The Best Essential Oils for Sinus Infection

Medically referred to as sinusitis (inflammation of one of the paranasal sinuses), a sinus infection is characterized by inflamed and swollen nasal cavities. This condition upsets the maxillary sinuses that are found in the cheekbone and the ethmoidal sinuses found between the eyes.

The germscausingsinus infection is considered to be communicable. There are two major types of sinus infection: acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis is when your sinuses are infected for five or more days; while chronic sinusitis occurs when the infection lasts for more than six weeks. This article will provide you with a list of essential oils for sinus infection.

Common Symptoms & Causes

  • Nasal discharge
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Pain/pressure in the face
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Toothache

There are various causes of sinus infection that you must be aware of in order to be able to use essential oils for sinus relief. The causes are: cold, allergies and nasal polyps.

Cold is the leading cause which invades the linings of your nose and sinuses.

This triggers an immune reaction to fight off the cold, leading to a stuffy nose. Major symptoms due to cold are: nasal congestion, sneezing sore throat, cough and hoarseness.Allergies are normally probable causes of sinusitis, also referred to as allergic rhinitis.

sinus relief

This is a condition where your body defends itself against infinitesimal particles that you breathe in through your paranasal sinuses. Another common cause of sinus infection is nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are concomitant with structural deviations in your sinuses. They are abnormal overgrowths that emerge from the mucous membranes of your nose. They can potentially appear in the entire paranasal sinus. Apart from causing sinus infections, polyps can lead to loss of smell.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sinus

There are ways through which you can use aromatic oils to manage sinus infection. The most recommended ways are: steam inhalation, humidification, diffusion and massage.

Steam Inhalation

This method provides you with a significant way of absorbing essential oils for short time duration. A few drops of your desired essential oil for congestion in a steaming bowl will help you deal with respiratory congestion and open up your sinuses. You are required to use this method at least three times a day. You are strongly advised to avoid natural oils with a pungent smell when using steam inhalation. managing sinus, this method will help you restore balance to your spirit. You have to closely observe safety precautions and quality of the oils you use.



A humidifier keeps the atmosphere of your room humid by dispersing ultra-fine cool mist. As far as humidification is concerned, essential oil and water are mixed and then ultrasonic energy creates a fine mist, which is dispersed into the air of your room. The mist dispersed by this device will relieve dryness of your mouth and nasal passages. Usually, humidification alleviates symptoms of cold, helping you to manage sinus. Open the water chamber of your humidifier and add water to the desired level. Then add an appropriate number of drops of essential oil and switch on the humidifier.



A diffuser is a device that uses ultrasonic technology to disperse an ultra-fine mist into the air of your room. Diffusing is one of the most effective methods of delivering sinus healing properties of essential oils in aromatherapy. A diffuser is engineered to break down natural oil particles and then disperse them into the air for you to inhale. There are many models in the market that you can buy. However, the best model is one that: uses ultrasonic energy, operates quietly, and is easy to maintain.



Usually blocked air passages in your body can interfere with your breathing, leading to sleeping issues. You can decongest any blocked passages by massaging your neck, back of your neck and temples with a blend of lemon, orange, lavender and geranium essential oils. You should use three to four drops of the individual oils in the blend.Alternatively, you can rub your face and forehead pressure points with essential oils for sinusitis. You should not use massage over bruised/broken skin and recent scar tissue.

Hot Bath

Hot Bath

Create a relaxing hot bath by dispersing eight to ten drops of the appropriate essential oil. Then plunge your body into the bath. You will emerge feeling revived because of the antibacterial properties of the oil (s). Bathing with essential oils on regular basis will not only alleviate sinus infection, but also help you ease muscular pains, alleviate tension and anxiety and control stress.

Recommended Essential Oils

There are many natural oils that you can use to treat sinus infection. You can identify these oils with respect to their therapeutic properties and the symptoms they treat. Here is a list of the most recommended oils for sinus infection:

  • Geranium: Its therapeutic properties are: antibacterial, anti-depressant, antiseptic, analgesic and astringent. It is effective in combating sinusitis, fatigue, stress and depression.
  • Eucalyptus: It is anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antiviral. The oil is useful for treating congestion, cold and coughs, which are symptoms of sinusitis.
  • Thyme: Its major component is thymol, fungicidal and antiseptic properties. It soothes sinus inflammation and eases discomfort.
  • Lavender: It is anti-inflammatory; it relieves sinus congestion by getting rid of inflammation. You can place one drop of the oil under your nostril.
  • Tea tree: It is antimicrobial, antiviral, sudorific, expectorant, antibacterial and balsamic. This oil is useful for treating symptoms of sinus infection, such as cold and cough.
  • Chamomile: It is expectorant; add three drops of the oil to a humidifier, then deeply inhale the mist to clear sinus congestion.
  • Oregano: It has antiviral and antifungal properties that are resourceful for curing cold, coughs and flus, which are sinus symptoms.
  • Lemon: It has antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties for treating cold, flu and soothing sinus inflammation.
  • Sweet basil: It has remarkable antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It helps alleviate sinus congestion when inhaled.
  • Rosemary: It has antibacterial, antifungal and expectorant properties. It is useful for treating cold, flu and sinus congestion.
  • Peppermint: It has expectorant properties, making it an ideal oil for unclogging sinuses and providing relief to a scratchy throat, cold and coughs.
  • Clove: It has antioxidant and expectorant properties for treating sinus infection symptoms, including cold, flu and congestion.
  • Cinnamon: It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can treat cold, fluand sinus congestion.
  • Helichrysum: It is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-coagulant, expectorant and antispasmodic. It is effective in treating symptoms of sinus infection.

The abovementioned natural oils have the right combination of therapeutic properties for treating symptoms of sinus infection. You can use most of these oils individually or you can mix them in a blend to come up with the best sinus treatment. These oils will fight sinus inflammation, sinus congestion, cold, flu and soothe respiratory infections.

Essential Oils Blends for Treating Sinus Infections

Recipe #1: Sinus Steam Inhalation


  • 1 drop of thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
  • 1 drop of ginger essential oil
  • 1 quart of steaming water

Preparation: Pour the water in a sizeable bowl, and then disperse the oils in the water. Place your head over the bowl and cover yourself with a towel in order to seal in the steam. Inhale the steam for at least five minutes.

Recipe #2: Relief for Sinus Congestion

The ingredients include the following essential oils for sinus congestion:

  • 2 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 2 drops of lavender oil

Preparation: Heat water to boiling point and put it in a bowl, and then add the 2 drops of tea tree, 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of eucalyptus, while the water is steaming. Place the bowl in front of you and cover yourself with a towel. Inhale the steam for at least three minutes.

 Recipe #3: Sinus Inhalant for Alleviating Nasal Congestion

The ingredients include the following essential oils for nasal congestion:

Preparation: Add the essential oils into a small glass bottle with an airtight seal. Then blend the oils by turning the bottle upside down a number of times. Breathe directly from the bottle as required to relieve nasal congestion.

Recipe #4: Sinus Headache Relief

The ingredients include the following essential oils for sinus headache:

  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Preparation: Combine the oils in an airtight glass bottle and shake gently to blend. Then use the blend to massage sinus areas and forehead.

Recipe #5: Stuffy Nose

The ingredients include the following essential oils for stuffy nose:

  • 2 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil

Preparation: Blend the oils with warm water in a sizeable bowl. Then use the blend with nasal irrigation system at least twice a day.

Recipe #6: Congestion Relief

The ingredients include the following natural oils:

  • Carrier oil
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil

Preparation: Blend the oils in an airtight glass bottle and shake gently. Then use five parts of the blend to one part of the carrier oil to massage the back of your neck, forehead, nose, cheekbone and feet. Do this at least two times a day.

Recipe #7: Hand Held Pocket Inhaler

The ingredients include the following natural oils:

  • 4 drops of tea tree oil
  • 4 drops of pine oil
  • 4 drops of peppermint oil
  • 4 drops of lavender oil
  • 4 drops of eucalyptus oil

Preparation: Mix the oils in a dark glass bowl. Absorb the blend by placing the inhaler on the mixture. Use the inhaler at least five times a day for fast relief of sinus infection symptoms.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils for sinus relief have a combination of therapeutic properties that are useful for managing as well as treating sinus infection and its symptoms. These properties are: antiviral, expectorant, antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. The natural oils listed and discussed in this article will alleviate cold, flu, ear infections, sinus congestion, nasal congestion, stuffy nose and sinus headache.

In Summary

The typical essential oils for sinus infection can be used alone or in different recipes. They are time-honored therapies that have proven to offer relief. Heat is considered appropriate for loosening congestion that is associated with sinus infections. Steam inhalation offers an effective treatment in a fair environment. The steam thins the mucus causing congestion; the therapeutic properties of the oils are distributed directly into the sinuses, thus alleviating pressure and pain. Using diffuser and humidifiers offers relief once the mist has been dispersed into the air. Massage and hot bath offer direct relief through the skin.

Sources and References

  1. PubMed Health Rhinosinusitis (Sinusitis)
  2. BetterHealth Sinusitis
  3. MedlinePlus Sinusitis
  4. DoctorsHealthPress Essential Oils for Sinus Infections

  1. Thanks! That really helpled. I have a chronical disease and I had to use drops and pills for years. Oils finally brought some relive!

  2. I am all up for using home-made inhalers with oils, but I’m not so sure about Humidifiers. I heard that with time they collect a lot of bacteria and things, is that so? And if yes, what can I replace it with?

    • It is a popular fear, however, you should not be worried about that, just clean your humidifier regularly and you’ll be fine!

  3. I really liked your Congestion Relief recipe. But I have a strong allergy to peppermint. Can I use another oil in this blend?

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