Overview of Essential Oils for Sinus Infection
Perhaps sinus congestion is not a serious disease, however, it is extremely uncomfortable. Most of the time, the breathing problem that makes you unable to sleep at night is one of its problems. In addition to that, the runny nose, painful pressure behind the eyes, and/or coughs are annoying.
Aside from the help of essential oils with emotional health, it can aid with physical issues such as the sinus problem. It is the natural medication substitute to the synthetic sinus medication approach.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for sinus congestion and infections are also available at your local pharmacy. However, not everyone is suited to take OTC antibiotics to treat sinus issues. There are people such as pregnant women and those who have a high level of blood pressure that is not applicable to consume such medications. Additionally, OTC medicines can result in side effects such as headaches, rapid heart rate, drowsiness, increase in blood pressure, and restlessness.
This is where essential oils take over. They are the alternative to the many causes of sinus congestion including the common cold, bacteria, inflammation, and allergies.
Some Studies about Certain Essential Oils
Studies about the correlation between sinus congestion and essential oils don’t have many reliable sources. But some advice that it can relieve some of the sinus symptoms.
- Tea Tree Oil and Melaleuca Oil – Many experts identify that most of the causes of sinus congestion are bacteria and the inflammation of sinus tissue. In a study conducted in 2006, either tea tree oil or melaleuca oil has found to be helpful in sinus problem. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties that can aid with the congestion symptoms.
- Cineole – On the other hand, a study conducted in 2009 reported that 1,8 cineole is safe and effective against sinusitis. Cineole is the main element of eucalyptus oil, no wonder it is very efficient with sinusitis even without the help of antibiotics. It is considered a natural cough suppressant. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) reported that the substance cineole is what clear the pathway of microbes and bacteria as well as the mucus airways.
- Menthol – Menthol, on the other hand, have been found by the researchers to increase congestion instead of decrease it. Many of the OTC remedies such as vapor rubs, nasal inhalers, and lozenges have the menthol content. Many users of these OTC remedies believe that menthol aids with their sinus congestion when the truth is it simply produces a cooling sensation along the airways. This does not necessarily mean that the nasal passages are clear.
- Oregano – With regards to oregano, there are no published studies to provide any strong evidence for its uses. However, its antifungal and antibacterial properties may aid with the sinus congestion.
How to Get Rid of Sinus Congestion and Using Essential Oils
Perhaps there is no better way of using essential oils than inhaling it to treat sinus congestion. There are multiple ways to inhale essential oils
- Steam Inhalation – This method can be achieved by mixing the essential oils to the hot water. Doing this will create therapeutic steam that can be inhaled by the patient. NAHA recommend a method wherein the patient have to drop 3 to 7 of any essential oil into boiling water. Then the patient needs to cover his head under a towel to inhale the steam coming from the pot. He also needs to keep his eyes closed while breathing the steam for no more than 2 minutes at a time.
- Direct Inhalation – This method refers to directly inhaling essential oils from a bottle or other materials such as cotton balls, handkerchief, and inhaler tube.
- Diffusers – This is considered a less powerful technique of inhaling the essential oils. Simply dilute the essential oils to the air by dispersing it through the air.
You can also do the inhale method while you are taking a bath. This is called as the aromatherapy bath and it is done by simply adding a few droplets of essential oil to the water.
There is also aromatherapy massage in which your favorite massage oil and lotion are combined with essential oils, too.
Warning with Essential Oil Use
There are dangers with the use of essential oil when incorrectly applied. For instance, applying it directly to the skin can cause irritation, burns, itchiness, and rashes. Always remember to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, lotion, or water before use. Some of the famous carrier oils are olive oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil.
Essential oils have strong properties. If you inhale a little amount or dose, and briefly, of it, generally it is safe. However, if you’ve done the opposite, it is considered dangerous. You may see yourself having symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and headache.
Moreover, essential oils are not consumable, so it is never advisable to swallow it. It can have toxic side effects (that are not noticeable) because of the strong compounds that it contains.
Lastly, health professionals advise to put it away from pregnant women and children.
Essential Oils Substitutes for Treating Sinus Congestion
There are many options to heal a congested sinus. Included in these options are:
- An allergy medication which is very effective if hay fever all other forms of allergies are the cause of your sinus congestion.
- A warm compress to ease inflammation. To use a warm compress, simply put it on your nose and forehead.
- A humidifier which can enhance air humidity.
- Nasal strips that can condition the airways.
- A neti pot to get rid of nasal mucus.
- A steam shower which can help thin nasal mucus. Saline nasal spray has the same effect, too.
There are situations where surgery is the only options. For example, if your nasal passages are narrow, it can cause chronic sinus congestion which will eventually lead to surgery. Speaking to your doctor may be the best thing you can do to have the right findings as well as the right solutions.