23 Essential oils for cough and 9 ways to use them

A cough is a very troublesome problem. We tend to suffer from a cough due to various reasons like having a cold or flu or due to other infectious diseases like Pertussis or Whooping cough in kids, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, etc. But the majority of times we develop a cough due to a common cold or flu.

We can also contract a cough if we are exposed to toxic chemicals, pollution in the environment, smoke due to passive smoking, dust, allergens, etc. These pollutants and chemicals cause irritation to the respiratory tract membranes, and we develop a cough to get rid of the irritants from the respiratory tract.

If we are suffering from any infection we will surely need the help of a doctor to get rid of it using antimicrobial drugs. Even when getting treated by a physician, essential oils for cough are really very effective as an alternative remedy for a cough.

Majority of times when we are having a cough due to common cold or flu, simple remedies like usage of essential oils for cough, steam inhalation, drinking warm liquids, gargling salt water and taking adequate rest is what is required. Amongst these measures, essential oil usage for a cough is very effective in alleviating the symptoms of the cough, cold and flu.

In addition to providing relief from a cough, essential oils for cough also rejuvenate your mood, distress you and make you relaxed and calm. They also help you get rid of fatigue when you are sick.

Essential oils for cough- A complete guide:

essential oils for cough
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1. Frankincense essential oil:

Frankincense essential oil has been used for treating cold, cough, and flu since ages. It was considered very valuable or precious by the people of older generations. This essential oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Frankincense essential oil helps us to get rid of accumulated mucus or phlegm from the lungs and the respiratory tract. This phlegm is one of the major reasons for developing a cough, so it definitely aids in reducing cough. This essential oil used for the cough also helps to enhance your mood.

2. Lemon essential oil:

Lemon essential oil has antimicrobial properties which help to get rid of unwanted microbes like bacteria and fungus which cause a cough. This essential oil helps us to get rid of negativity in the body which is one of the reasons for developing any ailment.

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It has anti-inflammatory properties which help us get rid of any inflammation or swelling in the respiratory passages.

3. Lavender essential oil:

Lavender essential oil is one of the most common essential oils that are available in the market today. It helps us get rid of mucus or phlegm. The accumulation of phlegm in the lungs and sinuses can lead to a cough and difficulty in breathing. This essential oil loosens the phlegm and gets rid of it. It eases the breathing and reduces a cough effectively.

4. Eucalyptus oil:

Eucalyptus oil is very widely used in the manufacture of over the counter products used for treating respiratory problems like cold and cough. We all must have heard of or used eucalyptus oil capsules in hot water used for steam inhalation.

Eucalyptus oil has an ingredient called Cineole which helps to relieve the inflammation of the respiratory tract, relieves congestion in the lungs, etc. This oil also promotes our immunity levels and increases the blood flow to the respiratory tract, so that it works well to get rid of phlegm and cough.

5. Rosemary oil:

Rosemary oil is used extensively in the treatment of various respiratory disorders like Asthma, Bronchial inflammation or Bronchitis, Pertussis or whooping cough, Sinusitis or sinus inflammation, etc.

6. Cyprus oil:

Accumulation of fluid in the lungs and respiratory tract can cause irritation of the respiratory system. This makes the respiratory tract to develop a protective mechanism called cough which aids in the elimination of the accumulated fluid.

Cyprus oil helps in eliminating the fluid which is present in excess amounts in the respiratory system. This helps to reduce a cough as well.

7. Cedarwood oil:

When we cough a lot, the muscles of the chest become strained and sore, as we utilize the chest muscles in coughing. Cedarwood oil acts as a relaxant for the sore chest muscles. It also helps in elimination of the mucus accumulated in the throat, and lungs.

8. Tea tree oil:

Research studies suggest that Tea tree oil is very effective in relieving the congestion in the nasal passages and the lungs. It also helps in clearing the infections causing cough due to its antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.

9. Peppermint oil:

Peppermint oil helps in cold and flu due to multiple properties. It has a soothing or relaxing effect on the throat due to an ingredient called menthol present in it. It has antiseptic, and antibacterial properties which help in getting rid of infections.

Studies suggest that Peppermint oil reduces the spasms of the respiratory tract due to its antispasmodic activity. This property helps in reducing cough. It also helps to reduce mucus build up in the throat.

10. Oregano essential oil:

Oregano essential oil has been proven according to studies to reduce the inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, and also reduce pharyngitis or a sore throat. It has potent antimicrobial properties which make it ideal as an essential oil for cough.

11. Cinnamon leaf essential oil:

Cinnamon essential oils are manufactured from both the leaves and the bark of the tree. Cinnamon is being used as a spice and medicinal herb from many generations. But, the essential oils prepared from the cinnamon tree are also very helpful in stimulating the immune system and alleviating the flu symptoms including a cough.

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The cinnamon essential oil made from the bark of the tree is very strong. So, we suggest you use cinnamon leaf essential oil which is mild and also has very good results in reducing cough.

12. Jojoba oil:

This oil is very effective in reducing the swelling or inflammation of the respiratory tract. This helps in reducing cough very well.

13. Sandalwood oil:

Sandalwood oil is very effective in eliminating infections causing respiratory disorders in the body. This is due to the antimicrobial, antiseptic, antibacterial properties of the Sandalwood oil.

14. Myrrh oil:

Myrrh oil is known to reduce the accumulation of the phlegm or mucus in the respiratory passages and lungs. This very property is very effective in reducing cough.

15. Rose oil:

Many people with allergic disorders and Asthma tend to suffer from a cough. Many people are not aware that the cough is one of the symptoms of Asthma. In fact, some people with Asthma can present with a cough only and without breathlessness. This is called cough variant Asthma. Rose essential oil is very effective to treat such allergic conditions.

16. Angelica oil:

This oil thins the mucus and helps to get rid of this phlegm from the airways due to its expectorant properties.

17. Cajeput oil:

This oil is very effective in killing the microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi which cause respiratory infections and lead to the cough, cold.

18. Black pepper oil:

We all use black pepper as part of our diet as a spice. It is also available as an essential oil. Black pepper essential oil helps in clearing the mucus in the airways and getting rid of congestion. It also has many other health benefits like detoxification of the body, relieving cramps, etc.

19. Pine oil:

Mucus builds up in the respiratory system can cause wet cough which is a cough up of phlegm or sputum along with the cough. Pine oil has expectorant properties due to which the accumulated mucus is loosened and eliminated from the respiratory system.

20. Thyme oil:

Thyme oil is very effective in getting rid of infections that cause respiratory problems like cold, cough. It also has a mucus thinning ability, which helps to get rid of chest congestion.

21. Grapefruit essential oil:

Grapefruit essential oil is made from the peels of the Grapefruit.This oil has disinfectant properties which help in clearing the infections causing cough and cold.

22. Thieves oil:

This essential oil is made up of a combination of many types of essential oils like cinnamon bark essential oil, eucalyptus oil, lemon essential oil, rosemary oil and clove oil. This oil is very effective in reducing sore throat when used as a spray in the throat.

23. Juniper berry essential oil:

Have you ever heard of this essential oil for cough? It has many active ingredients like alpha-pinene, p-Cimene which help to get rid of a cough and respiratory ailments. It has powerful antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It also helps in the soothing of the irritated sore throat.

Ways to use essential oils for cough:

1. Add essential oil to hot bath:

We all love to have hot bath when we are suffering from cold or flu. Adding essential oils to hot bath relaxes us apart from helping us to get rid of symptoms of cold, cough, etc. Just add 5 drops of Tea tree oil and 1 or 2 drops of Thyme essential oil to the hot bath and enjoy your bath.

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2. Massage your chest with essential oil mix:

We can make a mixture of few essential oils and use them to rub or massage over the chest. This helps to clear congestion in the chest and respiratory passages. Just mix 2 to 3 drops of eucalyptus oil, 1 drop of lemon oil, 2 drops of thyme oil, 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil to create a perfect massage oil for a cough using the essential oils.

3. Adding essential oils to a diffuser:

We can add any essential oil of your choice to the diffuser. A diffuser helps to release the essential oils fragrance or aroma in the air. When we inhale the air, we inhale the molecules of essential oil along with the air. This helps us to fight the cough, cold, flu, chest congestion, etc.

4. Using lozenges made of essential oils:

Essential oils have multifold benefits in getting rid of a cough. So, many pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing cough lozenges which contain essential oils in them. Just purchase such lozenges and keep them in your mouth and suck them just like a candy.

5. Prepare essential oil balm:

Mix 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 5 drops of Eucalyptus oil, 5 drops of lavender oil, 1 or 2 drops of thyme oil and make a balm. Then apply this balm over your chest at night. This gives you a good night’s sleep as it relieves the chest congestion and cough.

6. Apply essential oil over tissues:

Pour few drops of any essential oil that you like over few tissues. Then keep inhaling the smell of the essential oil from the tissues after every few minutes to get rid of a cough.

7. Drink water with essential oil:

Mix a drop of essential oil of your choice to a glass of water, and then drink it. But, as you are ingesting the essential oil, make sure that it is a reputed company. Some good companies or brands like Young living or Doterra are really good and you can use the essential oils by these companies for this remedy.

8. Keep essential oil under your tongue:

Just take 2 or 3 drops of essential oil and place them under your tongue. This way the essential oil is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and starts its activity to get rid of a cough, and cold.

9. Add essential oil to salt water gargle:

Add few drops, for example, 2 to 3 drops of essential oil to warm salt water, and use this mixture to gargle. It helps to alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat and cough.

Caution:
  • You can use essential oils for cough for kids also. But, you need to make sure that the essential oils that you are using are FDA approved, completely safe and organic.
  • Always purchase essential oils of a reputed company or brand.
  • If you are allergic to any essential oils, try to avoid them as they can cause allergic symptoms.

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