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Congestion (Nasal congestion)

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Allergies, Bronchitis, Colds, Cough, Flu, Pneumonia, Sore or Strep Throat

Nose and ThroatNasal or sinus congestion is the result of inflammation of the nasal passages or sinus cavities.  The inflammation can be the result of a number of different maladies such as a common cold, the flu, sinusitis, or allergies.  These bacterial or viral infection or the allergens cause the irritation to the membranes which in turn causes the body to produce excess mucus. The combination of these two gives the stuffiness and discomfort most experience.



[search helps: sinus pressure, nasal blockage, stuffy nose]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends: Respiratory Blend, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Protective Blend, Lime, Oregano, Peppermint

Essential oils based products:

Also consider: antibacterial/viral: Clove, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Thyme, Sandalwood; mucus reduction: Clove, Cypress, Ginger, Melaleuca, Thyme


Suggested protocols:


·  Respiratory Blend around the nostrils and/or on the chest.  Couple with Eucalyptus around the nostrils for more severe congestion.

·  Some find that 1 or 2 drops of Protective Blend topically applied right over the sinus areas and/or the outside of the nostrils will help break up congestion.  Use a carrier if too strong.

Swish and pull: 1 or 2 drops of chosen oil(s) in an ounce (mouthful) of water. Swish and pull oils in mouth for 20 - 30 seconds then swallow. Try:

·  Most recommended is 2 drops Lemon, 2 drops Lavender, and 2 - 4 drops Peppermint.  The more Peppermint the stronger.

·  Other combinations: Cinnamon and Lemon (mild), Protective Blend (strong), Oregano (very strong)

·  Some are too sensitive to "swish and pull" and taking the same oils internally in a capsule will provide relief

Inhale: Use the chosen oils with one of the following methods:

·  Diffuse, an inhaler, or just breath deeply directly from the oil bottle

·  Make a steam tent

·  Cup and inhale (a few drops in a cup of hot water, breath vapors deeply)

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Julie - What oil would you recommend for congestion?  Would Respiratory Blend be the best solution?

Cortney – I have had good luck with Respiratory Blend on the chest and Eucalyptus with fractionated coconut oil around the outside of the nostrils.  It always helps to diffuse both of these and maybe some Lavender.

Jan -   Absolutely! And Peppermint. Put a drop in your palms, rub together, and cup your hands over your nose and mouth and breath in till you can taste the Peppermint. It will clear you right out. You may sneeze or cough. This is a common reaction. The oil will clear the nasal passages out. Also, put one drop in a cup of steaming hot water and breath the fumes. Make sure to close your eyes. You can also drink this. One drop is equivalent to 28 cups of Peppermint tea.

Wendy - 2 drops Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint internally with a small amount of water are a standard for congestion, mostly from allergies, however, I use it for just a stuffy nose with success.  The other advice given is great too.  I have used a steam tent with Respiratory Blend, or my own blend of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Eucalyptus and Cypress.  Like Jan says, keep your eyes closed.  I have a friend who makes an inhaler with Respiratory Blend and uses it for congestion.  Find the one that works best for you!!

Dehaas - When I have had severe congestion from sinus infections and absolutely NOTHING would clear me out, I simply put Eucalyptus and Peppermint in my diffuser and put it to the side of my bed and inhaled the steam. Within a couple minutes it would break up the congestion to where I could finally blow my nose!   I have also put Eucalyptus directly on the sides of my nose and it just soaks in and relieves the congestion almost immediately!  So much better than cold and congestion pills and the grogginess they bring with them.  

John - When I get congested, I start a hot shower.  After washing my hair, I plug the drain and put about 10 drops of Respiratory Blend in the tub.  As the steam rises, the Respiratory Blend volatilizes and it becomes a menthol vapor shower.  By the time the oils have evaporated into the steam, I finish my shower, and I feel 100% better.  My family always reacts to the steam vapors when I come out too.

Protocols folks recommend for children

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Uknown - My little stepson is 5 years old and is frequently congested, and has severe bouts of coughing.  From the very first time I put Respiratory Blend on his chest and had him breathe some of it in on a tissue he had remarkable improvement.  In fact, the next day he asked me to please put a drop on his tongue.  Usually his dad puts him to bed at night but after this experience he asks for his mom now!  ME!  I believe that this has helped him receive some emotional healing too, either the oil or just the act of me trying to relieve his suffering.


Dani - My neighbor has a 7 week old baby that has an awful cough.  It almost sounds like croup.  She has been using a humidifier at night but it is not helping.  Could she put Respiratory Blend or something on the baby (with a carrier oil)?  How much should she use?  

Au - Yes!  Use a couple drops of Respiratory Blend or Peppermint added with a couple drops of Frankincense and a coconut carrier oil.  Apply it to the baby’s chest.  After it volatilizes or is absorbed, apply it again. Several times per day and night till coughing stops.  You can put the same mix on the baby’s feet.  Make sure you cover the area so the baby doesn't touch the area and then touch his eyes.

Also I suggest diffusing Respiratory Blend but don't use a humidifier.  They might cause more problems unless they are completely sterile. You could also put a couple drops of Lemon oil in his bottle.

Rob - Put the mix mentioned above on the babies back too.


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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.