3 ways to Use Aromatherapy Essential Oils for Sinus Infection

by Joshua Matzkin

You can call a sinus infection as 'minor' infection - but only a few conditions can be as discomforting as a stuffed up and inflamed nose.

Often, the runny nose, breathing difficulty, painful notes behind the eyes, and troubling bouts of cough all gang up to wreck day-time productivity, significantly, and ruin your night's drift.

Thankfully, some essential oils have shown good promises in clearing up the nasal channels, ushering relief to sinus congestion and related symptoms.

Before we discuss the different oils for sinus infection and how to use them, first things first...

What is Sinus Infection?

Sinus infection, otherwise called sinusitis, is a condition whereby the cavities located around the nasal airways become inflamed and stuffed. 

While acute sinusitis may come from allergies or a cold and may naturally go without any medical intervention, chronic cases are caused by abnormal growth or an infection and may stay for up to eight weeks.

Indeed, several over-the-counter prescriptions deliver fast relief to sinus blockage. But,too often, these recommendations leave some undesirable effects.

As a result, researchers are investigating more natural options to manage sinusitis. Among the popular options found so far, essential oils look most promising. 

Let’s quickly run through some essential oils to consider for an alternative nasal decongestant.

Common essential oils for sinus infection you should consider

man using essential oils for Sinus infection

Essential oils are known to provide many health benefits and certain oils may provide targeted relief to common issues. Some of the best essential oils for sinus infection relief include peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender and rosemary oils. 

Peppermint Oil

Several users battling blocked sinus say they feel a lot better after inhaling peppermint oil. 

Peppermint oil is menthol rich, and may influence the mucus receptors found in the nose and, as such, clear mucus and open the airways.

Research shows peppermint essential oil's ability to combat bacteria, a chief cause of sinus congestion.

Animal studies have shown supportive evidence that peppermint oil may reduce inflammation.

Eucalyptus Oil

Oil extracted from the eucalyptus plant may also serve as a potent alternative nasal decongestant.

Originally, eucalyptus oil is a key ingredient in many conventional decongestant products. Chest rubs are a common example. 

Many swear by this oil's ability to relieve symptoms of coughs and cold, including stuffed and inflamed cavities.

Cineole, a compound found in eucalyptus oil, has been found an effective and safe treatment alternative for sinus problems.

Research authors found the compound may relief several symptoms, including:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose 

    Eucalyptus oil can be applied the same way as peppermint oil. 

    Tea Tree Oil

    Here's another promising essential oil for sinuses congestion. Tea tree oils are said to work by combating two likely causes of the condition - viruses and bacteria. 

    In a review, authors say tea tree oil contains alpha-sabine, a compound said to release antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial effects.

    With these properties, tea tree oil may curb sinus-related inflammatory concerns like swelling and, as well,relieves blocked or runny nose.

    Tea tree oils are commonly used in diffusers. 

    Lavender Oil

    Lavender is arguably one of the most popular and effective essential oils. In addition to its many acclaimed benefits, evidence - both anecdotal and scientific - say this oil may curb the annoying effects of sinus congestion and reduce swelling and pain.

    According to animal-based research, essential oils may deliver some analgesic effects that may as well handle inflammation.

    Besides its benefits for sinus problems, lavender is widely celebrated for its calming properties, which many say make them relaxed and sleepy.

    Rosemary Oil 

    Rosemary essential oil is another recommendation for swollen sinuses. 

    A 2016 review concludes that rosemary oil may help manage inflammatory concerns. The review authors emphasized the oil's rich antioxidant content which they say may handle metabolic syndrome.

    When selecting essential oil products for sinus congestion, check product ingredients for these particular oils. 

    Now, perhaps you're wondering how to use essential oils for sinusitis? It’s no rocket science -- Here are some effective ways around it. 

    3 Common Ways to Use Essential Oils for Congestion Relief

    Inhaling Essential Oils

    Inhalation is a popular and effective way to use essential oils for sinus infection. This happens in two ways - through steam and directly.

    Steam inhalation

      Steam inhalation involves mixing essential oils into hot water to release a therapeutic steam.

      According to the NAHA recommendation, about three to seven drops poured into boiling water in a big heatproof bowl or large pot will deliver good effects. 

      After making the hot water-essential oil solution, bend over with your head in the bowl and a towel over your head to trap in the aromatherapeutic emissions. 

      With your head in, take slow deep breaths through your nose. Do this repeatedly but in short intervals --say, about two minutes per time. 

      Without mention, keep your eyes shut to avoid optic irritations.

      Direct inhalation 

        Besides through steam, you can also inhale your essential oils directly. 

        Here’s how it works: add some drops of your preferred essential oil to a cotton, handkerchief or tissue, and hold near your nose.

        To avoid likely irritations, its best to choose a high-quality essential oil nasal inhaler such as MOXĒ Breathe Nasal Inhaler to alivate sinus discomfort. 

        This energizing essential oil blend is designed to keep you focused and breathing free again. Combining Himalayan sea salt and an intense blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, and cajeput - these respiratory-boosting essential oils can help you go from stuffed up to sighing with relief.


        Essential Oils during a Bath or Shower

        You can also add either of the essential oils mentioned below into a bath. A couple drops into your bath bath water releases the aromatherapy effect while you soak. Effortlessly, you'd feel some relieving effects as you inhale gently.

        Alternatively, you can also use an essential oil shower spray. MOXĒ Breathe Shower Spray make everyday a spa day by experiencing an all-natural aromatherapy session in your shower. The refreshing combination of 100% pure peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils help provide relief from symptoms of congestion or allergies - helping you go from stuffed up to breathing like you are standing in the Rockies.

        Simply spray shower walls or into shower stream and get ready to experience a refreshing, tantalizing experience. P.S. this is also perfect to spray in the bathtub while taking a bath. 


        Essential oil-infused diffusers

        Diffusers offer a specialized way to disperse diluted essential oils into the air - so that your nasal track gradually decongests as you inhale.

        If you seek such a mild way to inhale essential oils and feel relief all day - whether in your home or your at work - consider a well-formulated natural MOXĒ Breathe Essential Oil Blend that won't be too harsh on your respiratory system. 

        This minty and cooling blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, cajeput, tea tree, rosemary, and lavender is formulated to help you go from stuffed up to sighing with relief. Simply diffuse this to keep you focused and breathing free again or to purify the air in your space.


        Can I Prevent Sinus Congestion?

        Yes, you can.

        Here are helpful preventive tips:

        • Avoid smoking - even second hand smoke
        • Practice proper hand hygiene
        • Keep your vaccinations updated
        • Keep a distance from people you suspect have cold and related respiratory infections
        • A humidifier may come in handy to moisten and keep the air in your home clean. 
        • Manage allergens or, possibly, completely avoid them
        • Keep your air conditioning units clean to avoid dust and mold accumulation.

          What Causes Sinus infections?

          As mentioned, several factors can trigger sinusitis. 

          Whatever the cause, sinus infection occurs when germs begin to grow on trapped fluid in your nasal track.

          Although viruses are the chief causes, bacterial infection is also a cause of sinus infections.

          Additionally, asthma, allergies, and air pollutants are typical triggers for reoccurring sinus infections.

          Lastly, fungal sinusitis or sinus infections caused by molds is often overlooked at a potential source. You should consider all factors and determine what is causing your sinus irritations. 

          Why should I use essential oils for sinus infection? 

          Although there are several pharmaceutical prescriptions for sinus congestion, essential oils are particularly preferred for several reasons, including

          Low potential for drug-to-drug interactions

          When treating multiple health conditions, the variety of medications used often contain ingredients that are not suitable for use combinely. 

          When used together, such medications may trigger some adverse interactions which may cause several degrees of health damage.

          In such cases, essential oils come in handier as they do not typically interact with other medications. However, is it always best to consult your doctor before using essential oils. Essential oil are not intended to prevent, treat or cure any medical conditions.

          Minimal [if any] side effects

          Most pharmaceutical recommendations for sinus infections leave users with more health concerns than before. These concerns range from minor (like drowsiness) to more severe conditions, like substance abuse, addiction, and resultant dependence. 

          For this, essential oils may make a healthier and more natural alternative to chemical-laden synthetic decongestants.

          Pregnancy concerns

          It's common knowledge that women need to stay off [as much as possible] anything synthetic during pregnancy. 

          But moderate amounts of well diluted natural essential oils can help expectant mothers manage sinus related concerns without depositing harmful chemicals that may endanger the fetus.

          However, to be safe, expectant mothers should discuss with local healthcare providers before you try out essential oils for sinus.  This will guide you and your baby from any possible harm. 


          Many people report several degrees of allergic reactions from the use of antibiotics. Essential oils for sinusitis can be a more natural alternative for those intolerant to antibiotics as it hardly ever causes allergic reactions. 

          Some home-made essential oil blends to consider

          essential oils blend for sinus infections

          Ever considered making your own essential oil blends for sinus congestion or related nasal conditions? 

          Below, are a couple of simple blend you can play around. These blends have shown good results in managing inflammation, congestion, and cough. 

          Let's check out the exciting blends for sinus relief:

          Blend 1 

          •  2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
          • 2 drops of rosemary essential oil
          • 3 drops of peppermint essential oil

          Blend 2

          • 1 drop of lemon essential oil
          • 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
          • 6 drops of cedarwood essential oil
          • 6 drops of lavender essential oil

          Blend 3

          • 1 drop of peppermint essential oil
          • 2 drops of thyme essential oil
          • 3 drops of rosemary oil

          The blends work whether for use in diffusers, direct inhalation, or through steam inhalation.

          And with suitable carrier oils, these blends will also do well for topical applications, as massage oil which can be administered regularly, as the condition requires. 

          Things to Note Before Trying Out Essential oils for Sinus Congestion

          While strong research for using aromatherapy essential oil for sinuses infection shows favorable results it important to consider the following before you jump into using this remedy for your stuffed inflamed nose.

          Here are a few things to note.

          First, topical use of essential oils can trigger irritations, rash, itchiness, and even burns. For skin applications, the oils are usually diluted with carrier oils, lotion or water. 

          Commonly used carrier oils include coconut, jojoba, and olive oils. 

          After diluting, a skin patch test comes handy. This helps you test-run different oils to see which suits best. 

          Essential oils come with rich high-potent profiles. Hence, it's best to use products diluted by experienced professionals. Such pre-made options meet all the local regulatory rules and consumer safety provisions and hence, certified safe. 

          However, essential oils may contain some toxic effects and maybe harmful for ingestion. You should also use caution when using essential oils around pets. 

          Learn More About: Which Essential Oils Can Be Harmful to Pets

          When to Consult a Doctor

          Sinus concerns may be easily managed with common essential oils and home remedies. However, you should consider discussing with your health provider if;

          • symptoms linger for over 10 days without any significant improvement.
          • you experience relapse after some improvement.
          • you notice swellings around your eyes or impaired vision.
          • it comes with a fever that stays for up to four days, or more.

            There may be more red flags that suggest you need more professional attention. Your best bet may be to consult a medical expert for more tailored diagnosis and recommendation if results delay.

            Where to buy essential oils for sinus congestion?

            Feel free to check out MOXĒ for an exciting lot of aromatherapy products - from essential oils to inhalers, diffusers, and more.

            If you ever get lost in the options, these products will help with sinus relief. 

            These products are carefully made with handpicked quality essential oils and under high regulatory standards and processes.

            But on the off chance you seek further recommendations, our seasoned aromatherapists are ever willing to walk you through the many options and help you find what suits best.

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