What Essential Oils Are Good for Bronchitis: Natural Recipes and Treatment Tips

Essential oils for bronchitis capture the healing essence of the most valuable plants of the Earth, which are capable of healing a variety of respiratory illnesses. Human lungs as a primary respiratory organ are often affected by viral and bacterial infections, especially when undergoing a cold or flu.

As the things couldn’t get any more compromising, the environmental threats, such as cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, and industrial smog additionally jeopardize our ability to extract oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere.

Everything you need to know about bronchitis

Bronchitis can be defined as the inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes responsible for carrying gas to and out of the lungs. Medical specialists distinguish acute and chronic bronchitis.

According to the statistics, approximately 5% of adults report an episode of acute bronchitis each year. Acute bronchitis most commonly develops from the cold or other mild viral respiratory infection. The significant symptoms of acute bronchitis usually improve within few days; however, the cough may last for a few weeks.

Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is a more serious ailment characterized by repetitive inflammation and irritation of the bronchial tubes, usually due to smoking.

While acute bronchitis may develop once a year and last for a short period of time, the chronic bronchitis bouts may last for at least 3 months, minimum 2 years in a row

Due to the severity of the symptoms, chronic bronchitis requires medical attention.

Symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis:

  • Cough
  • Production of sputum in the form of clear, white, yellow-grey or green colored mucus. In rare cases, it may be streaked with blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Chest discomfort
  • Slight fever and chills

7 Essential oils for bronchitis

Eucalyptus essential oil

Eucalyptus essential oil for bronchitis

Due to the presence of 1.8-cineole, eucalyptus essential oil is an effective natural aid for treating a number of respiratory problems including cough, cold, sore throat, runny nose, asthma, sinusitis, and bronchitis.

The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral qualities within the eucalyptus essence are excellent for preventing and treating cold and acute bronchitis caused by most common viruses, influenza A and B, rhinovirus and adenovirus, and such bacteria as mycoplasma pneumoniae and haemophilus influenzae.

Oregano essential oil

Oregano essential oil for bronchitis

Oregano essential oil is a natural antibiotic-enriched with a valuable compound called carvacrol. Carvacrol has been proven to reduce and even reverse bacterial and viral infections, inflammation, allergies, and tumors. Acute bronchitis, as a bacterial or viral respiratory condition, can be easily treated with the help of oregano essence.

Prescription antibiotics not only cause the antibiotic resistance but also destroy good bacteria within the body, as well as reduce vitamin absorption. Oregano oil for bronchitis, on the other hand, provides superior antibiotic properties without any harmful side effects.

Thyme essential oil

Thyme essential for bronchitis

Thyme essential oil is enriched with Thymol, Caryophyllene, and Camphene – three main components that provide antiseptic and bactericidal qualities. Due to these particular attributes, thyme essence effectively clears nasal congestions and treats viral and bacterial infections in lungs and bronchi.

The 2011 study conducted at the Medical University of Lodz in Poland researched the response of thyme oil on the 120 strains of bacteria taken from patients with an infected oral cavity, genitourinary and respiratory tract. Thyme essential oil showed strong effectiveness against all clinical strains, including those resistant to antibiotics.

Tea tree essential oil

Tea tree essential oil for bronchitis

Tea tree essential oil is expectorant, which means it is capable of treating congestion, cough, cold, and bronchitis. The oil’s effectiveness originates from antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities, which efficiently protect the body from internal and environmental threats.

Influenza A and B viruses are known for causing bronchitis. According to the 2009 study published in The Society for Applied Microbiology, tea tree essential oil’s antiviral activity against influenza virus is mainly attributed to the active component terpinen-4-ol.

Clove essential oil

Clove essential oil for bronchitis


Clove essential oil carries exceptional ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value of 290.283 units. In other words, clove oil is a remarkable antioxidant capable of protecting the body against free radicals as well as bad bacteria and viruses.

In addition, due to the high levels of calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin C within the essence, clove essential oil efficiently boosts the immune system responsible for keeping the body in healthy state.

Cinnamon bark essential oil

Cinnamon bark essential oil for bronchitis

Cinnamon bark essential oil effectively treats respiratory illnesses by simply preventing the mucus buildup and by clearing the nasal passages. While antibacterial and antiviral qualities of cinnamon essence help reverse internal infections, anti-inflammatory ability simultaneously soothes inflamed tissues of bronchial tubes, pharynx (back of the throat) and swollen tonsils.

The credit for these healing properties mostly belongs to Eugenol, Methyleugenol, Cinnamaldehyde, and Phellandrene. With that being said, cinnamon oil is also enriched with manganese, calcium, and iron that will help you recover faster.

Rosemary essential oil

Rosemary essential oil for bronchitis

Rosemary essential oil carries an antioxidant ORAC value of 3.300 units. Such free-radical-fighting power primarily originates from the component called carnosol. Carnosol provides anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive properties excellent for treating inflamed bronchial tubes and preventing lung cancer.

The antiviral, antibacterial and antispasmodic attributes additionally elevate the overall healing potential of rosemary oil, making it one of the best natural remedies for treating respiratory, mental, digestive, oral and skin illnesses as a result.

4 Ways to use essential oils for bronchitis + natural essential oil recipes

4 Ways to use essential oils for bronchitis + natural essential oil recipes

  1. Steam inhalation

Eucalyptus oil bronchitis inhalation


  • 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • Large pot of water


  • Put the essential oils in exact measurement in a large pot filled with water.
  • Put the pot on the stove and heat it until the liquid almost boils.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and inhale the steam directly.
  • If the steam is too aggressive and it burns or irritates your face, simply inhale it through the face cloth.

Soothing essential oil bath for bronchitis


  • 5 drops of clove essential oil
  • 5 drops of thyme essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil of your choice (jojoba, coconut, olive, sweet almond oil etc.)


  • In a small nonreactive bowl mix all ingredients together and pour the created blend into your bathwater.
  • Soak in water for 30 minutes while inhaling the steam simultaneously.
  1. Chest and back rubs

Bronchitis relieving night rub


  • 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of ginger essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil of your choice (jojoba, coconut, olive, sweet almond oil etc.)


  • Blend all ingredients in exact measurement together.
  • Rub the warm massage oil blend into your chest and back before going to bed.
  1. Chest compress

Anti-inflammatory warm towel compress


  • 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of ginger essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil of your choice (jojoba, coconut, olive, sweet almond oil etc.)
  • 5 liters of hot water


  • Fill a bucket with approximately 5 liters of hot water.
  • In a small nonreactive bowl blend essential oils with a carrier oil and pour the created mixture into the bucket.
  • Dip one large or two small towels into the water. Let the towels dry out a little bit before wrapping them around your back and chest.
  • When the towels cool down, simply warm them again.
  1. Diffusing essential oils

Anti-bronchitis recipe: Diffuse equal amounts of tea tree, clove and myrrh essential oil with your essential oil diffuser.

Respiratory support recipe: 1 drop of eucalyptus, 1 drop of rosemary, 1 drop of lemon and 2 drops of peppermint essential oil.

Pro-immunity recipe: 1 drop of rosemary, 1 drop of clove, 1 drop of eucalyptus, 1 drop of cinnamon bark and 1 drop of wild orange essential oil.


It is safe to say that both acute and chronic bronchitis take a toll on the human body and its performance.  Cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain not only disturb the sleep but also prevent every patient from enjoying the active life in its full capacity.

In the case of chronic bronchitis, running and walking up the stairs may even become a privilege. To make sure your daily active life doesn’t become your longing, it is best to make some progressive lifestyle changes and quit smoking.

Here are the last safety tips that will help you exploit healing properties of essential oils for bronchitis in a safe manner:

  1. Before introducing a new essential oil to your therapy do a skin test patch to make sure you are not allergic to the natural remedy.
  2. If you have been diagnosed with a skin condition or have other illness that may get compromised by the essential oil, make sure to consult your medical specialist beforehand.
  3. Don’t apply essential oil-based treatments to open wound or cuts on your skin.
  4. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your medical specialist about the possible side effects.
  5. When making massage blends always dilute your essential oils with the carrier oil.
  6. When diffusing essentials oils take pets and other people that may be allergic to the vapor into consideration.
  7. Consult your doctor to make sure that the prescribed antibiotics will not be compromised by your treatment with essential oils for bronchitis.

Sources and References

  1. HealthDirect Bronchitis
  2. PubMedHealth Bronchitis
  3. MedlinePlus Chronic Bronchitis

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