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30 March 2022 / Caitlin Devlin

The best essential oils for a blocked nose

These oils will save you when cold symptoms just won’t disappear.

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Person in bed suffering from cold

As we look ahead to spring, some of us are still struggling to shake those winter illnesses.

These illnesses come with many unpleasant symptoms, and one of the most common symptoms of respiratory conditions is a blocked nose. Unluckily for many of us, it’s also one of the most annoying and uncomfortable. 

Expectorant essential oils have decongestant properties that allow them to get phlegm and mucus moving and open up blocked airways, allowing for easier breathing.

Not only does this provide some relief from that stuff-nosed feeling – it also helps us to clear our bodies of the infection. Here are some of our favourite decongesting essential oils.

Amyris oil

A blocked nose can often be the first symptom of a nasty respiratory tract infection.

Amyris oil has been shown to be an effective remedy for respiratory tract infections – a study in 2021 found that the oil showed significant activity against nine responsible pathogens.

Amyris can help us to get ahead of the illness at the first stage and relieve symptoms quickly.

Learn more about the benefits of amyris essential oil.

Bay laurel oil

Bay laurel is a known expectorant, able to shift excess phlegm and mucus lodged within the respiratory tract.

Not only that, but its antimicrobial properties are effective in preventing the return of those pathogens. A study in 2020 even found that bay laurel could help to combat symptoms of COVID-19.

 Learn more about the benefits of bay laurel essential oil.


Benzoin oil

Benzoin’s rich, honey-like scent can have expectorant effects on those who inhale it.

Its decongestant properties allow it to remove excess phlegm and mucus from the respiratory system, and it’s also said to produce a feeling of contentment in those that inhale it. This can help suffers of a blocked nose to relax and sleep despite their symptoms.

Learn more about the benefits of benzoin essential oil. 


Black spruce oil

Clearing blocked noses was one of the traditional uses of black spruce oil. A natural expectorant, black spruce facilitates the movement of mucus through blocked airways, allowing for easier breathing. This helps us to get rid of illnesses faster. 

Person reaching for tissues due to a cold.

Infusing tissues with essential oil can help with quick relief from a blocked nose.

Cajeput oil

A relative of tea tree, cajeput shares the expectorant properties of the popular herb. It fights many symptoms of respiratory conditions, but it is crucially great at shifting mucus and clearing blocked respiratory tracts. Its fresh scent promotes easy breathing through airways.

Learn more about the benefits of cajeput essential oil.


Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus is a famous decongestant. Its powerful expectorant abilities can get mucus moving through our airways, purging them of harmful microorganisms. Eucalyptus is used in households to treat all kinds of respiratory conditions, including sinusitis.

Ginger oil

Ginger is not only a powerful expectorant – its antiseptic properties help it to kill pathogens responsible for cold symptoms. Ginger can even help us to breathe through our blocked noses whilst we are waiting for our symptoms to subside.

A study in 2013 found that the oil could cause a significant and rapid relaxation of human airway smooth muscles. This prevents the restriction of airways and allows easier breathing even through blocked noses.

Learn more about the benefits of ginger essential oil.

Gurjun oil

Gurjun’s treatment of respiratory issues may be its oldest use. Gurjun has
been found to stimulate the immune system into reacting against cold
symptoms. A natural expectorant, it can shift mucus and phlegm through
blocked airways and clear them.

Learn more about the benefits of gurjun essential oil.


Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil can treat a wide range of respiratory conditions,
particularly those which involve a blockage of some kind. It can tackle everything from the common cold to sinusitis.

Peppermint’s powerful expectorant properties help it to clear obstructions to airways, allowing easier breathing.

Learn more about the benefits of peppermint essential oil.

Tea Tree Oil

The leaves of the melaleuca plant have been used to treat congestion for
centuries, and tea tree still remains an incredibly popular expectorant to this day.

Not only can it clear sinuses and facilitate free breathing, but its antimicrobial activity helps to wipe out responsible bacteria.

Learn more about the benefits of tea tree essential oil.

Wintergreen oil

Wintergreen contains an aspirin-like component known to reduce not only congestion but accompanying pain.

The strong scent of this minty oil opens blocked airways, shifting mucus through the respiratory tract, and also reduces the discomfort that can come with cold symptoms.

Learn more about the benefits of wintergreen essential oil.

If you’ve been a repeat sufferer of a blocked nose this cold season, it’s worth stocking up on some of these decongesting oils. Try diffusing your favourite or putting a few drops in a bowl of hot water and inhaling the vapours. You’ll be feeling more like yourself in no time. 

Shop our essential oils here.

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