Best Essential Oils For Congestion


Sinus congestion is a common condition in which the nasal passages get blocked with mucus. Common symptoms of sinusitis include difficulty in breathing, mild to severe headache and disturbed sleep. Chronic sinusitis requires proper medication while mild cases can be treated by some simple and effective home remedies. Aromatherapy can be used as an alternative treatment for sinus congestion caused by bacteria, allergies, inflammation and the common cold and flu. You can enjoy relief from your stuffy nose and uncomfortable breathing, using the magic of essential oils. Aromatherapy is a well established technique in which the aroma of various essential oils is used to achieve mental, physical and spiritual healing. 


Benefit of using essential oil therapy

There are a number of over the counter medications available to treat sinus congestion. These medicines might be effective but can also cause some undesirable side effects. Aromatherapy is a natural route to healing. It uses the goodness of natural plants to provide relief and relaxation from clogged nasal passages and inflammation. If administered properly this course of healing can deliver long term benefits with minimum side effects.


Essential oils for congestion

Following is the list of natural oils that might help clear your nasal passage and ease congestion.


Eucalyptus oil 

Eucalyptus oil has a soothing effect and can be used in treating sinusitis congestion and other symptoms of mild colds and coughs. 


Peppermint Oil

 Peppermint has menthol that plays a part in decongestion. This oil naturally possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. The discomfort associated with sinus congestion can be relieved to a considerable amount by inhaling the aroma of peppermint oil.


Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is famous for its sweet smell. It’s aroma can be effectively used to soothe the inflamed nasal passage. It's natural properties are also found to offer mild pain management.

Oregano oil

This oil is considered to be naturally antibacterial. Using this for aromatherapy helps in speeding up the healing process for sinus congestion by warding off the buildup of any bacteria and other irritating substances in the airways.



Lemongrass is well known for its refreshing scent. Its oil possesses antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to unclog the nasal channels to provide relief from sinus headaches, breathing discomforts and pain relief.


Clary Sage Oil

Clare sage is considered a natural antimicrobial agent. It can help fight sinus congestion caused by various bacterial infections. Clary sage aromatherapy can also be used to relieve the discomforts of common cold and flu. 


Rosemary Oil

Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help soothe the swollen air passages. This provides comfort and ease during eating, sleeping and performing other daily activities.


Tea Tree Oil  

This oil is famous for its benefits for healing various skin conditions. It has a compound Alpha-Sabine which has antiviral and antibacterial effects. This not only helps in decongestion of mucus but also reduces inflammation. 


How to use essential oils to relieve congestion



Inhaling essential oils can provide relief from nasal congestion. Following are the ways in which aromatherapy can be used;

  • Steam inhalation - put 3 to 4 drops of oil in hot water and inhale the steam. Covering your head with a towel or cloth will help the beneficial fumes to enter your nasal passage with ease.
  • Direct inhalation - apply 2 to 3 drops on a cloth or napkin and smell after short durations. Direct skin contact with pure essential oil might cause skin irritation. Therefore it is recommended to dilute it in a carrier oil before direct topical application.
  • Diffusers disperse - The sweet and soothing aroma can be dispersed in your environment. This will allow gradual and continuous inhalation as you carry on with your routine chores.
  • Natural candles - light up natural candles made up of essential oils  to soothe and relax. This not only soothes your congestion but always creates an ambience of tranquility and calmness.

Others ways include: 

  •  Aromatherapy bath by adding a few drops of diluted essential oil to your bathwater and enjoy the gradual relief and relaxation.
  •  Aromatherapy massage, a few drops of essential oil can be added to your massage lotion.



Avoid direct application of essential oils on the skin; it can cause skin irritation and itching. Make sure to dilute the essential oils with some carrier oil.  These oils include olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil. Inhaling of essential oils for longer durations of time may result in dizziness and. headache. Administer a safe and short exposure. These oils should never be ingested. 

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