea tree oil contains a compound called alpha-sabine that provides antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects. Tea tree oil may also reduce inflammation, which could help bring down sinus swelling. Reduced swelling often relieves the symptoms of congestion, such as a runny or stuffy nose.
Rosemary is another anti-inflammatory essential oil that may relieve swollen sinuses. Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and may help manage metabolic syndrome.
To use essential oils for sinus congestion relief, it is best to dilute them and then breathe in the scent. Do not swallow or ingest essential oils.
How to use essential oils
There are four main ways to inhale essential oils:
Inhaling directly: Add a few drops of essential oil to a tissue and gently breathe in, holding the tissue near the face. Be careful not to get essential oil directly on the skin, as it can cause irritation.
Inhaling steam: Add a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of boiling water and inhale the steam. Placing a towel over the head can create a steam chamber.
Using a diffuser: Essential oil diffusers disperse the oil into the air. This is a gentle way to inhale essential oils continuously while at home.
Adding to a bath: Add a few drops of essential oil to a bath and gently inhale while soaking.
Always consult a professional or advanced qualified Aromatherapist before using essentials oils.
Never use essential oils undiluted. To apply essential oil to the skin, dilute it in a carrier oil, such as Grapeseed oil. The usual recipe is 3–5 drops of essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil.
If pregnant or suffering from chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, please consult a professional before using essential oils. Oils such as Rosemary or Eucalyptus could be dangerous.
While some essential oils are safe for babies, rather do not use them on children under the age of 3 and always keep the oils out of reach.