Essential Oils for Sinus Problems

Using Essential Oils for Sinus Infections, Congestion and Pain

Sinus infections tend to crop up when we’re stressed, run down and exhausted. A few weeks ago, one of my uncles died and my sister, dad and I went up to Pennsylvania for the memorial service. It was good to be there and there were lots of hugs, kisses and handshakes. All in all, I’m glad I went.lavender for cold and flu

But, I came home sick as a dog. I rarely get sick enough to stay in bed, but this was one of those times. My whole face hurt. My teeth hurt. I was achy and feverish, with conjunctivitis, an extremely runny nose and congestion. Yes, I had a sinus infection. Luckily, I know a great place to start when treating these kinds of things naturally: aromatherapy.


Which Essential Oils to Use for Sinus Problems

There are many essential oils for sinus issues. When used in a diffuser, these essential oils can help relieve the respiratory problems that come with a sinus infection:

  1. eucalyptus
  2. ravensara
  3. thyme
  4. rosemary
  5. peppermint
  6. frankincense

These oils are just some of my favorites– there are many more that are great for sinus problems (note: for children 12 and under, we recommend consulting with a physician or aromatherapist before using essential oils). Any of these essential oils by themselves or in combination in a diffuser will help bring relief for congestion, headache and other symptoms. If you’re on the go, try any of the above oils in a portable aromahaler or metal aromatherapy inhaler for convenient, easy-to-use relief anywhere.  


Aromatherapy Recipes for Sinus Problems

essential oil for sinus problemsOne great way to use essential oils to relieve sinus issues is to make a chest rub. Try this recipe:

In a double boiler, melt ½ oz beeswax with ¼ cup carrier oil (almond or grape seed, for example). While the beeswax is still soft stir in 30 drops peppermint, 15 drops eucalyptus globulus, and 15 drops rosemary. Mix well. You can use this while it’s still soft for additional warming benefits. Store the extra in a small glass jar.

Here is another chest rub recipe with less fuss (even though the above recipe is super easy!):

Mix 3 drops eucalyptus, 2 drops peppermint, and 2 drops thyme in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. The thyme offers the warmth, while the peppermint and eucalyptus relieve congestion.

One essential oil that hasn’t yet been on my radar is Oregano Oil. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and helps to prevent parasites. Awesome! Oregano is a volatile oil, so use caution if you are applying it topically: make sure it is completely mixed with a carrier and diluted well before applying it. Three drops of oregano in 2 tablespoons of carrier as a chest rub will relieve congestion, coughing and respiratory inflammation.

Oregano oil is something that I will have to add to my list of preventatives. Not only can you use it to help relieve your symptoms, but you can use it to regularly clean your house to help prevent getting sick at all!

Here is a great homemade antibacterial spray:  Mix 14 oz. distilled water, 3 tablespoons castile soap or reg. dishwashing liquid, 15 drops tea tree oil and 15 drops oregano oil in a 16 oz spray bottle. You can also mix 8 drops of oregano to 8 oz. castile soap to make good anti-bacterial hand soap. Again, please make sure to mix this well and make sure it is completely combined as the oregano by itself may irritate your skin.

I’m much better than I was last week at this time and with oregano’s help; maybe I won’t get sick anytime soon!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and not intended to treat, prescribe, cure, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or other health care provider. Please keep essential oils out of reach of children.  



  • I know there was some controversy about neti pots a while back–what do you think of using those for prevention?

  • Hello Claudia,
    This information comes from the FDA report on proper use and maintenance of Neti pots to avoid illness or worse.

    What types of water are safe to use in nasal rinsing devices?

    Distilled or sterile water, which you can buy in stores. The label will state “distilled” or “sterile.”
    Boiled and cooled tap water—boiled for 3-5 minutes, then cooled until it is lukewarm. Previously boiled water can be stored in a clean, closed container for use within 24 hours.
    Water passed through a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller, which traps potentially infectious organisms. CDC has information on selecting these filters, which you can buy from some hardware and discount stores, or online.

    How do I use and care for my device?

    Wash and dry hands.
    Check that the device is clean and completely dry.
    Use the appropriate water as recommended above to prepare the saline rinse, either with the prepared mixture supplied with the device, or one you make yourself.
    Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
    Wash the device with distilled, sterile, or boiled and cooled tap water, and then dry the inside with a paper towel or let it air dry between uses.

  • I clean with water, vinegar, lemon, peppermint, and tea tree. Lemon helps get rid of the nasty dirt, peppermint kills bacteria and smells fresh, and tea tree kills mold. I also sometimes add cinnamon to help kill some types of viruses.

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