Nasal congestion can cause severe discomfort, and can be frustrating, especially when performing routine activities. One in ten adults in the US is diagnosed as having sinusitis congestion, and chronic congestion can have an impact on work and physical activities. Congestion is attributed to the swelling up of the tissues and blood vessels in the nose with excess fluid. Various treatment options are presently used for handling the condition, and this includes the use of essential oils for congestion relief. Here is a look at seven of the essential oils for treating congestion and their effectiveness.
Causes for nasal congestion and how will essential oils for congestion work?
Nasal congestion is attributed to conditions that trigger irritation in the tissues in the nasal passage. For instance, dry air, cold, various allergies, problems in the septum and pregnancy are known to cause nasal congestion. In a significant number of cases, discharge accompanies nasal congestion, commonly known as runny nose. The number of individuals affected with congestion have witnessed a gradual increase over the years and this is attributed to environmental pollution and lifestyles that trigger various allergies. Before we look at how essential oils for congestion work, it is necessary to understand that the best way to treat the condition is to deal with the causes that trigger nasal congestion.
For instance, treating the allergies that cause the congestion will help to get rid of the congestion. Similarly, managing cold effectively will ease congestion. Quitting smoking and ensuring that humidity in the premises is corrected will also help to ensure that nasal congestion is reduced. While popular treatment options include nasal sprays and saline rinses, essential oils for congestion are considered as a safe remedy for dealing with congestion.
The seven essential oils for congestion that are regarded as effective
The following seven essential oils for congestion that are regarded as effective have similar mechanism of action when it comes to managing the condition. For instance, essential oils have properties that promote sinus drainage, relieve blocked nose, in addition relieving pain, fighting bacteria and bringing down inflammation. Nasal congestion involves inflammation and the ability of essential oils to cut down inflammation helps ease the condition. While there are no documented scientific studies in support of certain properties of essential oils, individuals have reported relief from congestion.
It is important to use essential oils in the recommended manner to get maximum relief and to avoid undesirable effects. The best method of using essential oils for managing congestion is to inhale the oil after it has been diluted. Actual inhalation can be carried out by four different methods. #(1) By soaking a tissue with a few drops and inhaling the vapors from the tissue. #(2) By adding a few drops of essential oils to boiling water and inhaling the vapors from the steam. #(3) By adding essential oils into diffusers within homes. #(4) Adding essential oils to a bath and inhaling while in the bath. All four methods are effective, but the most effective method is inhalation from boiling water. Essential oil is never to be applied directly on the skin nor is to be used undiluted, as most essential oils are potent and can cause irritation or discomfort.
#1 Eucalyptus essential oil for congestion – This is one of the most potent of essential oils and is used as a remedy for multiple conditions, including congestion and relief from cold. Many products and formulations for treatment of cold and sinusitis have eucalyptus oil as an active ingredient. This clearly indicates the effectiveness of the oil for treating congestion. The best way to use the oil is to include it in steam baths, and inhale the vapors. It reportedly offers swift relief from stuffiness in the nose and brings down the inflammation. The effectiveness of eucalyptus oil is attributed to cineole, a compound that offers relief from sinusitis including runny nose, throbbing pain in the head and nasal congestion. The most common OTC treatment option with eucalyptus oil are chest rubs.
#2 Peppermint essential oil for congestion – Among the essential oils for congestion peppermint oil is regarded as potent and effective and is typically inhaled for clearing airways and expelling mucus from inflamed nasal passageways. The potent oil is known to rapidly clear blocked sinuses, and this is attributed to the methanol compound, which has an effect on the mucus receptors. It opens up the nasal passageways, and drains out the mucus, offering considerable relief from the condition. Its ability to combat bacteria gives it added potency as bacteria is one of the reasons for the buildup of congestion. The best method is to add a few drops of peppermint oil in a steam bath and inhale the vapors with a towel creating a mini steam chamber. Peppermint oil is an active ingredient in various decongestant OTC products.
#3 Clary sage essential oil for congestion – The reason for the effectiveness of essential oils for congestion is also attributed to the antimicrobial properties of the oils. Clary sage essential oil is regarded to possess strong antimicrobial properties that make it a good choice for treating nasal congestion. The oil is typically used as a rub by adding it to a good carrier oil. It promotes easy breathing and helps to bring about a cooling effect. Known as the Women’s Oil, it offers all round benefits, which make it a good choice to have in the medicine cabinet.
#4 Tea Tree essential oil for congestion – This is another essential oil with dual acting properties – fighting bacteria and viruses. The mechanism of action is attributed to alpha-sabine compound which gives it potent properties, making it an effective essential oil for treating congestion. It is typically used as part of steam inhalation and also in diffusers.
#5 Lavender essential oil for congestion – As one of the top essential oils for congestion relief, lavender oil is typically inhaled in steam. It has proven properties for reducing swelling and tackling pain, attributed to the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of the active compounds.
#6 Rosemary essential oil for congestion – This oil is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, and this helps to reduce the swelling as a result of sinusitis. Reduced swelling offers great relief and helps in easier breathing. The oil can be sued in any of the four different methods and is known to have an aroma that is soothing and pleasant.
#7 Oregano essential oil for congestion – The last in the list of the seven essential oils for congestion relief, oregano oil is another powerful antimicrobial. Its mechanism of action is attributed to the carvacrol compound in the oil that effectively prevents the growth of bacteria. This helps to prevent the congestion from increasing and helps to manage the condition more effectively. This essential oil is typically inhaled by inclusion of a few drops in steaming hot water.
Essential oils for congestion – good alternative remedies
Essential oils are effective as a remedy for treating nasal congestion and are alternative treatment methods. While there are no scientifically/medically reviewed studies that recommend the use of essential oils for congestion, the oils have been in use throughout the ages across various geographies. Evidence suggests that the oils are effective when used as supplementary treatment methods for relief from various conditions, including congestion. With the right kind of precautions and recommended use, essential oils are known to offer fast relief.