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Essential Oils for Sinus Infection

If you have a throbbing pain and pressure around your eyes are constantly blowing your nose, it’s very likely that you have a sinus infection. The first thing you think about for relief from all this is taking some OTC medication like decongestants.

However, you might be surprised to know that it’s possible to naturally treat the condition using essential oils. These oils often offer a longer term, less complicated, more permanent solution than most medications.

What is a sinus infection?

A sinus infection is also called sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, an infection targeting your sinuses. Sinuses are the air-filled bony cavities located in your face and skull. It is when the soft tissues lining the sinusest get inflamed that you have a sinus infection.

Sinusitis is divided into various kinds based on how long an attack lasts.

  • In case of short-term attacks, they generally last for about two to a maximum of twelve weeks. These attacks are usually triggered by a cold, an allergy or some environmental pollutants.
  • However long term or chronic cases are infections that last for more than 12 weeks, or may even keep recurring throughout the year.

Various types of sinusitis is based on the length of the infection. Categories can be found here:

  • Acute sinusitis lasts for two to four weeks
  • Sub-acute sinusitis for four to twelve weeks
  • Chronic sinus infections for twelve weeks or longer
  • Recurrent sinusitis recurs all year round

Causes and symptoms

There are various causes for sinusitis. Sometimes your lifestyle habits like a job involving constant interaction with children, smoking and pregnancy can trigger an attack. There are also inflammatory causes triggered by bacterial, fungal and viral infections, and attacks triggered by allergies and polyps.

There are also anatomical causes like enlarged nasal turbinates and developmental disorders like cystic fibrosis that can trigger an infection. Even tumors in the nose and sinus can block important drainage pathways.

The common symptoms of a sinus infection are similar to the common cold symptoms.

These includes: 

  • aching ears
  • headaches
  • fever
  • nasal passage congestion
  • breathing difficulties
  • dizziness
  • sore throat
  • pain and swelling in the face

Chronic sinusitis can make life difficult as you get constantly tired, especially if you have asthma.

Best essential oil for sinus infection

Essential oils have been used for treating sinus infections for years as they are not only natural treatment options, but are also safe to use.

Here are some of the best essential oils for sinus infection:

  1. Lemon essential oil

Lemon essential oil is one of the best oils for sinusitis because of its excellent antibacterial and decongestant properties. It not only helps treat rhinosinusitis and also helps in developing your body immunity.

Application: Using the oil is easy – just have to add about 25 drops to a humidifier and switch it on. You will get relief breathing its therapeutic air.

Try to do this at least once a day, preferably before sleeping.

Get the best price on lemon oil here!

  1. Eucalyptus oil 

Eucalyptus oil is commonly used for treating colds and coughs for its minty fragrance. The oil is extracted from the eucalyptus leaf and is helpful at clearing blocked passages. It also has antispasmodic and antimicrobial properties which when applied to your chest, helps relax your tired muscles and fights infections.

Best application: Besides mixing a few drops with carrier oil and applying to your chest, you can also add a few drops of the oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam emitted. This should be done with your head covered with a bed sheet or blanket. You can do this whenever you need. This is safe even for toddlers who want relief from congestion.

Get the best price on eucalyptus oil here!

  1. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint is a favorite essential oil containing menthol with decongestant, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antispasmodic and antibacterial properties. The combined effects provide relief from rhinosinusitis and is great for sinus headaches.

Mixture: Just add 3-4 drops to a diffuser and inhale the dispersed air once a day.

Get the best price on peppermint oil here!

  1. Lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil contains anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. They together make the oil a useful decongestant to clear blocked nasal passages for sinusitis relief.

How to use: All you have to do for relief from sinus infections is to add 8-10 drops of the oil your bath water and soak in it for 15-20 minutes. You get lots of relief doing this just thrice a week.

Get the best price on lavender oil here!

  1. Oregano oil 

The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of oregano oil make it helpful for treating rhinosinusitis.

Application: Just mix 1-2 drops of the oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil like olive or jojoba oil and massage onto your nose and chest for relief once or twice a day.

Get the best price on oregano oil here!

  1. Tea tree oil

It is the antibacterial, decongestant and antiseptic properties of tea tree oil that makes it a useful sinusitis remedy. It clears blocked nasal passages, through nasal saline irrigation using a neti pot.

Recipe: Make a mixture of a tablespoon of sea salt and warm water, add a drop of tea tree oil and pour into a neti pot.Now pour the solution into the upper nostril while bending over a sink. Let the mixture drain out of the other nostril while your head remains still.

Don’t forget to breathe through your mouth while performing this at least twice a day!

Get the best price on tea tree oil here!

Essential oil sinus infection top blend 

You can also make some useful essential oil blends for additional relief from sinusitis.

Try mixing two drops each of peppermint and eucalyptus oils with a carrier oil and rubbing under the nose and on the sinus areas. The mixture will last for several applications if stored in a tightly sealed bottle and stored in a dark, dry place.


While essential oils do help treat sinus infections, they can get dangerous if not used in moderation and with care.

  • Do not use the undiluted oils directly on the skin. It has to be mixed with carrier oil or at least diluted before use.
  • Always first try an oil on a small part of your body before applying topically. This is a precautionary measure as some people may be sensitive or allergic to some oils.
  • Pregnant, nursing and asthmatic patients should use essential oils only after confirming it’s safe to use.
  • Last, but not least, moderation is the key and no internal consumption.

With regular and correct usage, you will soon get the much needed relief you’re looking for.

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