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20 Essential Oils For Sinus Congestion


Feeling a little stuffy? Read up on our 20 best essential oils for sinus congestions.

Essential Oils For Nasal Congestions

Getting a stuffy nose can happen for a variety of reasons. It might be a common cold, hay fever, seasonal allergies, or an inflamed nasal passage. Thankfully, there are essential oils that can combat these issues, from clarifying scents that decongest sinuses to soothing oils for nasal inflammation. There are also essential oils that combat colds and warm your body from within.

Aromatherapy can be used to improve your overall wellness. Some essential oils can bolster your immunity, while other oils help to fend off 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. While aromatherapy can treat minor coughs and flu, it’s always best to seek the help of medical professionals if you’re experiencing a more serious medical condition.

What Are The Best Essential Oils For Sinus Congestions?

If you’re looking for a holistic approach to treating nasal congestion and sinus pressure, there are numerous essential oils that will clear your airways. Here are 20 of the best essential oils to try out when you’re having a blocked nose.

1. Tea Tree oil for sinus

Harvested along the gentle streams of New South Wales, Tea Tree Oil is loved by local tribes for healing. When you add a few drops of tea tree to a bowl of warm water, it creates purifying steam that cleanses your nasal passages.

2. Marjoram essential oils for stuffy nose

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

3. Turmeric oils for sinus headache

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

4. Eucalyptus oil for congestion

Before your morning run, inhale the fresh scent of Eucalyptus Oil. Its clarifying aroma rejuvenates the senses and supports easy breathing to improve your endurance.

5. Oregano oil sinus infection

Herbaceous and earthy, Oregano Oil quickly dissolves mucus and stops your sinuses from getting infected. It’s also a nice immunity booster to prevent colds and flus.

6. Clove bud essential oils for stuffy nose

Clove bud trees have long been a symbol of longevity and health. As a modern wellness remedy, it has an abundance of immune-boosting properties that protect you from catching colds.

7. Juniper Berry essential oil for runny nose

Being under the weather is no fun at all! Lift your mood with the spicy, gin-like aroma of Juniper Berry Essential Oil. It also clears congestion, to leave you feeling soothed.

8. Rosemary essential oil for congestion

Rosemary is adored by Spanish cultures for restoring health and wellness. Begin your day by diffusing this herbaceous scent to boost your focus and relieve morning colds.

9. Vanilla essential oils to clear sinuses

Sweet and aromatic, Vanilla Essential Oil brings deep relaxation when you add a few drops to your bath. As you float away in your tub, allow the delicious aroma to clear nasal congestions for easy breathing.

10. Peppermint oil for sinus

Peppermint Essential Oil is just what you need before a morning jog. Its cool and refreshing aroma clears your nasal passages and ensures you don’t feel out of breath on your run.

11. Ho wood essential oils for sinus pressure

Sourced from huge, evergreen plants native to China, Ho Wood Oil transports your senses to vast forests. The oil helps to decongest sinuses when you breathe in its earthy, grounding aroma.

12. Camphor essential oils for sinus infection

Native to the East Asian region, Camphor is often used to heal the mind, body, and soul. It's wonderfully cleansing and keeps your nasal passage clear for easy breathing.

13. May Chang sinus diffuser blend

Constantly sneezing? Inhaling May Chang Oil soothes nasal irritations for complete comfort. When you’re feeling sick, diffuse its zesty scent to cheer right up.

14. Nutmeg essential oils for sinuses

Once an exotic spice back in the colonial era, nutmeg sparks fond memories of hot drinks and Christmas pastries. Its warm aroma gently clears sinuses to deliver satisfying relief all year round.

15. Ginger essential oil nasal congestion

Bask in the breezy daylight of a carefree day! Warm and spicy, Ginger Essential oil instantly clears congestion when used as a vapour rub. Simply blend a few drops of oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply it in circular motions on your chest.

16. Lemon essential oil diffuser blend for sinus

Prepping for a spring clean? When diffused, Lemon Essential Oil cleanses allergens and spores that cause those pesky seasonal allergies. The purifying, lemony oil also effectively cleans dirt and grime when added to DIY cleaning agents.

17. Thyme essential oils stuffy nose

Thyme is symbolic of courage in Greek mythology and is traditionally used as a medicinal herb. When inhaled, this herbaceous wonder boosts your immunity to prevent colds and soothes nasal irritation for complete comfort.

18. Lime oil sinus diffuser blend

Lime was once used by the Egyptians in purification rituals. Its zesty scent refreshes your senses and clears morning colds for carefree days. We’d recommend savoring the scent over a hot brew and the daily news.

19. Bergamot essential oils to help with congestion

When you’re feeling sick, diffuse a few drops of Bergamot Essential Oil to brighten up your day. Its tangy scent uplifts the mind, restores clarity and relieves congested sinuses.

20. Pine Needle runny nose essential oils

Pine Needle has an earthy, balsamic scent that’s believed to banish nightmares. If you’re concerned about waking up with a runny nose, diffuse the scent overnight to keep your sinuses clear.

Other essential oils to treat sinus (chronic sinus) are a part of natural remedies which deliver the best results. These oils are used as a decongestant to curb the causes of sinus. Some oils that also help in beating sinus congestion are lavender oil and lemon oil (extracted from the lemon rind). Add a few drops to boiling water and inhale the steam. Also, ask an aromatherapist for the best blends and ways to use essential oils for the sinus. Essential oils to relieve respiratory ailments including sinus are often times better than over-the-counter drugs.

How To Use Essential Oils For Clearing Congestions?


Taking a warm bath is a great way to clear congestion. 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.


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.

DIY Nasal Spray

Feeling stuffy when you’re outdoors? Try crafting a homemade nasal spray! Simply mix 2 cups of distilled water, ¼ a cup of sea salt, ¼ a cup of baking soda and 1‒2 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. Then, use 2 spritzes of the nasal spray over your face to ease congestion.

Steam Inhalation with Essential Oil Blends for Sinus treatment

Steam inhalation has been the preferred method of clearing the nasal passage for a long time. The advent of steam inhalers and vaporizers has made this practice even more prominent. Inhaling steam with essential oils clears the nasal passage, eliminates the mucus, eases breathing and maintains lung and respiratory health. The antioxidant activities of essential oil (like peppermint) relieve sinus pressure thus clearing respiratory tracts and relaxing the muscles. The process is called as steam therapy. Besides essential oils, herbs and some medicines can be added to the boiling hot water to reap the benefits of steam inhalation. It is also useful in treating seasonal allergies. Add oils and herbs in steaming water and inhale the scent to clear the nasal passage and relieve sinus congestion, overcome inflammation and bacteria, and treat a variety of ailments affecting the respiratory tract.

The process of steam inhalation is easy, even if you do not have the steam inhaler device. Any utensil and a large piece of cloth that covers the head would suffice.

Ingredients for steam inhalation

  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil (expectorant properties)
  • 2 drops of peppermint essential oil (contains menthol and has cytotoxic and antioxidant activities)
  • 3 drops of rosemary oil
  • 2 drops of lemon essential oil (antibacterial and decongestant properties)

Instructions for steam inhalation

  1. Take the water and boil it till steam oozes out profusely. But, cool it down if bubbles are forming.
  2. Shift the water to the inhaler or a bowl with small opening.
  3. Add all the essential oils in the desired dose slowly
  4. Place a towel over your head and the mouth of the bowl, close your eyes and inhale the aromatic steam deeply.
  5. Maintain safe distance between face and bowl.
  6. Inhale till the steam as long as you can.

The hidden benefit of steam inhalation: The blend of essential oils and the steam also purifies your face.

Research on Sinus Congestion Treatment with Essential Oils

What do academic research and peer-reviewed studies have to say about sinus congestion treatment with essential oils? Here, we have segregated some of the research on the use of essential oils for sinus treatment from academic research institutions with strict sourcing guidelines.

Eucalyptus oil has been used in Brazilian folk medicine for treating respiratory conditions including colds, coughs, sinusitis, and bronchial infections. A team of doctors investigated the properties of eucalyptus oil to ascertain if it was helpful in sinus conditions. The research was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2003. The study found that the oil has peripheral analgesic effects and anti-inflammatory properties. The cineole in the oil can help in treating sinus infections. Certain oils like eucalyptus and peppermint and chamomile oil also have antiseptic properties used to relieve the symptoms of sore throat. (1)

In 2021 the International Archives of Allergies and Immunology published a report that validated the use of essential oil in intranasal sprays in treating Perennial Allergic Rhinitis, which causes nasal congestion, runny nose, and itching. The antibacterial, decongestant, expectorant and antifungal properties of the oils relieve sinus. However, the study did not advise ingesting, essential oils. (2)

The Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2009 published a review of the antimicrobial properties of essential oils including lavender essential oil, Palma Rosa and Tuberose. Most of the oils had a positive effect on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. (3)

A Randomized Controlled Trial, the results of which were first published in February 2017, that inhaling the aroma of essential oils in different concentrations had a positive effect in olfactory training. (4)

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.

  1. Read the label and instructions to ensure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  3. Avoid using essential oils on sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  4. Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  5. Keep it out of reach of kids and furkids.
  6. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  7. If you show signs of irritation, stop using and consult a health professional.
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