How to Use Aromatherapy for Sinus Infection

Two Methods:Preparing to Use AromatherapyUsing Aromatherapy Techniques

Instead of running to the store or the doctor for an answer to your sinus woes, try to heal sinus infections with essential oils. A sinus infection (sinusitis) can be very difficult to treat-- antibiotics, for example, don’t penetrate the sinuses very well. Instead, aromatherapy can be very effective since you can breathe it in and let it penetrate your sinus cavities. Try a variety of techniques until you find the one that works best for you. Before you know it, you will be breathing easier.

Method 1
Preparing to Use Aromatherapy

  1. Image titled Use Aromatherapy for Sinus Infection Step 1
    Recognize the symptoms of a sinus infection. Fever, bad breath, dental pain and fatigue are all symptoms of sinusitis. You may notice clear discharge if you have a viral infection or allergies. Or you may notice cloudy yellow-green discharge if you have a bacterial or fungal infection.[1]
    • Medical treatments may include prescription antibiotics, antivirals, nasal sprays that contain phenylephrine, or oral decongestants. Many of these shouldn't be used for more than three days and may have side effects.[2]
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    Drink lots of water. Try to drink at least six glasses of water a day. This keeps the discharge thin and more fluid, making it easier to drain. Don’t worry if it drains down the back of your throat. This might feel uncomfortable, but your body will deal with the mucus that ends up in your stomach.
    • Avoid drinking dairy which may cause the mucus to thicken up, making it harder to drain. You should also avoid alcohol which can irritate your sinuses.[3]
  3. Image titled Use Aromatherapy for Sinus Infection Step 3
    Choose an essential oil. Preferably, pick an essential oil that's organic and comes from a reputable company that can guarantee the oil's purity.[4] Start out by choosing an aroma you like. All the oils listed have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce swelling. You can also mix and match the oils to find the best blend for you. Simply use equal numbers of drops of each oil when combining.
    • Eucalyptus
    • Menthol
    • Lavender
    • Sweet basil
    • Oregano
    • Rosemary
    • Peppermint
    • Tea tree
    • Rose geranium
    • Pine
    • Clove
    • Lemon
    • Chamomile

Method 2
Using Aromatherapy Techniques

  1. Image titled Use Aromatherapy for Sinus Infection Step 4
    Irrigate your sinuses using a neti pot. Create a solution out of essential oils. Add the liquid to your neti pot. Bend forward over a sink, turning your head to one side. Slowly pour the solution into your top nostril while your head is still tilted. Be sure to breathe through your mouth while doing this. The solution will drain from your other nostril. Repeat with the other nostril.[5]
    • To create a solution, combine an equal number of drops of your chosen oils, no more than 9 or 10 drops total. In a separate bowl, add 1 and ½ cups of very warm (but not so hot that you scald the delicate nasal tissues) distilled water with 6 tablespoons of finely ground unprocessed sea salt and stir to dissolve. Make sure to use distilled water or you could risk infection.[6]Add the essential oils and mix thoroughly.
  2. Image titled Use Aromatherapy for Sinus Infection Step 5
    Use a diffuser. While there are many different kinds of diffusers, all work by dispersing essential oils into the air where you can then breathe them in. Follow the instructions on your diffuser's package. Choose your oils or make your own unique blend. Most use about ½ cup of water with 3-5 drops of essential oils. Anyone with a sinus infection should sit as close as possible to the diffuser and breathe deeply.[7]
    • This method can be very useful, especially if more than one member of your family has a sinus infection.
  3. Image titled Use Aromatherapy for Sinus Infection Step 6
    Inhale the essential oils. Boil distilled or tap water and pour 2 inches of the boiling water into the bottom of a heat-proof bowl. Add 8 to 10 drops of essential oils and stir. A variation of this method is to use cooking herbs instead of the essential oils: use 2 teaspoons of oregano and 2 teaspoons of basil. Cover the back of your head with a towel, lean over the bowl, and breathe in the steam through your nose and mouth. Do this as long as the steam is rising.
    • Once the water has cooled, you can repeat it as much as you like by simply reheating the water. The same solution can be used over and over, until all the water is gone.
  4. Image titled Use Aromatherapy for Sinus Infection Step 7
    Bathe in the essential oils. Add 12 to 15 drops of one or a combination of the oils to your bathwater. Make the water as hot as you can comfortably manage and soak in the tub for as long as you like.
  5. Image titled Use Aromatherapy for Sinus Infection Step 8
    Rub your pressure points with a mix of essential oils. Dilute your essential oil in a carrier oil, then gently rub it over several pressure points on your face: beside each nostril, under your nose in the midline, on the temples, at the beginning of each eyebrow and across the forehead. Cover your face with a hot washcloth until it cools. Repeat if desired.[8]
    • Apply the oil carefully to avoid contact with your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • neti pot
  • hot water
  • finely ground sea salt
  • essential oils
  • diffuser
  • bowl or cup
  • towel
  • washcloth


  • Get as much rest as you can.
  • If you start running a fever, get no relief after 4-5 days, get any facial puffiness or have increased pain, or have bad breath for no clear reason, you should make an appointment with your physician.


  • If the oil comes from plant that you are sensitive to, try another one on the list. They are all effective for sinus infections
  • It is relatively uncommon, but some people do not react well to some essential oils. Test the oil first. Before you use any oil, put a drop into about a tablespoon of warm water. Mix and gently inhale the fumes. Put a drop on your forearm. Wait for 1 hour. If you have no reaction, proceed with the method you have chosen.
  • If you do have a reaction (which may be any nasal discomfort, eyes watering profusely, a skin rash, any nausea), then choose another essential oil and repeat the test.
  • Do not use the neti pot for more than 3 weeks. If you're still having sinus trouble, see your doctor. There may be underlying problems that need to be addressed.[9]

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Categories: Aromatherapy | Essential Oils