The Pros & Cons Of Eos For Sinus & Congestion
- The oils are potent a little goes a long way. Just a few drops of essential oil can offer multiple active compounds that unleash a series of healing, protective and regenerating effects on your sinus pathways and body.
- You have direct access to mother natures pharmacy at a relatively affordable price, though oils should be 100% natural, undiluted, and certified organic.
- If used with care and mindfulness EOs are relatively low-risk and offer little to no side-effects when compared to most conventional prescription or over-the-counter medication.
- You can create your own blends to enhance and maximize their healing effects on your sinuses and any infections.
- When you use them safely, EOs can be an effective home remedy for many child-related conditions. You can use them as a first-step defense with your babies before turning to harsher medicines.
Pine Or Cedarwood Essential Oil
If you have an overproduction of mucus due to an sinus infection or inflammation, pine or cedarwood essential oil are effective treatments. The cool and almost astringent aroma helps loosen phlegm and mucus, thereby helping the respiratory system function properly.
Extracted from the leaves of the pine or cedarwood tree which are native to regions in North America, these essential oils have been used for centuries to fight against inflammation and bacteria. They have incredible antiviral, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used daily to help treat congestion, inflammation, and other respiratory issues.
Pine or cedarwood essential oils should be used via diffuser, humidifier, or steam inhalation. If you are in a hurry or on the go, carry a bottle of this potent oil with you and simply breathe deeply over the open container a few times whenever needed throughout the day. With repeated use, you will notice a marked difference in the performance of your respiratory system and a drastic reduction the the duration of your symptoms.
How Do Essential Oils Fight Allergies
An allergic reaction begins in the immune system. An allergen is a substance that tricks the immune system making it think that the allergen is an invader. The immune system then overreacts to the allergen, which is really a harmless substance, and produces Immunoglobulin E antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals, causing the allergic reaction.
The most common causes of an allergic reaction include:
These allergens will trigger symptoms in the nose, throat, lungs, ears, sinuses and lining of the stomach or on the skin. The question here still remains if these common causes have been around for thousands of years, then why have the allergy rates increased in recent history?
One of the theories behind explaining the increase in allergies has to do withinflammation, the root of most diseases. The body responds in a certain way to an allergen because the immune system is in overdrive. When the body is already dealing with high inflammation, any allergen sets off an increased reaction. That means that when the bodys immune system is overworked and stressed, introducing an allergen sends the body into overreaction.
If the immune system and inflammation within the body was balanced, the reaction to the allergen would be normal however, today these reactions are exaggerated and lead to the next unneeded allergic reaction.
What Are Essential Oils
Essential oils are derived from substances that are extracted from different types of plants through a number of different methods. These substances contain the scent and flavor of the plant, known as the plants essence, which is why they are referred to as pure essential oils. Each plant contains a unique combination of chemicals that give it its unique fragrance.
In order to extract the essential oils, the plants are distilled or pressed to release the compounds. Its important to note that compounds that are derived by chemical means are not considered to be essential oils, as the compound has been altered by the chemicals. After these compounds are separated from the bulk of the plant, they are combined with an oil known as a carrier oil that allows them to be used either alone or in essential oil blends for a number of different purposes, such as massage therapy, aromatherapy, and sanitization.
Many people also use aroma diffusers to help influence their mood for example, citrus notes like orange flower and lemongrass are commonly recognized for providing energizing effects, while jasmine and lavender are recognized for their soothing and relaxing effects.
Supercharged Diy Vapor Rub For Sinus Congestion
When sinus and respiratory problems strike, threatening to keep you home from work or out of school because sleep is elusive and, as soon as you lie down to rest, overproduction of mucus leads to coughing, sore throat, and congestion, many people choose an over the counter vapor rub to help ease the severity of the symptoms and help them get some rest. No one can afford to be sick, so of course quick and easy remedies make it seem like everything is fixed, without any of the hassle or wait time.
Although it may feel like these rubs immediately work, doctors note that vapor rubs do nothing to actually relieve the congestion because they do not actually treat the symptoms at all. In fact, studies show that, when tested, these vapor rubs increase mucus production in the body and also tend to restrict the nasal passages even further once the effects wear off.
Some even go so far as to say that these rubs make the symptoms worse when used for long periods of time. Like putting a band aid on an infected wound and doing nothing to clean it or make it better, the infection or inflammation only worsens over time. High levels of menthol present in these vapor rubs make the brain think that the nose is clearing out when, in reality, the body is still producing mucus at an alarming rate.
The ingredients are as follows
- 1/2 cup grated beeswax
What Are The Stages Of A Sinus Infection
The four stages are more intense sinus infections than those that clear up on their own after a few days to a week. These are:
- Acute bacterial sinusitis: The infection in which nasal passages are blocked and sinus pressure occurs and lasts longer than ten days. This is also the term used for infections that seemingly clear up but then return before youre 100% better. With rest/antibiotics, symptoms clear up fully.
- Chronic sinusitis: This type of infection is accompanied by the same sinus pressure and congestion. It is more intense, and symptoms last for at least 12 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: This type of sinus infection lasts between four and 12 weeks and is associated with the same sinus pressure/pain as the aforementioned infections.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis: Sinuses infections that last for about two weeks and occur at least four times a year.
How To Use Essential Oils Safely
Essential oils are natural products that have very little in the way of side effects or even reactions. But there are precautions that you should take every time:
- Test a small amount
- Use caution if pregnant or breastfeeding
- Do not ingest essential oils
- Always dilute in a carrier oil
- Use caution if you have health problems like gallstones
- If you have plant allergens you may experience allergies from their oils
- Discontinue use if you feel any discomfort including rash, burn or itch
- Inhaling high doses can cause dizziness and headaches
- May interact with medications
- Do not allow children to ingest
If you are treating an undiagnosed sinus infection, dont let it get too serious. All a doctor if you have a high fever, symptoms that last more than 10 days, green discharge, or vision problems.
Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Turn Into Bronchitis
How Do You Use Essential Oils For A Sinus Infection
The best way to use essential oils for a sinus infection is to dilute them, given how powerful they can be and dangerous to the skin.
To treat congestion or a sinus infection, simply breathe in the aroma of the essential oils by adding them to an aroma infuser or even just to a tissue.
Its a good idea to use a single drop at first, and then add another if you feel like it would help, since its easy to use too much and end up with an overpowering scent.
How To Use Essential Oils To Relieve Congestion
The best way to use essential oils to relieve a stuffy nose is through inhalation. You can inhale oils in a number of ways.
Steam inhalation involves combining essential oils with hot water to create therapeutic steam. NAHA recommends adding three to seven drops of essential oil to boiling water in a large pot or heatproof bowl. Use a towel to cover your head, and breathe through your nose for no more than two minutes at a time. Keep your eyes closed to prevent eye irritation.
Direct inhalation refers to inhaling the essential oil right from the bottle. You may also add a drop of oil to a handkerchief, cotton ball, or inhaler tube, and breathe it in.
Diffusers disperse essential oils throughout the air, allowing them to dilute before being inhaled. This is a less potent method of inhalation.
For an aromatherapy bath, add a few drops of diluted essential oil to your bathwater.
Perform a skin patch test before use.
Essential oils are powerful. When theyre inhaled in small doses for brief periods, most are generally considered safe. If you inhale them in high doses or for long periods, you may experience dizziness, a headache, and nausea.
You shouldnt ingest essential oils. They contain strong compounds that may cause toxic side effects. Some side effects may not be noticeable right away. Essential oils may also interact with prescription and OTC medications.
Also Check: Can Allergies Cause A Rash
Other Sinus Congestion Remedies
You may sometimes see recommendations for grape seed extract for sinus infection. This extract is a solid or capsule form and is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. However, science has not rigorously tested these findings but supports traditional medical beliefs. Using grapeseed oil as a carrier for your essential oils may be just as good as introducing grapeseed to your system.
Using Peppermint Oil For Allergies
How it helps: Anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antimicrobial, immunostimulant, analgesic
Best For: Hay fever, sinusitis, sinus headaches, stuffy nose, coughs, itching, red bumps
With its high menthol content and strong, fresh, minty scent, peppermint oil is one of the best in class when it comes to clearing up your sinuses almost immediately. Although not an antihistamine like other oils, its incredibly effective at opening up your airways and relieving a scratchy throat that can cause coughing. That being said, anything that can helps you breathe and feel better is more than welcome.
As an anti-inflammatory, it also works wonders for headaches caused by a build-up of sinus pressure. As an added bonus, it also provides much-needed relief for itching caused by allergies and insect bites because its so cooling, reduces swelling and soothes away any pain.
How to use peppermint oil for allergies
Chest rub: To relieve congested sinuses and a cough, mix 2 to 3 drops of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender oils with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and massage into the chest for a few minutes. Also apply to the temples and the back of the neck to ease a headache.
Diffuse: Use a mix of peppermint with lavender and lemon oils for relief from both allergy symptoms and sinus headaches.
Itching Relief: For immediate cooling relief, apply a mixture of 2 drops peppermint oil and 1 teaspoon carrier oil directly onto the allergy bumps or bites.
Also Check: What Age To Test Baby For Allergies
Common Treatments For Sinus Infections And To Relieve Sinus Pressure
In most cases of acute sinus infections or mild sinusitis, doctors recommend remedies to help relieve the symptoms. According to Dr. Melinda Ratini on WebMD, some effective natural remedies for sinus infections and congestion include:5
- Using a humidifier to keep the air moist and prevent your nasal passages from drying out
- Inhale steam vapors to help ease congested nostrils and sinuses
- Get plenty of rest to help boost your immunity
- Irrigate your nasal passage with a salt solution
- Keep yourself well hydrated
However, if allergies are to blame for acute sinusitis or chronic sinus infections, you should try to identify the allergen and avoid it.
Dr. Ratini warns that using over-the-counter decongestants for longer than 3 days can aggravate your sinusitis symptoms.
Using Tea Tree Oil For Allergies
How it helps: Anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antimicrobial, immunostimulant, decongestant, antiseptic
Best for: Home allergens, skin allergies, runny nose, hives, bug bites, itchy skin, eczema, psoriasis, mold
Because it helps destroy all those airborne allergy triggers in the home – like bacteria, viruses and fungi like mold – tea tree oil is one of the most powerful essential oils to treat your allergies. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil also help bring down sinus swelling to provide you with welcome relief from a stuffed or runny nose.
Studies have also found that tea tree oil significantly reduces swelling from histamine-induced skin inflammation – in some cases its been found to be more effective than prescription creams. It can be applied directly to bug bites, rashes, hives and eczema to help reduce itching, lessen the redness and calm the skin. No more discomfort or irritation
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Allergies
Diffuse: Diffusing tea tree oil throughout your home will eliminate airborne bacteria and kill mold.
Topically: Use tea tree oil topically to treat skin rashes, allergic eczema and hives. Add 2-3 drops to a cotton ball and apply to the affected area. Do a patch test beforehand.
Cold compress: Soak a clean wash cloth in a bowl of cold water with a few drops of tea tree oil. Apply to the skin for 10-15 minutes to reduce swelling and redness. Repeat every few hours.
Also Check: What Is Immunotherapy For Allergies
Using Lemon Oil For Allergies
How it helps: Antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antibacterial
Best for: Hay fever, asthma, sinusitis, post nasal drip, cough, home disinfectant, mold, dust mites, pet dander
Another natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, this bright fresh oil has been shown to offer relief for not only seasonal allergies like hay fever, but also asthma attacks and post nasal drip. It eases the inflammation and reduces mucus build-up which can cause coughing and sinus infections.
But lemon essential oil is probably best known as a powerful anti-bacterial and disinfectant to use around the home – especially useful if you are allergic to dust mites and pet dander. Lemon oil can kill off bacteria and eliminate any allergy triggers on surfaces and in the air. Perk up – relief is in sight
How to use lemon essential oil for allergies
Disinfectant: Eliminate any allergy triggers like dust, pollen, mold, mites and dog or cat dander. Add 40 drops of lemon oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil to a 16-ounce bottle filled with distilled water and a little white vinegar. Spray everywhere where allergens may lurk – the air, any soft surfaces like furniture, beds or drapes, and hard surfaces like counter tops and tables.
Diffuse: Combine 3 drops each of peppermint, lavender and lemon essential oils to disperse the fresh, cleansing scent throughout your home.
How To Use Essential Oils To Ease Congestion
Essential oils for sinus congestion can help to break up mucus that is constricting your airways and making it hard to breathe. The powerful aromas of many essential oils along with the antibacterial properties can help you find relief from sinus infections and congestion.
Here is the essential oil recipe to relieve a dripping nose, sinus pressure, and congestion that accompanies sinusitis:
Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Cause Stomach Pain
Can An Oil Diffuser Help Your Sinuses
Essential oils have long been used as a natural medicinal treatment in order to provide relief for certain symptoms. One of the most common uses of essential oils is for the relief of sinus congestion, promotion of sinus drainage, and relief from a stuffy nose.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the use of essential oils and their effectiveness. Therefore, essential oils are not considered medicine.
However, there are some studies that have been conducted that indicate that essential oils may be able to help relieve symptoms of sinus congestion. The majority of these studies have examined how essential oils work in animals or a lab setting, but there is some promise for their use in humans.
In general, the studies indicate that some essential oils may be able to:
- Help relieve pain
- Reduce inflammation in the body
- Support the immune system in fighting bacterial infections
While these qualities do not directly treat sinus congestion, their effects may provide relief for some symptoms of sinus congestion and help you feel better.
Getting Sinus Relief From Essential Oils
Camille Freking, MS Pharmacology – Genexa Partner on November 12, 2021
Nasal congestion is something that everyone experiences from time to time, but stuffy sinuses can be uncomfortable and irritating. Over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, can help relieve sinus congestion, but some people dont like the way these medications make them feel. Those looking for a natural alternative may be interested in learning about essential oil diffusers and how they may be able to help your sinuses.
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