The most commonly seen cause of congestion is a flu virus or a cold. Secondary infections from bacteria can be difficult to get rid of, since they have irritated the delicate respiratory tract lining. The mucus at the core of congestion is initially produced by the healthy body to protect this lining and wash away infection.
Congestion occurs when part of your nasal passage is blocked, when the mucus membranes of the nose swell, due to sinus cavity inflammation. Congestion can indicate a common cold or hay fever.
Medications are available that fight congestion, but they may have side effects. Essential oils can be very effective against congestion. Below we’ll talk about the oils that are most helpful in improving your symptoms and clearing up that stuffy nose.
9 Essential Oils for Congestion that Truly Help
There are many kinds of essential oils available today. They all offer various benefits. Here are some of the essential oils that work best to fight off congestion:
1 – Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Just the scent of eucalyptus oil can help in calming your nerves. It works exceptionally well for congestion, stuffy nose and other related respiratory issues. You can use it along with other oils or alone. If you add a carrier oil, you will have created a very effective homemade DIY vapor rub. It has analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help it in ridding your chest and sinus cavities of phlegm.
To use: Add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil to one small bottle of peroxide. Put a sprayer on the bottle and mist it into the air. It will help you breathe more easily. You can also sanitize kitchen surfaces and doorknobs, and use it as a homemade hand sanitizer.
2 – Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is amazing, because it has powerful antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It fights off various illnesses and clears congestion. You can dilute it or use it in pure form, if you’re not overly sensitive to it. When you use it without diluting it, tea tree oil works quite well in treating your congestion, cough and sore throat.
To use: Use several drops of tea tree oil rubbed on your chest and neck, and into your nostrils just a bit, to help the sinuses. If you perform this five or six times per day, it will clear up that stuffy nose. This oil is great for your lungs and it improves breathing.
3 – Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is such a soothing oil and it’s a natural for clearing a stuffy nose. It is relaxing and calming, and it compliments many other oils. Its properties as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic and antibacterial oil make it a wonderful choice for fighting illness.
To use: Lavender essential oil can be rubbed on your chest for maximum effect. When you want to relieve your congestion, you can also add 10 drops of this effective oil into your bath water, along with one cup each of Epsom salts, peroxide and baking soda. Soak for 30 minutes to reap the benefits of congestion relief.
4 – Oregano Essential Oil
This oil smells a bit strong, but it’s quite helpful. The smell is what makes it so good for clearing up congestion. It also has antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial and fungicidal properties, so it works well on sinus infections. After it is mixed with a carrier oil like jojoba oil, it works great at relieving mucus and phlegm, making your breathing much easier. It also leaves behind a soothing effect on your throat and lungs as it gets rid of your congestion.
To use: Drip undiluted oregano oil on a warm washcloth. Lay it atop your sinuses for maximum relief. This oil also works well for allergy attacks. It can be sprayed in the rooms of your home or rubbed on your chest for allergy symptoms and congestion.
5 – Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is one of the most effective essential oils used to fight congestion. It works in a similar way as eucalyptus essential oil. This oil has antiseptic, antifungal, analgesic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also is an excellent sedative, antispasmodic, astringent and expectorant, so it helps that cough, too. If your sinus infections or colds come with headaches and nausea, you can treat those with peppermint essential oil, as well.
To use: Add two drops of this oil to hot tea or coffee and drink, to help in opening your sinuses and clearing out congestion. You can also drip peppermint oil on the outside of a clean sock and then sew up the end. Warm the sock and lay it by your pillow. It will help you to breathe more easily.
6 – Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil works against congestion and colds, since it is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial. It stimulates the white corpuscles that are part of your body’s defense against disease. Use it sparingly or dilute it, as it may otherwise irritate your skin. Don’t spend time in the sun if you have used this oil.
7 – Thyme Essential Oil
The antiseptic and bactericidal properties of thyme essential oil make it useful in fighting colds and congestion. You can combine it with eucalyptus, tea tree and lemon essential oils and add them to your bath. Inhaling thyme with these other oils helps to relieve your congestion. Don’t use it undiluted on your skin, as it may cause your skin to become more sensitive.
8 – Pine Essential Oil
This expectorant, antiseptic and bactericidal essential oil helps in clearing the nasal passages and in relieving congestion. It works to alleviate your sore throat, too. This therapy works best if you choose Scotch pine essential oil.
9 – Rosemary Essential Oil
This oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, and that’s why it works well in fighting infections. You may wish to combine rosemary oil with eucalyptus and lemon oils and massage it into your temples, nose and cheek bones. This relieves congestion, along with other symptoms of the common cold. Don’t use rosemary oil if you are pregnant, epileptic or if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Is it Safe to Use Essential Oils for Children?
Using these essential oils for congestion works for adults, and it can work for children, as well. Keep in mind that if you use essential oils for children, they must be all-organic and highest quality, so that you’ll know they’re safe.
Applying a diluted essential oil a few times a day helps to relieve congestion in kids. If your young one is sensitive to some oils, don’t use them anymore. If you have any questions about using essential oils for your children, ask your physician.