13 Essential Oils For Sinus Infection (Congestion Relief)

If you are dealing with sinus issues explore natural remedies using essential oils for sinus infections. See what the twelve recommended oils to use are below. 

The sinus cavities are a series of cavities within your skull that are hollow.

Each of those cavities are lined with a mucosal layer.

While no one has yet to discover the actual purpose of the sinuses, the main theories introduced state that their purpose may involve enhancing our voices and air filtration.

The thing that is most known about the sinus cavities is that they are prone to infections.

Lets talk a little about sinus infections and how essential oils may be able to help.

What Is A Sinus Infection?

When the sinus cavities get infected or become aggravated, the condition is referred to as sinusitis or a sinus infection.

These infections can be caused by a number of factors including allergens and pathogens.

During sinus inflammation, the linings of the sinuses will swell up and can impede the drainage of mucus while simultaneously boosting mucous production.


Some of the main symptoms that present themselves during a sinus infection are headaches, facial pain, congestion and a runny nose.

Some people may also experience pain in the back of their eyes, ears and forehead where the sinus cavities are located.

Whole body symptoms may include fever, fatigue and malaise.

Sinus infections may also cause tenderness and swelling of the face.


  • A common cold.
  • Nasal Polyps- Tiny growths inside the lining of your nasal passages.
  • Allergic Rhinitis- A swelling in the lining of your nose.
  • Deviated Septum- Caused by a shift inside of your nasal cavity.

Types of Sinus Infections

  • Acute Sinusitis- Usually begins with cold-like symptoms such as sinus congestion, runny nose and facial tenderness and pain. Acute sinusitis can last around two to four weeks.
  • Subacute Sinus Infections- An inflammation in the sinuses that can last anywhere from four weeks to twelve weeks.
  • Chronic Sinus Infections- A sinus infection where symptoms can last more than three months.
  • Recurrent Sinusitis- Multiple sinus infections in the course of a year.

Treating Sinus Infections With Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used for many centuries as a natural remedy for physical and emotional health.

When people look for natural remedies for their ailments they usually turn to essential oils. There are many benefits to using them to treat sinus infections.

The oils are known to contain ingredients to help relieve symptoms of congestion.

This makes them a great alternative to treating a sinus infection compared to other synthetic medications available either over-the-counter or with a prescription.

How To Use Essential Oils For Sinus Congestion

  • Humidifier- This is one of the easier ways to use the oils. Put at least 25 or 30 drops of your choice of essential oils into the humidifier and keep it in the room where you spend most of your time.
  • Diffuser- Add at least five drops of essential oils with half a cup of water and put it into the diffuser. Sit very close to it and breathe in deeply for as long as needed.
  • Steam Inhalation- Heat up some distilled or tap water and then add at least seven drops of essential oils and stir. Put a towel over your head and the bowl and inhale the steam. Reheat the bowl as necessary to keep it steamy.
  • Bath- A hot bath with added essential oils can be relaxing and beneficial to your sinus infection. Use at least ten drops of oil on a sponge and let it sit in the bathtub while you are bathing.
  • Neti-pot- Put the solution and essential oils inside the Neti-pot. To use it correctly, you will need to tilt your head to one side and pour the mixture into one side of your nasal passage and let if flow out of the other side.
  • Oral Consumption- If you want to consume an essential oil for sinus infection relief, the FDA has approved the use of one or two drops of therapeutic grade fennel oil. Consume it mixed with a tablespoon of honey to help with bad congestion and cough.

Essential Oils For Sinus Infection

lavender oil

1. Lavender

Using lavender oil for sinus infections can provide much needed relief.

It works by fighting the sinus infection through clearing out the congestion in the cavities and working to get rid of all of the bacteria present that is responsible for the infection.

It also can help to reduce inflammation in the cavities of your sinuses as well.

2. Peppermint

The best way to use peppermint essential oil is by using it with inhalation therapy.

This can be done using a humidifier, diffuser or by adding drops of the oil to hot, steamy water and breathing it in.

The peppermint oil has many vital properties which have proven effective for fighting sinus infections.

Peppermint oil is a top choice in essential oils because it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Chamomile

Many people use chamomile in their teas because of all of the great benefits it can provide.

It is a strong antiseptic and using chamomile oil can provide much relief around the sinuses.

It contains antiseptic, anti-allergic and sedative properties.

These will help your sinuses when massaged from your nose up to your temples.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree essential oil is considered one of the best oils to use in natural treatment for sinus infections.

The best way to use it is by adding a few drops of it into a bowl of boiling water.

Next, drape a towel over your head and the pan so that the steam from the water doesn’t escape.

Breathe in the steam with the tea tree oil in it to help loosen any phlegm that is clogging your sinuses and causing congestion.

5. Clove

Clove essential oil is great for treating a variety of different respiratory problems including sinus infections.

It has both antiseptic properties and anti-fungal properties making it a great natural treatment for sinus inflammation.

It also has a nice, soothing effect as it gives your nasal passages a comforting and cooling effect.

To use clove oil as treatment for your sinus infection, add a few drops of it to a diffuser or a vaporizer for upwards of twenty minutes.

If desired, the clove oil may also be massaged directly onto your nose to help open up your nasal cavities and give some relief to your congestion.

6. Oregano

Oregano essential oil has proven to have many antibacterial properties and is a powerful antioxidant.

It is a safe and effective treatment for sinus problems.

The best way to use oregano oil is similar to how tea tree oils are used.

Put a few drops of oregano oil into a hot, steamy bowl of water, drape a towel over your head and the bowl. Breathe in deeply until you feel some relief.

7. Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil oil works best to help ease headaches that are associated with sinusitis.

The oil acts as an analgesic, antispasmodic and antidepressant.

With at least ten drops of sweet basil oil added into a vaporizer, you will begin to feel some relief in as little as ten minutes.

8. Rosemary

Another great oil for sinus relief from an infection is rosemary.

It is a stimulant that has both analgesic and antimicrobial properties.

When used with the steam method, the rosemary oil can help to open up your nasal passages and rid the cavities of any congestion.

It can also help to treat the inflammation in the nasal cavities as well.

9. Geranium

Geranium oil is a great anti-inflammatory and works effectively in helping to ease headaches and congestion associated with sinusitis.

The geranium oil works best by applying a few drops on each side of your face and directly under your nose to breathe in.

10. Thyme

You can reduce inflammation and swelling in your sinuses from an infection by using some thyme essential oil.

It works by unblocking the nasal passages and helping to relieve pressure built up in the cavities of your sinuses.

11. Lemon

The lemon essential oils are effective in helping to resolve sinus issues and has antimicrobial properties.

The tented steam treatment is the optimal way to use the lemon oil.

Breathing it in can relieve pressure in you nose.

Additionally, lemon essential oil may be rubbed on your face around your sinuses and your nose.

12. Pine

To help clear up mucus and phlegm from an infection in your sinus cavities, pine essential oil can help do the job.

To use it, apply the oil directly to your nasal passages and on top of your nose.

The clean and cool smell of the oil can help to open up your nasal passages right away so that you can breathe easier.

13. Menthol and Eucalyptus

These two aromatic essential oils are best when used together to help relieve symptoms of a sinus infection.

To use them effectively, add some drops of both the menthol and eucalyptus essential oil to a humidifier to help get your nasal passages clear.

The steam inhalation process is also an effective way to use these two oils for sinus inflammation relief.

More Natural Remedies For Sinus Infections

Along with the great benefits of using essential oils for treating a sinus infection, there are other natural remedies to use in conjunction with them as well.

Below are a few other natural remedies to try.

  • Stay Hydrated– Keeping your body hydrated helps in many ways. One way in particular is that staying hydrated will keep your sinuses moist.
  • Warm Compresses– To get some instant relief from the congestion that comes with sinus issues, a warm compress laid over your face can help. Dampen a rag in a warm bowl of water and lay it over your nose and forehead. The warmth will help to relax your nasal passages and loosen up the congestion to help give you relief.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar- There are many great properties in apple cider vinegar that make it a good option for treating sinus issues. It has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that all work together to keep your sinuses in order. It is best to use apple cider vinegar on a regular basis to help keep an infection from developing, especially when you first catch a cold. To use, add two teaspoons of the mixture to a warm cup of water. Add a teaspoon of honey and stir very well. Drink this solution at least three times a day for a week.

A sinus infection is a painful and miserable thing to go through.

Thankfully, there are many essential oils and remedies that anyone can use to help ease the pain, reduce the sinus congestion and get some much needed relief from the infection.

All of these options are best to try before having to turn to antibiotics for help.