A runny nose, sinus pressure, headache or pain in your ear are obvious signs you have some type of infection. With their natural antiseptic, antibacterial and pain-relieving properties, essential oils can help treat sinus conditions and earaches. Each condition responds best to different oils and application methods. Patricia Davis, aromatherapist and author of “Aromatherapy: An A-Z,” warns that ear infections can spread very quickly. Treat earaches at the first sign of pain, and if there is no improvement in 24 hours, the pain worsens or a fever develops, seek immediate medical attention.
Chamomile and Lavender
Used separately, chamomile and lavender help treat both the infection causing the earache and reduce the pain the infection brings on. Used together they do both even more effectively. One method to treat an earache is with a warm compress applied to the ear and cheek. Davis claims this treatment both eases the pain and helps stop the infection’s spread farther into the ear.
In “The Complete Guide to Essential Oils & Aromatherapy,” Valeria Worwood recommends a different method--add a drop of lavender and a drop of chamomile essential oil to 1 tsp. warm olive oil and mix well. Soak a cotton ball with this oil blend and place it in your ear.
Tea Tree Oil
Most essential oils have some antiseptic properties, but tea tree oil is especially powerful. Tea tree oil’s infection killing ability makes it the best choice for attacking the source of the infection. To maximize tea tree oil’s antiseptic action, use it in a steam inhalation. Steam inhalation spreads the oil vapors throughout the sinuses and respiratory system, ensuring the essential oil reaches the infection's location, according to Julie Lawless in her book, “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.”
Pine, Eucalyptus and Peppermint
While tea tee provides the most infection fighting benefits, it does not reduce sinus congestion as effectively as pine, eucalyptus or peppermint essential oils. Patricia Davis suggests using any of the three to help bring sinus relief and breathe a little easier. Just as with treating the infection, steam inhalation clears the sinuses best.
- "Aromatherapy: An A-Z"; Patricia Davis; 2000
- "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils"; Julie Lawless; 1995
- "The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy;" Valerie Ann Worwood; 1991
A health and fitness writer since 2008, Aaron Matthew specializes in writing about health, fitness and mental performance topics for various websites including LIVESTRONG. He holds a Master of Arts degree in kinesiology from San Jose State University.