best essential oils for cough

The 8 Best Essential Oils for Cough (Approved By Science)

Alright, so picture this - you're enjoying a cozy evening and suddenly, a tickle in your throat turns into a persistent cough. It's annoying, right? But before you reach for the over-the-counter cough syrup, have you ever considered using essential oils as a natural remedy?

Coughing is a common reflex action that clears your airways of irritants and mucus. While it's usually a symptom of a cold or flu, it can also be caused by allergies, smoking, or even acid reflux. And let's be real - constantly reaching for cough drops or syrup can be a drag. That's where essential oils come in.

Essential oils are concentrated extracts from plants, and they're known for their various therapeutic properties. These oils have gained popularity as a natural remedy for cough due to their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and soothing properties.

In this article, we'll take a look at some common causes of cough and how essential oils can offer some relief. Who knows, you might just find your new go-to remedy! 

Benefits of Essential Oils for Cough 

 Essential oils have multiple benefits for cough. Whether you have a dry, hacking cough or a phlegmy, chesty one, there's an essential oil out there that could help soothe your throat and ease your symptoms.

  • Their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties can help to calm irritated airways, reducing the urge to cough.
  • Many essential oils also have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which can help to fight off the underlying cause of the cough, whether it be a bacterial or viral infection.
  • In addition, the relaxing effects that certain essential oils have on the respiratory system can help to open up the airways and promote easier breathing, providing relief from coughing symptoms. 

Which Are the Best Essential Oils for Coughing?

what are the best essential oils for cough?

When it comes to finding the best essential oils for coughing, there are a few stand-out options to consider.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is known for its ability to help with respiratory issues, making it a popular choice for cough relief. According to a study in the Alternative Medicine Review, eucalyptol demonstrates antimicrobial properties and has the potential to combat bacteria responsible for various illnesses.

Additionally, it is suggested that eucalyptol may contribute to inflammation reduction, pain relief, and alleviation of muscle tension often associated with colds or flu.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is also effective in soothing a cough due to its cooling and calming properties.

In 2013, research indicated that the use of peppermint oil by individuals in good health may contribute to the relaxation of bronchial muscles, responsible for the windpipe's function.

This observation suggests a potential explanation for why peppermint oil could assist in improving breathing for individuals experiencing coughs.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon oil can help to clear congestion and support the immune system, making it a great option for cough relief.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is another powerful option, with its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties helping to ease cough symptoms. 

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca) has the ability to stop the growth of harmful bacteria, known to be a contributor to sinus infections and respiratory problems.

Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is known for its calming and soothing effects, which can be beneficial for coughing and promoting relaxation.

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is often recommended for its ability to support the respiratory system and provide relief for coughing.

Thyme Oil

Thyme oil is another top contender for cough relief, as it has been used for centuries for its expectorant properties that can help loosen and clear mucus from the respiratory system.

Geranium Oil

Geranium oil is also often cited for its potential to alleviate coughing and respiratory discomfort. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it a great choice for promoting healthy lung function and providing relief from coughs. 

How to Use Essential Oils to Treat Coughs

Essential oils can be a natural and effective way to treat coughs.

Steam Inhalation

One method is steam inhalation, where a few drops of essential oil, such as eucalyptus or peppermint, are added to a bowl of hot water and the steam is inhaled. This can help to open up the airways and provide relief from coughing.

Topical Application 

Another option is to use essential oils topically by mixing a few drops with a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, and rubbing the mixture onto the chest and throat. This can help to reduce inflammation and soothe the cough.


Additionally, diffusing essential oils in a room can help to purify the air and provide respiratory support. Oils such as lavender, tea tree, and rosemary can be used for their antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Warm Compress

Dip a towel in a bowl of warm water infused with a few drops of essential oil and a small amount of liquid soap. Gently drape the soaked towel over the head or chest for a soothing experience.

Handkerchief or Tissue

Place one or two drops of essential oil onto a handkerchief or tissue. Inhale by holding it near the mouth and nose, offering potential relief from symptoms, even in outdoor settings.

Who shouldn’t use essential oils for cough?- Precautions & Considerations 

When using essential oils for cough, it is important to take certain safety precautions and considerations into account.

  1. First and foremost, it is crucial to consider the safety of essential oil usage for children and pregnant women. Some essential oils can be harmful or may cause adverse effects for these populations, so it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils on them.
  2. Additionally, proper dilution and usage of essential oils is essential to ensure safety and effectiveness. Essential oils are highly concentrated and should never be used undiluted on the skin or ingested without proper guidance. It is important to follow recommended dilution ratios and usage guidelines provided by reputable sources.
  3. Allergies and sensitivities should also be taken into consideration when using essential oils for cough. Some individuals may have allergic reactions or sensitivities to certain essential oils, so it is important to do a patch test before applying the oil topically or using it in a diffuser.

Additional Tips for Cough Relief 

Some additional tips to get rid of that coughing are as follows:

  • Hydration and rest are essential for allowing the body to fight off the underlying cause of the cough, so be sure to drink plenty of water and get adequate rest.
  • Warm beverages, such as herbal tea or broth, can also provide relief by soothing the throat and helping to thin out mucus.
  • Additionally, adding a spoonful of honey to your warm beverage can provide added benefits, as honey has natural antibacterial properties and can help to coat and soothe the throat.
  • Finally, it's important to avoid irritants such as smoke, strong odors, and cold air, as these can exacerbate a cough.

When to visit a doctor for treating cough?

  1. According to American Lung Association, If you have a cough that lasts for more than three weeks, or if you are experiencing other symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, or coughing up blood, it's important to visit a doctor.
  2. Additionally, if your cough is severe and is interfering with your daily activities or affecting your sleep, it's best to seek medical attention.
  3. It's especially important to see a doctor if you have a chronic illness such as asthma, COPD, or heart disease, as a cough could be a sign of a flare-up or exacerbation of your condition.
  4. In some cases, a persistent cough could be a symptom of a more serious underlying health issue such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or even lung cancer. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Essential Oils for Cough

1. What are essential oils and how can they help with cough?

Essential oils are concentrated liquids extracted from plants, known for their therapeutic properties. When inhaled or applied, essential oils can help alleviate coughs by clearing the respiratory passages, soothing irritation, and supporting the body's natural healing process.

4. Can I use essential oils to treat dry cough?

Yes, essential oils may help reduce coughs, including dry coughs. Oils such as lavender and lemongrass have calming properties that can help soothe and relieve a dry cough.

6. Can essential oils be used to treat both coughs and colds?

Yes, essential oils can be beneficial for both coughs and colds as they may help to reduce cough severity and alleviate respiratory symptoms.

7. Are there specific essential oils that can help with a sore throat?

Peppermint essential oil and tea tree essential oil are known to have properties that can help soothe a sore throat when used appropriately.

8. Can essential oils help with bronchitis-related cough?

Some essential oils, such as thyme essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil, have been shown to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help with bronchitis-related cough. These oils can help to reduce inflammation and clear congestion in the respiratory system, which can provide relief from coughing.

9. Can essential oils help to reduce mucus with cough?

Essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree have been shown to have decongestant properties and can help to reduce mucus production when inhaled. 

10. Can essential oil help to treat sinuses?

Essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil have been used for their sinus-clearing properties. These oils can help to reduce inflammation and open up the nasal passages, providing relief from sinus congestion and pressure. 


In conclusion, essential oils offer a natural and effective solution for relieving cough symptoms. Eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, frankincense, thyme, and geranium oils are standout options to consider.

Moreover, If you're considering trying essential oils for cough relief, check out our collection  of premium essential oils. Elevate your respiratory well-being with our natural and effective remedies.

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