9 Effective Essential Oils for Cough

Updated on December 5th, 2019
essential oils for cough

The inability to speak correctly, the occurrence of slight fevers and chest congestion are some ways by which a cough can trouble an individual.

One of the best ways to treat this condition is through essential oils for cough. Readily available, highly competent with almost no side effects, these essential oils can promptly cure one’s cough along with preventing the body from contracting other ailments associated with a cough.

Now let’s look into the best essential oils for cough!

Types, Symptoms and Causes of Cough

Also known as ‘tussis,’ cough can be defined as an involuntary or voluntary action of the body which helps it to clear the throat and breathing passage. When any foreign particle such as microbes, fluids or mucus prevents regulated breathing, then coughing occurs either deliberately or as a reflex action.


The main types of cough include whooping cough, dry cough, asthma cough and acute cough. A cough type that one may have experienced depends upon one’s age, exposure to the environment, intake of fluids or food as well as prevailing health conditions.


The primary symptoms associated with cough include:-

  • A runny nose
  • Nasal or chest congestion
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Heartburn or sour taste in the mouth
  • Hoarseness


The following reasons can cause a cough:-

  • Any sudden weather change
  • Smoking
  • Common cold or Flu
  • Asthma
  • Laryngitis
  • Contracting cough from others or airborne bacteria

Why are essential oils suitable for a cough?

One of the most useful home remedies for a cough is the use of essential oils. Generally, essential oils are usable through the practice of aromatherapy; one can apply them directly on to the body, inhale their vapors or take them orally. The use of all kinds of essential oils depends on the severity of your medical condition and your reaction to particular oil. By diluting these oils, one can readily benefit from their healing abilities.

When these oils are used regularly in fixed amounts, then one can effectively manage common coughs and other problems associated with it. This remedy of essential oils is a natural and organic way of curing cough.

Some essential oils suited best for curing cough are eucalyptus oil, oregano oil, peppermint oil, geranium, cinnamon oil, rosemary oil, bergamot oil and more.

How to use Essential Oils for treatment of cough?

Mentioned below are the best essential oils for cough. Use this natural remedy for curing coughs, and we’re sure that you will experience positive results in only a short time!

1. Eucalyptus Oil for Cough

eucalyptus oil for cough

The oil of eucalyptus is hugely beneficial as it builds immunity, eases asthma, skin problems, joint aches, foul breath, etc. The oil is a tested natural remedy to get rid of cough and flu-like symptoms.

Why one should use eucalyptus oil for cough?

Eucalyptus oil consists of immune-enhancing effects which enables one’s body to fight with tough bacteria. Its antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, spasmolytic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory are useful to help loosen phlegm as well as alleviate congestion which is why it finds extensive usage in cough drops.

How to use eucalyptus oil for cough?

To get rid of a cough you can use 10-12 drops of this oil in boiling water and inhale its steam three times a day. It is also usable with a diffuser, by adding several drops in an oil diffuser; it can be placed in your room so that your body can benefit from its healing vapors throughout the night. Additionally, by using it along with a carrier such as coconut oil, you can also rub it on your chest or shoulders.

[ Read: Eucalyptus Oil for Cough ]

2. Oregano Oil for Cough

Oregano oil is frequently recommended to cure coughs. Its strong essence and powerful antibiotic properties make it a top choice to get rid of a cough.

Why one should use oregano oil for cough?

The oil of oregano has anti-parasitic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antifungal properties, enabling it to clear mucus from one’s lungs thereby easing breathing. Moreover, this oil also provides relief from a sore throat and hoarseness. Researchers suggest that in the case of whooping cough, oregano oil is highly effective.

How to use oregano oil for a cough?

Oregano oil has specific harmful effects. Therefore, one must use it only after consulting a doctor. You can add 4-5 drops of the oil in a steam diffuser or bowl of hot water; it can be applied onto the affected area after adding it to a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil.

[ Read: Benefits of Oregano Oil for Cold ]

3. Peppermint Oil for a Cough

peppermint oil for a cough

The pungent smell of peppermint oil makes it ideal to get rid of a cough and its symptoms. It is widely utilized in natural remedies to treat cough and flu problems(1).

Why one should use peppermint oil for cough?

Peppermint oil is a ready solution to treat nasal and chest congestion. It has significant amounts of menthol which helps to relieve some symptoms of a cough. Additionally, it’s also beneficial to cure nausea, reduce fever and a runny nose.

 How to use peppermint oil for cough?

Due to the pungent essence of peppermint oil, it is advisable as a carrier. Once sufficiently diluted, the oil can be applied on the skin directly. However, the best way to use it is by inhaling its vapors for 10-15 minutes.

[ Read:Peppermint Oil for Cough to Get an Instant Relief ]

4. Tea tree Oil for Cough

tea tree oil for cough

The tree Melaleuca Alternifolia is native to Australia. Tea tree oil comes from this tree which is utilized to get rid of numerous skin, hair and cough-like problems.

Why one should use tea tree oil for cough?

Tea tree oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral properties helping it to relieve nasal and chest congestion and clearing mucus from the throat lining. Additionally, this oil can boost immunity which can prevent coughs in the first place.  It also has a calming smell so inhaling its vapors provides a sense of ease.

How to use tea tree oil for cough?

It is better to dilute tea tree oil, ideally in coconut, almond, olive or rosemary oil. Using more than five drops can lead to serious side effects so take care of this. Once dilutes, it can be inhaled through a diffuser or be applied to the area of pain or congestion directly.

5. Cinnamon Oil for a Cough

Cinnamon is a natural home remedy to treat numerous ailments related to cough. This spice has several benefits and is also frequently used in baking and cooking.

Why one should use cinnamon oil for cough?

Cinnamon oil is helpful to stop respiratory tract pathogens when emitted in gaseous form for a short span of time. It also acts against common bacteria and prevents their reproduction which in turn aids in quick healing. It has a soothing warm essence so incorporating it into your diet can be great to lessen hoarseness or a sore throat.

How to use cinnamon oil for cough?

This oil can is usable in a diffuser or a steaming bowl of water. Mixing cinnamon oil and honey can also help to relieve symptoms of a cough. You can also put 2-3 drops of cinnamon oil onto a cotton ball and inhale it at regular breaks in a day. Doing so will certainly help you.

6. Geranium Oil for Cough

geranium oil for cough

Though not very popular, geranium essential oil is used to treat coughs. Its natural healing properties are especially beneficial to cure a chronic cough.

Why one should use geranium oil for cough?

Various infections of the upper respiratory tract(2) such as bronchitis are effectively manageable with geranium oil. It also has immunity-enhancing tendencies, so it prevents a chronic cough from progressing and ensures a quick recovery.

How to use geranium oil for cough?

Geranium oil works well with the addition of a few drops in one’s bath. You can also try inhaling its relieving scent through an oil diffuser.

7. Rosemary Oil for a Cough

Rosemary oil is excellent to reduce muscle and joint pains, lowering anxiety, tension and various ailments associated with cough.

Why one should use rosemary oil for cough?

Rosemary can be accessed easily from any part of the world. It works great to provide respiratory relief as it can calm the muscles of the trachea. Some studies also suggest that rosemary can aid in treating asthma as well. Applying regulated quantities of rosemary oil on the chest can get rid of congestion too.

How to use rosemary oil for cough?

Dilution of Rosemary oil should be done with carrier oils before application. With proper dilution, then it can be applied to the area of pain. You can also add a few drops of rosemary oil in a diffuser or benefit from its steam inhalation.

8. Bergamot Oil for Cough

bergamot oil for cough

Bergamot oil comes from an orange that grows primarily in Italy. It is known to have mood-boosting and energizing abilities(3).

Why one should use bergamot oil for cough?

This oil can significantly reduce inflammation by 63%. It has antimicrobial properties so it can prevent a cough from worsening. Moreover, a molecule named camphene is present in bergamot which can reduce congestion thereby provide relief to the respiratory tract fluid.

How to use bergamot oil for cough?

One should take care of not consuming bergamot oil orally and to always use with a carrier. Massage of diluted bergamot oil can be done onto the affected area for 10-15 minutes but leaving it overnight will yield the best results. It can be used in a humidifier or diffuser as well.

Read More: Natural Remedies for Inflammation

9. Lavender Oil for Cough

Lavender oil is known to be gentle which makes it suitable to reduce anxiety along with a cough and flu-like symptoms.

Why one should use lavender oil for cough?

This oil has antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties enabling it to purify the air along with clearing the congested area from various harmful bacteria.  Since it’s an antiseptic, lavender oil can also prevent infection and further deterioration of your cough. It is especially useful to treat bronchial asthma and asthma cough.

How to use lavender oil for cough?

You can use lavender oil in a diffuser, through steam inhalation or in a warm bath to reduce your cough symptoms. You can also add a few drops of the oil onto a cotton ball and place the same under your pillow for a restful sleep.

Other Oils

1. Coconut Oil for Cough

Coconut oil is highly useful to relieve problems associated with cough, flu, specific skin and hair problems. It also serves as the best carrier for all kinds of home remedies for cough.

Why one should use coconut oil for cough?

The oil from coconut is rich in antioxidants which enables our bodies to fight free radicals better. Moreover, it also contains lauric acid which has antibacterial and antiviral properties in itself. Therefore, using coconut oil not only relieves the pain occurring from wheezing or hoarseness but it also reduces the length of the sickness by enhancing one’s immunity.

How to use coconut oil for cough?

To get rid of a cough, you should pay attention to buy only the ‘virgin’ oil which is extracted without the use of any chemicals. It has a light essence and multipurpose applications so it can be applied to the affected area directly. Mixing coconut oil, honey, and lemon juice is the best way to benefit from it.

Risks and Precautions

Essentials oils have numerous benefits, are readily available along with having fewer side effects. However, the above mentioned essential oils for a cough can be harmful if used without proper care. Young children, breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women should avoid using these essential oils. Moreover, every oil should first be tested on a small area before application on larger areas.

Other Home Remedies for Cough

Apart from the useful natural remedies mentioned above for treating cough symptoms, you can also benefit from the following home remedies:-

  • Honey tea

Honey can treat coughs to some extent. It can suppress the pain or irritation from a sore throat or hoarseness. Drinking two teaspoons of honey with herbal tea twice a day can readily help to relieve congestion and clears the respiratory tract too.

[ Read: Benefits of Honey and Lemon for Cough ]

  • Salt-water gargle

The simplest of all home remedies is gargling with salt water. It can reduce phlegm and mucus that accumulates in the throat. Doing this twice a day for 4-5 days will surely offer much-needed relief. It gradually clears the phlegm each day.

  • Intake of bromelain

Bromelain is an enzyme present in pineapples that has potent anti-inflammatory and mucolytic properties. It can break down mucus and remove it from one’s body. Eating raw pineapple is the best source of taking this enzyme.

The use of essential oils for cough can significantly help to get rid of cough and its symptoms in a natural way close to home-remedies which always are successful in curing diseases. The use of these oils can ensure a safe and healthy way to gain your health back.


1. Are some people more prone to whooping coughs?

Response: Yes, some people are at a higher risk of developing whooping coughs. Infants below the age of one year, pregnant women (more so in the 3rd trimester) and individuals suffering from a chronic respiratory illness are more prone to whooping cough than others.

2. What is a smoker’s cough?

Response: Smoking can lead to a chronic cough. However, people who regularly smoke tend to develop a cough without even noticing this change. If your coughing is more than usual or for more extended periods of time with an increase in pain along with streaks of blood, then you must visit a doctor at the earliest.

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