Some essential oils may soothe symptoms of a cough, cold or chest congestion. They can support your respiratory system, fight bacteria, and reduce inflammation.
Essential oils are natural extracts from plants and have served many different cultures for centuries in attaining better health and well-being.
I’d like to introduce you to the best essential oils for a cough, so that you may again enjoy a fresh and invigorating breath without the painful queezing sensation. I hope that you will enjoy relief from your cough and sore throat the natural way.
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- How to Use Essential Oils for a Cough
- Best Essential Oils to Help a Cough
- Diffuser Blends for Cough
- Risks of Using Essential Oils
How to Use Essential Oils for a Cough
Cough and a congested chest are symptomatic of many acute and chronic ailments and respiratory conditions. Some example are: the common cold, pulmonary diseases, respiratory dysfunction, pneumonia, bronchitis, flu, and other respiratory tract infections.
Essential oils are often recommended as a home remedy in addition to conventional medicine. Studies have proven moderate results in this respect, with only few minor adverse effects (1).
To reap the benefits of essential oils to ease your cough, you can:
Inhale the Oils by Using a Diffuser
Essential oils work extremely well through the pathways in our nose. Our sense of smell quickly absorbs the substances and puts them to work in our system. Inhale the oils by adding a few drops to your diffuser. After a while, check the extent of relief you feel, and adjust the quantity you put in your diffuser for a better result.
Smell from a Cotton Round
Place a few drops of essential oils on a cotton round an simply inhale from there. This method also works nicely if you wish to place the cotton round under a pillow, or at your work space. You will be able to inhale it through the air without the need of any extra equipment.
When suffering from a cough or chest congestion, a hot steam bowl is a wonderful way to use essential oils. Add 2-4 drops of oils into a cup of hot boiling water to be inhaled about three times daily. Go all out and mix a bigger bowl of hot water that you can hold your whole face over. Inhale the hot steam into your lungs. Cover yourself (leaned over the bowl) with a towel for maximum effect. Repeat this process for 2-3 days until you feel improvements in your lungs.
Apply to Your Body as a Chest Rub
You can also use essential oil on your body as a natural chest rub. Massage it onto your chest and back parts. However, mix the essential oils with a carrier oil first, such as Coconut oil or Sweet Almond oil. You need to dilute the potent essential oil extracts first before applying them to the body, especially if you have sensitive skin. Wondering how much carrier oil to use, to how many drops of oil? See this guide to dilution rates for all ages.
Simply add 3-5 drops of essential oils to your bathwater. This will make the oil get to every part of your body. You’ll enjoy the steam inhalation effect, plus a very diluted topical use of the oils. Swirl to combine before you start your soak.
Best Essential Oils to Help a Cough
Chances are that you’re looking for an easy home remedy that will help you with your cough.
It is recommended to only use high quality essential oils from a trusted essential oil brand to ensure their therapeutic value. Not all essential oils are created equal and many factors affect the end product, such as plant farming practices, methods of extraction, and bottling facility standards. The essential oils industry isn’t regulated, therefore, consumers should be aware of the components of a quality essential oils brand.
The top 10 Essential Oils for Cough are:
Address a cough, bronchitis, and other infections in the upper respiratory tract with geranium essential oil. Besides fighting infections, Geranium also smells extremely pleasant and is said to uplift your spirits and support your mental health.
2. Tea Tree
Stimulate your immune system and eliminate bacterial and viral infections using your Tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). This oil acts as an expectorant capable of easing the cough, and lowering its duration simultaneously.
Tea tree oil has a therapeutic aroma making it desirable to be inhaled. By merely inhaling the fragrance of this oil, you will feel a decongestion of your nasal and oral cavities.
Eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus globulus) is ideal for boosting the immunity of your body systems. It is a natural home remedy for your cough. Eucalyptus oil is an antibacterial compound capable of handling your cough and other related illnesses such as sinusitis, pharyngitis, and even bronchitis. Note that there are many varieties of Eucalyptus. While they will all work, Eucalyptus globulus is the most beneficial for coughs and chest congestion.
Rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis) is ideal for soothing the tissues in your lungs and respiratory system, which could be inflamed due to the severity of your cough. This global plant has excellent medicinal values as some researchers have proven that you can administer the oil on asthmatic patients for immediate relief (2).
Peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita) has menthol making it suitable for relieving sore throat, improving your breath, and serving as an expectorant. It also helps relieve the severity of a cough, and ease up chest congestion. This oil is valuable for treating other ailments such as headaches and depression, as well. Peppermint oil has antibacterial properties making it effective against infections.
Cough and cold are two significant conditions that can lead to respiratory difficulties in individuals. Nutmeg essential oil can help in alleviating your health challenge. According to experts, this oil is beneficial as an expectorant for loosening secretions, mucus, and cough in the lungs.
Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is useful in treating severe cough conditions, even asthma (3). It has powerful ingredients that can clear your airways of asthmatic inflammation and blockage to give you a refreshing breath. According to a publication of the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, if you have bronchial asthma, lavender essential oil can suppress the attack and give you relief (4).
Experts have surmised that you can use this oil as a natural antibiotic for handling respiratory infections due to its antibacterial and antifungal compositions. A publication by the US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health states that oregano oil has a primary active constituent, which is known as carvacrol (5). Another viable ingredient in this cough therapy is thymol. These active ingredients can reduce the effects of a cough after a few hours of administration by acting as an expectorant in the body.
9. Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress oil (Cupressus sempervirens) is one of the best aromatherapy oils that can help you overcome the effects and symptoms of a cough. It has an active ingredient called camphene. Experts from the American Chemical Society (ACS) have proven that cypress oil contains about sixty to eighty percent of camphene (6). It is generally noted that this element can eliminate nasal or mucosal congestions in the respiratory tract of cough sufferers.
10. Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon is a culinary ingredient used by most persons for adding spice and flavor to their baking and cooking. But you can also inhibit the growth of bacteria and other pathogens that can cause coughs by using Cinnamon essential oil (Cinnamomum verum) in your DIY aromatherapy practice. Studies have proven that this therapeutic oil can help in relieving congestion in the respiratory tract, and assist natural treatment for respiratory conditions.
Diffuser Blends for Cough
Diffusing essential oils can eliminate airborne bacteria and germs. If you have a cough, sore throat or congested chest, use the following diffuser blend to clean the air in your house or room(s).
- 3 drops Eucalyptus oil
- 1 drop Peppermint oil
- 2 drops Cypress oil
You may also elect to use one of these diffuser blends that strengthen your immune system. The more support as you can give your system during this time of weakness, the better.
Risks of Using Essential Oils
While essential oils are readily available this doesn’t mean that they’re without possible side effects. They are highly concentrated and if applied improperly, can cause skin irritations, rashes, or allergic reactions. Use these natural remedies at your own risk.
The essential oils industry is not regulated or controlled. You should always consult with your medical professional, doctor or family physician to ensure natural home remedies will not interfere with your overall health condition. Only a trained professional can give you a well-rounded assessment, taking into consideration you medical history and tendencies.
Please use essential oils carefully. If you are in a special situation such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, elderly or are considering using essential oils for kids, always read up on each essential oil fully before going to use it. Consult a Certified Aromatherapist in your area for the best advice.
- Herbal Medicine for Cough: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/442111
- Essential oils in the treatment of respiratory tract diseases: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ffj.3252
- 10 Essential Oils for Your Cough: https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-cough
- Lavender essential oil inhalation suppresses allergic airway inflammation: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24909715
- Antiviral efficacy and mechanisms of action of oregano essential oil: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24779581