Homemade Essential Oil Diffusions to help with Congestion, Allergies & Immunity

I recently had a really stuffy, congested, flu-like cold, that lasted for about a week. It started off as allergies, then progressed to congestion, then eventuated into a full-blown cold. Suffice to say, I lived near the tissue box for the week…

Now, colds aren’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact they’re really important and actually healthy. That’s right. They help keep our immune system strong and in tip-top shape. There’s a common belief going round that if we never have cold or flu symptoms, it means we’re healthy! This is actually false.

Essential oil inhalations can help clear sinuses, allergies, & boost immunity!

It’s only if these symptoms drag on for months, or if we get no response, that means our body is too weak to fight it off.

This post by Marla, from Marla’s Healthy Life, sums up this point really well:

We all come in contact with tens of thousands of viruses and bacteria every year. Many of these will enter our body. If you are HEALTHY, your body should mount an immune response to fight it off before it can take hold in our system. Our body should create a fever to incinerate the microbe and create extra mucous production to push it out via mucous membranes (a.k.a runny nose). What we want is to see a healthy response (fever, runny nose, cough) to these pathogens that does not DRAG ON FOR MONTHS.

If you get no response (a.k.a never get sick), that means your body is too weak to mount a response so all these pathogens are entering the system and disrupting our body’s function but our body is not doing anything about it. If you get a PROLONGED response, that too means your body is not strong enough to create a high enough fever or reaction to kill off the pathogen efficiently.

So what do we want? We want to have a healthy response to pathogens but it should clear up quickly and not drag on. We should be getting sick (especially kids) once or twice a year! We tune our immune system by getting colds and being exposed. This is called building immunity.

EBV example: most people who have EBV antibodies never actually had mono. This tells you that they contracted the virus and their body was too weak to mount a response (fever and other mono symptoms) to destroy it so it let it take hold and now there are chronic antibodies being produced triggering things like chronic fatigue.

Marla Pietruszko BSc R.H.N.

So getting sick isn’t something we need to be scared of, it’s a good thing! It means our bodies are working! What we don’t want is to be sick all the time or never at all. We want to find the happy medium 🙂

What really helped me through my week from hell (I’m kidding, I’m being melodramatic), was doing inhalations with essential oils and steaming hot water. It helped clear up my sinuses, even if just for half an hour, and killed any pathogens camping out in my nose, chest, throat, etc. I did these inhalations four times a day for the most part of that week, and found them to be really helpful in relieving congestion and headaches brought on from congested sinuses.

This essential oils blend was specifically targeted towards unblocking congested sinuses, and it worked almost immediately!

Now, I used a blend of different oils in my inhalations to help expel the mucus and unblock my sinuses, so below are a few essential oil combos to help with congestion, allergies, and immunity.

I use inhalations too when I have allergy symptoms such as hay fever, itchy/irritated eyes, or a sneezy/runny nose, and find they really help in relieving symptoms, even if only for a little while (I do them a few over the course of the day to help alleviate symptoms when they’re really flared up).

I use a inhalation mask + kit when I do my inhalations, however, you can also do this via pouring steaming hot water into a bowl/sink (be careful not to burn yourself with it), then add in the essential oils and place a towel over your head so that you’ve created a semi-enclosed area under the towel while you’re leaning over the sink/bowl, and breathe in the steam that’s coming up from the bowl of hot water. The essential oils will evaporate quite quickly, so you may need to do this three times in one session. I use 1 drop of the oil blend poured into the hot water, and breathe that in until it evaporates, then I add in another drop, repeat the process, then one last drop, repeat again, the drain out the water and repeat process again later on.

The process is the same for each blend, whether it’s for allergies, immunity, or congestion.

One way to take essential oil inhalations is to use a portable inhalation kit like this, it makes breathing in the essential oil-infused steam more effective.

Some essential oils, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, can trigger asthma symptoms, so use with caution.

There are four main ways you can inhale essential oils:

  • Inhaling directly: Add a few drops of essential oil to a tissue and gently breathe in, holding the tissue near the face. Be careful not to get essential oil directly on the skin, as it can cause irritation.
  • Inhaling steam: Add a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of boiling water and inhale the steam. Placing a towel over the head can create a steam chamber. You can also use an inhalation kit to create a tighter, more effective steam chamber.
  • Using a diffuser: Essential oil diffusers disperse the oil into the air. This is a more gentle way of inhaling essential oils continuously while at home.
  • Adding to a bath: Add a few drops of essential oil to a bath and gently inhale while soaking.

I tend to use the steam inhalation process for these blends.

Another way to take these inhalations is to place a towel over your head to create a steam chamber.

Before we get started in learning how to make these essential oil inhalation blends – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Before use, do a small test breath before beginning, to make sure there is no adverse reaction (as some people are more sensitive to essential oils, especially peppermint oil).

Essential oil blends

Here are a few different essential oil blends that may assist with relieving symptoms of sinus congestion, allergies, or may help in boosting immunity.

Essential oils that contain specific properties to help unblock sinuses, ease allergies, & boost immunity.

Essential oil blend for sinus congestion

The essential oils used include:

  • Peppermint essential oil: contains menthol, a compound that may affect the mucus receptors in the nose, helping to open the airways and clear mucus.
  • Eucalyptus oil: like peppermint oil, eucalyptus may help in clearing stuffiness and congestion in the nose.
  • Tea tree oil: may improve sinus congestion by fighting potential causes like bacteria and viruses. It may also help reduce inflammation, which could help bring down sinus swelling.
  • Oregano oil: may also help clear sinuses by fighting off bacteria.
  • Clary sage: a natural antimicrobial agent, clary sage may help relieve sinus congestion caused by bacteria.
  • Lavender oil: may improve symptoms of sinus congestion by reducing pain and swelling. Lavender is also well-known for its calming properties, and may help promote relaxation and make it easier to sleep.
  • Rosemary oil: another natural anti-inflammatory that may help in relieving swollen sinuses.
  • Wild orange oil: may contain stimulating and purifying qualities, and can assist in supporting healthy immune system function.
While it only makes a small portion, this essential oil blends lasts a LONG time, as a little goes a long way! You only need one drop in a bowl of hot water, as it’s quite potent & packs a punch.

Ingredients:

  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 drop tea tree oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 drop wild orange essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop clary sage essential oil

To make:

Add essential oils to a dropper bottle (or old, clean, essential oil vial), and gently shake to combine. Always make sure to gently shake before use.

To use:

  1. Add 1 drop to inhalation kit or bowl of steaming hot water.
  2. Lean over bowl (not too close) and cover over head with towel so you lightly enclose yourself in with the steam. Breathe in the essential oil-infused steam until the scent disappears. Add another drop, and repeat. Do this 3 times per session. I did this 3-4 times a day until my symptoms cleared.

How to naturally unblock your sinuses

Essential oil blend for seasonal allergies

The essential oils used include:

  • Peppermint essential oil: contains menthol, a compound that may affect the mucus receptors in the nose, helping to open the airways and clear mucus.
  • Eucalyptus oil: like peppermint oil, eucalyptus may help in clearing stuffiness and congestion in the nose.
  • Tea tree oil: may improve sinus congestion by fighting potential causes like bacteria and viruses. It may also help reduce inflammation, which could help bring down sinus swelling.
  • Frankincense oil: may help to ease blocked nasal passages, runny and itchy noses, and sneezing.
  • Sandalwood oil: may also help relieve blocked nasal passages, runny and itchy noses, and sneezing.
  • Lavender oil: may improve symptoms of sinus congestion by reducing pain and swelling. Lavender is also well-known for its calming properties, and may help promote relaxation and make it easier to sleep.
  • Ravensara oil: a natural analgesic (pain reliever), anti-allergenic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antidepressant, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, disinfectant, diuretic, expectorant, and relaxant. It also makes an excellent muscle and nerve tonic.
  • Lemon oil: may help in clearing sinuses and reduce congestion, common symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 drop sandalwood essential oil
  • 2 drop frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops ravensara essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 drop tea tree oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil

To make:

Add essential oils to a dropper bottle (or old, clean, essential oil vial), and gently shake to combine. Always make sure to gently shake before use.

To use:

  1. Add 1 drop to inhalation kit or bowl of steaming hot water.
  2. Lean over bowl (not too close) and cover over head with towel so you lightly enclose yourself in with the steam. Breathe in the essential oil-infused steam until the scent disappears. Add another drop, and repeat. Do this 3 times per session. I did this 3-4 times a day until my symptoms cleared.

Essential oil blend for boosting immunity

The essential oils used include:

  • Clove essential oil: naturally antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, may help in relieving pain (analgesic), and may promote gum health.
  • Peppermint essential oil: a natural antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic. It also contains menthol, a compound that may affect the mucus receptors in the nose, helping to open the airways and clear mucus, which in turn soothes respiratory infections by promoting respiratory cleansing.
  • Eucalyptus oil: may help in fighting infections, and is an antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, expectorant, and may help in clearing mucus.
  • Tea tree oil: a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial, and is commonly used for relieving colds and respiratory tract infections as it’s a great decongestant.
  • Frankincense oil: may help support the immune system by increasing white blood cell activity so the body can fight against infections better. It’s also a natural antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant, analgesic, expectorant, may help digestion, and assist in calming the nervous system (contains sedative properties).
  • Ginger oil: may help in relieving nausea, may aid digestion, can relieve pain, may help support blood circulation, is a powerful anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and may help ease respiratory infections.
  • Lavender oil: may improve symptoms of sinus congestion by reducing pain and swelling. Lavender is also well-known for its calming properties, and may help promote relaxation and make it easier to sleep.
  • Thyme oil: may help stimulate the immune system, and is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, expectorant, and analgesic (may provide pain relief).
  • Rosemary oil: naturally antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiarthritic, an expectorant, and decongestant.
  • Lemon oil: may help stimulate lymphatic drainage, and is an antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic (may help relieve muscle spasms), and may help with digestion.
  • Oregano oil: thought of as “nature’s antibiotic”, oregano contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.

Ingredients:

  • 2 drop clove essential oil
  • 2 drop peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 1 drop tea tree oil
  • 1 drop ginger essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops oregano oil

To make:

Add essential oils to a dropper bottle (or old, clean, essential oil vial), and gently shake to combine. Always make sure to gently shake before use.

To use:

  1. Add 1 drop to inhalation kit or bowl of steaming hot water.
  2. Lean over bowl (not too close) and cover over head with towel so you lightly enclose yourself in with the steam. Breathe in the essential oil-infused steam until the scent disappears. Add another drop, and repeat. Do this 3 times per session. I did this 3-4 times a day until my symptoms cleared.

Have you done inhalations before? What was your experience? Share below! We’d love hear!

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

Sources:

Lana, Burgess. (February 27, 2019). Top 7 essential oils for sinus congestion. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324570

Natalie, Silver. (Updated: May 21, 2019). Essential Oils for Allergies. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-allergies

The 10 Best Essential Oils To Support Your Family’s Immune System. (Updated: January 31, 2021). Self-Care for Mom (motherhoodcommunity.com). Retrieved from https://motherhoodcommunity.com/the-top-10-best-essential-oils-to-support-your-immune-system/

Diffuser Recipe: Stuffy Nose Relief. (February 16, 2016). Purely Labs. Retrieved from https://purelylabs.com/diffuser-recipe-stuffy-nose-relief/

Lane, Jennifer. 6 Immunity Essential Oil Blends for Kids – Kid Friendly Recipes. Loving Essential Oils. Retrieved from https://www.lovingessentialoils.com/blogs/diy-recipes/immunity-essential-oil-blend

DŌTERRA WILD ORANGE ESSENTIAL OIL. Totum ENT. Retrieved from https://livetotum.com/product/doterra-wild-orange-essential-oil/

Nagdeve, Meenakshi. (Updated: January 31, 2020). 15 Amazing Benefits Of Ravensara Essential Oil. Organic Facts. Retrieved from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-ravensara-essential-oil.html

Ravensara. Holistic Pathways. Retrieved from https://www.holistic-pathways.com/holistic-pathways-store/essential-oils-hydrosols/product/198-ravensara