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There are essential oils that you can use to help ease the symptoms of a cough or cold by fighting bacteria, reducing inflammation, and soothing the throat. Using a nasal spray with a mixture of eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, and oregano extracts is known to provide relief for sore throat and other cough-related symptoms.

The medical community sees essential oils as a complementary alternative therapy, not as a medical treatment.

Here are the best essential oils used to improve breathing.


You can buy over-the-counter vapor rubs to help suppress coughs and often, their main ingredient is eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptol or cineole is a key eucalyptus oil compound used in the manufacture of vapor or chest rubs. It has anti-microbial properties, helps fight off bacteria-causing illnesses and supports an easier breathing.

You can add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil to make a rubbing mixture to be applied directly to the chest and throat.


Rosemary is more commonly used as an herb for cooking but rosemary essential oil is used to relieve cough symptoms and improve breathing. It also contains the compound cineole. It is known to help reduce inflammation and break up mucus.


Most products used to treat respiratory issues often contain peppermint essential oil. Menthol is a known extract of peppermint. Inhaling menthol creates a cooling sensation that helps soothe your itchy throat.

You can dilute peppermint oil in boiling water and inhale the steam or you can add a few drops to a diffuser.


Oregano contains high levels of a compound, carvacrol, an anti-microbial agent. It is effective in fighting off germs. It helps treat viral or bacterial cough.


Frankincense is more commonly used in the production of perfumes and incense. But is known to have a positive effect on the respiratory system. It is used to treat asthma, coughs, and bronchitis and it improves breathing.


Thyme contains high levels of carvacrol, like oregano, that may help to fight bacteria and helps to improve breathing and clearing the airways.


Essential Oils Ireland