Right now, there are about 30 million people dealing with sinus problems, including that work colleague who was written about on Reddit by a person desperate for answers on how to deal with the constant sniffling, no tissue in sight.
While there was never a clear consensus on how to politely – or not so nicely – handle the noisy coworker’s sinus issues, anyone who has ever experienced such a thing, whether at work, on an airplane, or God forbid, at a restaurant, understands that other people’s sinus problems can be an auditory nightmare for those of us who are forced to listen to the noise.
But what if you are one of the 30 million people struggling with sinus problems?
It could be a cold or the flu, maybe it’s allergy season – in some regions, that starts in February, as soon as the first leaves begin to sprout on trees – or perhaps you have a sinus infection, but no matter the reason for your sinus congestion, there’s no doubt you are hoping to clear those passages STAT.
Essential Oils to Open Airways
There are myriad essential oils that can help open airways, clear sinuses and ease congestion.
The most effective essential oils are the ones that offer the same benefits as antihistamines. Oftentimes, they do this without the drowsiness and other unwelcome side effects.
MONQ’s Relieve blend contains ginger, spikenard, and helichrysum, which ease the pain of headaches that often accompany sinus congestion, as well as a blend of other oils that work in synergy to help lessen the symptoms of other maladies including sinusitis. Two standout oils include nerolina and lavender, both of which act as natural expectorants because they help to clear sinus passages and restore normal breathing.
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Essential oils that act as antihistamines work by blocking histamines. Histamines are produced by the body’s mast cells in response to an allergen, because the body sees allergens as foreign objects. In many cases, histamines are welcome. However, when the foreign substance is pollen which is everywhere during the spring and autumn months, keeping histamine production in check is the only way allergy sufferers can prevent chronic sinus blockages.
The allergy pill aisle is rife with products. However, I often see social media posts from friends searching for an allergy remedy that won’t make them groggy.
There aren’t many out there, so for them, essential oils are an excellent answer.
While peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils are the most commonly used oils to clear sinuses, there are many other, often overlooked essential oils that are equally effective at easing the symptoms associated with allergies, sinus infections or colds and flu.
Essential Oils That Deserve a Second Look
Some essential oils that are unsung heroes for sinus problems include:
- Blue tansy essential oil. A relative of the daisy, blue tansy is a natural antihistamine. It reduces the levels of histamines the body produces, keeping watery eyes, sneezing and stuffy sinuses at bay. It contains chamazulene, the same compound that gives German chamomile its vibrant blue color. it inhibits the activity of leukotrienes, which accompany the release of histamines and play a role in response to allergens.1
- Nerolina essential oil. Nerolina essential oil contains cineole, the same compound that gives eucalyptus its congestion-fighting abilities. It has a hint of camphor aroma, and acts as a natural expectorant, making it an ideal natural treatment option for allergies or congestion.
- Nutmeg essential oil. A compound in nutmeg helps clear sinuses and bronchial airways. Also, in 2013, Korean researchers found that the compound they isolated could play a role in protecting against negative responses to allergens.2
- Marjoram essential oil. Marjoram, a Mediterranean herb that is similar to oregano, has long been used as an expectorant because of its ability to loosen mucus, clearing nasal passages and restoring normal breathing. It is found in our MONQ Healthy blend, so it also offers an immune system boost.3
- Oregano essential oil. Because oregano and marjoram are so similar, they are both effective at controlling the body’s histamine response. Oregano contains carvacrol, which helps control inflammation that could cause swollen nasal passages.
More Great Essential Oils
- German chamomile essential oil. The chamazulene in German chamomile helps inhibit the activity of leukotrienes, which increase the production of mucus. A 2012 study from researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland found that German chamomile played a role in preventing symptoms of the common cold, including clogged sinuses. Researchers also found that German, also known as blue chamomile because of the vibrant blue color it shares with blue tansy, helped control inflammation, which could cause sinus swelling in response to allergens.4
- Thyme essential oil. Thyme contains carvacrol, which helps control the body’s inflammatory response. It also acts as a natural expectorant, relieving congestion and sinus pressure.
- Lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil not only eases stress and controls sinus pain, but it may also prevent mast cells from producing histamines, based on the results of a 1999 study from South Korean researchers that appeared the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.5
- Blue Cypress essential oil. The guaiol in blue cypress, a sesquiterpenoid, acts as an anti-inflammatory that could help control the formation of troublesome mucus.
- Clary sage essential oil. A close cousin to the sage that finds its way into most Thanksgiving dishes, clary sage offers a wealth of health benefits, including sinus protection. It can also ease the headache pain associated with sinusitis.
- Lemon essential oil. Lemon and other citrus-based essential oils including bergamot, neroli, grapefruit, lime, tangerine, and wild orange among them, contain limonene. Limonene is a compound that acts as an anti-inflammatory that protects against sinus trouble. In a 2013 study from Brazilian researchers in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, scientists found that citrus essentials helped protect against the swelling of nasal passages for improved respiratory health.6
- Rosemary essential oil. Rosemary essential oil also acts as an antihistamine and can keep sinus problems at bay. Maybe the Reddit writer with the sniffling coworker could leave a bottle of this essential at his or her desk. Research from 1991 that appeared in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that rosemary controlled the body’s histamine response.7
If your sinuses are clogged, there’s no need to reach for expensive prescriptions. Essential oils may very well do the trick!