7 Essential Oils for Accelerating Healing of Croup

Updated on November 15th, 2019
essential oils for croup

Respiratory problems amongst children are dime-a-dozen. They vary in terms of their seriousness, their seasons, and their symptoms. Amongst the most common respiratory problems amongst children is laryngotracheobronchitis caused by a virus, more commonly known as Croup.

Its a respiratory problem for young children who are between 3 months and 5 years old. The condition usually causes swelling of the larynx and trachea. Breathing becomes a challenge as the swelling results in narrowing of the airways.

It specifically affects people at a young age because, in older human beings with broader airways, the swelling is less likely to reduce breathing capacity significantly. Croup is an all-season condition for kids, but it is most common in autumn and winter.

This article will give you a brief lowdown on Croup, its symptoms and diagnosis, and how essential oils can be used as an effective solution for treating Croup.

According to a (1) at the National Institute of Health, croup is the cause for 7% of hospitalizations in children under five annually in the United States.

Essential Oils for Croup

Essential oils can be a great way to accelerate healing from Croup(1). The oils usually help ease tight muscles and also improve respiration by catalyzing the healthy functioning of the lungs, which makes essential oils great for baby Croup.

We will take a look at the 7 great essential oils that help alleviate laryngotracheobronchitis in children so that they can recover faster from the condition.

[Read: Essential Oils for Allergies ]

1. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil

Why Does It Work?

Eucalyptus globulus is the plant from which eucalyptus oil is derived. This essential oil acts as a great remedy to treat respiratory issues in general, including relief from Croup symptoms.

The oil acts as an expectorant, thereby accelerating the expulsion of mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tracts leading to unblocking of the airways.

How to Use It and How Much?

Eucalyptus oil can be taken via inhalation. You can add the essential oil in hot water, and help your child inhale it as steam. Eucalyptus oil is a potent essential oil, so use it cautiously to treat Croup in babies. Therefore it is advised to avoid using this oil if your child is less than two years old.

2. Sandalwood Oil

Image: ShutterStock

Why Does It Work?

Besides being famous for its aroma and the quality of its wood, the Sandalwood tree has given another incredibly useful component to the world – sandalwood essential oil. Derived from the sandalwood tree, this oil has the properties of a natural expectorant.

Similar to eucalyptus oil, it can accelerate the expulsion of mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract, thereby helping in easier respiration for your child.

How to Use It and How Much?

Sandalwood oil can be applied topically. You can take 5-6 drops of the essential oil, mix it with 12-15 ml of carrier oil, and rub the mixture on your child’s chest, back, and feet. Another way of using sandalwood oil is with a diffuser at night, which produces a soothing effect for your child to get better sleep.

3. Lavender Oil

Why Does It Work?

Lavender oil is an essential oil derived from a flower known as the Lavendula Angustifolia. It is commonly used for stress and anxiety relief. Besides its anxiety-relieving characteristics, lavender oil is also very effective in helping in the treatment of many respiratory issues, which lead to congestion, including Croup.

The oil reduces inflammation and soothes the coughing while also assisting with sleep. Overall, Lavender oil is a great essential oil for Croup coughs.

How to use it and how much?

You can use Lavender Oil to alleviate your child’s Croup in two ways. Firstly, you can use it in a diffuser to help your child with sleep. Secondly, you can also mix 5-6 drops of lavender oil with any carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, and rub it onto your child’s chest, back, or feet for relief from the cold and cough.

4. Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil

Why does it work?

Tea tree oil can help you tackle multiple symptoms of Croup. This essential oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. The antimicrobial nature of tea tree oil helps it to fight the fever inducing microbes, while the antiseptic nature prevents further infection spread at a time when the immune system is weakened. Tea Tree oil also has a soothing effect on the cough and congestion.

How to use it and how much?

Tea Tree oil is an essential oil. Therefore, rubbing it directly onto the skin is not advised. You can take a mixture of 5-6 drops of the essential oil, mix it in any carrier oil, and then rub the mixture onto your child’s chest. Similar to any other essential oil, Tea Tree oil can also be used via a diffuser to create a soothing aroma.

5. Marjoram Oil

Why does it work?

Derived from the Marjoram(2) plant leaves, Marjoram essential oil is known to have antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal characteristics, which makes it a great remedy to fight Croup caused by the human parainfluenza virus.

Using this essential oil can result in alleviation of the symptoms and better sleep for your child. The oil is also a natural expectorant similar to sandalwood and eucalyptus. Therefore, the removal of mucus and phlegm is also facilitated.

How to use it and how much?

You can take a mixture of 5-6 drops of the essential oil, mix it in any carrier oil, and then rub the mixture onto your child’s chest. Marjoram oil can also be sprayed in the room where your child is resting.

6. Thyme Oil

Why does it work?

A well-known respiratory agent, Thyme oil can be used to help treat multiple respiratory conditions, including bronchitis and Croup. It acts as a natural expectorant; therefore, the mucus and phlegm get expelled fast. The oil also has anti-inflammatory characteristics which can improve breathing by reducing the inflammation.

How to use it and how much?

Thyme oil can be inhaled with steam or massaged onto your child’s chest in diluted form. When you are giving Thyme oil with steam, mix only a few drops of the oil into a bowl of hot water and allow your child to inhale it. When you are massaging the oil on your child’s chest, make sure the essential oil has been diluted by mixing it with a carrier oil. 5-6 drops of essential oil can be mixed with about 15 ml of the carrier oil.

7. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense Oil

Why does it work?

Derived from the resin of Boswellia trees, Frankincense essential oil has multiple characteristics for helping the effective treatment of many respiratory diseases. It is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory oil, which helps Frankincense to reduce inflammation while stopping the infection from spreading further.

It is an expectorant, which allows the essential oil to help in the removal of mucus and phlegm. Furthermore, the oil also displays astringent characteristics, which can help reduce the swelling associated with Croup. Overall, frankincense oil has is a great essential oil for baby Croup and children Croup alike.

How to use it and how much?

Frankincense oil is an essential oil. Therefore, rubbing it directly onto the skin is not advised. You can take a mixture of 5-6 drops of the essential oil, mix it in any carrier oil, and then rub the mixture onto your child’s chest. The oil can also be used via a diffuser to create a soothing aroma.

Croup is a respiratory condition that can affect your young one at any time. Visiting a doctor to diagnose the condition can be important. However, what is equally important is your level of awareness of home solutions to help ease, and accelerate the healing for your child.

The 7 essential oils covered in this article can help improve your child’s condition if they suffer from Croup. If you use them the right way, your child can have a much easier healing experience from this relatively common condition.


1. Are these the only essential oils I can use?

No, these are just 7 that we have featured in the article. Other useful essential oils for Croup include Rosemary Oil and Wintergreen Oil.

 2. What do I do if my child’s condition is not improving with the essential oils?

Remember that the essential oils are a way to accelerate healing. If you notice your child’s condition is worsening, then it is better to see a doctor and allow him or her to do some further medical investigation and suggest medical remedies.

3. How do I know if my child has Croup?

Children with Croup usually have a runny or stuffy nose, a cough that can turn into a bark of a seal, temporary loss of voice, fever, and stridor, a high-pitched wheezing sound from disrupted airflow.

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