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Herbal Remedy for Sinus Congestion

By Traci Joy ; Updated August 14, 2017

Sinus congestion occurs when excess mucus builds up in the sinus cavities and the sinuses cannot drain properly. According to the University of Michigan Health System, congestion often occurs with colds and allergy symptoms and usually goes away on its own. However, there are occasions when the sinus pain and pressure are so uncomfortable that added relief is necessary. A remedy using eucalyptus oil offers an alternative to using a harsh, over-the-counter medicine that can have side effects.

Herbal Steam Bath

  1. Purchase 100-percent pure eucalyptus oil. According to the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, eucalyptus oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and decongesting properties. An ingredient in the oil called cineole is reported to reduce inflammation as well as cut mucus production, which is quite helpful when it comes to sinus congestion.

  2. Boil 8 cups of distilled water in a pot. Distilled water is best because there are no chemicals in the water.

  3. Transfer the hot water to a large glass bowl, and allow it to cool slightly. Place the bowl on a table where you will easily be able to sit in front of it and hold your face over it.

  4. Add 8 drops of eucalyptus oil to the bowl of water. There is no need to stir.

  5. Sit in front of the bowl of steaming water, and drape a towel over your head. Lean your face over the bowl, and pull the towel down so it forms a tent over your head and the bowl, trapping the steam.

  6. Inhale the vapors from the bowl of steaming eucalyptus water. Breathe deeply, and breathe in through your nose as much as possible. Every two minutes, blow your nose to remove the loosened mucus and make inhalation easier.

  7. Continue breathing in the vapors for at least 20 minutes or until the water has cooled and there is no more steam. Be sure to continue to blow your nose, expelling the excess secretions. The steam bath can be repeated daily or as often as needed.

Herbal Supplement

  1. Purchase pure eucalyptus oil extract capsules from a reputable pharmacy or health food store. If you are unsure about the purity of the capsules, ask the pharmacist or clerk which ones they would recommend. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that eucalyptus oil also has antibacterial properties and can act as an expectorant when taken internally.

  2. Take 200 mg of eucalyptus oil extract capsule with water. Drink a full glass of water, as this will help keep mucus moist and help relieve sinus congestion.

  3. Repeat the 200 mg dose two more times, making a total of 200 mg, three times per day. The UMMC states that those who take 200 mg of eucalyptus oil extract, three times daily, showed fewer symptoms of sinusitis than those who didn't take it.

  4. Use a saline nasal spray periodically throughout the day to help keep the nasal linings moist. This will also help keep the passages clear as the sinus congestion begins to relieve itself.

  5. Blow the nose as often as needed throughout the day. Never allow mucus to stay in the nasal passages, as this can contribute to sinus congestion and possibly infection.

  6. Tip

    For easier sleeping, place 1 drop of eucalyptus oil at the bottom of your nose at bedtime.

    Instead of using a bowl of hot water, there are several facial steam saunas on the market. Simply add 2 to 3 drops of eucalyptus oil to the sauna.


    If your sinus congestion does not begin to clear within seven days of the eucalyptus oil treatment or it is accompanied by a fever, see your healthcare provider.

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