Top 12 Essential Oils for Cough that Can Replace Your Drugs

Written by: Yuvika Iyer

Published on: Nov 11, 2019

Top 12 Essential Oils for Cough that Can Replace Your Drugs

Spread the freshoair

Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by Yuvika Iyer

Is your cough irritating you? Tried drugs that don’t seem to improve it? Know about 12 essential oils for cough that can help you banish cough naturally.

Why Use Essential Oils for Cough

Irritated with a persistent cough that doesn’t seem to go away?

Common cold most often gives rise to flu and different respiratory conditions.

It typically starts as a persistent cough that makes you stay up at night and your breathing difficult.

Every year many people develop a cough and cold.

The thing is most people are not aware of effective natural remedies that can help to control the symptoms.

Essential oil for cough can be of huge help here.

They are loaded with magical healing properties such as antiviral, expectorant, antibacterial, and antispasmodic properties.

Research backs the claims too.

A recent research report published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) stated that OTC (Over-the-counter) cough medications are not proven to be supportive in treating kids and children under 6 years.

If you want to live healthy, using OTC drugs makes no sense.

Many people are resorting to alternative medicines and therapies for more effective cough remedies.

Why not try out one and see for yourself?

Using essential oil for cough helps by relaxing your respiratory muscles, diluting the thickness of mucus and substantially reduce the intensity of cough.

How Essential Oils Help in Fighting Cough

Some develop persistent cough due to multiple reasons which include chest infection, congestion, cold or flu.

Essential oils calm the nerves of your throat, clear the thickness of mucus and reduce inflammation in the process.

Essential oil for Cough works in 2 ways:

  • Deal with the root cause of cough by eliminating toxins, bacteria, and viruses that are triggering the problem
  • Relieve the symptoms of your cough by slackening mucous, soothing the tired muscles of your respiratory systems and pumping more oxygen into your lungs.
  • You can try a combination of these essential oils or use one of them to treat symptoms of cough.

Top 12 Essential Oils for Cough that Work

Eucalyptus essential oil

All of us are not aware of the raw power of eucalyptus oil and use it without fully realizing it’s potential.

OTC chest rubs or vapors marketed to treat coughs often have eucalyptus oil as one of the core components.

They sometimes include the key compound of the oil, known as cineole or eucalyptol.

Alternative Medicine Review published a recent study which found that eucalyptol contains antimicrobial properties and fight off the illness-causing bacteria.

Eucalyptol may significantly reduce inflammation, soothe the tiredness of respiratory muscles, and relieve pain resulting from flu or cold.

Eucalyptus essential oil can be widely used to relieve you from cough symptoms. You may want to try the following methods:

  • Pour a few eucalyptus oil drops into one ounce of carrier oil and gently rub the blend onto your throat and chest.
  • Dilute eucalyptus oil in the correct ratio in boiling water and inhale the vapor or steam.
  • You can easily buy chest rubs with eucalyptus oil from leading online retailers.

Check eucalyptus essential oils on Amazon

Rosemary essential oil

Every person interested in growing herbs in their garden must have tried rosemary.

It contains cineole just like eucalyptus, which is extremely potent in relieving cough symptoms.

A recent study published in the journal Cough revealed that cineole breaks up your mucus and considerably reduces inflammation in the process.

Check rosemary essential oils on Amazon

Peppermint essential oil

When you use any natural care product to treat respiratory conditions, the high chances are that it contains peppermint oil.

Menthol is a peppermint extract, and when you inhale, it brings a cooling sensation on your scratchy or numb throat.

A study done in 2013 suggests that regular use of peppermint oil with recommended dosage by a healthy person can help to relax their bronchial muscles known as the windpipe.

This explains the role of the peppermint essential oil for cough in making breathing easier.

You can use peppermint essential oil in the following ways:

  • Put a few drops in the boiling water and thoroughly dilute them. Inhale the steam right away.
  • Add oil to a diffuser and diffuse them in regular interval
  • Use it after blending with other topical oils

Children, less than 8 years of age, and pregnant women are not recommended to use peppermint essential oil.

Check peppermint essential oils on Amazon

Frankincense essential oil

Frankincense essential oil is extracted from the Boswellia genus and often used in perfumes and incense.

It’s known to have been traditionally used to calm the irritating nerves of the respiratory system and treat catarrh, coughs, bronchitis, and asthma.

Check frankincense essential oils on Amazon

Oregano essential oil

Oregano essential oil consists of a powerful compound known as carvacrol.

A study on carvacrol conducted in 2014 found that it’s a potent antimicrobial agent can fend off your body from various types of germs.

Oregano essential oil for cough is effective at treating bacterial or viral triggers of cough and cold.

Check oregano essential oils on Amazon

Thyme essential oil

Thyme essential oil contains a high percentage of carvacrol, which may help in removing and safeguarding your body against bacteria and viruses.

Check thyme essential oils on Amazon

Nutmeg Essential Oil

Bergamot, nutmeg, and cypress essential oils contain a powerful compound called camphene, a component identical to camphor.

When you inhale this essential oil, you can feel the refreshing and cooling effect of camphene. Its antioxidant properties prevent toxic germs from damaging your cells.

Check nutmeg essential oils on Amazon

Geranium essential oil

A comprehensive review of studies published in Complementary Medicine Research reported that an extract from geranium known as Pelargonium Sidoides was considered as an herbal treatment for cough and cold.

The geranium essential oil comes with a rejuvenating floral aroma. You may put a few drops in your bath water or add in the diffuser for a better outcome. If you are already pregnant or planning to conceive, don’t use this oil.

Check geranium essential oils on Amazon

Cinnamon essential oil

While you may associate this spice more with cooking than for medicinal use, researchers of 2017 study found that cinnamon may protect your body against bacteria and viruses causing breathing troubles.

Pour a few drops of cinnamon oil to the diffuser or include it in a topical blend may relieve you from nasty cough symptoms.

Check cinnamon essential oils on Amazon

Tea tree essential oil

You can use Tea tree oil or Melaleuca to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria causing respiratory issues or sinus infections.

Australian Aboriginal people have long been using crushed tea tree leaves to treat the symptoms of colds and coughs.

If you follow their path and inhale the essence of tea tree oil, that will neutralize the effects of cough from your respiratory system.

Check tea tree essential oils on Amazon

Cypress essential oil

You can extract cypress oil from the smaller parts of the tree with needles as opposed to its typical leaves.

Its soothing coniferous aroma like most of the oils derived from similar trees like pine, but it can be a little sour and peppery and not sweet.

This needle tree is not the same as a Christmas tree.

Cypress helps relieve you from cough symptoms like bergamot with camphene as its core compound.

When you breathe its aroma, it gives you a soothing and cooling effect. It also helps your lungs function more efficiently.

The potent properties of cypress oil can act like a big-time stress reliever of your mind and body.

If you are planning to conceive, we recommend you not to use Cypress oil.

Check cypress essential oils on Amazon

Bergamot essential oil

Bergamot essential oil is extracted from a type of citrus fruit related to the orange family. This fruit is native to Europe.

It contains a sweet aroma which has been used in making natural perfumes since ages.

Bergamot contains camphene, which is a natural element in fighting chest congestion and treating cough in the process.

Apart from cough remedies, a bottle of bergamot essential oil or a few recommended drops in the right carrier oil.

It helps you fight depression, lower your blood sugar level, eliminate body odor, fight body pain, and relieve you from cramp and spasm.

Bergamot also helps in reduces fever, makes your skin healthy and glowing and works as a sedative to calm your restless mind.

Check bergamot essential oils on Amazon

How To Use Essential Oils For Cough

To take remedial measures for cough, you can resort to aromatherapy by inhaling essential oils through your mouth and nose.

Essential oils are loaded with strong elements; you need to use them in the recommended ratio and with due care.

The essential oils should be diluted and put in a diffuser or combined with another topical oil or carrier oil, to avoid further complications or reactions.

We never recommend you to ingest any essential oil directly.

You can use essential oils in different ways, depending on the severity of your symptoms and preference.

Check essential oil blends on Amazon


Diffusers convert water and essential oil into a vapor which you should inhale for instant relief from cough.

Check diffusers on Amazon

Steam bath

Pour a couple of essential oil drops on boiling water kept in a large bowl and inhale the steam.

Carrier oil

We recommend you to dilute your preferred essential oil in a carrier oil in the correct ratio and gently rub on your skin.

You can use the following natural carrier oils to mix with essential oils for lasting effect:

Check carrier oils on Amazon

Warm compress

Add a little amount of liquid soap and a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of lukewarm water.

Soak a towel in this mixed liquid and wrap it around your chest or head.

Handkerchief or tissue

Pour one or two drops of essential oils to a tissue or handkerchief.

Hold it close to your mouth and nose and inhale it to clear your nostril and respiratory system.

Regular use may relieve you from symptoms, even when you are outdoors.

If you have a severe cough, consult a doctor. The severity of your cough is signified by the following warning signs:

  • shortness of breath
  • You are spitting blood from cough
  • Drastic weight loss
  • You are diagnosed with low-grade fever lasting over 1 week
  • Recurring high fever
  • Risk factors for tuberculosis or HIV

Safety Tips for Using Essential Oils for Allergies

  • Always source high-grade essential oils from a reputed supplier
  • Follow the product label, thoroughly read the instructions and use the oils carefully
  • Do not use an undiluted version of essential oils directly on your skin
  • Don’t apply essential oils internally in any body parts
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women with small children should apply essential oils under the guidance and recommendation of a qualified health practitioner.
  • We recommend you to get a skin test done for allergic reactions before applying to a larger body part. If you don’t experience any adverse reaction within 24 hours, you can safely use it. Before applying test each essential oil separately to check its side effects.
  • If you want to start essential oil-based treatment, it’s always advisable to talk to your doctor before doing so.
  • U.S.FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Association) doesn’t regulate the use of essential oils, and you should use with caution, care, and recommended dosage.

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