Quick Answer: Best Essential Oils for Congestion

  1. Basil Essential Oil
  2. Cajeput Essential Oil
  3. Cedar Wood Essential Oil
  4. Chamomile Essential Oil
  5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  6. Frankincense Essential Oil
  7. Ginger Essential Oil
  8. Helichrysum Essential Oil
  9. Peppermint Essential Oil
  10. Myrtle Essential Oil
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Congestion is the ‘stuffed up’ feeling because of mucus, phlegm or secretions present in the nasal-respiratory tract.

Nasal congestion is fullness, blockage, and obstruction in the nasal pathway.[1] [2]

The causes are cold, flu, upper respiratory infection, nasal polyps and allergies.

On getting a cold or allergy, the nasal membranes become irritated and inflamed.

They begin to make more mucus and try to flush out the irritants like an allergen which results in decreased size of nasal passage and hence, reduced airflow. [3] [4]

Studies have shown lessen work efficiency and academic performance, underperformance, and increased economic burden. [5]

Over the counter medicines and corticosteroids [6] help in this histamine reaction.

Essential oils, on the other hand, are specific functioning in restricting, reducing and expelling phlegm from the body and are preferable.

You will able to explore more about their benefits in the article to follow. So happy reading!

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are volatile pleasant smelling substances obtained from flowers, twigs, barks, resin, leaves, and roots of a plant. [7] [8] [9]

The oils are rich in saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, alcohol, aldehydes, esters, ethers, ketones, oxides phenols, and terpenes.

The oils have great importance in therapeutic, cosmetic, aromatic, spiritual industries.

They are highly concentrated and potent in nature, hence always mix a few drops of oil with carrier or base oil before use.

Essential oils have good skin permeability, therefore these oils used in aromatherapy using various methods like inhalation, baths, topically through local application and orally.

Essential Oils to Relieve Congestion and Blockage

Bechic and Balsamic nature: They help to ease cough and softens respiratory phlegm. [10] [11]

They exhibit Expectorant and Antitussive uses: The oils are helpful in removing excess mucus and cough from the body.

Mucolytic and Anti-catarrhal characteristics: The oils help to break down mucus and prevent the reoccurrence in the respiratory membrane.

Decongestant and Anti-congestive properties: The oils tend to reduce congestion of nasal membranes.

Blends that are useful to cure congestion: For a dry cough, mix 2 drops of lemon and eucalyptus oil with 30g honey, from this mix, take 1 spoon and mix in a wine glass of warm water and drink slowly. [12]

The blend for massage is 3 drops of eucalyptus and 2 drops of thyme oil mixed in 5ml of vegetable oil use this to massage back and chest.

Oils to be used in a hot bath are a blend of 1 drop of eucalyptus, 2 drops of thyme, 3 drops of tea tree, and 3 drops of lemon essential oils; this is used for inhalations to cure common colds.

Best Essential Oils For Congestion

Essential oils are useful in the treatment of congestion because they are rich in oxides and help in the removal of mucus from the body. [13] [14] [15]

Menthol essential oil efficaciously relieves cough and therefore is a powerful Antitussive.

In the respiratory tract, it increases the sensation of nasal airflow and relieves the feeling of a congested nose. [16]

Basil Essential Oil

Basil essential oil is steam distilled from leaves of an annual tender herb with dark green ovate leaves. [17]

It has a fresh, herbal, and penetrating aroma. The oil has a pale yellow tinge.

Basil is exceptionally good for respiratory tract and chest infections and for treating asthma, and bronchitis. Inhaling vapors relieves sinus congestion and influenza.

They are constituted with, up to 19% eugenol, which is an expectorant stimulating phenol and removes excess mucus from the body.

It contains 1, 8 – cineole oxide which is an excellent decongestant and expectorant.

Its use may increase skin sensitivity and pregnant women must use it with caution.

Best way to use: Steam inhalation of basil oil is done by putting 2-3 drops of essential oil into a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel, and inhale vapors. It is useful in body massage.

Cajeput Essential Oil

The essential oil is steam distilled from thick pointed leaves and twigs of a tall evergreen tree.

It has a camphorous and fruity aroma. [18] [19]

The oil is used in steam inhalation and the vapors inhaled opens up sinus and breathing passage.

It exhibits decongestant and expectorant properties due to the presence of 50-75% 1, 8- cineole.

It can cause skin sensitivity so a patch test before use is advisable.

Best way to use: Used in Steam Inhalation and in baths.

Cedar Wood Essential Oil

The Cedar Wood essential oil is steam distilled from wood, sawdust, and twigs of the evergreen tree. It has a warm and woody aroma and sustains amber tinge.

The oil has primary benefits for bronchitis, catarrh, congestion, and cough. It breaks down excess mucus and removes it from the body and is an effective mucolytic and expectorant.

The oil is known to increase lymphatic drainage. It is highly effective for mucous membranes and used in chronic conditions.

It should be cautiously used during pregnancy and a person having severe allergies.

Best way to use: Used for inhalations for all kinds of respiratory problems.

Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from white flowers of a strongly aromatic herb. It has a warm, sweet, and herbal scent. [20]

The oil is beneficial in asthma, bronchitis, cough, and cold and is a powerful decongestant.

Best way to use: Administered topically, used in aromatherapy in baths and diffuser.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is extracted from leaves and young twigs of the tall evergreen plant. The oil is penetrating, refreshing, and has a camphorous aroma. [21] [22]

The oil has primary benefits in flu and respiratory bronchitis. It is useful in asthma, catarrh, sinusitis, cold and cough.

It is enriched with beneficial properties such as; it prevents mucus build up in the respiratory tract and is Anti-Catarrhal.

On the buildup of mucus, the oil softens phlegm and shows Balsamic properties.

The oil reduces nasal membrane congestion and is a good expectorant. It breaks, pulls this mucus and exhibits mucolytic properties.

The oil also removes this excess mucus from the body and is a powerful expectorant.

The oil is rich in 1, 8- cineole ranging from 60-80% and shows strong decongestant and expectorant properties.

Best way to use: The following oil blend is useful in cold, flu and congestion. Put 6 drops of eucalyptus, 3 drops of frankincense and 3 drops of hyssop in a bowl of warm water.

Direct the vapors up to the nose using a towel on the head to cover you around the bowl.

For massage, this blend is added to approximately 30ml of carrier oil and massaged on the chest, arms, neck, and abdomen. [23]

Frankincense Essential Oil

The essential oil is steam distilled from the resin of pinnate leaf shrub. The resin is natural oleo gum resin.

The aroma is warm, fresh, and rich.

It is useful in asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, cold and cough because it possesses Anti-catarrhal and good Expectorant properties.

It directly affects the mucous membrane by loosening mucus and releasing catarrhal conditions.

Best way to use: It can be used in aromatherapy, bath oil or inhalations

Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential oil is extracted from dried ground root or rhizome root. The oil is pungent, fresh, and spicy-sweet. [24]

The oil aids in catarrh, congestion, cough, and sinusitis by preventing mucus build up in the respiratory tract. It also helps to relieve the excess of mucus.

Best way to use: Used topically and in baths.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum essential oil is steam distilled and extracted from brightly colored flowers and flower tops.

The aroma is powerful, rich-honey like which coming from a strongly aromatic herb.

The oil is used in the treatment of bronchitis, catarrh, calms feverish colds, spleen congestion and whooping cough.

It has Antitussive properties by relieving cough and is an effective expectorant.

Best way to use: Topical uses

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint Essential oil is extracted from a flowering herb. It has a pale yellow tinge. The scent is minty and penetrating. [25] [26]

Peppermint oil-primarily removes sinus, respiratory congestion [27], bronchitis, asthma, spasmodic coughing, and tuberculosis.

It is a good decongestant and expectorant because of the presence of up to 55% of active constituent menthol. [28]

Best way to use: Administered topically in ointments, and in baths. Orally it can be taken as a peppermint tea or in gelatin capsules.

To obtain relief from cold and congestion using this blend of essential oils in bath and inhalation respectively is beneficial.

Put 3 drops of eucalyptus, 2 drops of peppermint, 2 drops of benzoin absolute resin, 2 drops of cypress in 500 ml of sea salt.[29]

Myrtle Essential Oil

Myrtle essential oil is extracted from Blossoms and twigs of an evergreen bush with white flowers. It has a fresh and herbal scent.

It is very useful in respiratory tract ailments, cures smoker’s cough, sinus infection, tuberculosis and bronchitis. It has a pronounced clearing effect.

The oil is constituted with 85% of an oxide such as 1, 8 cineole known for their decongestant and expectorant properties.

It softens respiratory secretion and phlegm and also prevents mucus build up in the respiratory tract and is Anti-catarrhal and Balsamic.

Best way to use: Aromatherapy, diffuser

Precautions When Using Essential Oils

Essential oils are very concentrated and potent when using them; a few drops are enough to provide maximum benefit. [30]

The Cedarwood and Chamomile essential oil are contra-indicated for topical and oral use respectively during pregnancy due to the threat to mother and fetus.

Cedarwood and Chamomile essential oils have been seen to pose a risk to those with severe allergies and asthma.

These oils can cause photosensitivity, one should avoid going out in sunlight after their use. One should avoid direct sun exposure for 12 hours after the use of ginger essential oil.

The oil can cause sensitivity to eyes, mucous membranes, and inner ear and therefore should be avoided the contact.

Final Words

Essential oils are very useful in relieving a person from congestion. They are highly effective in the treatment of cols, cough, and catarrh.

The essential oil of all the species of Tulsi is beneficial in the treatment of cough, cold, and bronchitis. [31] [32]

Essential oils open blocked nasal passage by softening and expelling phlegm.

If you are feeling a little ‘stuffed up’, go ahead and pick your favorite essential oil from above and use them to fight off congestion.

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