5 Natural Oils for Congestion

07 October, 2020
Simple nasal congestion can become complicated and lead to respiratory infections, so it’s essential to treat it in time.

Did you know that essential oils can help treat the symptoms of the cold and flu? That’s right: there are natural oils for congestion.

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 feel like you can’t breathe, are tired, and are desperate to relieve your congestion, choose some natural alternatives for your symptoms. Today, we want to recommend some essential oils for congestion that will provide you with immediate relief.

What is Nasal Congestion?

oils for congestion

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

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.

Discover: Essential Oils to Relax You

Natural Oils to Relieve Nasal Congestion

1-Eucalyptus essential oil

This oil will help reduce inflammation in your airways and loosen mucus within the lungs, if excess mucus is present. Eucalyptus essential oil has antioxidant properties that will also strengthen your immune system.


  • 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 has 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.

Read more: 10 Tips to Get Rid of Excessive Mucus


  • 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

Thyme oil has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These help strengthen your immune and respiratory systems. It’s also used to treat cold symptoms, such as coughing, sore throat, and nasal congestion.

Thyme essential oil allows you to take advantage of aromatherapy to alleviate a sore throat.


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 vaporizers with this mixture. Remember to place a towel over your head so you can inhale the vapor and clear your airways.

4-Mint essential oil

oils for congestion

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 tea is typically used to treat colds and the flu thanks to its medicinal properties. The same can be said for the essential oil.


  • 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.

By applying any of these treatments regularly, your symptoms will be relieved in a short time. Remember to see a doctor if your congestion does not subside within a week. Also, avoid exposing yourself to strong odors or allergens that can worsen your discomfort.

Vann, M. (2015, December 09). 8 Ways to Clear Up Sinus Congestion. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/managing-sinus-congestion/clear-sinus-congestion-pictures/

WebMD. (2018). Nasal Congestion & Pressure: Home and OTC Remedies. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinus-congestion