Written by, Becki Andrus
For nasal congestion, a common treatment is for people to turn to over-the-counter medications: decongestant and/or antihistamine pills, vapor rub, etc. But, there’s no need to reach for these chemical-filled nasal congestion “remedies,” because you can use essential oils for respiratory problems!
If you are experiencing nose congestion or sinus congestion as a result of a cold or allergies, then steam inhalation with essential oils is a great option to open those sinuses and allow them to drain. This home remedy for nasal congestion is simple and easy to do, you can do it in the comfort of your own home– and you probably already have everything that is needed.
What you will need:
- A glass bowl
- Steaming hot water
- A few drops of essential oil (peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, and/or ginger are good options to try)
- A large towel
Pour the steaming water into the glass bowl, add 2 – 3 drops of essential oil into the water, hold the towel open over your head, close your eyes and lean over the bowl of steaming water. Breathe in deeply thru your nose, and inhale the vapors. Continue breathing deeply for 2 or 3 minutes. Have tissues ready, because as the sinuses open up you should start to experience mucous drainage out the nose.
The towel is used as a tent, to catch the steam and keep it in the area of your face. The easiest way to drape the towel is to have it resting on the back of your head, with the ends of the towel hanging down over your ears when you are leaning forward. When you move your face over the bowl, the towel is hanging to the side, trapping all of the steam into the tent.
It is best to keep your eyes closed while inhaling the steam, because the essential oils can be strong and you don’t want them to irritate your eyes. Also, be VERY, VERY careful to not injure yourself with the hot water or steam. Don’t let your face touch the water (hold your nose 8 – 12 inches above the bowl), and if the steam is too hot allow it to cool a little bit before you begin.
While you are inhaling the steam, if it becomes too intense, simply lift the towel a little bit to allow more fresh air in. Then, resume the deep breathing whenever you are ready. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, discontinue the treatment.
This home remedy for nasal congestion helps in several ways:
- The steam helps to open the sinuses (it has a similar effect as the steam from a hot shower)
- The essential oils have natural elements that help to open and clear the sinuses as well
- Essential oils have natural antibacterial/antiviral properties, so they also help to treat & prevent sinus infection (as well as getting rid of the root problem that caused the congestion in the first place)
- As an added bonus, the steam helps to open your facial pores which can help to cleanse any skin impurities!
I like to use this nasal congestion remedy twice a day when I am experiencing sinus congestion. Typically, in the morning and night to help open the sinuses and help me breathe better throughout the day.
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