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5 Top Essential Oils for Respiratory Congestion (Avoid Flus, Colds, Sinus Congestion, Allergies, Sinusitis & Bronquitis)

These essential oils correspond to the ‘air’ type essential oils (body organ: lungs), and so it makes sense that the easiest way in which to benefit from them when it comes to respiratory congestion would be via the aid of a diffuser (aff link).

If you’re looking for essential oils for respiratory congestion, essential oils for breathing difficulties, essential oils for winter or stuffy nose and/or essential oils for colds and sore throat the list below is perfecto for you.

In reality there are many essential oils for respiratory congestion but I’ll focus on the must have ones. Let’s get started.

Essential Oils: Our Natural Medicine

Nowadays we no longer work on our own gardens growing organic foods. We go to the grocery store and purchase everything. What gives us life, food, has become ‘deadened’; in other words, ‘objects’ we consume without much thought. Like an automatic, mechanised process, there’s no soul to it. What we consume means nothing to us other than ‘the things we eat’. It is like eating death in some way.

The truth is that we’re disconnected from nature. If we ate a healthy diet by growing the food ourselves we would have a connection with the immunological healing power that the elements from our environment possess. Plants are VERY happy to help and heal us, it is part of their function in some way. But by not recognising this and mechanising processes we harm ourselves as well. I believe this is a fundamental reason why there are so many diseases at the moment, particularly to do with stress, mood, anxiety and depression.

By being disconnected from nature (and, ultimately, our Selves) we simply get ill. Essential oils help us connect with nature again, these compounds are not separated from the soul of the plant they’ve been extracted from, in fact, they ARE the soul of the plant.

By taking the soul of the plant in its entirety (and not separating components that aid with particular illnesses which means we’re not using the plant whole) means we’re taking pure potency – the sum of the parts is is always stronger than the parts alone). Thus we get connected again. We become whole. We heal.

Biologically, we’re connected to the planet, we really are One. There is not a separate ‘you’ operating in a world. You are as much a part of the world as anything else the eyes of your body sees. Plants grow on this planet the same way humans grow on this planet. Plants are a lot older, the human body appeared much later than the plant kingdom. Plants have survived because they learnt to adapt to the changes. They heal us because they have developed a fantastic immunological resistance to diseases.

We, on the other hand, haven’t. And this is why we need plants. Our connection with them is paramount to our survival. Look at what’s happening when it comes to our health… so many people getting ill from medication side effects, for example. The cures we use nowadays is not a cure in the long term. Nature provides us with the cure, we simply need to reconnect and let the plants heal us the way they know how to do it. That’s part of their job, to assist us in our evolution. We help each other.

This is how our ancestors did it. We need to go back to this folk medicine.

Our Respiratory System and Plants

Breathing… so simple. We take it for granted, but it is the pulse that keeps the human body alive, one second at a time. Each breath we take has been given to us by the plants.

When plants evolved, for example, they began storing huge amounts of carbon in wood and other tough tissues, leaving less to react with oxygen and pull it out of the atmosphere. By 300 million years ago, oxygen had risen to levels as high as 50 percent higher than today.

The New York Times

By being mindful of the breath we also connect with the source where probably most the ‘good’ air we breathe comes from: the plants, which help produce oxygen. This is a direct conscious connection, no need to touch the plant, no need to smell the plant, no need grow the plant. Just a simple, conscious knowing that every breath we take in has been given to us by them. Breathing is the gift that plants have given us!

Man has come far in terms of technology. But plants are the giver of health. Man cannot heal man. Plant heals man. We need to be very aware of this and keep developing our understanding of plants and how they heal us. This dependency is sacred. Let’s never forget it.

Forests are Lungs

Think of a forest as a huge lung. This means essential oils that come from forest trees are beneficial for our lungs as well. They aid our respiratory system because they are themselves part of a huge respiratory system. I hope that makes sense.

Although there’s a lot of essential oils that can help when it comes to our respiratory system, the fact that forest are huge lungs make the essential oils that come from forest trees probably the best choice when it comes to respiratory congestion and other respiratory issues.

The below are a good representative group which have been used for primarily this reason.

5 Top Essential Oils for Respiratory Congestion

The 5 top essential oils for respiratory congestion are:

  • Eucalyptus (aff link) (more info below)
  • Pine (aff link) (more info below)
  • Spruce (aff link) (more info below)
  • Fir (aff link) (more info below)
  • Juniper (aff link) (more info below)

As you can see, the essential oils come mainly from conifers and eucalyptus trees. In fact, most oils from the same family will have the same properties. I also use cypress essential oil, for example. Remember we’re breathing the forest when we breathe the compounds of these essential oils. The above mentioned are a great choice when it comes to essential for respiratory congestion so you have a place to get started.

These are the oils from needles and leaves of trees which makes the group very interesting indeed. Leaves and needles are at the very surface of the plant, and the same can be said of our respiratory system in the sense that these oils work on the respiratory mucous membranes. This is a very simple way of grouping these oils which I find fascinating and, at a fundamental level, really logical.

1. Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil for Respiratory Congestion (E. radiata)

Eucalyptus Radiata and Eucalyptus Globulus are really well known. There are over 700 types of eucalyptus trees but we only use the essential oils from around 10 different species or so. Eucalyptus is well known for being warming and antiseptic. Essential oils are usually beneficial for a number of things, but we’re only concentrating here on their properties around respiratory congestion so I won’t be mentioning other things eucalyptus essential oil is good for.

Plant Therapy Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil 30 mL (1 oz) 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade
  • EUCALYPTUS RADIATA ESSENTIAL OIL: Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil is often considered a milder eucalyptus because it is slightly "smoother" than Eucalyptus Globulus and has a somewhat softer odor....
  • EASY TO USE: Add 2 drops to your Plant Therapy Aromatherapy Diffuser along with 2 drops of Eucalyptus Globulus to help clear the mind and keep you focused on the task at hand.
  • COMBAT SEASONAL CONGESTION: Add 3 drops of Pine, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Mandarin and mix with 2 Tablespoons of your favorite unscented lotion or Plant Therapy Carrier Oil and apply to the chest,...

Last update on 2022-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Pine Essential Oil for Respiratory Congestion (Pinus silvestris)

Pine essential oil is uplifting and it helps unblock sinuses and ease breathing. It is a great decongestant as well as antiviral, protecting against viruses and helping clear catarrh. Pine is also well known for freshening the air and eliminating odours. Pine essential oil makes a lovely air freshener. Always look for Pinus sylvestris as other varieties can be irritant or toxic.

Healing Solutions 10ml Oils - Pine Essential Oil - 0.33 Fluid Ounces
  • Highest Quality Pure & Natural Pine Essential Oil - Our Pine Oil is 100% pure, undiluted, all-natural, and therapeutic grade. Every drop of this Pine essential oil is steam-extracted right from the...
  • Gc-ms Tested for Purity & Dilution - Every batch of our pine essential oil is tested using a a type of testing called "gcms". This ensures the essential oil's authenticity and purity. These test...
  • Bottled in a 10ml Glass Bottle with Built-In Eyedropper - All of our essential oils are bottled in an amber glass bottle right here in the USA. It also has a built in Euro style eyedropper for easy...

Last update on 2022-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Spruce Essential Oil for Respiratory Congestion (Picea mariana)

I must admit I’m not familiar with this essential oil, so I had to read up on it. Being part of the forest, it will be a great essential oil for respiratory congestion and can work well as part of a blend with the rest of the essential oils mentioned here, blending particularly well with cypress and pine.

Edens Garden Spruce- Black Essential Oil, 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade (Undiluted Natural/ Homeopathic Aromatherapy Scented Essential Oil Singles) 5 ml
70 Reviews
Edens Garden Spruce- Black Essential Oil, 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade (Undiluted Natural/ Homeopathic Aromatherapy Scented Essential Oil Singles) 5 ml
  • Spruce is like enjoying the forest in a hammock. Its green and woody aroma is soft and encourages your mind to relax.
  • Spruce promotes relaxation and calm in the mind and body. When work leads to stress, this essential oil bypasses the fine print to give you a new lease on your day with an invigorating aroma. Keep...
  • Women-owned and family-operated since 2009, we personally source each essential oil and raw ingredient to ensure affordable prices without compromising quality. Voted the #1 Non-MLM essential oil...

Last update on 2022-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Fir Essential Oil for Respiratory Congestion (Abies balsamea)

Fir needle essential oil will also have a fresh and woody aroma. With an earthy scent, it is a great essential oil for fighting respiratory infections as well as sore throat. As with all the other essential oils mentioned here, it makes for a great air freshener.

Healing Solutions 10ml Oils - Fir Needle Essential Oil - 0.33 Fluid Ounces
  • Highest Quality Pure & Natural Fir Needle Essential Oil - Our Fir Needle Oil is 100% pure, undiluted, all-natural, and therapeutic grade. Every drop of this Fir Needle essential oil is steam-extracted...
  • Gc-ms Tested for Purity & Dilution - Every batch of our fir needle essential oil is tested using a a type of testing called "gcms". This ensures the essential oil's authenticity and purity. These test...
  • Bottled in a 10ml Glass Bottle with Built-In Eyedropper - All of our essential oils are bottled in an amber glass bottle right here in the USA. It also has a built in Euro style eyedropper for easy...

Last update on 2022-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Juniper Essential Oil for Respiratory Congestion (Juniperus communis)

Juniper has such a distinctive crisp-smelling oil. The oil can help clear stale air when in a diffuser. The juniper tree is an evergreen plant which also produces seed cones (berries). The essential oil is steam distilled from the berries. With a warm, herbaceous and woody smell, this essential oil will help with respiratory congestion. I add juniper essential oil to my toners when I want them to have an extra ‘oomph’ for detoxing the skin. If I have it around, I’ll also use the hydrosol for added potency. The essential oil can also help relieve anxiety.

Healing Solutions 10ml Oils - Juniper Berry Essential Oil - 0.33 Fluid Ounces
751 Reviews
Healing Solutions 10ml Oils - Juniper Berry Essential Oil - 0.33 Fluid Ounces
  • Highest Quality Pure & Natural Juniper Berry Essential Oil - Our Juniper Berry Oil is 100% pure, undiluted, all-natural, and therapeutic grade. Every drop of this Juniper Berry essential oil is...
  • Gc-ms Tested for Purity & Dilution - Every batch of our juniper berry essential oil is tested using a a type of testing called "gcms". This ensures the essential oil's authenticity and purity. These...
  • Bottled in a 10ml Glass Bottle with Built-In Eyedropper - All of our essential oils are bottled in an amber glass bottle right here in the USA. It also has a built in Euro style eyedropper for easy...

Last update on 2022-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Benefits of These 5 Essential Oils

These essential oils can have tremendous benefits for you. They will work as an upper respiratory tract viral treatment that can be extremely effective. Antibiotics have many side effects and if you can avoid these with the use of natural alternatives without side effects then they’re well worth a try.

With constant exposure to these oils and their immune molecules from these trees you can probably easily prevent colds and winter flus. Prevention is the key. Connect to the immune system of the trees by releasing the compounds of the essential oils at home.

How to Use These Oils: Diffuser, Steam & Direct Palm Inhalation

When we smell the trees’ essential oils compounds we’re literally taking in their immunological defense mechanism. Basically, the very immunity of the trees. When we release these compounds back in the air through the aid of a diffuser, we’re literally creating a forest-like immunity system at home. This is very powerful and extremely beneficial for our respiratory system.

The best way to use this oils is by releasing their compounds back into the air so we can breath them in. Let’s remember these oils have not been extracted from roots, flowers or resins but leaves and needles; the very respiratory elements of the plants. It makes sense to breathe them in and heal this way.

By releasing the essential oils into the air we will be purifying and reducing airborne pathogens. In turn, our immune system gets stronger. Create the habit of using the methods listed below for a simple way of avoiding colds and flus in the winter.

Function of these respiratory essential oils: expectorant, decongestant, mucous membrane regulating (antiinflammatory), open passage ways of breathing, soothing cough, open the ‘lung space’ and work on mental alertness. They also ‘refresh’ us. They’re energising and bring into our bodies the life of the trees (conifers and eucalyptus).

1. Diffuser

A diffuser is an easy way to use the oils listed below (you can use one oil or a mix of oils). Use around 10 drops per diffuser session. The diffuser dilutes the oil and suspends the micro-droplets into the air which in turn attacks the mentioned above airborne pathogens. If prevention is not an option because you’re currently already going through a cold or flu you’ll probably heal faster than usual when using the diffuser at home. Your immune system will get stronger over time.

Here’s a diffuser similar to the one I use at home (aff link). I bought mine from Argos in the UK.

2. Steam

Add a few drops to boiling water and breath the steam in. Cover your head with a towel for a concentrated session. Careful with the hot water.

3. Direct Palm Inhalation

Put a few drops of an essential oil from the list below on your hands, rub your palms and inhale deeply. You can also put a few drops of an essential oil from the list below on your hands and rub your chest in the shower. **Dermotoxicity levels of these oils is low, but if you have sensitive skin just stick to the methods mentioned above to be on the safe side.**

Which Method to Use from the Above?

My advice: if in doubt to which method to use the diffuser would be my first choice. You can create the habit of switching it on every day (remember to refill it with water regularly). It is easy to use, you only add a few drops of each oil from the list above and you don’t have to worry about touching the essential oils directly. You just leave the diffuser on and that’s it. Create the habit of switching the diffuser on regularly.

If you find that you’re really congested, the steam or palm inhalation method.


Do We Choose One Oil or Can We Use All of Them?

I suggest you use all of them. The idea is to create a blend that acts as a mini-forest at home. When walking down a forest you might come across areas where there’s only pine trees, or spruce trees or eucalyptus trees… But in general you’re taking in the smells of the entire forest as you breathe in… This is what healing is about; instead of extracting the components that we think have direct action over our ills, we heal by letting entire systems work on our system.

These oils bring the forest to your home. Add a few drops of each to your diffuser regularly during the winter months and watch how flus and colds (at least severe ones) will be a thing of the past.

Plus they make your home smell absolutely divine.


Links of Interest

Forests are Lungs

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