5 Natural Oils for Congestion

Essential oil vapours may help to alleviate some symptoms of colds, flu, and cough. Find out more about oils for congestion.
5 Natural Oils for Congestion

Last update: 15 April, 2021

When you have a cold, the flu, or another respiratory condition, it’s common to also experience nasal congestion. This annoying symptom keeps you from breathing clearly and can even cause a headache. If you sometimes feel that you can’t breathe, you feel tired, and desperate due to congestion, you can make vapours, as this will help to relieve you. Today, we’ll tell you about 5 medicinal or essential oils for congestion.

What is Nasal Congestion?

Nasal congestion occurs when the soft tissues inside your nose become inflamed. It typicallys occur in response to certain allergens, viruses, or bacteria.

oils for congestion

In many cases, congestion is accompanied by nasal discharge. When there is excess mucus, it can slide down the back of the throat. This is known as “postnasal drip“, and it causes a sore throat.

Natural oils for congestion relief

According to beliefs, essential oil vapours can contribute to the relief of nasal congestion. Let’s see below how they are prepared and which are the most commonly chosen oils.

1-Eucalyptus essential oil

This oil may help reduce inflammation in your airways and loosen mucus within the lungs, if excess mucus is present.


  • 1 tablespoon of eucalyptus essential oil (14 g)
  • 2 cups of water (500 ml)

What should you do?

  1. Heat the two cups of water in a saucepan
  2. Once it boils, add the eucalyptus essential oil
  3. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a wide bowl
  4. Place a towel behind your head and lean your face toward the bowl, carefully, so you can breathe in the steam
  5. Stay at least six inches away from the water to avoid getting burned

2-Lavender essential oil

Lavender oil is said to have anti-fungal, antibacterial, detoxifying, and analgesic properties, and is frequently used in aromatherapy.

These oils in topical use are great for treating nasal congestion due to colds, the flu, and cough. It will help loosen mucus built up in the lungs and airways.


  • 2 tablespoons of lavender essential oil (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons of almond oil (30 ml)

What should you do?

  1. In a container, mix both oils very well.
  2. Then, apply them directly to your chest, neck, and back.

3-Thyme essential oil

A cup of thyme tea.

Thyme oil’s said to have antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It also may help strengthen your immune and respiratory systems.


What should you do?

  1. Heat the two cups of water in a saucepan. Once the water boils, add the thyme essential oil.
  2. Make vapour with this mixture. Remember to place a towel over your head so you can inhale the steam and clear your airways.

4-Mint essential oil

Mint has a strong scent and will clear your airways just through topical use. Apply it every night before bed until your congestion stops.


  • 2 tablespoons of mint essential oil (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil (30 ml)

What should you do?

  • In a small container, mix both oils.
  • Apply this mixture to your neck and chest, gently rubbing until you feel your skin absorb it completely.

5-Oregano essential oil

Oregano essential oil.

It’s often said that the infusion of oregano can help treat colds and flu. For this reason, there are those who consider that the use of its essential oil could also be useful.


  • 1 tablespoon of oregano essential oil (15 ml)
  • 2 cups of water (500 ml)

What should you do?

To make vapor treatment with this oil, you just need to follow the previous method for the eucalyptus and thyme oil:

  1. Boil the water and add the tablespoon of oregano oil.
  2. Pour the mixture into a wide-mouthed container, place a towel behind your head, and lean forward while holding your face about six inches from the container.
  3. Breathe in the steam and you’ll find that in a few minutes the nasal congestion will disappear.

It’s important to keep in mind that all medicinal or essential oils should be used in small quantities and always diluted in water or a carrier oil. If they’re used in concentrated, undiluted form, they can cause even more intense adverse reactions.

Before resorting to the use of any natural remedy, it’s best to consult a physician. This includes issues such as aromatherapy.

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