Breathe Easy With The New Stuffy Nose & Sinus Relief Essential Oil Blend
We all know too well the long list of symptoms of colds and flu - coughing, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, fever, headache, stuffy nose and even aches and pains. To heal, we know to flush the sickness from our system by ingesting lots of fluids, soups and resting. Curling up with a good book, a box of tissues and hot tea by your side and drifting to sleep in the warmth of one's home can be a necessary curative.
In spite of some of our best efforts to heal, the common cold or flu can worsen adding insult to injury. A stuffy nose can lead you down a rabbit hole of worsening congestion and increased sinus pressure and sinus issues that potentially can escalate into a sinus headache and sinus infection.
Luckily, we can turn to a number of natural remedies to clear up one's nasal passage which includes aromatherapy and essential oils if this happens or even before an illness takes a turn for the worse.
Anatomy of the Sinuses
The sinuses are air-filled pockets that can fill up with mucus and fluid when sick. Acute sinusitis occurs due to a cold or allergies which provokes the sinuses to become inflamed and blocked. There are four sinus cavities located in your head. Two are superficial and lie just under the bones of your face and two are set deeper behind the eyes which are part of the upper respiratory tract.
The more superficial sinuses are called the maxillary and frontal sinuses and are located behind the cheekbones and beneath the bones of your forehead, respectively. The deeper sinuses are called the ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses and are located behind your eyes and in the upper nasal area.
You may have noticed on occasion pain behind your eyes when a stuffy nose or sinus pressure symptom flares up due to congestion. If you have ever manually put finger pressure around the eyes, most likely you have been using pressure points to relieve the pain. Pressure points are derived from acupressure.
What are some pressure points to help clear sinuses and relieve headache pressure?
If you have never heard of acupressure or shiatsu, you may have heard the term ‘pressure points’. In fact, most likely you have already pushed on a few of the spots naturally when a headache begins to arise. Most of us have heard of the ‘third eye’ which is located between your eyebrows on your forehead. If you ever pressed on it, you have already initiated the use of pressure points. In acupuncture and acupressure, the third eye pressure point is called Governing Vessel 24.5 (GV-24.5).
Pressure points are derived from acupuncture and acupressure, a system of eastern medicine whereby pressure points when activated, help move stuck energy or Qi (pronounced ‘kee’). To simplify, these acupuncture meridians are numerous and follow along lines all over the body. They follow the yin and yang structure of energy flow. Acupressure is also known as shiatsu and employs 12 acupuncture meridians.
The best acupressure points for sinus congestion and headache relief
You can easily locate all of these points with pictures on this website or this one which give a visual understanding of the pressure points to stimulate and assist in relieving headaches and sinus trouble.
- Bladder 2 (UB-2): these are found bilaterally where the nose meets the edge of the eyebrows, in line with the inner edge of the eyes.
- Liver 20 (LI-20). This point is found at the sides of the nose bilaterally, on the grooved edges where the cheek and nostril meet.
- Stomach 2 (ST-2). Locate these bilateral points about an inch directly below the pupils at the upper portion of the maxillary bone of the cheek.
- Large intestine 4 (LI-4). A noted point to relieve a headache is found in the webbing of the hand between the thumb and forefinger. If you palpate the ‘meaty’ area of the webbing and squeeze, you can easily locate this sensitive spot. Hold this point with firm pressure and you will not only feel the pain in the webbing diminish but by breathing through the pressure, your headache will ease.
How to stimulate pressure points:
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
- Take a deep breath.
- Place firm pressure on pressure points bilaterally with your fingertip.
- Use motion in different directions with your fingertip to stimulate the point such as up and down and small circles without lifting your fingers for at least 20 seconds.
- Repeat as needed.
What essential oils help with sinus headaches and pressure?
Sinus pressure and headaches are both caused by mucus buildup in the sinuses and for many of us, a cold or flu oftentimes leads to sinus headaches, sinus infections and seemingly endless nasal congestion.
The first order of business when using essential oils during the cold season is to initiate the healing process, stop the virus in its tracks and open up the airways by breaking up congestion. The act of minimizing congestion will placate sinus pressure and lessen the pain of sinus headaches.
Two essential oils in particular which are an integral part of the essential oil blend Stuffy Nose & Sinus Relief, Eucalyptus oil and Peppermint oil, are key to the relief of nasal congestion, sinus pain and headaches due to their talent of loosening phlegm and opening the airways. Together they are unstoppable aromatherapy rock stars that extend reprieve by breaking up congestion and fighting the viruses and bacteria that are the root cause of phlegm build-up and pressure headaches.
Home remedies to relieve and recover from a sinus headache and sinus pressure:
- Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face with a drop of essential oil.
- Use 1-2 drops of decongesting essential oils such as Stuffy Nose & Sinus Relief EO blend with steam inhalation. The moist air and the essential oils will reduce sinus inflammation and break up mucus to drain and relieve pressure and headache.
- Make a chest and back rub by adding 15 drops of Stuffy Nose & Sinus Relief to one ounce of carrier oil or unscented cream.
- Add 6-10 drops to 100 ml of distilled water to your home diffuser.
- Use pressure points for headaches.
Which essential oils are helpful to relieve congestion and upper respiratory tract infections?
Delightfully, there are a number of natural remedies for upper respiratory infections, colds and flu as well as sinus congestion and headaches. One, in particular, is an essential oil blend that can tackle even the toughest of infections due to its outstanding combination of essential oils.
Let's take a quick look at this powerhouse blend and the best essential oils behind Stuffy Nose & Sinus Relief.
- Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia): Spike Lavender oil is more energizing than its sister Lavandula angustifolia. Its properties are more potent due to its camphor content. Spike Lavender has properties that are antimicrobial, pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and like its sister, has the ability to boost mood.
- Eucalyptus globulus: Also known as blue gum, Eucalyptus essential oil is well known for its ability to support healthy breathing, break up congestion and promote sinus drainage as well as allergy relief. Its main component, 1,8-cineole, is largely responsible for these actions. It is a must-use for headaches and mental clarity and brings focus to an otherwise cloudy mind.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Peppermint is long known for its ability to energize a room and quell bloating and digestive issues. In a blend for sinus issues including sinus infection, Peppermint can open the breath and ease inflammation in the air passages. For those with a spastic cough, it will calm and allay those due to its antispasmodic and pain-relieving actions.
- Fir Needle (Abies siberica): The aromatics of a pine forest can bring calm and patience to us all and invite a fresh outlook. The oil is made from the needles of the tree which are responsible for the tree's gaseous exchange - leaf oils are indicated in aromatherapy for aiding the breath. During cold and flu season, we can employ Fir Needle for our own cold symptoms to decongest and for its antimicrobial benefits. It is also analgesic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea): We all need for its offer of relaxation. The components linalyl acetate and linalool have proven themselves in studies to extend calming effects and bring about a relaxed state of mind, heart and body.
A few words of caution: Eucalyptus globulus and any products that contain it are contraindicated for children under the age of 10 due to its 1,8 cineole content. For cold symptoms in children, we recommend looking into gentler oils. You can read this post for a better understanding of OK for Kids essential oils. You can also try this blend for sniffles and other cold symptoms with kids ages 2+.
For those who suffer from asthma, it is recommended that they take a light whiff of the individual oil before using it in any form as Eucalyptus globulus can potentially restrict breathing.