Sneezy routines, droplet days: Aromatherapy for chest congestion


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Sneezing, cough and congestion are common during autumn or winter. Cold and flu are so common that almost everyone who has a low immunity level becomes vulnerable to it. Since the flu virus spreads from person to person very rapidly, preventing it can be difficult. Sinus infection can also be a source of headaches, runny noses and droplet infection if left untreated. However, the oral over the counter drugs that we take often fail to offer immediate or complete relief. This is why it becomes important to search for alternative remedies. Control over your condition can be achieved only through natural remedies like essential oils.

Essential oils for congestion: Chest congestion can be both painful and troublesome. You will have difficulty in breathing, excessive mucus blockage in the nasal passages accompanied by flu, cough and sniffles. It is always better to keep a stock of essential oils for treatment of such conditions. Some of the essential oils that help with chest and nasal congestion are – Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon, Tea Tree oil, Ravensara, and Frankincense. Most of these essential oils have anti-viral properties which make them immuno-stimulators and flu-annihilators. They act upon the flu virus, and give immediate relief.


Below are some of the commonly-used essential oils for chest congestion:

1. Eucalyptus oil: When it comes congestion, nothing works like Eucalyptus oil. The active chemical compounds in the oil work well in clearing nasal blockages and sinus congestion. Like menthol, Eucalyptus oil acts on receptors in the nasal mucosa and reduce the symptoms of congestion. The astringent properties of the oil also help with reducing inflammation of the mucous membrane and the upper respiratory tract. The oil is also an antiseptic which has strong germicidal properties to effectively kill staphylococcus bacteria and also treat tuberculosis. Studies have proved that Eucalyptus is so vehement on bacteria that even a 2% diluted solution of the oil can kill 70% of air-bone staphylococcus bacteria.

With Eucalyptus oil, you can inhale it through steam inhalation or use an aromatherapy diffuser. The chemical component called ‘Eucalyptol’ in the oil will destroy the bacteria and loosen the phlegm.

2. Pine oil: Pine oil is good for highly congested chest or nose. Owing to its healing and strong aromatic properties, it helps with coughs, chills and aches related to flu and common cold.

3. Lavender and Peppermint oils: Lavender oils fight infection, reduces inflammation and eases congestion. Peppermint oil, like Lavender oil, reduces infection, clears congestion and kills the flu-virus.

Some of the methods that can clear congestion using these essential oils include – aromatherapy diffuser, steam inhalation and aromatic baths. Quick relief can be got by using Eucalyptus and Peppermint oil combined with steam. The steam opens up the blocked bronchial passages, making breathing a simple and easy affair. Another classic way to use essential oils is to add drops of the oils into a bowl of boiling water, lean over it and inhale the steam (from escaping) by covering with a towel. Doing this for five minutes can clear nasal congestion completely.

Chest-rub Massage oil:
This massage oil can be used for children who have bronchial or respiratory infection. It can be rubbed on to the chest for instant relief. Recipe includes –

  • 1 drop Lavender oil
  • 1 drop Tea Tree oil
  • 1 drop Niaouli oil
  • 1 drop Sandalwood oil
  • 25 ml of Jojoba oil

Mix the oils and when the blend is ready, massage them on to the chest for congestion relief.