The Best Essential Oils for Sinus Infection


Viruses (such as cold), bacteria and fungi can all cause the cavities around your nose, eyes and cheeks to get inflamed and blocked. A sinus infection (sinusitis) is not easy to treat in a conventional way. When searching for an effective alternative remedy, try aromatherapy. There are many essential oils for sinus infection that can come to your rescue, and there are different ways of applying them. Here are a few ideas and practical advice to help you get over your sinus infection faster.

Sinus Infection Symptoms

If in doubt, here are some common symptoms of a sinus infection:

  • Pain or pressure in the upper part of your face
  • Congestion
  • Nasal discharge (white or clear if the infection is caused by a virus or an allergy; and yellow or greenish if the culprits are bacteria or fungi)
  • Toothache
  • Bad breath
  • Sore throat and cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

How Aromatherapy can Help you with Sinus Infection

Medical treatments, such as antibiotics and antivirals, often have only a limited effect as they can’t enter the sinuses. They also have side effects and the bacteria can develop resistance, which will make them ineffective when serious trouble strike.

Essential oils, on the other hand, are very good at penetrating the affected areas and do their job without adverse effects. You can use them repeatedly without disturbing the body’s balance, which is particularly useful to those suffering from recurrent infections.

Essential Oils for Sinusitis

There are many oils and oil combinations you can use to treat your infection. Choose a high-quality oil (preferably organic), with an aroma that you like.

Here’s a list of some oils that have an anti-inflammatory effect and can reduce the swelling:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Tea tree
  • Oregano
  • Menthol
  • Sweet basil
  • Peppermint
  • Clove
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Chamomile
  • Pine
  • Geranium
  • Thyme

 Aromatherapy Techniques for Sinus Infections

Neti pot

Using a Neti pot is a very efficient way of irrigating your sinuses and releasing the blockages. This centuries-old yogi technique is done using a ceramic or plastic pot that resembles Aladdin’s magic lamp and is designed to thin the mucus and clear the nasal passages. The use of a Neti pot has also been scientifically backed and many people report great relief and symptom reduction after its application. Here’s how you do it using a mixture of saline water and essential oils:

  • In a separate container mix your choice of essential oils; use only a few drops in total (start with a small number of drops to see how you react).
  • Warm up 2 cups of water; use distilled water to prevent any infections.
  • Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of unprocessed sea salt or Himalayan salt to the warm water and let it dissolve.
  • Add the mix of essential oils to saline water and mix thoroughly.
  • Put the solution in your Neti pot.
  • Turn your head to one side and bend over.
  • Pour the solution into your top nostril slowly while keeping your head at a tilt. Let the fluid drain through your other nostril (this is best done over the sink).
  • Repeat on the other side. Make sure to breathe through your mouth during the irrigation process.

It’s important to do this frequently. If possible, irrigate several times a day. The water should be as close as possible to body temperature before you pour it in your nostrils.



Inhaling essential oils is a very simple way of receiving their benefits.

  1. Put a few drops of the chosen essential oil in your palm, bring the hands to your nose and inhale deeply. Essential oils evaporate quickly, so you’ll need to re-apply the oils frequently.
  2. Boil some water, pour it in a large bowl and add a few drops of essential oils. Put a towel over your head and lean over the steamy bowl to inhale the fragrance-full vapors. Do this for about 10 minutes, after which you can reheat the water and repeat.


Diffusers can be used to disperse the oils into the surrounding air, so you inhale them in that way. This can be helpful especially if several members of your family are suffering from sinusitis. Follow the instructions on your air diffuser and add a few drops of your selected oils to the water mix.

Essential Oil Bath

Pamper yourself with a soothing hot bath soak. Add 12 to 15 drops of essential oil to the hot water and enjoy the sensation. The steam will deliver the oils to the affected areas and help thin the mucus.

Essential Oil Massage

Massage your pressure points with a mix of oils. For this process:

  • Dilute the essential oil in a quality carrier oil (such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil).
  • Take care to avoid eyes.
  • Gently rub and press on the points on your face: on the side of each nostril, on the temples, on the inside of the eyebrows, across the forehead.


The opinions on whether it is safe or not to ingest essential oils are divided. As some essential oil can be potentially very dangerous, internal use should be guided by a trained professional. This is particularly important when dealing with children, older people and pregnant women.

Only pure, food grade essential oils can be ingested, and usually only in minute amounts. But it’s not just about the oil being 100% pure and natural; it’s also about its constituents. A teaspoon of eucalyptus oil, for example, can be fatal to a child. There is also the danger of interactions with other medications, so make sure to get proper expert advice before ingesting essential oils for sinusitis.

More tips

  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep the discharge thin, so it can drain easier.
  • Avoid dairy products as cow’s milk increases mucus production. Some people are more sensitive to it than others, so this is not a blanket statement, but more of a general recommendation.
  • Avoid alcohol as it can further irritate your sinuses.

If your discomfort persists or worsens, consider getting an advice from a healthcare professional.

Disclaimer: All content on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this website and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult with your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Source: monq