7 most effective essential oils for cough relief

In addition to the common cold, the flu, and other respiratory conditions, they usually feature a cough that keeps you awake at night and limits your ability to breathe easily.

Although many people suffer from a cough every year, the vast majority of them do not know the natural remedies that are really effective to treat it.

There are a wide variety of essential oils that have antiviral, expectorant, and antibacterial properties. These oils can work as an easy and safe way to get rid of an annoying cough once and for all.

According to research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, over-the-counter cough suppressants are not beneficial for children and should not be used by children under 6 years of age.

On top of that, the benefits they offer for adults are probably minimal.

Many people turn to codeine to relieve coughs, but did you know that codeine is a narcotic that can cause withdrawal symptoms like other opiates when used in excess? In addition, studies show that codeine and antihistamines have no effect on coughing in adults.

Many people are desperate to find a more effective cough remedy. If you are one of them, try one of these essential cough oils that will address the cause while simultaneously releasing mucus, relaxing muscles, and reducing the intensity of the cough.

The 7 best essential oils for coughs

These essential cough oils are effective in two ways: They help address the cause of your cough by removing toxins, viruses, or bacteria causing the problem, and they work to relieve it by loosening mucus and relaxing the muscles of the respiratory system. and allowing more oxygen to enter the lungs.

You can use one of these essential cough oils or a combination of them.

1. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is an excellent essential oil for coughs as it works as an expectorant, helping to cleanse your body of the microorganisms and toxins that are making you sick.

It also dilates your blood vessels and allows more oxygen to enter your lungs, which can be helpful when you’re constantly coughing and having trouble catching your breath. In addition to this, the main component in eucalyptus oil, cineole, has antimicrobial effects against many bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

The best way to use eucalyptus oil as an essential oil for a cough is to diffuse 5 drops, especially just before bed. Eucalyptus can also be applied topically to your chest and neck to reduce the severity of the cough, but only use a very small amount (1–2 drops).

Another great way to use eucalyptus and other essential oils for your cough is to prepare a homemade steam massage made with olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

Keep in mind that eucalyptus should not be used topically in children under the age of 2 and when used in children, do a patch test first to make sure they don’t experience any adverse skin reactions.

2. Mint

The peppermint oil is one of the best essential oils for nasal congestion and cough, because it contains menthol and has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Menthol has a cooling effect on the body, it can also improve nasal airflow when it is congested by unclogging your sinuses.

Peppermint can also relieve an itchy throat that makes you cough. On the other hand, it is also known that this essential oil has antitussive and antispasmodic effects.

Research conducted in healthy adults showed that peppermint oil relaxes bronchial smooth muscles and increases ventilation, which is why athletes often use it to improve their exercise performance.

It is these properties that allow peppermint to reduce the severity of coughs and improve respiratory rate and ability to breathe.

The best ways to reap the many benefits of peppermint oil for coughs and respiratory conditions is to diffuse 5 drops at home or at work, inhale directly from the bottle, or apply 2-3 drops topically to the chest, back of neck and temples.

When using peppermint topically, you can apply it alone or combine it with coconut oil and eucalyptus oil to create a ruby ​​vapor. Remember that just putting a little in will go a long way, so only apply a few drops when using peppermint on your skin.

Also, don’t bring it too close to your eyes or they may get irritated. Don’t use peppermint oil on the skin of children under 2 years of age.

3. Rosemary

The rosemary oil has a relaxing effect on tracheal smooth muscle, which helps to relieve cough. Like eucalyptus oil, rosemary contains cineole, which has been shown to reduce the frequency of coughing attacks in patients with asthma and rhinosinusitis.

Rosemary also exhibits antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which is why it works as a natural immune booster.

A 2011 study published in Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that a spray containing essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, oregano and rosemary was able to improve symptoms of upper respiratory diseases among the 26 participants in the group of treatment.

By inhaling these oils five times a day for three days, the researchers indicate that participants reported greater improvement in symptoms, such as cough, sore throat and hoarseness.

Just 20 minutes after inhaling the essential oil spray, participants noticed an improvement.

To use this essential oil for a cough, diffuse about 5 drops or combine 2 drops with half a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub the mixture on your chest. Rosemary oil should not be used in children under the age of 4 and is not safe for pregnant women.

4. Lemon

The lemon essential oil is known for its ability to stimulate your immune system and promote lymphatic drainage, which can help relieve cough and cold quickly.

It has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great tool to support your immunity while dealing with a respiratory condition.

Lemon essential oil also benefits your lymphatic system, which protects your body from external threats by improving blood flow and reducing swelling in the lymph nodes.

There are a few ways to use lemon essential oil to ease a cough. You can diffuse 5 drops at home or at work, and even mix it together with eucalyptus oil in your diffuser.

You can also combine about 2 drops of lemon oil with half a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub the mixture on your neck to drain your lymphatic system.

To use lemon essential oil internally, add 1–2 drops of a high-quality pure oil to warm water with honey or a glass of plain water. In order to relieve your cough, you need to think about what is causing it in the first place.

Using lemon essential oil to kill toxins or bacteria in your home can be very helpful, so make your own natural cleaning product by adding approximately 20 drops of lemon essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and a little bit of White vinegar.

Use this mixture to clean the surfaces of your home, especially your kitchen and bathroom.

5. Oregano

Two active ingredients in oregano oil are thymol and carvacrol, both of which have powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. Research suggests that due to its antibacterial activities, oregano oil can be used as a natural alternative to antibiotics that are often used to treat respiratory conditions.

The oregano oil also has an antiviral activity, and because many respiratory diseases are actually caused by a virus and not bacteria, this can be especially beneficial for relieving the conditions that cause coughing.

To use oil of oregano to treat a cough, diffuse 3-5 drops at home or at work. You can also combine 2–4 drops of oregano oil with equal parts of a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply it to your chest, back or neck, or the soles of your feet.

To treat bacterial conditions that cause coughing, add 1–2 drops to a glass of water twice a day. Because taking oregano oil internally can interact with certain medications, it is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before using it.

You should also try to use oregano oil internally only for a maximum of two weeks.

No research has yet been conducted to suggest that oregano oil is safe to use during pregnancy, so exercise caution and make sure to speak with your doctor first.

It is not recommended that children under 5 years of age receive oregano oil internally. To use oregano oil in children, simply dilute 1 drop with a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil and rub it on the soles of your feet.

6. Tea tree

The first known use of the tea tree, or malaleuca plant, was when the Bundjalung people of northern Australia crushed the leaves and inhaled them to treat coughs, colds and wounds.

One of the best-researched benefits of tea tree oil is its powerful antimicrobial properties, which give it the ability to kill bad bacteria that lead to respiratory conditions.

The tea tree has also shown antiviral activity, which makes it a useful tool to attack the cause of coughing and act as a natural disinfectant.

On top of that, tea tree oil is antiseptic and has a stimulating scent that helps clear congestion and relieve coughs and other respiratory symptoms.

To use tea tree for coughs, diffuse 5 drops at home or at work, inhale directly from the bottle, or dilute 1-2 drops with half a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub the mixture on your chest and the back of the mouth neck. Tea tree oil is not for internal use and should not be used during pregnancy.

7. Incense

Frankincense (from trees of the Boswellia species ) has been widely promoted for its positive effect on the respiratory system; It has traditionally been used for steam inhalations, baths, and massages to help relieve coughs, as well as colds, bronchitis, and asthma.

Frankincense is considered mild and is generally well tolerated by the skin on its own, but when in doubt, always make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil.


It is important that your essential oils for cough are 100 percent therapeutic grade oils, especially if you are using essential oils internally. You should also familiarize yourself with the safety of essential oils, especially if you are pregnant, caring for a child, or plan to use the oils internally.

Of these seven essential cough oils, eucalyptus, rosemary, and tea tree should not be used during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and plan to use oregano oil, take precautions and speak with your healthcare provider beforehand.

When using essential oils to ease your child’s cough, it’s best to diffuse eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, oregano, and tea tree at a distance. If you use these oils on your child’s skin, always use a carrier oil and only very small amounts of the essential oil. Also, do a patch test first.

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