Sinuses are sacs or cavities in any organ or tissue in the body. However, the term “sinus” is most often used to refer to the paranasal sinuses, the air cavities in the cranial (skull) bones, especially those around the nose.
There are four pairs of nasal sinus cavities:
- Ethmoid sinuses, located at the top of your nose between your eyes.
- Frontal sinuses, located behind the eyebrow ridges at the forehead.
- Maxillary sinuses, the largest of the sinus, located below the cheeks and the sides of nose.
- Sphenoid sinuses, the bones behind your nose, inside the skull.
What Do The Sinuses Do?
The nose and sinuses produce about a pint to a quart of mucus and secretions every day. This mucus passes through the nose, washing and cleaning the membranes as it goes, picking up dust particles, bacteria, and air pollutants.
The sinuses also greatly affect the tone and quality of your voice. However, their main function is to produce mucus that cleans and moisturizes the inside of your nose.
A sinus attack or infection is an inflammation of the soft tissues of the sinuses. Essential oils can help deal with these attacks. Certain essential oils can even naturally open up the sinuses, clear mucus, and eliminate infections.
1. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus And Radiata)
Eucalyptus oil has a reputation as a powerful decongestant and is prized for its strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
This steam-distilled leaf from Australia is considered the best respiratory oil in aromatherapy. Its stimulating, fresh, sweet, pungent, and camphoraceous scent is long lasting and brings to mind the smell of medicine. In fact, many traditional medicines contain eucalyptus.
The oil may be helpful in preventing as well as relieving symptoms of cold and flu, sinusitis, and bronchitis. Its potent anti-inflammatory properties help relieve swollen and painful nasal passageways and make it the best choice for treating respiratory issues.
2. Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis ct. Verbenon)
This steam-distilled herb from flowering tops comes from Italy, Corsica, and France. An aromatic plant prized since ancient times, the powerful and pungent scent of rosemary is fresh, camphoreceous, warm, and radiant.
The herb takes over a blend, so remember a single drop goes a long way. Rosemary oil has the highest hydrogen content of all the essential oils, which makes it a powerfully stimulating and warming oil.
- As an immune stimulant, rosemary may be useful in relieving respiratory conditions like strep, bronchitis, and sinusitis as well as symptoms of cold and flu.
- Its mucolytic, decongestant, and expectorant properties give rosemary its outstanding ability to relieve excess mucous conditions that is unsurpassed by other oils.
CAUTION: Avoid using rosemary during pregnancy if you have high blood pressure or a diagnosed seizure disorder, as it has highly stimulating properties.
3. Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
The smell of this steam-distilled leaf from Australia is fresh, penetrating, warm, spicy, and camphoraceous with slight herbal notes. It is considered as a first-aid oil as its strongly pungent, antiseptic, and medicinal scent is well tolerated by most individuals.
4. Peppermint (Mentha Piperita)
This herb is steam distilled from flowering tops and originates from the USA. Considered a basic necessity for your aromatherapy first aid kit, peppermint oil is a fluid colorless oil with a clean, fresh, minty scent that is distinctly penetrating.
Its decongestant properties make the oil one of the first choices for relieving congestion of any kind, including sinus congestion.
Due to its strong cooling action, peppermint should not be used by children under 2 1/2 years of age.
CAUTION: Peppermint cools excess hot conditions by constricting your blood capillaries. Therefore, please use in extremely weak dilutions. One or two drops in a dispersant and added to your bath water is sufficient for experiencing beneficial results.
Research also indicates that Peppermint oil may aggravate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a type of heart burn.
Sinus Relief Recipe
- Eucalyptus globulus or radiata – 70 drops
- Rosemary verbenon – 10 drops
- Tea tree – 10 drops
- Peppermint – 10 drops
Directions Of Use
To a 5ml euro dropper bottle, add all the ingredients and mix.
For best results, I recommend using your essential oil or blend as a respiratory steam. For a simple at-home steam, simply add steaming hot water to a ceramic bowl and then add 1–3 drops of your essential oil or blend to the steaming water. Make a tent to capture the steam by covering your head with a towel as you lean over the bowl and inhale the vapors.
CAUTION: Be sure to close your eyes during inhalation so that the aromatic vapors of the essential oils do not get into your eyes.
Which Carrier Oils Can Be Used?
You can also make your own sinus relief oil by diluting your essential oil in a suitable carrier oil. Here are a couple recommendations for you to try. The general guideline for proper dilution is 15 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil.
1. Sesame Oil
The skin-nourishing sesame oil is an excellent oil for stimulating circulation and warming the body and internal organs. Sesame oil contains the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound sesamol, which helps to relieve swollen and inflamed membranes.
2. Oregano Herbal Oil
Research on one of nature’s most potent antimicrobials shows that oregano oil’s antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties help destroy infections. You can purchase oregano herbal infused oil at most natural foods stores, or make your own.
To make your own infused oregano oil
- Simply add dried oregano in a clear glass jar 3/4 full and top off with liquid oil.
- Seal the jar with a lid and leave in a sunny window sill for 1 week, or longer, to thoroughly infuse the oregano into the oil.
- Be sure to periodically give the container of oregano in oil a shake.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a serious health concern, please consult a qualified medical professional.