Treating Bronchitis with Essential Oils

Treating BronchitisIt’s cold and flu season.

And for many of people, that turns into a case of bronchitis and/or a sinus infection.

More and more people are suffering from bronchitis – some caused by allergies, others as the result of a cold or the flu.  Regardless of the cause, it’s happening more frequently due in large part to the increased pollution and allergens in the air we breathe.

Once they develop bronchitis, most people turn to antibiotics to battle the infection. The more often they develop bronchitis, the more often they take antibiotics and the less effective the antibiotics become.

It becomes a never ending cycle.

The good news is that bronchitis can be treated with essential oils and help preserve the body’s own immunities instead of compromising them with too many antibiotics.

Here are some tips on using essential oils to treat bronchitis:

What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is caused by congestion and inflammation of the bronchial passages – the “tubes” that take air into the lungs.  When the tubes are irritated by pollutants, allergens or infection, they become inflamed or swollen and that makes it harder for the air to get through to the lungs.

Then the irritation causes you to develop chest congestion.  If the congestion is caused by thick mucus, it’s harder for your body to cough it up and get it out of your chest.  And that can lead to even more serious problems like pneumonia.

Bronchitis is usually classified as:

  • Acute which means you get it suddenly, like with a cold or the flu; or
  • Chronic which means you get it all the time.  You could have a bacterial infection in your lungs that you’re just not getting rid of or it could be caused by some kind of environmental problem like dust or mold or respiratory allergies

How to Treat Bronchitis With Essential Oils

Good therapeutic grade essential oils are great for treating bronchitis and respiratory issues.  The key phrase there is therapeutic grade essential oils.  If you’re using oils that aren’t therapeutic or  medicinal grade, they could contain fillers, coloring or other substances that make your problems worse. ALWAYS use therapeutic grade oils for treating medical issues.

You can use them in several different ways:

  • Diffuse them and breathe the vapors
  • Make a good massage oil by mixing them with a carrier oil (like extra virgin olive oil or good coconut oil) and rub them on your chest, neck and bottoms of your feet
  • Take them internally to fight off the infection

One way to get quick relief and breathe easier is steam therapy.

  1. Heat a bowl of water to the point where it’s steaming really well (doesn’t have to be boiling)
  2. Add 4 drops of eucalyptus oil into the water (Eucalyptus radiata is a good one)
  3. Place your face over the bowl and breathe the vapors. This works best if you “tent” your head with a towel to keep the steam from escaping.HINT: This works great for sinus issues and sinus headaches, too!

Best Oils and Blends for Treating Bronchitis

Here’s a recipe for a chest rub that works well for bronchitis:

  • 12 drops Eucalyptus radiata
  • 5 drops Peppermint
  • 5 drops Thyme
  • 1 ounce extra virgin olive oil

Mix well and rub on your chest and throat several times a day.

Other oils and blends that work well and bring relief to bronchitis sufferers are:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Frankincense
  • Rosemary
  • Marjoram
  • Pine Needle
  • Cedarwood
  • Myrtle
  • Ravensara
  • RC

Any of these can be used topically by mixing them with extra virgin olive oil and rubbing them onto your chest, neck and the bottoms of your feet.  Always mix these with a carrier oil as they can cause some skin irritation if you don’t dilute them a bit.

If your bronchitis is caused by an infection, there are several good antibiotic mixtures you can make and take internally to give your body some help in fighting off the infection.

The one I’ve had most success with is:

  • 6 drops oregano
  • 12 drops Thieves
  • 2 drops frankincense

But two other options are:

  • 10 drops lemon
  • 8 drops mountain savory
  • 3 drops oregano
  • 1 drop of cinnamon


  • 8 drops clove
  • 5 drops thyme
  • 5 drops oregano

You can take any of these antibiotic mixtures the same way.  Mix the oils together, place in a gelatin capsule and take four times a day until your symptoms subside.  Then take once a day for 10 more days.

Use whichever one works best for you.

And remember, keep plenty of Thieves oil handy from the very beginning of cold and flu season. You can take 2 or 3 drops a day in a gelatin capsule from the start of the season and head these evil viruses off at the pass.  That will make everything you’ve just read a moot point by keeping yourself from getting sick in the first place.

If you have questions about any of these oils or blends or just want more information about using essential oils to get healthy and stay healthy, email me at

Mountain Rose Herbs
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7 Responses to Treating Bronchitis with Essential Oils

  1. Pingback: Stay Well With Essential Oils

  2. Mary says:

    Do you have to place the drops of oil in gelatin capsules? Can you just drink them in water or something else?

    • Susie Bryan says:

      Yes, you can drink some in water or in soy or rice milk. I usually use the gel caps because some of the oils have a really strong taste. All a matter of preference.

  3. Jessica Kazantzidis says:

    Both my kids (2.5y and 5m) are sick with a cold. I put some eucalyptus oil on a wash cloth and hung it over the head board of the toddlers bed and near the foot of the bassinet. I’ve used it for my daughter in the past but I was wondering if it would irritate the lungs at all (especially the baby ). Thoughts?

    • Susie Bryan says:

      Eucalyptus may be a little strong for your baby. Try thyme, lemon, memameuca alternifolia, rosemary or sandalwood instead. Always dilute the oils 1 or 2 drops of oil to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for babies and children.

  4. Gary Reichenbacker says:

    Where can we buy the gel caps?



    • Susie Bryan says:

      Hi Gary! You can buy gel caps at just about any health food store. I usually pick mine up at Whole Foods or online through Amazon.

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