20 Essential Oils for Cough, Sore Throat and, Congestion

Do you have an annoying cough?

Don’t worry. It can be as simple as a protective reflex to clear the respiratory system of the harmful microbes, dust or other irritants. (1)

But if it’s a persistent cough, you need medical attention. It can be a sign of common cold, allergies or other illness. Aches and pains, headache, the chills, sore throat, sneezing and nasal congestion are other symptoms that you may experience. (2)

Before reaching over for sugary cough syrups with many side effects, why not consider an Essential oil remedy?

Essential oils are very potent when it comes to curing coughs. The antibacterial components inherent in them effectively fight off coughs and cold. No wonder, people have been using them as antidotes to all kinds of ailments for centuries.

Essential oils are also called Aromatic and Ethereal oils because they are the essence of different plants and flowers. (3)

In this article you’ll learn:

  • The best essential oil remedies for cough relief
  • How you should use essential oils.
  • Some tips and precautions

20 Best Essential Oils for Cough Relief

1. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense comes from the milky white sap of Boswellia trees grown in African and Arabian regions. Once the a is hardened, it becomes resin. (4)
Traditionally frankincense resin is burned as incense for its relaxing and calming effects. This resin warm into Frankincense oil which has a sweeter and earthier aroma.

Frankincense oil comes with natural antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties to cure coughs and respiratory illness. (5)

Frankincense oil unclogs phlegm in the respiratory tract and lungs and can relieve bronchitis-related congestion. You can inhale this oil and mix it with your hot bath.

2. Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano essential oil comes from the dried wild oregano flowers and leaves. This therapeutic oil has a spicy aroma and golden color.

Oregano oil has powerful anti-microbial effects of reducing a cough and respiratory ailments.

Massage and sublingual administration are popular methods to get the best out of this therapeutic oil for cough treatment. (6)

Also Read: 18 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Cold Sores Naturally

3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Wonderful Benefits of Eucalyptus essential Oil

This colorless and woody scented essential oil comes from the partially dried leaves of eucalyptus. Apart from medical benefits, it has versatile usage in the industrial field.

Eucalyptus essential oil has potent anti-bacterial properties to fight off the pathogen bacteria of the respiratory tract. It provides immediate relief to cough.

You can dilute this oil in water and consume for alleviating coughs, asthma, and inflammations of the respiratory tract. Steam therapy and adding to a hot bath are other ways of benefiting from this magic herbal oil.

4. Tea Tree Essential Oil

How to use Tea Tree Essential Oil

This cheap herbal oil is well-known for curing fungal and bacterial infections. Distilled from the tea tree plant, this oil has a pale yellow color and mothball-like odor. (7)

The antiseptic and anti-bacterial components of tea tree oil are ideal for the cure of coughs, chest congestion, congested nose and other signs of cold and flu.

You can inhale its steam by adding a few drops of it in hot water or use it for your hot bath to stop a cough from developing.

Also Read: 11 Incredible Uses of Tea Tree Oil for Hair (With Directions)

5. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon is the storehouse of vitamin C, and people hail it as a cure-all fruit. Even the peel of a cough is remarkable because lemon essential-oil originates from the evaporative oil glands of lemon peels.

The powerful anti-inflammatory components of lemon oil ease coughs and sore throat. This citrus-scented herbal oil is full of antioxidants to cure respiratory infections, pains, swollen glands, and flu.

If you are suffering from a sore throat then add a few drops of lemon oil to your next cup of tea. You can also massage and inhale the oil.

Also Read: 10 Ways Lemon Oil Can Benefit your Health

6. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential Oil Uses and Benefits

Lavender oil is well known for a host of therapeutic properties. This popular herbal oil comes from the evergreen foliage- Lavender, grown in Northern Africa.

This sweet-scented herbal oil is rich in anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

You can get a message with this oil, add it to your hot bath or use it as a hot compress. It will relieve you from coughs, nasal congestion, throat infection and other forms of respiratory disorders.

Also Read: 11 Health Benefits of Lavender Oil That You Should Know

7. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass is a common ingredient in soups and seafood. We get a pale yellow-colored oil from the tall spiky leaves of lemon grass plants. This lemony scented oil is lemongrass oil.

This health-promoting oil has antibacterial, fungicidal, antiseptic and antimicrobial components. These are effective elements to fight inflammation and respiratory disorders.

Inhalation and massaging of lemon oil helps to relieve colds and flu.

8. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil comes from peppermint plants and is well known for its cooling menthol fragrance.

The organic compound-menthol makes it the ideal decongestant for treating clogged up airways, body pains, and coughs.

If you inhale it through a vaporizer, it helps to clear up the phlegm in your respiratory tract. The rosmarinic acid found in this herbal oil can also curb asthma and tuberculosis. (8)

Also Read: 8 Reasons to Use Peppermint Oil for Hair

9. Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil

Cinnamon is one of the most valuable spices in the world. Cinnamon comes from the evergreen Laurel plant family, a native of Sri Lanka.

The oil extracted from the leaves of this plant is Cinnamon leaf oil. This sweet flavored, musky-scented oil has excellent medicinal values.

The main organic compound of cinnamon oil- phenols is rich with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

These are active components to fight off coughs, cold and flu. If you inhale it through a vaporizer, it gives immediate relief from chest congestion and persistent coughs.

Also Read: Cinnamon for Weight Loss.

10. Clove Bud Essential Oil

Clove is a fragrant spice mostly used in Indian and Chinese cuisine. Over the centuries clove has been a natural anesthetic to relieve toothaches and fight bad breath. Clove oil is extracted from the evergreen clove tree.

It is one of the most important oils in aromatherapy because of its all-around health benefits. It has versatile use in pharmaceutical and skin care industry.

Clove bud oil has antiseptic, antifungal, antimicrobial and aphrodisiac properties. This spicy and warming herbal oil is effective to relieve the congested coughs in the chest.

Also Read: 10 Essential Oils for Sinus Infection, Congestion, & Headaches

11. Grapefruit Essential Oil

10 Wonderful Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grape is one of the citrus fruits abounding in nutrients and antioxidants. Grapefruit oil originates from the peels of grapes. It has extraordinary health benefits and practical uses.

Grapefruit oil can detoxify your body and improve the function of lymph glands. (9)

Limonene is the most important organic constituent of this herbal oil. Limonene is full of antimicrobial properties which fight inflammation and infection of throat and coughs.

Also Read: 17 Home Remedies for Kidney Infection (Backed by Science)

12. Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood is an essential part of Ayurveda (10) and is popular for its exotic lingering fragrance.

Sandalwood essential oil comes from the heartwood of the evergreen sandalwood tree.

This therapeutic herbal oil works for physical as well as spiritual wellness. This natural oil is a potent anti-inflammatory agent to cure a cold and flu.

13. Basil Essential Oil

Basil is one of the common herbs in our kitchen. People use this herb for all sorts of home remedies. Basil essential oil comes from the leaves of this foliage. (11)

This spicy and sweet-scented oil is enriched with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can clear congestion in the respiratory tract and nasal passage.

It also combats throat infection, fatigue, and body aches.

Also Read: 14 Effective Essential Oils for Fever & How to Use Them

14. Juniper Berry Essential Oil

If you love your peg of gin, you must know about juniper. Juniper is a vital flavor in alcoholic drinks.

Juniper berry essential oil comes from the berries that grow in the evergreen shrub Juniper. It has both medical and spiritual benefits.

Juniper berry oil is colorless and has a fruity fragrance. It has anti-rheumatic, antiseptic and astringent properties to relieve pains, fatigue, and coughs. (12)

Also Read: 10 Research- Backed Essential Oil Remedies for Back Pain + Directions

15. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme essential Oil Uses and Benefits

Thyme oil comes from the evergreen herb-thyme belonging to the mint family. Its healing properties are anti-rheumatic, antibacterial and calming components.

There are over 300 varieties of thyme like herbs. Oil produced from each of them has different chemical properties and therapeutic benefits. Some may irritate the skin. (13

Make sure to read the label before picking up your thyme oil. Oil from thyme linalool of France is the safest and potent agent for a cold.

You can add a few drops of thyme essential oil to the hot water for a steam therapy. It works magic to dissolve respiratory congestion and treat flu. Massage and inhalation can help relieve the old coughs from the chest. (14)

16. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage essential oil comes from the sticky fragrant leaves of clary sage plant. This essential herbal oil improves memory and vision and treats strained eyes. (15)
Clary sage oil is loaded with medicinal properties. It’s anti-spasmodic, fungicidal and anti-bacterial components can ward off coughs, colds, and flu.

Clary sage oil is anti-depressant as well and can enhance mood.

You can massage or inhale it through steam therapy. It’ll give you relief from a sore throat and other respiratory ailments.

Also Read: How to get rid of Sore Throat.

17. Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger is one of the critical elements of Ayurveda. Since ancient times people are using it for home remedies and as a culinary ingredient.

The spicy and warm Ginger essential oil comes from ginger roots. It keeps intact all the medical benefits of raw ginger.

This essential oil is exceptionally rich in anti-inflammatory properties.

If you massage this oil or Inhale it through a vaporizer, it’ll give instant relief from a runny nose and sore throat. It is an ideal decongestant for deep set coughs.

Also Read: 10 Health Benefits of Ginger Oil That You Should Know About

18. Rosemary Essential Oil


The sacred rosemary plant has a set of health benefits and culinary uses. The citrus fragrant rosemary essential oil comes from this celebrated lavender-like plant.

Studies show that rosemary oil has all the essential therapeutic properties to treat colds, sore throat, and flu. The refreshing scent of this oil provides relief from whooping coughs and cures respiratory allergies.

The antiseptic property of rosemary oil is useful for infections in the respiratory tract. Its antispasmodic component wards off bronchial asthma. (16)

Also Read: 13 Health Benefits and Uses of Rosemary Oil (Backed by Evidence)

19. Cypress Essential Oil

People associate cypress tree with the immortal soul. It is because Cypress belongs to a 17 million-year-old tree family. Cypress oil comes from this evergreen dark- green foliaged tree. (17)

Cypress oil a sore throat for its medicinal properties. This herbal oil stops fluid congestion in the lungs.

It’s a natural anti-inflammatory to relieve colds and flu. This oil is ideal for curing respiratory illness because of its anti-toxic and anti-spasmodic potency.

20. Pine Essential Oil

Pine essential oil comes from the steam distillation of the foliage of pine tree. It provides a wide range of health wellness.

The antibacterial and antiseptic properties inherent in this refreshing herbal oil help to relieve colds and flu.

The potent decongestant effect cures respiratory inflammation and infections. It’s a tonic for aches and pains as well.

The Best Ways to Use Essential Oils for Treating Cough

Below listed are some of the best ways to use essential oils as a natural remedy for a cough. You can follow any of them according to your convenience.

  • Aromatherapy

You need a diffuser for aromatherapy. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil into a diffuser as a powerful practice to ward off a cough and other cold-related symptoms.

A diffuser breaks down the oil into smaller molecules. These disperse in the air to create a safe atmosphere that is free of virus and bacteria. (18)

  • Topical Application

It is the practice of applying the essential oils directly on your skin, nails, teeth or mouth. Be careful about the high potency of some of the essential oils.

You can dilute them with any carrier oils like coconut, almond or avocado oil to prepare blend. You can use the blend on a congested chest or a sore throat.

  • Oral Application

You can consume some pure and safe essential oils. Otherwise, you can try a sub-lingual application.

It is taking a few drops of essential oil under your tongue and let it dissolve there for cough relief.

You can add a few drops of essential oil to your cup of tea, water or meal for the same result.

  • Massage Oil

Massaging the affected chest and throat with blends of essential oils is a very popular and effective method to get rid of coughs, colds, and flu.

Mix 4 drops of lemon essential oil, 4 drops of tea tree essential oil, 4 drops of lavender essential oil and 4 tsp. of carrier oil (coconut or almond) to create massage blend.

  • Hot Bath

Adding essential oils to your hot bath is another natural way to heal coughs and colds. Make a blend using 2 drops of thyme essential oil and 6 drops of tea tree oil for your hot bath.

Tips and Precautions

  • While using essential oil remedies, one of the most important steps is diluting the oil with the help of healthy carrier oils or other usable elements. This is a mandatory step especially in the usage of any potent essential oil.
  • The second most important step is to make a patch test before the topical application. For this, apply a tiny amount of the oil to a small portion of your skin to check for irritation.
  • If you are allergic to any of the mentioned essential oils, refrain from using it.
  • Children can use essential oils but in small doses.
  • Pregnant women should consult health care expert before using them. (19)
  • Be careful in case of using certain high potent essential oils. Try to use essential oils in the right amount and don’t overdo as they may cause discomfort and irritation.
  • If your cold stays for too long and doesn’t tend to go away with the help of essential oils, consult a doctor.

Bottom Line

All the essential oils mentioned above are truly worth trying to get rid of a cough, sore throat and congestion.

Essential oils are nature’s gift to treat ailments alternatively. They can become our companions on a healing journey.

Hope this article came to your benefit. For any queries or confusions, ask us by leaving a comment in our comments section below.

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