Health topic logo

Top 10 essential oils for respiratory infections this winter



respiratory tract infections

Още ...

Respiratory tract infections are infectious diseases that affect the respiratory tract. An infection of this type is usually further classified into one of two categories - as an infection of the upper respiratory tract or infection of the lower respiratory tract. Lower respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia, are usually much more severe than upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold.

Top 10 Best Essential Oils for Respiratory Infections

Essential oils can help soothe sore throats and clear mucus, some of the characteristic symptoms of a respiratory infection.

The medical community tends to see essential oils as an adjunct alternative therapy rather than a medical treatment. These oils should be used with caution as there are no approved guidelines regarding their dosage or potency.

However, there are instructions, and if a person follows them, any of the 10 essential oils can help relieve the symptoms of a respiratory infection. Always before using essential oils, do a tolerance test on a small area of skin by dissolving a few drops in base oil, applying to the skin and waiting 24 hours.

Eucalyptus essential oil

Many people use eucalyptus (Eucalyptus) without realizing it. Many over-the-counter products usually contain eucalyptus oil. Or they may include the main compound of the oil called eucalyptol or cineole.

A study published in Alternative Medicine Review found that eucalyptol has an antimicrobial effect and can fight bacteria that cause disease. Eucalyptol may also help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and relieve muscle tension that may result from a cold or flu. 1

Eucalyptus essential oil can be used to soothe cough in respiratory infections in several ways:

  • By adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a base oil and rubbing the mixture onto the chest and throat;
  • By diluting eucalyptus oil in boiling water and inhaling the steam.

Rosemary essential oil

Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is a common garden herb. Like eucalyptus, it contains the compound cineole. A study published in the journal Cough found that cineole can help break down mucus and reduce inflammation. 2

Rosemary essential oil should be diluted with base oil to inhale. Add 3-4 drops of this oil in 5-6 drops of carrier oil and massage onto the throat. You can also add a few drops of this essential oil to the diffuser and thus relieve the cough.

Peppermint essential oil

Herbal respiratory disease care products often contain peppermint oil (Mentha). Menthol is an extract of mint. When inhaled, it creates a cooling sensation that can soothe or relieve the scratching throat.

A 2013 study suggested that when a healthy person uses peppermint oil, it can help relax the muscles of the trachea, known as the bronchial muscles. This may explain why this essential oil may ease breathing in people with coughs. 3

Peppermint essential oil can be used through:

  • Dilution of oil in boiling water and inhalation of steam
  • Adding oil to a diffuser
  • Use in a mixture of oils for topical application

Frankincense essential oil

Frankincense is extracted from Boswellia trees and is often used in perfumes. It is traditionally valued for its effect on the respiratory system and is used to treat cough, bronchitis and asthma. 4

Oregano essential oil

Oregano essential oil (Origanum vulgare) contains a high level of a powerful compound called carvacrol. The authors of a 2014 study found that carvacrol is a useful antimicrobial agent that can fight many types of microbes. Therefore, this oil can help relieve the symptoms of respiratory infections.

Thyme essential oil

Thyme essential oil also contains a high level of carvacrol. It can be a useful means of eliminating or protecting against viruses and bacteria.

The herb thyme and its volatile oil have long been used to treat upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis symptoms, parasitic infections, and many other health problems. It has an antibacterial effect on Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and has antiviral (herpes simplex virus type I, human rhinoviruses and influenza viruses), antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic action. 5

Essential oils of bergamot, nutmeg and cupressus

All essential oils of nutmeg (Myristica), bergamot (Citrus bergamia) and cupressus  (Cupressus) contain camphene, a compound similar to camphor with anti-inflammatory action.

When inhaled, camphene can have a cooling and refreshing effect. It also has antioxidant properties that can help protect cells from damage and protect against harmful microbes.

Geranium essential oil

A review of studies published in Complementary Medicine Research reported that a geranium extract called Pelargonium sidoides is an effective herbal remedy for coughing. Geranium essential oil when inhaled can provide relief from breathing and persistent coughing

Add six drops of geranium essential oil to a carrier oil. Massage this diluted oil onto your throat and chest. This will help relieve a stuffy nose. You can also add 4-5 drops of this oil to boiling water and inhale the steam to relieve sore throat when you catch a cold.

Cinnamon essential oil

The favorite aromatic spice has medicinal properties, with the authors of a 2017 study finding that cinnamon can protect against germs that cause respiratory problems. 

Add a few drops of cinnamon essential oil (Cinnamomum) to the diffuser and inhale it. Helps relieve cough and cold. You can also massage the oil on your chest or throat. This will help relieve congestion and coughing

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca) can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria that cause sinus infections and respiratory problems. Today, studies show that tea tree oil has antimicrobial activity, which gives it the ability to fight bacteria that lead to respiratory problems. 6

  1. Top 10 Best Essential Oils for Respiratory Infections
  2. Eucalyptus essential oil
  3. Rosemary essential oil
  4. Peppermint essential oil
  5. Frankincense essential oil
  6. Oregano essential oil
  7. Thyme essential oil
  8. Essential oils of bergamot, nutmeg and cupressus
  9. Geranium essential oil
  10. Cinnamon essential oil
  11. Tea Tree Essential Oil


The essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, oregano, tea tree, rosemary and frankincense are some of the oils that have been shown to help keep your lungs and respiratory system in excellent condition. They contribute to this through antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial compounds reviewed in various studies. When used on the skin, it is important to mix essential oils with base oil, as they are highly concentrated. Others can be steamed and their fumes inhaled with a focus on relieving persistent cough, stuffy nose, and releasing your breathing.

The author

Bettina Tzvetkova has a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and a Master's degree in Entrepreneurship, a fan of healthy eating, power sports and cycling. Author of over 1500 scientifically based articles, product texts and advertising materials on health topics for Bulgarian and foreign websites. 


website logo


About Us

CompanyPrivacy and cookie policyTerms and conditionsHTML SitemapArticles

© 2024. All rights reserved.