A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is a very disturbing infection.
This infection in the nose may make it difficult for you to breathe or sleep.
Nasal congestion, headaches, and pressure caused by this infection can throw your life into a tantrum.
Fortunately, essential oils can help with sinus conditions.
You can make use of essential oils for nasal congestion, headaches, pressure, and allergies associated with this infection to assist in sinus drainage.
Sinuses And Sinusitis: An Overview
Sinusitis is inflammation (swelling) of the lining of the sinuses (mucous membranes in the nose). A viral infection usually causes it.
This infection often improves within two or three weeks, but acute infection lingers extensively.
If this condition is not treated and cured in time, it may advance to a form of meningitis.
Some of the common symptoms of a sinus ailment are:
- pain or pressure on both sides of the nose near the eyes,
- nose and throat congestion,
- a reduced sense of smell,
- pain and tenderness on your forehead, cheeks, or eyes,
- yellow or green discharge from your nose,
- stuffy or a runny nose,
- bad breath,
- toothache and ear pain (in rare cases).
Looking at the symptoms, it is not an easy experience to have this viral infection.
Benefits Of Essential Oils For Sinusitis
Plant oils have been used for centuries to improve mental and physical health.
EOs are healthy alternatives to synthetic prescription medicines.
Most people use over-the-counter antibiotics or decongestants to get fast relief from the symptoms of the infection.
However, many of us are unaware of the side effects of synthetic medicines.
Over-the-counter decongestants and antibiotics used for sinusitis can interact with prescription medicines. They also cause high blood pressure and are unsuitable for children and pregnant women.
Some essential oils have therapeutic properties that help alleviate sinus infection symptoms. They work well for managing the condition caused by:
- common cold
- respiratory tract infections
- gastroesophageal reflux.
Evidence suggests that oils can soothe the symptoms of this disease like:
Study Results on the Therapeutic Power of Essential Oils
Unfortunately, like all other natural remedies, EOs do not have enough scientific backing to support their therapeutic potency.
However, a few studies on plant oils suggest their effectiveness in reducing the discomfort of the infection
According to a study published in 2004, a group of patients with acute nonpurulent rhinosinusitis who received timely treatment with cineole (a compound in eucalyptus oil) were proven effective and safe before using antibiotics.
Another research review in the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) also suggests that 1,8 cineole in eucalyptus oil effectively clears the air passage of infectious microbes. Cineole is also useful for clearing mucus from the airways and easing coughs.
Another study published in 2006 by Clinical Microbiology Reviews pointed out that tea tree oil is useful for treating congestion. The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil help dispel the bacteria that cause inflammation in the sinuses.
The menthol in peppermint oil is a major component in most vapor rubs, inhalers, and tablets. It is thought that the cooling sensation produced by menthol eases congestion.
According to a research report published by Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, a medical journal, menthol found in peppermint oil does not help mucus drainage or decongestion. On the other hand, menthol may increase congestion.
How Does Aromatherapy Help Sinus Infection
Antibacterial and antiviral medications have a limited effect on getting rid of the infection. Antimicrobial properties in such medicines also do not directly enter the sinus.
Over a period, the bacteria or viruses that cause this condition also develop resistance to OTC medications used for treatment.
The healing properties of essential oils can easily penetrate the mucus membrane in the nose and quickly help assuage the discomforts of the illness.
Using aromatherapy for this infection calms your mind and body, freeing you from the irritation and discomfort caused by the infection.
Unlike prescription or OTC medication for the illness, aromatherapy with EOs has no side effects.
It has multiple health benefits besides giving you relief from the symptoms of this microbial affliction.
7 Essential Oils For Sinus Infection And Congestion
There are many essential oils to choose from.
However, a few of them work well to mitigate the signs of the illness.
Here are the best essential oils that you may try:
1. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptol and cineole compounds in eucalyptus oil work well for sinus congestion, cough, mucus drainage, and other symptoms of congestion.
You can find that most of the OTC natural remedies and vaporizers used for the common cold, and cough has eucalyptus as their primary ingredient.
Eucalyptus essential oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can quell the microbes that cause this infection.
This oil is also beneficial for nasal congestion relief in toddlers.
2. Oregano oil
Oregano oil contains high amounts of phenol, a potent antibacterial agent.
This oil contains active ingredients like thymol and carvacrol, potent antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic agents.
According to Phyllis A. Balch, author of “Prescription for Herbal Healing,” oregano oil is good for treating the sinuses.
Using oregano oil for this infection helps suppress bacterial infections and reduce congestion and irritation.
You can use oil or oregano medication in liquid or capsule form.
Rubbing your nose with diluted oregano oil helps relieve congestion by improving phlegm drainage in the nose.
3. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties are useful for reducing symptoms of infection.
Tea tree oil may work well for treating sinus infections caused by allergic reactions. It can reduce inflammation as well as prevent infection.
Folklore medicines extensively use this oil to ease the stuffed nose, sore throat, and cough.
This oil is very powerful and should not be used without dilution.
For fast relief from the symptoms of sinusitis, you can rub the diluted tea tree oil on your back, chest, nose, or back of the neck. Repeat the treatment 5 times daily to clear the stuffy nose and ease breathing.
You can also use 3 drops of this oil added to a cup of warm water for gargling for a few minutes. It alleviates sore throats and airways congestion.
4. Lemon oil
Lemon oil is a traditional remedy for common colds, coughs, and sinus relief.
The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of lemon oil fight the activities of bacteria or viruses that aggravate the conditions.
Ingesting up to 3 drops of lemon oil daily strengthens your immune system and wards off infections like the sinus and the common cold.
Massaging a few drops of diluted lemon oil on the chest, nose, and temples helps decongestion and makes breathing easier.
5. Thyme oil
Thyme oil is endowed with antiseptic and antibacterial elements.
This oil effectively clears stuffy noses, reduces coughing, and fights sinus-causing bacteria.
Rub diluted thyme oil on your chest, nose, and back of the neck to help relieve congestion and ease phlegm drainage in the nose.
Inhaling thyme oil is useful for reducing congestion and headaches from the sinus.
6. Rosemary oil
Rosemary oil is a traditional remedy for alleviating cough and cold.
The rosmarinic acid contained in Rosemary oil has an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect.
This oil relieves the inflamed nasal passage and suppresses the bacteria that cause the disease.
Rubbing this oil on the chest, nose, temples, or cheekbones can relieve sinus congestion.
7. Lavender oil
Lavender oil is known for its exceptional effectiveness in treating several common disorders that affect the human body. It relieves sinus pressure.
This oil is naturally endowed with therapeutic properties such as antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Inhaling this oil soothes your nerves and clears the congestion that causes trouble in breathing.
You can rub this oil on your feet and chest.
This oil’s soothing properties can calm your mind and body and give you a good sleep.
Essential Oil Blends For Sinusitis
The combination of 2 or more EOs creates a more powerful effect than using them individually.
You can try out some of the following oil blends to get fast relief from the symptoms of sinusitis.
Peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils recipe for stuffy nose
- Eucalyptus: 3 drops
- Peppermint: 3 drops
- Rosemary oil: 3 drops
- Carrier oil: 2 tablespoons
Warm up the carrier oil to a mild temperature and then mix the oils in the recommended quantity; blend the oil mixture thoroughly.
This oil blend can massage the neck, chest, temples, nose, and back. Inhalation of this oil blend can ease congestion and drainage.
Eucalyptus, geranium, and rosemary oils blend
- Rosemary: 5 drops
- Geranium: 3 drops
- Eucalyptus: 4 drops
Take the oils in the recommended quantity and mix them well to make a proper blend of oils.
Soak cotton in the blended oils and use it for aromatherapy.
Instead of using the cotton ball, apply a few drops of the oil blend to a handkerchief, pocket square, or a piece of tissue paper and use it for breathing in.
6 Easy Ways To Use Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is the most popular method for using essential oils for various treatments.
There are several ways you can use essential oils to take advantage of their healing power.
You can receive therapeutic benefits from plant oils by inhaling their scent and absorbing tiny droplets diffused in the air.
You can apply the oil to your handkerchief or tissue paper and use it for inhaling.
Steam inhalation is exceptionally beneficial for clearing blocked airways.
You can use a vaporizer or steam diffuser for steam inhalation of EOs.
2. Neti pot
A neti pot is used for irrigation in the airway, which entails flushing your nasal cavity with a saline solution.
You can also add a few drops of essential oils (eucalyptus, rosemary, and oregano) to the saline solution you use for nasal irrigation.
Using a Neti pot for irrigating the nostrils with essential oils and saline solution can help calm the pain and irritation caused by the sinuses.
It helps clear up congestion in the nose and allows easy drainage of mucus.
You can easily master the art of using a neti pot by surfing through some instructional videos available on YouTube.
With the help of an essential oil diffuser, you can diffuse the oil in your living room or bedroom.
The best way to inhale essential oils is by diffusing them in your bedroom. It allows you to inhale tiny droplets of oil in the air.
Inhaling certain oils may help clear airways and ease congestion.
You can diffuse a blend of oils to improve sinus symptoms. You can use a blend of rosemary, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils for diffusing. Oregano oil and lemon oil are also suitable for diffusing.
For best results, massaging essential oils directly on your pressure points can relieve sinusitis.
You can also rub the oils on your chest, temples, nose, cheekbones, and neck to alleviate sinus symptoms.
Do not apply essential oils to your skin without diluting them in a carrier oil.
5. Oil bath
Add 20 drops of essential Oil or Oil blend to your warm water bath.
Getting yourself soaked in the oil-treated water in the bathtub for 10 to 20 minutes is ideal.
The therapeutic properties in the oil will penetrate your bloodstream, resulting in the healing of inflammation in the sinuses.
An oil bath in warm water also helps to clear congestion.
A few of the EOs are suitable for ingesting internally.
Please consult an aromatherapist before you decide to ingest the oil.
To cure sinusitis, you can ingest essential oils like basil, clove, eucalyptus, frankincense, lemon, lavender, oregano, peppermint, or thyme.
Do not ingest more than 3 drops of oil at a time. The oil you have decided to consume must be diluted in 1 cup of warm water and drunk once a day.
Please note that some oils can cause side effects if taken internally.
You should start by ingesting only one drop of essential first and see if it causes any side effects within a day.
Side Effects And Warning
Ensure that the oils are of certified therapeutic quality and sold by trusted companies.
Before applying the EOs to the skin, dilute them with carrier oil, lotion, or water.
Do not use essential oils for children below the age of five. Inhaling and ingesting essential oils may not be suitable for pregnant women.
Undiluted EOs, if used on the skin, may cause issues such as:
- allergic reactions.
Inhale the essential oils in small doses for fewer than 3 minutes per treatment session.
Only a few plant oils are fit for ingestion. Do it only under the guidance of an expert therapist.
Some essential oils contain toxic contents that make them unworthy of consumption internally.
Other Alternative Remedies For Sinusitis
Many of us do not have easy access to many essential oils. Some of them are scarce and unaffordable as well.
Instead of using essential oil for a sinus infection and airway blockage, you can also use other inexpensive alternative treatments that soothe sinus symptoms.
Other options worth trying are:
- Warm compresses on your forehead and nose;
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in the rooms where you stay;
- Irrigate the nasal mucus with a saline solution using a neti pot;
- Have a steam shower;
- Use nasal strips to open up the congested nasal passage;
- Use the saline nasal spray to make the mucus thinner;
- Use allergy medications to get rid of hay fever and other allergies that cause sinusitis.
Finally, endoscopic surgery may be required to solve the issue permanently if you have a chronic sinus due to narrow nasal passages or nasal polyps.
Every person’s body does not respond equally to natural remedies like EOs. They may work for some but not for others.
Essential oils for sinus could be used along with other medications for faster results than entirely depending only on them.
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