It starts with a stuffy nose.
Then, next thing you know, your whole face starts to feel congested. You feel intense pressure, and your sinuses are no longer draining. You may even start to feel a headache.
By now you likely know what this means.. a sinus infection is brewing.
Sinus infections are an uncomfortable condition often caused by an infection or inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the bony cavities behind, above and on each side of the nose. An acute sinus infection is often accompanied by congested headaches, catarrh, and a fever.
If you’ve been experiencing chronic, long-term sinus infections, then you’ve likely found your nose has been blocked for long durations. You can feel the blockage along with dull pain and tension between the eyes.
And it’s not a fun experience.
Whether you’re dealing with an acute or chronic infection, it’s important that you deal with it properly (and promptly). There’s always a risk that the infection could travel higher and cause more harm, potentially in the form of meningitis.
5 Essential Oil Recipes for Sinus Infections
The Need to Disrupt Biofilms (Important!)
Before making use of any of the recipes in this post, I recommended applying a xylitol-based nasal spray.
I recommend this because xylitol has been shown to be an effective disruptor of biofilms, which are a protective measure created by the pathogenic viruses that have invaded your sinuses.
Research on biofilms is relatively new, so you might not have heard of them. But I’ll give you a little information on them.
- Biofilms are a protective layer created by colonies of bacteria. The bacterial colonies produce these biofilms to provide what is essentially an impenetrable cocoon that is extremely hard to disrupt (without xylitol, that is).
- When at full health, these biofilms are effective at blocking attempts by the immune system to disrupt them. This is why people who have chronic sinus infections are sometimes unable to cure themselves even with multiple rounds of antibiotics. The biofilms simply keep the antibiotics out.
- The presence of these biofilms also inhibits the ability of remedies (like essential oils) from doing their healing work.
By introducing xylitol via a nasal spray you are providing a solution to the problem since xylitol breaks up biofilms. The nasal spray I’ve listed does not dry out the nasal passages (dry sinuses can slow treatment), and it won’t inhibit the immune defense of the body.
Instead, the spray acts more as a surfactant and lubricant, which make it easier for the body to produce natural mucus secretions that will help eliminate the pathogens, along with the help of your essential oils.
Okay, now on to the essential oil treatments.
1.) Simple Nasal Decongestion Steam Inhalation Formulas
These will promote drainage and clear out the sinuses.
- 5 to 10 minutes before your treatment clear the nasal passages by blowing nose and apply 1-2 sprays of a xylitol-based sinus spray.
- Next, add your essential oils, drop by drop, to a small, non-reactive bowl filled with boiling water.
- Grab a towel and cover your head with it and lean over the bowl, with just you and the steaming bowl blanketed underneath the towel
- Keeping your eyes closed, inhale the steam vapors deeply for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat several times a day.
Four-oil Blend Sinus Relief
Makes 1 treatment.
This blend features four oils that each offer sinus pressure relief while reducing inflammation. The combo is great for opening the airway.
- In a medium glass bowl, add the hot water along with each drop of oil. Stir to combine
- Sit comfortably, tent your head over the bowl with a towel, and breathe deeply for 5 minutes. Emerge for fresh air as needed.
- Repeat this treatment as needed until symptoms subside
Makes 1 treatment.
Cajeput is an efficient and strong antiseptic oil that combats sinusitis directly. It’s particularly effective when inhaled via steam vapors.
- In a small glass bowl, add the carrier oil + cajeput EO. Stir to combine.
- Fill up your bath with warm water and add the entire treatment to the running water (don’t have the water super hot)
- Soak for at least 15 minutes
- Repeat this treatment every day until symptoms subside
2.) Massage Oils to Relieve Nasal Congestion
Recipe #2 Blending Directions
- Blend essential oils together using the proportions listed above. Feel free to make a bigger batch of the blend, just stick to the proportions
- Use 5 drops of resulting blend for every teaspoon of carrier oil
How to Apply Blend:
- Thoroughly mix together essential oils with your base carrier oil in a non-reactive bowl.
- Massage resulting mixture into:
- The back of the neck
- Behind and in front of the ears
- Over the cheekbone
- On your nose
- On your forehead
- Soles of your feet
Repeat application 2-3 times daily, or as desired.
3.) Simple Diffusion Recipes that Offers Instant Relief & Clears Sinus Pressure
Recommended oil blends for diffusion:
Soothing oils for Evening / Nighttime:
Either diffuse these oils by themselves or synergistically together. It’s recommended that you use an essential oil diffuser for this.
4.) Simple Inhalation Recipes for Sinus infection pain and congestion
Direct Tissue / Cloth / Handkerchief / Pocket Square Inhalation Recipe:
- Combine essential oils
- Apply 1-2 drops of mixture to a tissue and inhale.
Hand Held Pocket Inhaler Recipe:
- Combine essential oils in a small non-reactive bowl.
- Place the inhaler wick from your pocket essential oil inhaler in the bowl and allow it to absorb all of the liquid.
- Insert the wick back into your inhaler and cap and screw it closed.
- Use inhaler up to 5 times a day. Use your xylitol sinus spray before every inhalation session
You can learn more about inhaling essential oils here.
5.) Simple Warm Compress to Relieve Infection Discomfort
- Pour one cup of relatively hot water into a non-reactive bowl
- Add your essential oils to the water
- Sit well to disperse oils
- Soak your cloth in the bowl of infused water
- Wring out enough water so the cloth doesn’t drop
- Place the cloth on your nose and sinus area for as long as desired.
- Repeat often, being careful to not allow any of the mixture to get into your eyes.
A Few (Non-Essential oil Based) Tips to Help Clear out your Sinus Infection
The essential oil based recipes above should be entirely sufficient to clear out your nasal passageways and send your infections packing.
But, there are multiple ways to address these kinds of infections, and topical applications are not always going to cure the underlying condition at hand. If you’re not being diligent with a few important factors that I’ll list below then there’s a chance that you won’t entirely hear your infection. Or, if you do, you still run the risk of picking up another one rather easily.
Eat some foods (and avoid others)
I’m not going to go on some diet crusade here and ramble along.
Your diet is your diet.
But there are some things that are best avoided while dealing with these types of infections, and there are some things to eat that will really help you out.
I recommend that you avoid or limit your intake of the following foods:
- Sugars (refined and natural)
These foods are known to help lead people to develop sinus infections or to exacerbate preexisting ones.
Here are some foods you should add to your diet or up your intake of:
These foods boost your immune system response by either providing strong antimicrobial/antiviral support (ginger, garlic) or encouraging proper drainage of your sinuses (onions, radishes).
Take Immuno Supportive Supplements
These supplements help supercharge your immune system and it’s response to infection. These supplements support the body in its fight to flush toxic mucous, encourage the rebuilding of healthy mucus and support the immune system’s ability to fight infections.
Use a humidifier (if you’re in a Dry Environment)
A humidifier will prevent the dryness associated with sinus infections. This is both preventative and supportive for any current infections.
If you don’t already have one you can pick one up for relatively cheap. Keep it on in your room at night.
Alternatively, do a lot of steam inhalation with your essential oils before bed and throughout the day.
Get your Blood Checked
If you are dealing with a sinus infection – especially if it’s been a chronic condition for you – then it might be a good time to get your blood work done.
Relevant blood tests:
If you choose to go to your doctor (the above tests don’t require you to visit your doctor) they may do the following check-ups:
- Physical exam
- Nasal Endoscopy
- Imaging studies
- Nasal and sinus cultures
What Individual Essential Oils are good for Sinus Infection?
Essential oils can help to ease your symptoms, which should go away within 10-14 days. If symptoms persist past two weeks you should check in with your doctor.
The list below covers basically all of the oils out there that are known to be somewhat helpful for sinus infections. You want to use oils that are antiviral, antimicrobial, surfactants and/or expectorants.
- Marjoram (sweet and Spanish)
- Myrtle (green or orange)
- Rosemary (ct. cineole and ct. camphor)
- Tea tree
- Thyme (ct. linalool and ct. thymol
- Spanish sage
- Canadian Balsam
Note – I don’t recommend using just any of these oils indiscriminately!
Many of the oils listed above have found their way into the recipes that I recommend below. If you want to use more than what I recommend below in the recipes section, do your research!
Personally, my favorite oils to use for sinus infections are oregano and tea tree.
What makes us get Sinus Infections, anyway?
We are most susceptible to this kind of infection right after we’ve gone through a cold, hay fever or prolonged exposure to cold, damp air.
Your sinus infection can become exacerbated by various factors including overworking, chronic stress, neck tension and being in stuffy, overheated environments.
Below are some more prominent conditions which can lead to sinus infections:
Allergies will often lead people to develop chronic sinus infections. Allergies to foods like wheat (gluten) and dairy (lactose, casein) are popularly associated with sinusitis. Environmental allergies are commonly related as well, ranging from seasonal to animals allergies.
People who have depleted immune systems are at high risk for developing sinusitis, among other health problems like strep throat and worse. There’s a variety of factors that can lead a person to become immune deficient, many of them highly complex.
Deciphering the immune system is beyond the scope of this post, but we will be addressing the immune system with our essential oil recipes.
Being around other Sick People
You can still be at risk of developing strep throat even if your immune system is solid. If you’re surrounded by family, friends or co-workers that are constantly sick you are likely being exposed to a large variety of pathogens.
At first, your body might be able to fight off the intruders, but many an immune system will fold if left to feed for themselves for a long time.
Hopefully, this post has been helpful for you.
If you have any comments, questions or recommendations of your own please let us know in the comments section below!