How To Use Essential Oils To Cure A Sinus Infection


If you are among those unlucky few who have experienced a sinus infection, you know how unpleasant it can get. The constant feeling of a runny nose, sometimes accompanied by pain, can leave you running around in search of a decongestant. Sinusitis is undoubtedly tiring in the long run. However, you will be surprised to know that this condition can be treated right at home with the use of essential oils. Read on to find out how.

How To Use Essential Oils To Cure A Sinus Infection

What Is A Sinus Infection?

The sinus is a cavity within the bones or tissues that make up your face or skull. These cavities are usually filled with air. When the sinuses are blocked and filled with fluid, microbes can grow and cause infection, leading to the inflammation of the tissues lining your sinus. This condition is also known as sinusitis.

Let’s now look at the types of sinus infection.

Types Of Sinus Infection

Sinus infections are classified into different types based on how long the infection lasts.

  • Acute sinusitis: This type of sinus infection usually lasts for 2-4 weeks and is often accompanied by a runny nose and facial pain.
  • Subacute sinusitis: This lasts for about 4-12 weeks.
  • Chronic sinus infection: This takes 12 weeks or longer to heal.
  • Recurrent sinusitis: This infection occurs several times throughout the year.

Let us now discuss the causes behind the development of a sinus infection.

Causes Of Sinus Infection

  • Any infection in your upper respiratory tract can cause acute sinus infection. Allergens, pollutants, viruses, and bacteria are the main culprits. The viruses damage the lining of the sinus, leading to inflammation and obstruction of the nasal passage that connects the sinuses. This obstruction allows the bacteria to multiply within the sinus and causes an infection. Allergens and pollutants also show a similar effect.
  • Fungi are the major cause of a chronic sinus infection. Individuals with weak immunity are more susceptible to such infections.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions, such as the common cold and nasal polyps, can also cause sinus blockage.

When you have sinusitis, you experience a range of signs and symptoms. The most common ones discussed below.

How To Treat Sinus Infections With Essential Oils

  1. Lemon Essential Oil
  2. Eucalyptus Oil
  3. Peppermint Oil
  4. Lavender Oil
  5. Oregano Oil
  6. Rosemary Oil
  7. Chamomile Oil
  8. Tea Tree Oil
  9. Clove Oil
  10. Frankincense Oil

Essential Oils To Treat Sinus Infections

1. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil

You Will Need
  • 25-30 drops of lemon essential oil
  • Humidifier/Vaporizer
What You Have To Do

Add 25-30 drops of lemon essential oil to a humidifier and place it in your room.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily, preferably before bedtime.

Why This Works

Lemon essential oil is one of the best essential oils to treat sinus infection. This oil is extracted from the lemon rind and exhibits amazing antibacterial and decongestant properties, which can be used to combat sinus infections (1). It can also help improve your immunity by fighting other bacteria that may try to invade your body.

2. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil

You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 1 bowl of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of hot water.
  2. Cover your head with a bed sheet or blanket.
  3. Inhale the hot steam.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this whenever you want to get relief from congestion.

Why This Works

Extracted from the eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus oil is another essential oil that is beneficial in treating sinus infections. One of the most significant compounds in this oil is eucalyptol. This compound has a minty fragrance and is widely used in cough syrups and throat drops. It is extremely effective in clearing blocked passages. It also possesses antispasmodic and antimicrobial properties, which can help relax the overworked chest muscles and fight infections (2), (3). This oil is also relatively safe to use on toddlers in moderation.

3. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil

You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of peppermint oil
  • Diffuser
What You Have To Do
  1.   Add four drops of peppermint essential oil to a diffuser.
  2.   Inhale the air dispersed from the diffuser.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Peppermint oil is quite popular for its wide range of medicinal uses. It contains menthol that exhibits decongestant properties. Peppermint oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and expectorant properties, all of which can help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis (4).

4. Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil

You Will Need
  • 8-10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Sponge
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1.   Pour a few drops of lavender essential oil on a wet sponge.
  2.   Immerse this sponge in your bath water.
  3.   Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least thrice a week.

Why This Works

Lavender oil has a pleasant fragrance and exhibits natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and analgesic properties. It can also be used as a decongestant to clear the blocked nasal passages and relieve sinus infection (5).

5. Oregano Oil

Oregano Oil

You Will Need
  • 1-2 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 teaspoon of any carrier oil (olive or jojoba oil)
What You Have To Do
  1.  Mix a drop of oregano oil with a teaspoon of any carrier oil.
  2.  Massage this mixture onto your nose and chest.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Oregano oil has high phenol content and is often used for its distinct flavor. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which can help treat sinus infection and its symptoms (6).

7. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile Oil

You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1 teaspoon of any carrier oil (olive or almond oil)
What You Have To Do
  1.   Mix chamomile oil with any carrier oil.
  2.   Gently massage this mixture on your chest and nose.
  3.   You can also use this oil in a diffuser.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times a day.

Why This Works

Chamomile oil is widely used for its wide range of benefits. It exhibits powerful antiseptic properties, which can help treat the infection causing your sinuses to flare up. It also has anti-allergenic and sedative properties, which can provide relief around the sinuses and improve sleep (9).

8. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

You Will Need
  • 1 drop of tea tree oil
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • A Neti pot

What You Have To Do

  1.    Add a tablespoon of sea salt to a cup of warm water.
  2.    Mix well until it dissolves completely.
  3.    Add a drop of tea tree oil to this solution.
  4.    Bend over a sink and pour the solution into the upper nostril.
  5.    While keeping your head stationary, drain this solution out of the other nostril.
  6.    Make sure that you are breathing via your mouth throughout this procedure.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least twice daily.

Why This Works

The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of tea tree oil make it a great remedy for sinus infection (10). It also acts as a decongestant and can help clear blocked nasal passages. Also, nasal saline irrigation using a neti pot is a proven remedy against sinus infections (11).

9. Clove Oil

Clove Oil

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of clove oil
  • A diffuser
What You Have To Do
  1.   Add a couple of drops of clove oil to a diffuser.
  2.   Inhale the dispersed air.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Clove oil is widely used to treat a variety of ailments, including sinus infections. It exhibits antiseptic and antifungal properties that can help in treating inflamed sinuses (12).

10. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense Oil

You Will Need
  • 1-2 drops of frankincense oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
What You Have To Do
  1.    Add two drops of frankincense oil to a tablespoon of honey.
  2.    Consume this mixture.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least once daily.

Why This Works

Frankincense oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties that can provide relief from sinus infections by breaking up the phlegm in your respiratory tracts and relaxing the muscles of your lungs (13).

Although essential oils are extremely beneficial in treating a sinus infection, if not used in moderation, they might prove to be quite dangerous for you. Hence, some precautions need to be taken while using these oils.

Precautions While Using Essential Oils

  • Never use undiluted essential oils directly on your skin.
  • Do a patch test before applying an essential oil topically. This is because some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to certain oils.
  • If you are pregnant or have asthma, it is recommended that you use any essential oil only after makin sure it is safe for you.
  • Use essential oils only in the prescribed amounts.
  • It is also to be noted that all essential oils cannot be used for aromatherapy.
  • Keep essential oils out of children’s reach.
  • It is advised that you take essential oils internally after consulting a qualified practitioner.
  • Keep these oils away from fire as they are highly inflammable.

Never forget that moderation is the key while using these oils. Go ahead and try these essential oil remedies and let us know if they helped clear your sinuses.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What are the essential oils that are good for sinus infections?

All the essential oils listed above are quite effective in treating sinus infections.

What is the best essential oil to use for clearing sinuses so that you can sleep better?

Essential oils like chamomile, lavender, and frankincense have sedative properties and can help clear your sinuses while also improving your sleep.

Is it safe to apply carrier oils and essential oils inside your nose?

If the essential oil that you are using is relatively safe, you can mix it with any carrier oil and apply it inside your nose.

Can swimming cause a sinus infection?

Any viruses, bacteria, or fungi in the pool water can cause inflammation and worsen the symptoms of the sinus infection. Hence, affected individuals are advised to reduce the duration of their swims.