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Sinus Infection

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


Sinus infections can be bacterial, viral, or fungal in origin and can be in the various sinus cavities or the nasal passages.  An acute sinus infection refers to those of short duration whereas those with chronic sinus infections have episodes lasting more than 10 days and occurring 3 or more times per year.  There are four sets of sinus cavities; frontal sinuses (in the forehead), maxillary sinuses (behind the cheek bones), ethmoid sinuses (between the eyes), and the sphenoid sinuses (behind the eyes). 

Sinus cavitiesBesides the three forms of infections allergens may also trigger sinusitis.  The irritation of allergens or the damage done by infection causes inflammation and an increase and thickening of mucus.  These then compound the restriction of airflow and the normal passage of mucus.  Since the normal passage of mucus removes undesirable bacteria so restriction then again compounds the problem by not expelling bacteria and potentially leading to a secondary infection.

Essential oils are particularly effective since many are antibacterial, antifungal, as well as antiviral.  Other oils are effective in dealing with the symptoms of runny nose, itchy eyes, etc.


[search help: sinusitis, acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis, rhinosinusitis]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  Respiratory BlendC, CloveC, EucalyptusEC, Protective Blend, PeppermintEC, RosemaryEC

Essential oils based products:

Also consider: Digestive BlendC, GingerC, LavenderC, LemonC, MelaleucaC, ThymeC, White FirC

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

To address infection and symptoms (light): 

·   Respiratory Blend 

·   Protective Blend

Apply topically to sinus areas and cup and inhale or diffuse.

To address infection and symptoms (medium): 

·   2 drops Lavender 

·   2 drops Melaleuca

·   2 drops Rosemary

Apply topically with a cotton swab inside the nostrils or mix the above with a cup of warm water and, using a Neti pot (nasal irrigation device available at most drug stores) irrigate the nasal passages.

To address infection and symptoms (heavy duty):

·   1-4 drops Eucalyptus (1 sufficient for most, 4 is very strong)

·   2 drops Rosemary

·   2 drops Frankincense

·   1-2 teaspoons sea salt

Mix the above with 2 cups of warm water and, using a Neti pot (nasal irrigation device available at most drug stores) irrigate 2 times per day (or more).

For added help:

·   4 drops Frankincense

·   4 drops Protective Blend

·   4 drops Oregano

Add the above to a capsule and take 3 times per day. 

Repeat daily as needed.


To address symptoms:

·   Use Respiratory Blend with cup and inhale or diffuse.

·   Or use Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint (see allergies protocol).

Experiences and Testimonials of others

healthmom - I get a yearly bout with sinus infection.  I've used essential oils to combat symptoms with good results sometimes and other times with moderate success. The one thing I know is that when I have not used essential oils, things become horrible. Has anyone had success with essential oils and sinus infection that maybe I could try for improved results?

John - I have had bouts with the same thing.  It took me a few years to develop a protocol that seemed to be effective, but every year for the last 6-7 years I've had to deal with an annual war against sinus infection or sinus fungus.  The cool thing has been to see how much more effective the protocol is using (...) oils.

The turning point for me is when I learned to use a nasal irrigation devise or Neti pot. This was hard for me because the methods of moving liquids through my sinuses were very uncomfortable for me.  I had a near drowning experience when I was a child, and as I used the irrigation method, I would encounter very vivid feelings that resembled drowning.

It has become very second nature to me now, and I use it at the first sign of sinus problems.  I mix 2 cups of warm water with 1-2 teaspoons of quality sea salt to make a saline solution.   Then I add 4 drops of Eucalyptus, 2 drops of Rosemary and 2 drops of Frankincense. I irrigate at least twice a day, sometimes more, and the I put Breath on my neck and along my nostrils.  Finally I take a capsule of 4 drops Oregano, 4 drops OnGurard and 4 drops Frankincense.  I do this three times daily.  It usually takes about 3 days of the protocol, and I do it more if I still feel effects.

Also rotate diffusion of Protective Blend and Eucalyptus in your bedroom.

Pat - Respiratory Blend is an excellent oil for sinus infection, also Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Wintergreen, and Protective Blend.

Jessica - I have had great results personally and with others with ravensara on a Q-tip placed far up the nose.  A little uncomfortable for about five minutes then your head drains and you feel so much better!  Usually doesn't take more than four applications.

Luke - I'm not sure about ravensara in a single bottle but there is ravensara in the Respiratory Blend. Along with Lemon and Melaleuca which would be good for killing the infection.  Also there is Peppermint and Eucalyptus radiata to clear your head nicely.

Pat -  I have used the Respiratory Blend quiet a few times and it is fabulous. The minute you breathe it in you can feel it go through your head and down to your lungs.

Protocols folks recommend for children

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Debbie - Last Sunday around noontime, I visited my friend Marla. She told me that her daughter Emily is sick again. Upon returning home, I took my Lotus diffuser along with a bottle of Invigorating Blend and went back to her. After showing her how to use it, I went home. That night, she phone me, amazed how fast-acting the oil was!  She said that after diffusing the oil for an hour that afternoon, an Orange-watery like fluid oozed from her nostrils! Marla diffused again that Sunday night with the same result except that more greenish-watery like fluid drained out.  Emily says that she can breath better. Could we say that the oil unclogged her nasal congestion, or her sinuses?  
What an amazing result!!!


Jen - I think my 5 yr old might have a sinus infection.  Symptoms: stuffy sinus', headache, fever, puffy sore eyes.  What's the best thing to give him and how often?

John – I would diffuse Respiratory Blend in his room at night for sure.  Sinus issues, especially for children are tough.  I would also try Breath and Eucalyptus on his feet and chest.

Rob - great advise from John.  Using a hot damp compress after application of oils to the chest will help.  Be consistent and cover the feet and chest after application to inhibit cross contamination. If someone ever faces sinusitis as an adult, using a nasal irrigation with salt (saline rinse) and good respiratory oils like Eucalyptus, Melaleuca and Rosemary would also be great.


Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying

Anti-inflammatory effects of Myrtol standardized and other essential oils on alveolar macrophages from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Eur J Med Res. 2009 Dec 7;14 Suppl 4:205-9.;  Rantzsch U, Vacca G, Dück R, Gillissen A.;   St. George Medical Center, Robert-Koch-Hospital, Leipzig, Germany.



Myrtol standardized is established in the treatment of acute and chronic bronchitis and sinusitis. It increases mucociliar clearance and has muco-secretolytic effects. Additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties have been confirmed for Myrtol standardized, Eucalyptus oil, and Orange oil in several in vitro studies.


The aim of this study was to prove the ability of essential oils to reduce cytokines release and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production derived from ex vivo cultured alveolar macrophages.


Alveolar macrophages from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, n=26, GOLD III-IV) were pre-cultured with essential oils (10(3)-10(-8)%) for 1 h and then stimulated with LPS (1 microg/ml). After 4 h and 20 h respectively a) cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein (DCF), and b) TNF-alpha, IL-8, and GM-CSF secretion were quantified.


In comparison with negative controls, pre-cultured Myrtol, Eucalyptus oil and Orange oil (10-4%) reduced in the LPS-activated alveolar macrophages ROS release significantly after 1+20 h as follows: Myrtol -17.7% (P=0.05), Eucalyptus oil -21.8% (P<0.01) and Orange oil -23.6% (P<0.01). Anti-oxidative efficacy was comparable to NAC (1 mmol/l). Essential oils also induced a TNF-alpha reduction: Myrtol (-37.3%, P<0.001), Eucalyptus oil (-26.8%, P<0.01) and Orange oil (-26.6%, P<0.01). TNF-a reduction at 1+4 h and 1+20 h did not vary (Myrtol: -31.9% and -37.3% respectively, P= 0.372) indicating that this effect occurs early and cannot be further stimulated. Myrtol reduced the release of GM-CSF by -35.7% and that of IL-8 only inconsiderably.


All essential oils tested have effective antioxidative properties in ex vivo cultured and LPS-stimulated alveolar macrophages. Additionally, Myrtol inhibited TNF-a and GM-CSF release best indicating additional potent anti-inflammatory activity.


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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.