Stuffy nose is a very uncomfortable and common type of problem among many people. Many people use humidifier or saline spray to ease the pressure build in the nose. Essential oils, on the other hand, are natural alternatives used in place of sprays and allopathic medicines.
Many research works have proven that essential oils have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help provide relief in congestion and stuffy nose. It can cause extreme pressure, headaches, and problem in sleeping. This continual pressure, if left unattended can lead to sinus infection.
Types of Stuffy Nose Problems
Some of the most common stuffy nose problems are:
- Sinus infection
Causes of Stuffy Nose Problems
The main factors that lead to a stuffy nose are:
- Acute sinusitis
- Common cold
- Dry air
- Overuse of decongestant nasal spray
- Foreign body in the nose
Symptoms of Stuffy Nose Problems
The various signs and symptoms that confirm stuffy nose are-
- Pressure behind eyes and cheeks
- Bad breath
- Decreased sense of smell
Essential Oils for Unclogging a Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is due to inflammation in the nasal cavity and causes partial or total blockage in the nostrils. It also leads to pressure behind eyes and cheeks and even headache. It is a very uncomfortable and annoying condition that can last for days.
Using Essential oils for cold and Congestion would provide quick relief. It is also a very effective natural treatment which helps relieve other symptoms including a headache and cough. Best way to use essential oils is to inhale it. It can also be applied on to a handkerchief or cotton ball and used for inhalation.
1. Peppermint Essential Oil:
It is extracted from the leaves of peppermint and can relieve various symptoms related to a stuffy nose. Menthol present in peppermint essential oil is famous for thousands of years for relieving congestion.
2. Tea Tree Essential Oil:
It comes from the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree(1). It is useful in eliminating germs from the nasal cavity due to its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.
3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil:
It is extracted from the eucalyptus tree and was also called Sydney peppermint. It is used in many cough drops and is very effective in treating congestion due to its antimicrobial properties.
4. Lavender Essential Oil:
It helps significantly with congestion. As we know, it gets difficult to sleep with a stuffy nose. The sedating effects of lavender help provide deep and relaxing sleep.
It comes from the leaves of the rosemary plant. It has antiseptic properties and helps to treat many respiratory infections.
Why use Essential Oils for Clearing Stuffy Nose?
Essential oils are very effective natural treatment against congestion and stuffy nose. The overuse of various saline sprays and ailments can cause side effects. Essential oils are used as an alternative which is as effective as any other medication. They give relief from the irritation caused and clear the nasal passage. They are also effective in treating the cause of stuffy noses such as infections or allergies. Their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help fight germs that cause congestion.
How to use Essential Oils for Unblocking Stuffy Nose?
1. Peppermint Oil with Castor or Jojoba Oil:
Peppermint oil is highly concentrated and should be used with a carrier oil such as castor or jojoba oil. Inhaling a mixture of peppermint oil with any other oil offers useful results.
2. Steam Inhalation:
Any essential oil like peppermint or tea tree oil can be used and combined with hot water. Add 3-7 drops of essential oil in boiling water in a large bowl. Breathe through your nose for less than 2 minutes at a time. You can use a towel to cover your head.
3. Direct Inhalation:
Any essential oil can be inhaled directly from the bottle. You can also add 3-4 drops on a handkerchief or a cotton ball and smell it to get rid of stuffy nose.
Many essential oils can be dispersed in the air through a diffuser and the inhalation gives relief. 20-25 drops of Eucalyptus oil can be mixed with peroxide in a spray bottle and dispersed in the air to eliminate germs.
5. Mixture of olive oil and oregano essential oil:
Oregano essential oil can be diluted with olive oil or coconut oil. This can be inhaled for useful results. Oregano essential oil unlike other essential oils can be used internally and can be added to food too.
Lemon essential oil with any other carrier oil can be rubbed on the chest and throat.
An aromatic bath is also useful in curing stuffy nose with few drops of any of the essential oils.
Dos and Don’ts
Essential oils should be stored in cool and dry places. It can be harmful to kids and therefore should be stored away from the reach of children. Essential oils when used undiluted can cause irritation and inflammation. The ingestion of essential oils can be dangerous as they are usually toxic. It should be mixed with some carrier oils like jojoba oil, sweet almond oil(2) or olive oil.
They can also be diluted with water or lotion. A patch test behind the ear should be performed first before the actual usage. They should be inhaled in small doses for brief intervals of time, as high doses may cause dizziness, headaches and nausea. Pregnant women should not use these oils.
Essential oils should be kept away from the reach of children as they might be harmful. Inhaling of essential oils for long periods in high amounts might cause dizziness and headaches. Using undiluted essential oils on the skin can cause burns, irritation, rash or itchiness.
In most cases, essential oils have no side effects if used correctly with keeping in mind various precautions. It is advised to do a patch test behind the ear to check for any allergies. Pregnant women should not use them. People undergoing another course of treatments should consult health care experts before using essential oils.
Home Remedies for Stuffy nose
Here are some of the home remedies which can be used to treat stuffy nose:
1. Hot shower:
The steam from the hot shower opens the nasal passage and provides relief while breathing.
2. Warm compress:
You can use a washcloth with warm water and apply on the face to decrease sinus congestion. A piece of ginger can also be added to the warm water for a better result. The water should not be very hot to an extent where it burns the skin.
Staying hydrated helps in thinning the mucus and decreases the pressure which results in less inflammation and irritation. So, make sure to drink enough water.
Take steam, just boil some water and maybe add cloves to it. This helps your nose open up and the mucus gets runny which helps you remove it off.
5. Cut Down on Cold Stuff:
If the cause of a stuffy nose is cold, it is prohibited to eat or drink cold items.
6. Drink Milk and Turmeric:
This remedy is used to cure a sore throat but it also helps cure a stuffy nose. Take some Turmeric and milk, add some ginger to it and drink. Your nose will send out all the mucus stuck in it.
7. Flush it out:
Blow your nose. After any sort of treatment, blow your nose and clear it up. Make sure your nose has as minimal mucus as it can. Keep on cleaning it continuously.
8. Eat Healthy:
Eat healthy and nutritious food that helps you fight any illness, making your immune system strong.
There are a variety of other home remedies which can be used to treat a stuffy nose. Some of the other home treatments are acupressure, horseradish, facial massage, apple cider vinegar, humidifier, decongestant, flushing out sinus etc. Home treatments are better than using various medications as there are no side effects and you get adequate relief.
Essential oils are very beneficial in providing relief in case of a stuffy nose. The irritation caused by stuffy nose leads to sleep deprivation and may further lead to sinus infections. Inhaling
small amounts of essential oils for shorter durations can provide relief with congestion. The various other symptoms like cough, dizziness, and headaches can also be treated using essential oils They have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which help fights germs that cause sinus infections and congestion.
Various precautions should be followed while using essential oils are toxic. They should be kept out of the reach of the children, and pregnant women should not use essential oils. Essential oils are very beneficial if used with recommended precautions.