Best Essential Oils for Sinus & How to Use Them

Quick Answer: Best Essential Oils for Sinus

  1. Basil Essential Oil
  2. Cajeput Essential Oil
  3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  4. Peppermint Essential Oil
  5. Hyssop Essential Oil
  6. Myrtle Essential Oil
  7. Niaouli Essential Oil
  8. Pine (Needle) Essential Oil
  9. Ravensara Essential Oil
  10. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Why Trust Us
24 hours spent in research. 40+ references used for information gathering.

Sinuses are a connected system of hollow cavities in the skull. They are lined with soft, pink tissue called mucosa. They have a thin layer of mucus. [1]

There are different types of sinus, namely, Frontal sinus (present in the lower center of forehead), Sphenoid sinus (behind nose bone), Ethmoid sinus (between eyes), and Maxillary sinus (cheekbones).

They help to humidify and filter the air in the nasal passage. [2]

Sinusitis is inflammation, and swelling present in the tissue lining of sinus due to blockage with fluid. This can lead to infections.

Sinus blockage can be caused by the common cold, congestion, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps that are growing in the nose lining. [3]

Sinusitis varies according to the duration of occurrence, acute sinusitis (2-4 weeks), sub-acute sinusitis (4-12 weeks), chronic (more than 12 weeks) [4], and recurrent sinusitis (more than 4-5 times).

Symptoms include stuffed up nose, green-yellow discharge, cough, runny nose, congestion, tooth pain. [5] [6]

Essential oils provide relief from sinusitis because they are potent decongestant, antimicrobial, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and are analgesic. [7]

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are volatile aromatic complex mixtures extracted from leaves, flowers, rinds of fruits, barks, twigs, roots of plants.

They are commonly used in the flavoring of food, cosmetics, drinks, pharmaceuticals, therapy, and perfumery.

The major constituents of essential oils are hydrocarbons such as terpenes, and oxygenated compounds that are aldehydes, esters, alcohols, ketones, phenols, and oxides.

They are lipophilic in nature. They have a low molecular weight and extracted by steam distillation, hydro-distillation or solvent extraction.

They are administered orally as capsules or gels. Tropically they are used in lotions, mixed with a carrier oil, and in aromatherapy in baths, as diffusers, inhalations

Essential Oils and Sinusitis Condition

Essential oils are rich in hydrocarbons such as pinene, limonene, myrcene, sabinene, cymene, phellandrene which have antibacterial properties and are effective decongestant for the body. [8]

Lavender oil is a strong expectorant and has a soothing effect on the body and eases sinusitis. [9]

Sandalwood and fennel oil are commonly used in therapies to treat sinusitis and are potent decongestant.[10]

Ginger essential oil and Garlic oil have been used since ages to alleviate sinusitis, allergic rhinitis. [11]

Pineapple constitutes bromelain, which is remedial for sinusitis, loosens mucus and suppresses the cough. [12]

Spearmint and French Lavender oils have shown mild antibacterial activities against sinusitis pathogens. [13]

Thyme oil containing thymol is useful against sinusitis and exhibits antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. [14]

Best Essential Oils for Sinusitis

Essential oils are potent relievers of sinusitis because they are decongestant, relieve from pain, inflammation.

It has antimicrobial activity and antifungal properties.

Keep reading below to find out the best essential oils which can be used to combat sinusitis and relieve from pain and associated inflammation. [15] [16]

1. Basil Essential Oil

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

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

Basil is exceptionally good for the respiratory tract. Inhaling vapors relieves sinus congestion and influenza.

The oil shows strong anti-inflammatory properties. It also has antimicrobial activity. [17]

They are constituted with 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.

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.

2. Cajeput Essential Oil

Cajeput essential oil is steam distilled from thick leaves and twigs of an evergreen tree. It has a fruity and camphorous smell.

The oil is used in steam inhalation and the vapors inhaled opens up sinus and breathing passage. [18]

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

Best way to use: Steam inhalation method, make this blend and use 3-4 drops for inhalation.

The blend is Eucalyptus Radiata (5 drops), Cajeput (3 drops), Niaouli (3 drops), and Frankincense (2 drops) [19]

3. 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.

The oil has primary benefits in flu and respiratory bronchitis. It is useful in asthma, catarrh, sinusitis, cold and cough. [20] [21] [22] [23]

It is enriched with beneficial properties such as; it prevents mucous 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 mucous from the body and is a powerful expectorant.

The oil is beneficial for congested conditions like sinus congestion. [24]

It exhibits antimicrobial, anti-fungal activities due to the presence of active ingredient eucalyptol (1, 8-cineole). [25] [26] [27]

Human trials have confirmed the effective application of eucalyptol in treating sinusitis.[28]

Best way to use: 

1. Use this blend for massage on chest and back for sinus congestion.

The blend is Eucalyptus Radiata (5 drops), Thyme linalol (1 drop), Rosemary (2 drops), Tea tree (2 drops),

Add 3-5 drops in 5 ml of carrier oil or aloe vera gel and use. [29]

2. Tissue inhalation: Put 1 drop of the blend on a tissue, inhale as needed.

The blend is Eucalyptus Radiata (1 drop), Rosemary (2 drops), Geranium (1drop).

3. Massage: take 3-5 drops and add to 5ml of carrier oil.

Blend: Eucalyptus radiata (2 drops), Rosemary (5 drops), Peppermint (1 drop), Geranium (5 drops).

Technique: massage starting around the neck and moving behind and in front of ears. Take only 1 drop and massage around the cheekbone, the nose, and the forehead.

4. Peppermint Essential Oil

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

The oil softens congestion and soothes inflammation in the body. [30]

The therapeutic actions are the removal of congestion and it is an active expectorant. [31]

It exhibits analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. [32] [33]

It is a remedial mucolytic and thins the mucus lining and helps to cough it out. [34]

The oil has menthol as active alcohol and constitutes up to 46%, menthol is known for respiratory stimulation, it increases the sensation of nasal flow giving a feeling of decongestion. [35]

Best way to use:

1. (Sinus congestion) Use the following blend for steam inhalation.
Make this blend and put 3-4 drops from it in a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and inhale with eyes closed. Inhale this steam for at least 10 minutes.

The blend is Rosemary (2 drops), Peppermint (1 drop), Tea tree (1 drop), Eucalyptus Radiata (1 drop), Cardamom (2 drops). [36]

2. Steam inhalation Blend: take 3 drops of this blend and add to hot water, keep eyes closed and inhale the steam.

The blend is Rosemary (3 drops), Thyme linalol (1 drop), Peppermint (1 drop), Geranium (1 drop)

5. Hyssop Essential Oil

Hyssop essential oil is distilled from leaves and flowering tops of a woody perennial plant having a spicy aroma. It has a pale yellow-green tinge.

The oil possesses antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory properties.[37]

It is valuable in mucus related respiratory problems.

Best way to use: diffuser or steam inhalation, use 1-3 drops on a cotton pad and inhale.

The blend is Blue Tansy (20 drops), Hyssop (20 drops), Frankincense (20 drops), lemon (10 drops), Eucalyptus Radiata (20 drops), Blue Yarrow (10 drops).

6. 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, sinus infection. It has a pronounced clearing effect.

The oil contains 1, 8 cineole oxide having 85% content and known for its decongestant and expectorant properties.

It softens respiratory secretion and phlegm and is Anti-catarrhal and Balsamic.

The oil is useful in relieving blockage and congestion. [38]

Best way to use: Used in massage blends and as a diffuser

7. Niaouli Essential Oil

Niaouli essential oil is steam distilled from leaves and young twigs of a bushy evergreen tree. It has a sweet, fresh scent.

The oil is a pain reliever, suppresses inflammation, and exhibits anti-bacterial, anti-infectious properties.

It is primarily used for the respiratory system.

The oil is a powerful cure for bacterial infections and congested conditions. [39]

Best way to use: Chest rub (massage), add 3-5 drops of the following blend to 5ml carrier oil or aloe vera gel.

The blend is Eucalyptus Radiata (5 drops), Cajeput (3 drops), Niaouli (3 drops), and Frankincense (2 drops) [40]

8. Pine (Needle) Essential Oil

Pine essential oil is distilled from needles, young twigs, and cones of an evergreen tree. It has a strong fresh aroma and pale yellow tinge.

The oil is a potent decongestant and as an expectorant clear sinuses and eases breathing.  [41] [42]

It is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It is remedial for bacterial rhinosinusitis.

The oil can cause photosensitivity and allergic reaction on the skin.

Best way to use: Used in baths, massage oils, and diffuser

9. Ravensara Essential Oil

Ravensara essential oil is steam distilled from leaves, fruit, and bark of the evergreen tree. It is commonly used as a spice.

The oil is a powerful antimicrobial, and decreases inflammation and as an expectorant eases mucus.

Best way to use: Useful in massage blends and diffuser.

10. Tea Tree Essential Oil

The tea tree essential oil is steam distilled from leaves and twigs of a shrub having needles like leaves and purple flowers. It has a spicy and warm aroma.

The oil exhibits anti-bacterial properties due to the presence of terpinen-4-ol and beneficial to treat bacterial rhinosinusitis. [43]

It is antimicrobial and decongestant. [44]

Best way to use: Administered in baths and topical applications

Precautions While Using Essential Oils

The essential oils are very potent and concentrated, so always remember less is more!

Do not use these oils near eyes, genitals, mucous membranes or open cuts and wounds.

The oils are flammable; keep them in dark and away from sunlight.

The oils should be strictly used under supervision for pregnant women and avoided for children below five years of age.

Always dilute these oils in a carrier/ vegetable/ base oil before use.

Avoid sun exposure immediately after the use, due to increased photosensitivity of skin to the sun.


Sinusitis is a painful inflammatory condition in the nasal pathway.

Essential oils are used in therapeutic remedial of diseases and infectious conditions. They can prove to be helpful in congestive conditions like sinusitis.

They have active ingredients that inhibit hormones and enzymes in body causative of a condition.

They ease swelling and relieve from excessive mucus.

So, next time you are stuffed up and feeling painful, fight off your sinusitis with these powerful essential oils.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.