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If You Read One Article About Essential Oils For Sinus Infection, Read This One!

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Last Updated on November 21, 2020 by Lynn

Sinus problems/infections tend to rise during springtime with all the blooming and pollen in the air, although sinus problems can happen anytime during the year. From one who has dealt with this issue for a while, it can be really miserable.  I don’t like taking prescriptions or OTC’s.  What about essential oils for sinus infection?  Can they help, or not?  Let’s take a look and first find out the what and why’s of sinus problems.

trees with plants

The What And Why Of Sinus Issues

A few causes of sinus problems could be:

A)  Sinus problems can be caused from the weather by using indoor heat during the winter and air conditioning in the summer. The nasal passages can become inflamed by using either of these excessively. Also, they can be irritated from dryness in the air.

B) One of the biggest causes of sinus issues is allergies. When the blooming starts and pollen starts floating around in the air, the sneezing and drippy noses start, along with sinus drainage, which causes coughing. I know how miserable that can be. Allergies, though, can be anytime of year, but mostly in spring and fall. There are also indoor allergies that can cause these symptoms, such as pets, mold, and dust.

These can cause a sinus infection because the mucous membranes get inflamed. This infection called, Sinusitis, can be accompanied by fever, headaches and congestion, along with pressure in the sinuses. When the sinuses become blocked and filled with mucous, bacteria starts growing and then causes the infection.


There are many options in treating sinus infections. Many people choose to see a doctor and receive antibiotic prescriptions. Taking too many antibiotics can sometimes do more harm than good, though. The antibiotics destroy good bacteria in the gut and can cause other health issues. Also, if they are taken too much the body gets used to them and they stop working. Read This.

Doctor’s also recommend over-the-counter medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, mucolytics or other OTC drugs. In which case, there may be side effects and it’s important to know what they are.

However, there is another alternative to these prescriptions and OTC medications. This alternative is to go the natural way with essential oils.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are plant extracts and are highly concentrated. These oils contain analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. They have other properties, but these are the main properties which make essential oils a great alternative to OTC and prescription medicines. Essential oils are able to clear sinuses and mucus, reduce congestion and they have the power to eliminate the infection.
amber essential oil bottles with flowers

My 5 Best Essential Oil Picks For Sinus Infection

There are quite a few essential oils that can be used for sinus infection/problems. The following are my top 5 choices of essential oils to use for sinus problems, whether it is congestion, pressure or infection.

1. Peppermint Essential Oil

This oil is at the top of the list because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, antiviral, and expectorant properties. The main compound in peppermint is menthol. This menthol contains decongestant and mild sedative properties that can help with congestion and it has a cooling effect which can clear mucus and open up the sinuses. Peppermint can also give some relief to sinus headaches. It helps fight infection with its antibacterial property.

2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

There is a natural compound in eucalyptus oil called eucalyptol (otherwise known as 1, 8 cineole). This compound has a mint-like scent, but strong and pungent and very powerful.

In a 2009 study, eucalyptus was an effective and safe treatment for sinus infection without using antibiotics. And again shown in this article published at NCBI.

Eucalyptus essential oil has antiviral, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties. These properties help open blocked airways, relieving congestion and helping reduce production of mucus, and also calms down coughing.
You will find many brands of cough drops and vapor rub which include eucalyptus.

3. Tea Tree (melaleuca) Essential Oil

As natural medicine, tea tree oil has been used for hundreds of years and is made from the leaves of the melaleuca tree. Tea tree has very amazing properties which include; antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.

All properties help in ridding the body of germs and boost the immune system as per this review.

This is important because sinus congestion is caused by bacteria and inflamed sinus tissue, and tea tree is a great natural medicine to give relief. As a decongestant, it can help clear blocked nasal passages.

4. Oregano Essential Oiloregano plant image

Oregano essential oil is most likely the absolute best natural antibiotic, and since most sinus infections are caused by bacteria this is a great natural option. Like the other oils mentioned, oregano contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, but also contains antiviral and antifungal properties. It has one healing compound the others don’t. It is called carvacrol. Carvacrol is a very potent compound that is used to treat conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections, allergies, and inflammation. Read this study.

Given the potency of oregano essential oil, this oil would be a good choice to help with a sinus infection. It treats and prevents infection by building up the immune system by helping to produce white blood cells that fight infections.

5. Rosemary Essential Oil

Yes, rosemary is an herb used in cooking, as is oregano. But these both, in essential oil form, bring awesome health benefits, as was noted under oregano essential oil. They both are able to strengthen the immune system. Rosemary essential oil has a high antioxidant property along with being anti-inflammatory (as this study shows), antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial.

Rosemary oil, like eucalyptus oil, contains eucalyptol (1,8-cineole), and also alpha-pinene, and camphor and they are all beneficial to the respiratory system. These constituents help to alleviate coughing and congestion. They also help to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages.

Another important note about rosemary essential oil is its antibacterial property. In this study it has been shown to be great in fighting off bacteria, which is the major cause of sinus infection.

Method of Using Essential Oils

The best method of using essential oils for sinus infection is through inhalation by:

1) Diffusing – using a diffuser to disperse the molecules of the oils into the air and inhaling

When diffusing, diffuse each oil separately or combine a few oils to have double impact. Drop 5-10 drops of essential oil into a water-filled diffuser and diffuse for at least an hour or as long as oils last. Here are some combinations that can be used, some along with other oils that are also good for sinus problems:


3 drops eucalyptus
3 drops peppermint
3 drops rosemary

Clear Sinuses

2 drops oregano
2 drops tea tree
2 drops peppermint
2 drops lavender
2 drops lemon

Sinus Headache

4 drops lavender
4 drops peppermint
2 drops frankincense
2 drops basil

Relief of Sinus Pressure

3 drops eucalyptus
3 drops peppermint
3 drops lemon

2) Steam – adding drops to hot water for a therapeutic steam, using a towel as a tent over the head, breathing in the steam through the nose.
steaming pot

With the steam method, use three to seven drops of essential oil to boiling water in a waterproof bowl. Cover the bowl and head with a towel like a tent and breathe through the nose for about 2 minutes at a time gong in and out of the tent. Do this for approximately 10-15 minutes. Alternately, breathe the vapors straight for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help clear sinuses. Make sure you keep your eyes closed so they don’t get irritated. Try the following combination of oils:

3 drops rosemary
3 drops peppermint
2 drops eucalyptus

3) Direct – inhaling the oil straight from the bottle or adding to an inhaler, cotton ball, or handkerchief and breathing in. Here are some oil combinations to try in an inhaler, cotton ball or handkerchief:

6 drops rosemary
3 drops eucalyptus
3 drops geranium

Combine these oils and put 1-2 drops to a tissue or handkerchief and inhale.

4 drops eucalyptus
4 drops lavender
4 drops peppermint
4 drops tea tree
4 drops rosemary

Combine these oils and fill the inhaler and make sure it’s closed tight. Use this up to 5 times a day.  Here’s some personal inhalers that work great!

4) Topical – mixing with a carrier oil and massaging into different areas of the body as an alternative. Try these oil combinations:

#1 – Mix 1-2 drops of oregano oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil. Massage this mixture onto the nose and chest at least once or twice a day.

#2 – Take a few drops of rosemary essential oil and rub it across the forehead. Alternately, mix 1-2 drops into a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage onto the nose and chest. Do this whenever you experience sinus congestion.

#3 Mix a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil with a carrier oil, and rub on the chest as a vapor rub. Also, rub under the nose or behind the ears to help with congestion. Repeat 5 or 6 times a day.

5) Nose Rinse – Sometimes it helps to irrigate the nasal passages with a saline solution using a Neti pot. Try doing this using:

1 drop of tea tree oil
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of sea salt
a Neti Pot

Add tea tree oil and salt to water and mix until it dissolves completely. Bend over a sink turning head sideways and pour into the upper nostril and let it drain out the other nostril. Breathe through the mouth during process. Do this once a day, 3 times a week until symptoms are better.

Other Sinus Relief Alternatives

There are several other things that can be done to help relieve sinus pressure and sinus congestion. These can be used in addition to using essential oils.

A. Facial Massage

Using your fingertips, gently apply pressure to the side of each nostril and around the cheekbone for approximately 1 minute. Increase the pressure using a circular motion, if there is no relief. Also, using fingertips, apply pressure to the inner corners of the eyes. Do this in a circular motions and increase pressure.

B. Hot/Cold Compress

Hold a warm washcloth over eyes and nose for 3 to 4 minutes, and then use a cool washcloth for 30 seconds. The warm helps loosen mucus and cold helps relieve pain.

C. Humming

Here’s an interesting alternative for sinus relief worth humming about. A study was done to see how humming would affect sinus ventilation. It showed that humming can clear sinuses and open nasal passages, which gives relief from sinusitis.

My Final Thoughts

Around the world, people have learned about essential oils for sinus infection or for chronic sinus problems. These amazing powers of plant oil have been giving relief for centuries. In review, most sinus conditions are treated with synthetic OTC medications or antibiotic prescriptions. These antibiotics just aren’t that great for the body. Sinusitis may also be treated without it.  I have used an inhaler with several of the oils and that has given me some good relief.

It’s always important to use essential oils in moderation. Some essential oils can be toxic. Stay safe! Don’t overdo it. Also, it’s important, if you’re pregnant, to check with your doctor before using them.

Please, consider using essential oils for your sinus problems because it is safer and a great natural way to treat it. I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or question, and I’ll get back to ASAIC (as soon as I can)!

As always, thanks for reading!



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18 thoughts on “If You Read One Article About Essential Oils For Sinus Infection, Read This One!

  1. Hallo there Lynn, 

    I have been struggling with sinus infection for a very long time now and I have to say it is really becoming more of a bother to me.

    I have seen so many doctors now about it, who offered different medications which, as you have mentioned in your post, I have become used to and I no longer get any help from them.

    I think essential oils can come in handy for me because they seem quite reliable and I have also never used them before.

    I am thinking of using your top recommendation, Peppermint essential oil. I was wondering what method of use you recommend for it. Can I choose any from the ones you have offered or there is one specific method you know would work for me?

    I will be waiting for your response.

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    1. Hi, Dave!

      There are several ways peppermint oil can e used.  I would suggest that you start using it in a diffuser to get the properties of the oil into the air of your home.  Here’s A Review on 2 diffusers to consider.  Also, my post on diffusers might be useful.  If you get sinus headaches, you can rub a little on each of your temples and the back of your neck, around the base of the hairline.  If it’s too strong for you, dilute it in a carrier oil.  We just use it full strength and we’re good, but each person is different.

      Another way to use essential oil would be a personal inhaler to carry with you and breathe in the oils at least every hour.  You can get a personal inhaler Here.  I have a Recipe Post that has another inhaler recipe. Look at that, too. This is our own recipe and we love it.   I would recommend using at least 2 oils together (as you will see in the recipes) for double impact.  I would start with one method I mentioned and go through them and see how they work on you.  You can try several methods or all of them together. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.  It’s something you have to see what will work for you, as each person is different.

      I am not an expert, yet.  I just know what works for us.   I hope my answers have helped.  Let me know if you do try any of these and what you think!

  2. Hi Jay and Lynn,

    I have had sinus infections for a long time, I found by rinsing with saline solutions in a Nette pot helps. Having some sleeping problems, I was led to essential oils. They have not cured the problem, but I feel more rested.  But my interest in essentials oils is growing, so I was happy to find your website, which I have book marked for the future.

    I am wondering if you will be doing some articles around essential oils and sleeping? I would love to solve that one once and fort all. 


    1. Hi, Ed…

      I’ve been dealing with sinus issues for quite a while.  I, too, use a Netti pot, which helps me, also.  Which oils did you use to help with your sleeping?  Do you use them in a diffuser?  The most popular oil to use for sleeping is Lavender, but there are other oils that also help.  If you don’t know much about lavender, check out my post about it Here.

      I’m glad you found my site.  I will be doing a post on essential oils and sleep in the near future.You can subscribe to my site to know when I post it…

      Thank you for reading!!!!

  3. Hello Lynn,

    I really benefited from reading your valuable reviews about Essential Oils and Sinus Infection. In our family, I and my father have sinus problems. You’re right, Sinusitis is very uncomfortable during this period. We use a nasal drop according to doctor’s advice. It gives some temporary relief, but the doctor says, “operation is the permanent solution”. Hence, seeing your review is a blessing indeed. I must use Essential Oils. If I benefit from it, then obviously I will suggest it to my father. Thank you sincerely for such an important review.


    1. Hi!!

      I’m glad you were able to benefit from my post.  Go ahead and try some of the things I mentioned in my post and see if they help you.  You can do one or several at the same time.  I use an inhaler and diffuser.  They help keep me clear.  Essential oils are great for so many thing, and this is just one of them. I would love to know if you do use them and how they helped you.  Thanks for your comment!

  4. This post is so timely! I’m in NYC and we’re already complaining about pollen. I’m also into aromatherapy and using essential oils in my personal body products. It’s so cool to know I can also use them to make a homemade remedy for sinus infections. Thank you for including recipes for different types of issues. I’ll definitely bookmark and come back when I need it.

    1. Hey, Dawn….
      You use essential oils so you know how awesome they are. The more I research, the more I learn how they can help so many things. I’m glad you liked the recipes. Let me know if you try any of them and how you like them. Please do come back and see what else I will be posting about essential oils.

  5. What a great post! I am so happy that I found this.

    I have not been using essential oils for my sinus problems and I do not know why. I have several with lavender and/or eucalyptus and an awesome diffuser. I guess I just needed to read this to remind myself.

    I am also going to invest in a neti pot. I hear some amazing stories about how well it works!

    1. Irma,
      I’m glad you found this, too. It’s great that you are already using essential oils. If you’re already using eucalyptus in your diffuser, than you’re getting some benefits for your sinuses. Try using some of the other methods to relieve them and let me know if they help. Oh, and I use a Netti pot almost every day first thing in the morning to clear out sinuses, then I’m good for the day.

      What do you use in your diffuser. I always like to learn how and why people use essential oils…

    1. Andre,
      I try to bring the best information I can so people can understand how great and powerful essential oils are. I appreciate you coming by and reading….

  6. I’m always for natural solutions. I had problems with my sinuses duet to work in a dusty environment. It caused them to be clogged all the time, but once I’ve tried eucalyptus inhaler, my problems went away after a couple of treatments. Thank you for the article.

    1. Hello, Ivan!
      You’re welcome! So you know the power of eucalyptus oil. That’s awesome that you’ve experienced it first hand and it cleared your sinuses. I’m glad you shared that. I always like to know people’s experiences with oils. Do you use oils for anything else?
      Thanks for reading!

  7. This is a timely article, and one that I find very interesting because I suffer a lot from sinus infections. Presently, I like to use eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint oils, as well as oil of wintergreen (which I didn’t see you mention, but which I find quite effective). However, I’m always ready to try your suggestions. The Essential Oils on your lists are easily available as OTC preparations at one of the pharmacies near me. I accept your description of what they are, and how and why they work; in addition, they are quite inexpensive. so, thanks for the info. I’m definitely going to follow your need, and I’m going to share with my friends on Pinterest too.

    1. Hey, Lorna!
      Awesome! You know the power these oils have. Those three are probably my favorite oils for sinus issues. I make inhalers and diffuse them and they do a good job for me. I have not tried wintergreen yet. It sounds like I need to try that. In my research, I did see that it was good for sinuses, but I just included the ones that I have had experience with, but I definitely will try wintergreen. Let me know if you try some of the things I mentioned in my post. And thanks for sharing with your friends!

  8. Hi Lynn Thank you so much for all this wonderful information!! Antibiotic are certainly not the answer I totally agree…I tried out the ” humming” for my sinuses and you can actually feel the vibration in there so I will Hum more …I tried out the essential oils and things are now clearing ( I had some tea tree oil on hand ) Its so good to have some of that pressure relieved …such painful painful stuff Thank you again and I will be grabbing some of the other oils to keep on hand!

    1. Hey, Kristin,
      So you actually tried the things I mentioned in my post! That’s awesome! Or had you tried these before you read it? In either case, I am just so happy that they helped you. How did you use the tea tree oil? Did you do the Netti pot recipe? Let me know if you tried any of the other suggestions from my post. Thanks you for reading my post and leaving a comment!

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