How To Get Rid Of A Stuffy Nose With Essential Oils
Stuffy nose is not a life threatening condition. Is that right? Those who woke up in the middle of the night gasping for breath because their nose got clogged will disagree. Stuffy nose or nasal congestion is one of the common ailments that affect everyone.
Contrary to popular belief, stuffy nose is not due to excess buildup of mucous in the nose. It is the result of inflammation of the blood vessels in your nose. What causes these blood vessels inflammation? Anything from colds and coughs, fever and flu, and any sinus infections can cause the blood vessels to flare up.
There are several home remedies that can lessen the discomfort caused due to stuffy nose and help speed up the healing process. The remedies are as simple as gobbling up hot and spicy soup to using corticosteroid nasal spray. There is however a home remedy for stuffy nose that has other uses as well. The answer to treating stuffy nose at home without any hassle is – essential oils.
Essential Oils To Get Rid Of Stuffy Nose
1. Peppermint Essential Oil Treats Stuffy Nose
The go to essential oil for any respiratory related ailment is the efficacious peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil is obtained from the mentha × piperita and its leaves were crushed and the aroma inhaled to unblock the sinuses.
Many pharmaceutical products also make use of peppermint oil as an ingredient. But why is peppermint oil potent in treating nasal congestion? It is because of its active ingredient, menthol. It is believed that menthol influences the mucus receptors in the nose and by doing so it opens the airways and gets rid of the phlegm and mucus.
PLOS One published a study on Mentha piperita Grown in China, its chemical composite and therapeutic properties.
The study published in December 2014 establishes the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the oil. (1) Of course, it needs to be mentioned here that more human trials on the efficacy and efficiency of essential oils must be conducted.
How to Use peppermint Oil For Stuffy Nose
There are a few ways of using peppermint essential oil for clearing stuffy nose. These methods are as follows: -
- Take a bowl with a narrow opening or a steam inhaler or neti pot and fill it with hot water. To this hot water add 5 drops of peppermint oil. Now place a towel over your head and the head of the bowl and deeply inhale the aroma while keeping the eyes closed.
- Mix a few drops of the essential oil of peppermint with a tablespoon of coconut oil (or any carrier oil) and rub on the nose and throat.
2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil For Nasal Congestion
Eucalyptus essential oil is another oil that figures prominently in treatment for respiratory properties. The oil with powerful expectorant properties has shown promise in several researches as an alternative for respiratory congestion and sinusitis treatment.
This oil is also an ingredient in over-the-counter decongestant medicines. It is inhaled to remove sinus congestion. And why is eucalyptus oil effective in tackling congestion? The presence of the compound cineole is the reason why eucalyptus is a powerful expectorant.
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was done in 2009 to verify the efficacy of cineole in treating non-purulent rhinosinusitis. The study published in The Laryngoscope had a total of 152 participants.
The study concluded that using cineole in the early stages of the condition was effective in its treatment. (2) Cineole was also effective in taking care of headaches, runny nose and nasal obstruction.
How To Use Eucalyptus Oil As Nasal Congestion Remedy
There are a few ways of using eucalyptus essential oil for clearing stuffy nose. These methods are as follows: -
- Take a bowl with a narrow opening or a steam inhaler and fill it with hot water. To this hot water add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil. Now place a towel over your head and the head of the bowl and deeply inhale the aroma while keeping the eyes closed.
- Mix a few drops of the essential oil of eucalyptus with a tablespoon of coconut oil (or any carrier oil) and rub on the nose and throat.
3. Tea Tree Oil Remedy For Sinus Congestion
Tea tree essential oil is a potent antibacterial and antiviral agent that can combat the bacterial and viral causes of nasal congestion. And what makes tea tree oil so potent? The compound alpha sabine in the oil makes the oil potent. A 2015 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine evaluates the therapeutic properties of tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can tackle the swellings in the sinuses. As mentioned in the introduction, the difficulty in breathing is caused by the swelling in the sinuses.
How To Use Tea Tree Essential Oil For Proper Breathing
Tea tree oil is diffused via an aroma diffuser and its aroma is inhaled as a part of aromatherapy. Inhaling the aroma frequently will gradually eliminate pathogens, decrease swelling and restore proper breathing.
4. Treating Stuffy Nose With Oregano Essential Oil
How does oregano oil help against sinusitis? It fights the pathogens that cause the issue. The compound carvacrol in the oil fights off the bacteria. The journal Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery in 2012 published a study that investigated the antimicrobial activities of carvacrol. (3)
5. Clary Sage Essential Oil To Clear Stuffy Nose
Clary sage essential oil is used to unblock sinus infections caused by bacteria. The essential oil of Clary sage has antibacterial properties. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology published a 2015 study on antibacterial activities of Clary sage in wound treatment. In vitro tests n the study showed that Clary sage is effective as a natural antimicrobial agent. (4)
How To Use Clary Sage Oil To Clear Nose
There are many methods that can be employer to clear stuffy nose. The easiest way of clearing stuffy nose with the oil of Clary sage is to inhale the aroma of the oil directly from the bottle. The oil must be deeply inhaled for a few minutes.
6. Lavender Oil For Clearing Nose
It is impossible to have a list, any list, of essential oil and miss out lavender essential oil. This versatile essential oil reduces the symptoms of sinus congestion and infection. It also reduces pain and swelling due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
A 2015 study published in the Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências confirmed the antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of lavender essential oil. It needs to be mentioned here that more human trials on the efficacy and efficiency of essential oils must be conducted to learn about its benefits for humans. (5) The sedative nature of the oil is an added advantage in treating stuffy nose.
7. Essential Oil Of Rosemary Stuffy Nose Medicine
Rosemary is another essential oil with versatile nature and popular for its anti-inflammatory properties. Because of its anti-inflammatory activities it is used to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the sinuses. A 2013 study published in the journal Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology evaluated the pharmacological effects of rosemary officinalis. (6)
How To Use Essential Oils For Stuffy Nose And Sinus Congestion
A word of caution before proceeding – Essential oils must not be ingested or taken internally to treat any illness, unless explicitly stated by a doctor.
Now, to treat stuffy nose and to get relief, essential oils must be diluted before topical application. There are a few ways of inhaling the aroma of essential oils.
The simple way would be to add a few drops of the essential oil or oil on a tissue paper or handkerchief and breathe in the aroma directly. Take a few deep breaths regularly to unclog the nose. Make sure that the oil does not come in contact with the tip of the nose.
Take a bowl with a narrow opening or a steam inhaler and fill it with hot water. To this hot water add 5 drops of any essential oil. Now place a towel over your head and the head of the bowl and deeply inhale the aroma while keeping the eyes closed.
Aroma diffusers diffuse the aroma of essential oil in the air easily and quickly. Diffuse the aroma and inhale the aroma continuously. This is a safe way to inhale the aroma of plant oils.
Add a few drops of the oil in the bath water and take a medicinal bath to unclog the nose. Make sure the bath water is slightly warm, and inhale the aroma of the oil while bathing.
Essential oils can also be applied topically to unblock the nose. To do so, dilute the essential oil. Add 2 to 5 drops of essential oil into a tablespoon of carrier oil. Some common carrier oils are – coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and olive oil. Next, apply the oils blend on the nose and forehead (the glabella) and the throat. (Before applying any essential oil topically it is better to conduct a skin patch test.)
Are Essential Oils Safe For Children, Babies And Infants?
- The use of essential oils on infants below the age of 3 months is not recommended. Experts dissuade people from using essential oils around infants.
- There are many essential oils that are safe and recommended for use on children. However, because everyone’s health is different, it is better to ask a doctor about using the oil on children.
- Babies below the age of 3 years should not be exposed to peppermint essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil. It is believed that these oils are harmful to children in this age group.
- When diffusing essential oils for aromatherapy, be aware that babies, children and pets will also be inhaling the aroma. Hence, due diligence must be followed.
- It is recommended that essential oils be diffused in private rooms to avoid risks to others.
- Some essential oils are known to active triggers for asthma. Do not diffuse such oils around asthmatic people.
Other Ways To Clear A Stuffy Nose
- Hot shower help relieve stuffiness of nose
- Use a humidifier to induce humidity if the air in a room feels too dry.
- Open the nasal passages and reduce inflammation with drugstore antihistamines and pseudoephedrine. Allergy medication lowers inflammation of blood vessels in the nose.
- Natural decongestant nasal sprays loosen the mucus in the nasal passage.
- Drink tasty and hot chicken soup.
- Try nasal irrigation and lower pressure in your sinuses.
Essential oils have been used an alternative treatment for several. Several studies have proven the therapeutic properties of essential oils. It is a natural way of treating several ailments and a good way to avoid over the counter prescription medications. Research has shown that using essential oils during the early stages of most diseases helps treat the diseases. These oils also act as a complementary treatment for ailments.
Essential oils for stuffy nose are a natural way of treating nasal congestion. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of these oils open the respiratory tract and allow proper breathing. This is especially useful for getting proper sleep at night. The oils can be topically applied or inhaled to open the sinuses.
What gets rid of a stuffy nose fast?
Steam inhalation and warm compresses with essential oils gets rid of a stuffy nose fast. The essential oils that can be used to get rid of stuffy nose or nasal congestion include peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, oregano essential oil and tea tree essential oil.
How do you unblock a stuffy nose naturally?
Stuffy nose can be unblocked by any of the following natural ways: -
- Adding moisture to the atmosphere with a humidifier
- Having a hot soup
- Taking a hot shower
- Topical or inhalation aromatherapy with essential oils
- Increasing fluid intake
- Use saline sprays and neti pots
How should I sleep with a stuffy nose?
While sleeping with a stuffy nose make sure that the blood flows down, i.e. it flows away from the sinuses. Thus, keep the head in an elevated position while sleeping.
How long does a stuffy nose last?
It depends. Sometimes, for some people, nasal congestion or stuffy nose lasts for 3 to 4 days. In some other cases, it may last for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Zhenliang Sun, Huiyan Wang, Jing Wang, Lianming Zhou, and Peiming Yang . (2014). Chemical Composition and Anti-Inflammatory, Cytotoxic and Antioxidant Activities of Essential Oil from Leaves of Mentha piperita Grown in China. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4262447/.
- Wolfgang Kehrl MD,Uwe Sonnemann MD,Uwe Dethlefsen PhD. (2009). Therapy for Acute Nonpurulent Rhinosinusitis With Cineole: Results of a Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial†. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1097/00005537-200404000-00027.
- Antonia Nostro 1, Teresa Papalia. (2012). Antimicrobial activity of carvacrol: current progress and future prospectives. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22044355/.
- Monika Sienkiewicz,corresponding author1 Anna Głowacka,1 Katarzyna Poznańska-Kurowska,2 Andrzej Kaszuba,2 Anna Urbaniak,3 and Edward Kowalczyk. (2015). The effect of clary sage oil on staphylococci responsible for wound infections. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4360007/.
- Gabriela L da Silva. (2015). Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26247152/.
- Faezeh Vahdati Hassani 1, Kobra Shirani 1, Hossein Hosseinzadeh. (2016). Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) as a potential therapeutic plant in metabolic syndrome: a review. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) as a potential therapeutic plant in metabolic syndrome: a review. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27178264/.
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