How to Use Essential Oils for Sinus Infection

Published on: July 10, 2023
Woman smelling essential oil.

Both acute and chronic sinus infections can make you miserable and impact your daily activities. While there are many sinus inflammation medications on the market, many of these have undesirable side effects. There are more natural options – here is how to use essential oils for a sinus infection.

Sinus infections are extremely common. Acute sinus infections are those that last for less than 12 weeks, usually caused by a cold or seasonal allergies. Chronic sinus infections are those lasting for more than three months, but both have similar symptoms, which include:

  • Tenderness around your eyes and nose (sinus cavities)
  • Sneezing and itchy nose
  • Post-nasal drip – mucus dripping down your throat
  • Sore throat and coughing up throat mucus
  • Greenish or yellowish nasal mucus
  • Headaches and sinus pain
  • Swelling around eyes and nose
  • Fatigue

Sinus infections cause inflammation inside the sinus cavities and excess mucus production. The medications used to fight sinus infections are usually decongestants and antihistamines, but they can make you sleepy or have other side effects, which is why you may want to try essential oils.

How Essential Oils for Sinus Infections Can Give You Relief

There are many different essential oils that are derived from plants and herbs that can combat the symptoms of sinus infections. The main cause of sinus infection symptoms is inflammation and congestion within the sinus cavities, which some essential oils can relieve.

Many of the elements of essential oils have been used in OTC medications for decades for congestion relief. Vapor rubs contain menthol, which is derived from eucalyptus plants, but also have synthetic ingredients. Essential oils are a more natural option that can work by:

  • Thinning mucus in the sinus and nasal passages
  • Relieving inflammation in the sinuses
  • Antiseptic qualities to fight bacteria and
  • Expectorant qualities
  • Antiviral compounds

Not only can individual essential oil work to relieve sinus infection symptoms but they can also be used together for improved effects. Combining some of the best essential oils for sinus infections can provide quick and lasting relief.

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The Best Essential Oils for Sinus Infection

There are many different essential oils for sinus infection relief. These can be used to give you relief from nasal congestion, thick mucus, sore throats, coughing, and other sinus inflammation symptoms. The top essential oils used for sinusitis include:

  • Eucalyptus oil – this is considered the best essential oil for congestion
  • Thyme oil – thyme can help relieve sinus inflammation and thin mucus
  • Tea tree oil – works efficiently as an antimicrobial for fighting bacteria
  • Clove oil – an efficient anti-inflammatory herb
  • Lavender oil – provides a calming effect and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Peppermint oil – this oil can provide relief, especially when combined with other essential oils
  • Oregano oil – Oregano has antiviral and antibacterial qualities to fight sinus infections

You can find essential oils sold through natural health stores, drug stores, and many retail outlets. They are usually sold as tinctures and only require a few drops to be effective when you know how to use essential oils for a sinus infection.

Sinus Congestion Treatment with Essential Oils

There are a few ways to administer essential oils for sinus infections. The goal is to inhale the vapors from the oils or absorb them into the tissues to deliver their health properties to your sinus and nasal passages. Keep in mind that most of these oils should be diluted, not directly applied.

Diffuser for Breathing in Essential Oils

Adding a few drops of the desired essential oils for sinus infections to a diffuser can allow you to breathe in the compounds that can help relieve inflammation and congestion. You can use this treatment a few times a day to help relieve congestion.

Essential Oils in Your Bath

Adding essential oils to a hot bath can allow the compounds to be released in the steam and be absorbed by your skin. This can be a relaxing and relieving treatment when you are suffering from a sinus infection.

Rubbing Infused Oils on Your Skin

You can add the desired essential oils to almond, jojoba, olive, or coconut oil to create a diluted oil run that can be placed on the chest, cheeks, nose, or forehead. Using about one ounce of the desired oil and a combination of 15 drops of the desired essential oils is recommended.

Neti Pots

Neti pots are wonderful for flushing out the sinuses and providing relief from sinus congestion. The traditional way to use a neti pot is with warm saline water, which can help relieve inflamed sinus and nasal tissues. If you add essential oils, limit it to only one drop as they can irritate internal tissues.
A man breathing in inhalation with essential oil for sinus congestion relief.
If you suffer from nasal congestion, knowing how to use essential oils for a sinus infection can offer relief. However, essential oils cannot cure a chronic sinus infection. If you have sinus infection symptoms for 12 weeks or longer, you should seek medical treatment from your doctor.

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