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20 Essential Oils For Cough


Feeling under the weather? Discover the top 20 essential oils for soothing colds and coughs here.

Essential Oils For Coughing & Colds

Mild coughing is perfectly natural. When irritants and pathogens enter your airways, coughing helps to remove them from your body. Coughing can also be a response to built-up mucus when you catch a cold.

Aromatherapy uses a variety of scents to decongest airways, remove pathogens from your living space and reduce throat irritations that cause coughing. These scents can also warm up your body, helping you to combat colds. Some people also believe that essential oils can have slight effects on balancing the chemical and energetic systems of the body through nutrients from the plants they’re extracted from.

What Are The Best Essential Oils For Cough?

If you’re looking for a holistic approach to treating coughs or colds, there are numerous essential oils that you can choose from to clear airways and heal sore throats. Here are 20 of the best essential oils to try out the next time sniffles and coughs hit.

1. Rosemary essential oils for chest congestion

A herbaceous plant that sprouts up across the coasts of Italy, rosemary has a powerful scent that decongests airways and restores wellness.

2. Bergamot essential oils for cough

Fresh Bergamot Oils contain an abundance of camphene that’s naturally clarifying for morning colds. It also energizes you, helping you to shake off sleepiness when you wake up.

3. Turmeric essential oil for congestion

A 4000-year-old plant, Turmeric oil was often used in the ancient days as a spiritual and ceremonial object. It gently warms you up from within and slowly decongests stuffy sinuses.

4. Eucalyptus diffuser blend for colds

Native to Australia as bush medicine, Eucalyptus Oil is often used in purification rites by indigenous people. Breathe better all day by using its minty scent to clear up congested airways.

5. Tea tree oil bronchitis blend

Harvested along the gentle streams of New South Wales, the tea tree is loved by local tribes for its healing powers. When diffused, tea tree oil purifies the air and reduces the chances of inflammation and bronchitis.

6. Oregano essential oils for mucus

Herbaceous and earthy, Oregano Oil instantly dissolves mucus and restores easy breathing. It also bolsters your immunity, helping you bounce back after coughs and colds.

7. Peppermint oil for coughs

Peppermint is known as “the flavor of Christmas”. The scent of peppermint essential oil is perfect for fighting off winter-time flus and colds. When diffused, it also fills your space with a familiar, candy-like aroma.

8. Frankincense essential oils for cough

Peaceful, woodsy, and spiritual, Frankincense Oil exudes balsamic notes that clear mental clutter and relieve congestions. Suffering from colds at work? Breathe in a few drops to get yourself back on track.

9. Ginger essential oils cough

Packed with anti-inflammatories, Ginger Oils have an abundance of properties to soothe scratchy throats and ward away colds. Drip a few drops of oil onto your cupped palms and breathe in the scent to enjoy lasting relief.

10. Cinnamon bark for cold dry cough

Shake off your discomfort and let the pleasant aroma of Cinnamon Bark Oil bring great relief. Let its warming qualities soothe you and boost your natural defenses during cold seasons.

11. Spearmint essential oils for dry cough

Cooling spearmint was often used by the Greeks to energize themselves after grueling sporting events. The scent is suited to help you breathe better during morning runs and to relieve dry coughs.

12. Lime oils for chest congestion

Lime Oil has a powerful and clarifying scent that soothes away congestions. The scent also relaxes the senses by delivering satisfying relief when inhaled.

13. Lemon essential oils for breathing

Fresh and purifying, Lemon Oils clear the air of pathogens and particles that cause seasonal allergies and coughs. Safeguard your space by diffusing a few drops of Lemon Oils around the room during spring or autumn.

14. Myrrh for relieving dry cough

This complex and aromatic scent has long been used for spiritual practices throughout the ages. When inhaled, the scent gently eases dry coughs and phlegm for smoother breathing.

15. Pine Needle diffuser blend for cough

With its familiar woody fragrance, Pine Needle Oil sparks fond memories of Christmas morning. Diffuse the scent around your living space to ease sore throats and relieve coughs.

16. Marjoram essential oils for breathing

Marjoram is a perennial herb originating from the Mediterranean. It has a cool and minty quality when inhaled, helping you to decongest clogged airways.

17. Cypress essential oil for dry cough relief

Representing long life and vitality, cypress is known for improving wellness. The woodsy oil contains an abundance of soothing qualities that delivers lasting relief to dry throats.

18. Cinnamon Cassia essential oil for colds

Cinnamon cassia essential oil is wonderfully warming to combat colds and flus. Enjoy its full benefits by mixing the oil with 2 tbsp of Epsom salt. Then, lie back and let the comforting and toasty bath warm you up.

19. Fennel essential oils for bronchitis

A native Mediterranean plant, the Romans and Greeks used Fennel extensively for cooking. Fennel Oil infuses the air with purifying properties, clearing the it of pathogens and delivering day-long protection.

20. Clove bud essential oils for cough and congestions

In the Spice Islands of Indonesia, clove trees were planted to celebrate longevity. When diffused, clove bud oil improves the air quality in your home and effectively boosts your natural immunity against coughs and colds.

How To Use Essential Oils For Coughs & Flus?


Taking a warm bath is a great way to keep colds and flus at bay. Simply blend 2‒3 drops of oil with a tablespoon of Epsom salt. Then, immerse the mixture in your bath and allow the fumes to decongest your airways and lessen coughs..


Diffusing essential oils is the easiest and most common aromatherapy method. Just add a few drops of essential oils into your diffuser and breathe in the benefits.


Concerned about seasonal allergies? Purify your space from microbes and pathogens with a DIY cleaning spray. Just mix 4‒5 drops of oil into a 50ml spray bottle filled with water.

Research – Essential Oils For Coughs, Colds and Flu

Essential oils to relieve your cough and cold symptoms and other respiratory ailments are mostly a standalone treatment, but in some cases it is a perfect complementary alternative therapy. Essential oils may have antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties that clear the upper respiratory tract, chest and throat, and eliminate the bacteria that cause it. The easiest way of getting the benefits of these oils is to fill a bowl of steaming water and add the oils (for example cinnamon essential oil and eucalyptus oil) and inhaling the aroma.

There have been several researches on essential oils because of its growing fame in the world of therapeutics. Some of these researches have also focused on the effect of essential oils in treating and mitigating coughs and colds. The research listed here has strict sourcing guidelines and are from reputed academic research institutions.

A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Invention looks into the alternate herbal remedies for treating coughs. The research done by Shahnaz Sultana, Andleeb Khan and team does extensive research on plant remedies and essential oils for treating coughs caused by different causes. It was found that herbal remedies from clove, cardamom, turmeric, lemon, ginger and cinnamon have positive effect. The essential oils of these herbal remedies have the same constituents and hence are effective in curbing coughs and clearing respiratory tract. (1)

The entire world was once affected (depending on when you will be reading this) with the SARS COV-2, infamously known as Covid. A randomized clinical trial was conducted and published in the Journal of Advances in Medical and Biomedical Research. Doctors and scientists experimented to find the effect of thyme essential oil (from Thymus Vulgaris) on the patients affected with COVID19. It was found that the antioxidant properties of thyme (maybe from carvacrol) improved the immune system and the antiviral activities of the oil lowered the symptoms of the disease. In fact, thyme essential oil was recommended for mitigating the symptoms of the infection. To remind everyone of the harsh reality of 2019-2021, the symptoms of the infections included cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, fatigue, and muscle and joint ache. Many people use breathe blend essential oil or mix peppermint essential oil and coconut oil and use as vapor rub on the chest or diffuse for inhalation to help relieve common cold and upper respiratory conditions. (2)

Another study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2009 evaluated the ingredients and its medicinal properties in the essential oil of Nepeta cataria L or more popularly known as catnip essential oil. The study found that the ingredients 1, 8-cineole, α-humulene, alpha-pinene and geranyl acetate gave the oil its spasmolytic and myorelaxant properties. These properties make the oil useful in treating cough and asthma among other ailments. (3)

The leaves of Cupressus lusitanica Mill. are known for its medicinal properties in its native region. It belongs to the species of cypress. A study found that when used carefully, the oil from this plant could treat whooping cough. The study was published in the year 2013. (4

Ginger has long been used in treating several bodily ailments due to its medicinal properties. The chemical properties and antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of the Zingiber officinale Roscoe essential oil was evaluated by scientists in 2016 and published in the Pharmacognosy Journal. It was found that the oil could eliminate pathogenic microorganisms. Ginger essential oil can hence be used to treat or prevent coughs and colds due to bacterial infections and microbes. It is known to soothe the bronchial muscles. The best way to use it is to add it to warm water inhale to relieve nasal congestion. (5)

How To Use Essential Oils Safely

Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and caution when using them to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  • Read the label and instructions to ensure you’re using the oil correctly.
  • Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  • Avoid using essential oils on sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  • Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  • Keep it out of reach of kids and furkids.
  • Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  • If you show signs of irritation, stop using and consult a health professional.
  • The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
  • If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.
  • Some essential oils cannot be used by people with kidney problems, whereas some essential oils cannot be used by those with blood disorders. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about your essential oil needs and predisposition for diseases.
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