How to use tea tree oil for sinusitis

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A cold, allergies, a sinus infection, and the flu are common causes of sinus congestion. Some essential oils, including eucalyptus and peppermint oils, may help open the airways and ease congestion.

Essential oils are a popular natural treatment. People use them to relieve sinus congestion, unblock a stuffed nose, and promote sinus drainage.

Eucalyptus and peppermint oils show particular promise. Otherwise, little scientific evidence supports the use of essential oils to relieve sinus congestion.

However, there is some evidence that essential oils may improve related symptoms, though many of these studies have involved animals or lab experiments, rather than human participants.

Some research indicates that essential oils can:

  • reduce inflammation
  • fight bacteria
  • relieve pain

These effects may help relieve symptoms associated with congestion.

In this article, we investigate ways that people use essential oils to treat a runny, stuffy nose.

Share on PinterestInhaling peppermint oil can help to open the airways and clear mucus.

Many people find that inhaling peppermint oil feels good when they have blocked sinuses. This is because of its cooling effect. But does peppermint oil actually improve sinusitis symptoms?

Peppermint oil contains menthol. This compound may affect the mucus receptors in the nose, helping to open the airways and clear mucus.

Lab studies show that peppermint oil may fight bacteria, one of the triggers of sinus congestion. Animal studies demonstrate that it may also reduce inflammation. It is important to emphasize that these studies did not test the effects on humans.

A person can try making a steam bath by placing a few drops of the oil in a bowl of warm water and breathing in the steam for a few minutes until the stuffiness and other symptoms subside. Alternately, a diffuser can fill the air with this essential oil.

Also, certain nasal decongestant products contain peppermint.

Various brands of peppermint oil are available online.

Oil from the eucalyptus plant shows promise as an alternative remedy for sinusitis and congestion.

Several over-the-counter decongestant products, such as chest rubs, contain eucalyptus oil. Many believe that this oil can relieve the symptoms of colds and coughs, including sinus congestion and stuffiness.

People often use eucalyptus oil in steam baths. Like peppermint oil, it may clear stuffiness and congestion in the nose.

Eucalyptus oil contains a compound called cineole. A small-scale 2009 study found cineole to be a safe and effective treatment for sinus issues, compared to a placebo, when participants took it in a pill. The researchers warn, however, that this treatment could cause a rash or heartburn.

They found that cineole improved many sinusitis symptoms, including:

  • headaches
  • nasal obstruction
  • a runny nose

People can use eucalyptus oil in the same way as peppermint oil. Many brands of the oil are available online. Chest rubs that contain eucalyptus oil are also available online.

Tea tree oil may improve sinus congestion by fighting two potential causes: bacteria and viruses.

A 2015 review notes that a compound called alpha-sabine in tea tree oil provides antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects.

Tea tree oil may also reduce inflammation, which could help bring down sinus swelling. Reduced swelling often relieves the symptoms of congestion, such as a runny or stuffy nose.

People frequently use tea tree oil in diffusers. Various brands are available online.

Oregano oil may help a person recover from sinusitis by fighting off bacteria. Researchers have found that carvacrol, a component of oregano oil, may stop bacteria from growing.

People can find various brands of oregano oil online.

Clary sage is another essential oil that may fight sinusitis or congestion caused by bacteria. A 2015 lab study found clary sage oil to be a natural antimicrobial agent.

Several brands of clary sage oil are available online.

Share on PinterestInhaling lavender oil may reduce pain and swelling in the sinuses.

Lavender oil may improve symptoms of sinus congestion by reducing pain and swelling.

A 2015 animal study suggested that this essential oil may have analgesic, or pain-relieving, effects and that it may also reduce inflammation. However, researchers have not tested this in humans.

Lavender oil can also have calming properties for some people, making them feel more relaxed or able to sleep.

Various brands of lavender oil are available online.

Rosemary is another anti-inflammatory essential oil that may relieve swollen sinuses. Authors of a 2016 review described rosemary’s anti-inflammatory properties.

The researchers also found that rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and may help manage metabolic syndrome.

People can compare brands of rosemary oil online.

Share on PinterestA person can safely inhale by holding a tissue with drops of essential oil on it close to the face and breathing in.

To use essential oils for sinus congestion relief, it is best to dilute them, then breathe in the scent. Do not swallow or ingest essential oils.

There are four main ways to inhale essential oils:

  • Inhaling directly: Add a few drops of essential oil to a tissue and gently breathe in, holding the tissue near the face. Be careful not to get essential oil directly on the skin, as it can cause irritation.
  • Inhaling steam: Add a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of boiling water and inhale the steam. Placing a towel over the head can create a steam chamber.
  • Using a diffuser: Essential oil diffusers disperse the oil into the air. This is a gentle way to inhale essential oils continuously while at home.
  • Adding to a bath: Add a few drops of essential oil to a bath and gently inhale while soaking.

To apply essential oil to the skin, dilute it in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil. The usual recipe is 3–5 drops of essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil. Learn more about the best carrier oils and how to use them here.

Test for an allergic reaction by applying a few drops of diluted essential oil to the skin. If there is no reaction in 24 hours, it should be safe to use.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians state that people should not use essential oils with babies younger than 3 months.

Certain oils may be safe to use around older children. Always ask a doctor before exposing babies or young children to essential oils.

Some believe that eucalyptus and peppermint oils are dangerous for infants and that people should refrain from using them around children under 3 years old.

Be aware that when diffusing essential oils in the air, any children, pets, and other family members will also be inhaling the treatment.

Do not diffuse essential oils in public, such as in stores, as many people have allergies to them.

Some essential oils, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, can trigger asthma symptoms.

Learn more about using essential oils with babies here.

People have used essential oils as an alternative remedy for hundreds of years. Anyone wishing to avoid over-the-counter decongestants and antibiotics may want to try using an oil as a treatment.

Essential oils are a complementary or alternative therapy. There are no approved guidelines about dosage or strength, so people should use these oils with caution. Do not ingest essential oils unless directed by a doctor, as they can be toxic.

Before doctors recommend essential oils as a sinus congestion treatment, they will need to see more evidence of the effects in humans. However, many people find that the oils bring relief.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sinus Congestion

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Sinus congestion is uncomfortable to say the least. It may make it difficult for you to breathe or sleep. It may also cause painful pressure behind your eyes, make your nose run constantly, or cause an annoying cough. Some essential oils may clear up nasal passages and relieve sinus pressure and other congestion symptoms.


  1. Essential oils are a natural alternative to synthetic medications.
  2. Certain oils may be able to relieve symptoms of congestion.

Essential oils have been used for centuries as a natural way to support emotional and physical health. When people become wary about synthetic medications, they often turn to natural remedies such as essential oils.

Some people use over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants or antibiotics to treat sinus congestion and sinus infections. These remedies aren’t for everyone. OTC decongestants can interact with prescription medications and aren’t recommended for people with multiple conditions, such as pregnancy or high blood pressure.

They can cause side effects, such as:

  • drowsiness
  • headaches
  • restlessness
  • high blood pressure
  • rapid heart rate

Essential oils are an alternative treatment for sinus congestion that occurs due to:

  • allergies
  • bacteria
  • inflammation
  • the common cold

Some oils may relieve symptoms, such as:

  • congestion
  • inflammation
  • a cough

There isn’t a lot of reliable research about essential oils and sinus congestion. Some studies suggest specific essential oils may relieve symptoms.

A 2006 review found that tea tree, or melaleuca, oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Because sinus tissue inflammation and bacteria are often the culprits of sinus congestion, tea tree oil may help.

Researchers in a 2009 study found that 1,8 cineole, which is the main component of eucalyptus oil, is an effective and safe treatment for sinusitis that doesn’t include antibiotics. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), 1,8 cineole helps clear the air of bacteria and other microbes. It can also help clear airways of mucus and is a natural cough suppressant.

The main compound in peppermint oil is menthol. Menthol is in certain OTC remedies, such as vapor rubs, lozenges, and nasal inhalers. Studies show menthol may be more likely to increase congestion than decrease it. Menthol produces a cooling sensation, leading users to believe their nasal passages are clearer and they’re breathing better, even though the passages are still congested.

Because oregano oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, it may help sinus congestion in theory. No published trials exist. Evidence supporting the oil’s effectiveness is anecdotal.

The best way to use essential oils to relieve a stuffy nose is through inhalation. You can inhale oils in a number of ways.

Steam inhalation involves combining essential oils with hot water to create therapeutic steam. NAHA recommends adding three to seven drops of essential oil to boiling water in a large pot or heatproof bowl. Use a towel to cover your head, and breathe through your nose for no more than two minutes at a time. Keep your eyes closed to prevent eye irritation.

Direct inhalation refers to inhaling the essential oil right from the bottle. You may also add a drop of oil to a handkerchief, cotton ball, or inhaler tube, and breathe it in.

Diffusers disperse essential oils throughout the air, allowing them to dilute before being inhaled. This is a less potent method of inhalation.

For an aromatherapy bath, add a few drops of diluted essential oil to your bathwater.

For an aromatherapy massage, add a few drops of essential oil to your favorite massage lotion or massage oil.


  1. Using undiluted essential oils topically can cause irritation and inflammation.
  2. Ingesting essential oils can be dangerous.

You shouldn’t apply essential oils directly to your skin. You should always dilute them with a carrier oil, water, or lotion. Popular carrier oils include jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and olive oil. Using them directly on the skin may cause:

  • burns
  • irritation
  • a rash
  • itchiness

Perform a skin patch test before use.

Essential oils are powerful. When they’re inhaled in small doses for brief periods, most are generally considered safe. If you inhale them in high doses or for long periods, you may experience dizziness, a headache, and nausea.

You shouldn’t ingest essential oils. They contain strong compounds that may cause toxic side effects. Some side effects may not be noticeable right away. Essential oils may also interact with prescription and OTC medications.

These oils shouldn’t be administered to children. Women who are pregnant shouldn’t use them.

Essential oils and decongestants aren’t the only way to treat sinus congestion. Other options include using:

  • a humidifier to add moisture to the air
  • a steam shower or a saline nasal spray to thin nasal mucus
  • a neti pot to flush nasal mucus
  • a warm compress on your forehead and nose, which can ease inflammation
  • allergy medication if congestion is caused by hay fever or other allergies
  • nasal strips, which can help open up your nasal passages

If you have chronic sinus congestion due to nasal polyps or narrow nasal passages, surgery may be necessary.

Learn more: Nasal irrigation and neti pots »

If you have sinus congestion, make sure you eat a healthy diet. Avoid dairy, chocolate, and processed foods. They may increase mucus production. Make sure you’re drinking enough fluids to help thin your nasal mucus. Put a humidifier in your bedroom to increase the humidity while you sleep.

If you have any of these essential oils on hand, try steam inhaling them a few times per day:

  • tea tree
  • eucalyptus
  • peppermint
  • oregano

If possible, consult a trained aromatherapist to learn how to combine essential oils for fast relief of sinus congestion.

Keep reading: 5 remedies for sinus drainage woes »

Tea tree oil for runny nose and sinusitis: how to use

Treatment of runny nose with tea tree oil is a popular practice in otolaryngology. This product can deservedly be called a natural antibiotic, due to the wide therapeutic spectrum, the exclusion of toxic effects on the human body.

Therapeutic procedures do not require specific skills, the use of the natural suspension is practically unlimited. An over-the-counter and inexpensive remedy is an alternative to many pharmacological products. 9Ol000 limonel, cineol, etc. Terpioels are the main active ingredients that have a pronounced antibacterial effect . Due to this, there is a detrimental effect on the pathological microflora.

Among anaerobic microorganisms, it is active against staphylococci, pneumococci, streptococci, Escherichia coli and yeast-like fungi.

Using tea tree oil for the common cold and other diseases of the upper respiratory tract, upon contact with the nasal mucosa, the following action is manifested:

  • prevents the growth of bacteria
  • suppressive process of joining viral particles in the cytoplasm of a cell and bringing them out, restraining the development of the inflammatory process ;
  • stimulating metabolic processes improving the activation of soft tissue epithelization;
  • reducing the sensitivity of nociceptors, thereby eliminating pain and discomfort ;
  • regulating the immune system , increasing the physiological reactivity of tissues and local immunity.

Pronounced therapeutic properties make it possible to use the ether suspension for the treatment of rhinitis of various etiologies (with allergic rhinitis it is prescribed with caution), pathological courses of ENT diseases - sinusitis, tonsillitis, rhinopharyngitis, etc.

Important! The medicinal product is insoluble in water. The dissolution process occurs upon contact with vegetable oils.

The decision to include tea tree oil in the treatment regimen is made by the attending physician, based on the patient's history and the nature of the runny nose.

Tea tree oil temporarily relieves the patient's condition, partially relieving symptoms, so it can be used as an additional treatment

Allergic reaction test must be performed prior to treatment . To do this, a drop of ethereal suspension is applied to the skin at the elbow bend. If redness, itching sensations appear, the drug should be excluded.

How to use tea tree oil for a runny nose

To stop the inflammatory process, eliminate mucosal hyperemia, restore natural breathing through the nose, ENT specialists recommend using the emulsion in three ways:

  1. Prepare nose drops with tea tree oil. In diseases of the respiratory system, a pronounced therapeutic effect is noticeable in combination with oils of thyme, lavender, chamomile . Combine the components of in an equal ratio of (2 k.), heat the mixture in a water bath to a comfortable temperature. Use three times a day, 2 drops of of the finished product in each nasal passage. An equally effective alternative to drops are cotton turundas dipped in a medicinal mixture. Exposure time - no more than 15 minutes ;

Important! This method of treatment is not suitable in the presence of mechanical damage or ulcers on the mucosa.

  1. Irrigation procedures . Lavage of the nasal passages with a therapeutic solution contributes to the normalization of the production of muconasal mucus, its liquefaction and unhindered outflow. In water brought to a boil in the amount of 250 ml. and cooled to 38 degrees , add 10 drops of ethereal emulsion .Use a syringe or medical syringe (without a needle) to rinse each nasal passage. The daily rate of washings - 3-4 procedures , the duration of the course of treatment - 5-6 days ;

For reference! Proper rinsing technique is important. To prevent fluid from entering the Eustachian tube, the head must be held at a 90-degree tilt.

  1. Inhalation treatments . This method is considered the most effective and as safe as possible, subject to certain rules. With hot inhalations, the temperature of the liquid should not exceed 50-60 degrees . Both distilled and mineral water can be used as a base. The addition of eucalyptus, anise or sage oil will enhance the therapeutic effect. The recommended ratio is 2 liters. water: 4 drops of tea tree oil: 2 drops of auxiliary ester . The procedure is carried out three times a day, for 7-10 minutes subject to natural body temperature.

It is not recommended to use tea tree oil in the nose of a child before the age of seven due to the development of an allergic reaction .

Among the contraindications for use are pregnancy and lactation

There is an opinion among experts that boys should avoid melaleuca oil until puberty, as there may be a possibility of a violation of the normal balance of hormones (hormonal imbalance).

Tea tree oil for sinusitis

Among practitioners, opinions about the treatment of sinusitis with ethereal emulsion are very controversial. Some are convinced that in the pathological course of diseases of the ENT organs, tea tree oil cannot act as an independent method of therapy, and in some cases it can be harmful.

Others allow inclusion in the therapeutic regimen of therapeutic suspension in the chronic course of the disease in the form of nasal lavages . It has been scientifically proven that melaleuca oil does not dissolve in liquid, which casts doubt on the effectiveness of this method.

It should be understood that sinusitis is a rather serious disease, which, with incompetent therapeutic actions , can lead to serious complications, therefore, as a therapy for this disease, it is more rational to opt for conservative medicine .

At the stage of chronic inflammation of sinusitis, the symptoms of the disease can be eliminated with the help of inhalations. Consultation of the attending physician is obligatory! For a steam bath, you need 500 ml. water brought to a temperature of 50 degrees and 10 drops of therapeutic emulsion . Inhale vapors for 10 minutes, three times a day .

Facilitates breathing cold inhalation . It is recommended to use during night sleep, as the period of exposure to volatile esters with this method should last at least 4-5 hours . Pour a mixture of water and essential oil into the aroma lamp tank in a ratio of 2 tbsp. water and 2-3 drops of emulsion .

Do not take tea tree oil orally. A high concentration of the substance can cause poisoning

During the day, you can drip essential oil on a handkerchief or piece of cloth, inhale for 3-5 minutes.

Important! Inhalations should be administered 1.5 hours after the last meal. At the end of the procedure, it is not recommended to go outside, smoke, eat food for an hour.


Tea tree oil is a natural, concentrated product that requires adherence to the rules of treatment. Pronounced therapeutic properties allow the use of this product in the treatment of diseases of the upper respiratory tract, provided there is no pathological form.

To exclude the occurrence of complications, an otolaryngologist should prescribe therapy with a medicinal emulsion, taking into account the individual characteristics of each patient.

Tea tree oil for runny nose and sinusitis

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    • Useful properties
    • Application with a runny nose
    • Use
    • Treatment of children
    • existing contraindications

    Tea tree oil is wide There is a tool that can be successfully used to disinfect the skin and mucous membranes.

    However, in addition to this, it has a large number of other useful properties that make it possible to use this essential oil in traditional medicine and cosmetology. At the same time, it can be used to treat both adult patients and children.

    Useful properties

    Tea tree oil:

    • has a powerful local effect;
    • effectively affects pathogenic bacteria and fungi;
    • strengthens local immunity and mobilizes the protective reserves of the body, which has a positive effect on resistance to viruses;
    • relieves pain and eliminates swelling;
    • has a healing effect on the skin and hair;
    • is especially effective for inflammation of the skin, including on the face;
    • have a regenerative effect, which can significantly speed up the wound healing process.

    Use for the common cold

    Many traditional medicine advocates talk about the high effectiveness of tea tree essential oil in the treatment of infectious colds.

    At the same time, it should be remembered that official medicine is quite skeptical about such treatment. Always consult your doctor before using these products.

    There are many ways and recipes that tell you how to use tea tree oil for a cold.

    Method 1. If you have rhinitis, place one drop of oil on a clean finger and gently spread it between your upper lip and nose. In addition, run an oily finger along the wings of the nose.

    Method 2. Pour 250-300 ml of water into a saucepan or bowl, place on the burner and heat. The recommended temperature is 45-55 degrees Celsius. Take the water off the heat and add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to it. So, we have prepared a healing solution for inhalation.

    Breathe for 7-10 minutes. Inhalations and exhalations should be deep and calm. Care must be taken. Careless breathing over liquid that is too hot can cause severe burns to the upper respiratory tract.

    Method 3. Prepare a warm bath. The water temperature should be comfortable for you. Put 5-6 drops of tea tree oil into it. The duration of bathing in such a bath should be limited to 10 minutes. This method is especially good in the autumn-winter period as a prevention of colds and runny nose.

    Baths are used for preventive purposes. To prepare it, it is enough to dilute 5 drops of oil in a third of a glass of water and pour the resulting solution into the bath. The water temperature should not exceed 50 degrees.

    Apply a little essential oil to a piece of cheesecloth or cotton. Then bring it to your nose and just breathe for 5-7 minutes. Such procedures can be performed 2-3 times a day.

    There are also simpler but equally effective therapies. You can learn about them in the article "Laundry soap for a cold. "

    Use for sinusitis

    Remember that it is not possible to cure sinusitis, frontal sinusitis or any other type of sinusitis with tea tree oil alone. However, this does not prevent the inclusion of funds prepared with his participation in the complex therapy of this inflammatory disease of the paranasal sinuses.

    One of the most commonly recommended prescriptions for various sinusitis is to wash the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses with a healing solution of tea tree oil. However, we want to express certain doubts that relate to this technique. They are connected with the well-known fact that oil practically does not dissolve in water. In this regard, the effectiveness of this method of treatment raises serious doubts.

    Recipe 1. In 100-150 ml of warm water add 5-6 drops of tea tree oil. The recommended water temperature is 35-40 degrees Celsius. To carry out the washing procedure, you can use a syringe without a needle or a syringe.

    In addition, many sites have recommendations to treat sinusitis with steam inhalations based on tea tree oil. Remember, with inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, it is strictly forbidden to warm up the nose during the acute stage of the disease. Such actions can lead to a serious deterioration in the patient's condition.

    All sinusitis are quite serious diseases that, if not properly treated, can have serious complications and consequences. In this regard, all medical and therapeutic measures should be prescribed by a qualified doctor.

    If you have problems associated with inflammation of the maxillary and other paranasal sinuses, we recommend that you read the article Sea Buckthorn Oil for Sinusitis.

    Treatment of children

    There are no contraindications for the correct use of tea tree oil by children. However, in this matter, the unhealthy fanaticism inherent in some parents should be avoided.

    However, we recommend limiting the use of tea tree oil in children.

    Learn more