Using a neti pot to flush out your nasal passages can help alleviate a sinus infection. The standard solution of warm water and sea salt clears your sinuses and fights bacteria. However, experts recommend adding essential oil in small doses only, if at all.
Tea Tree Oil
"Essential oils in a neti pot can be very irritating to the sinuses since they’re so close to the brain,” says Tanja Bochnig, founder of April Aromatics. “I would only recommend using tea tree oil in a very low concentration—one tiny drop, well-dispersed into the water.”
As an antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal treatment, tea tree oil can help clear nasal passages.
Bochnig also suggests using floral waters, also called hydrosols, such as one tablespoon of lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint. “Hydrosols are a byproduct of the essential oil distillation and are much gentler" she says.
One way to use essential oils is immediately following your neti pot rinse. Add two drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint and tea tree oils to a bowl of boiling water. Drape a towel over your head, close your eyes and breathe through your nose. “This is very clearing to your sinuses and is gentler than oils in the neti pot,” Bochnig says.
Use organic oils whenever possible.
Lorraine Shea writes about yoga, fitness, nutrition, healing, philosophy, art, decorating and travel for magazines and websites including Fit Yoga, Pilates Style and Country Accents. She teaches Anusara-style yoga and specializes in breath technique, active relaxation and therapeutics. She has a B.A. in English from New York University.