If you prefer to read, the transcript is at the bottom of this page



If you, or someone you know has ever suffered through a sinus headache, this episode will have some great suggestions for getting through the next one easier and faster.  Sinus headaches can be a response to an allergy or can be an infection brewing inside your nasal passages.  Either way, discover the essential oil that will give you relief from pain, inflammation and congestion as well as some methods for quick relief.

I love sharing my 30+ years of aromatic experience and knowledge with your through my podcast. You’ll find personal stories, tutorials humor and inspiration in a warm and friendly manner.  It is my sincere hope that you will feel inspired to explore essential oils deeper after listening and learn what is possible for your health and well-being when you include aromatherapy into your life. Enjoy!


  • What is a Sinus Headache
  • 4 Common types of Headache
  • How a Sinus Headache is different
  • 5 Essential Oils for Sinus Headache Relief
  • 4 Methods of Application for Sinus Relief
  • 3 Recipes: Steam Inhalation, Nasal Inhaler, Roll-on (see show notes)
  • Smell My Life
  • Ask Liz


3 DIY Recipes for Sinus Headaches

1. Sinus Headache Steam Inhalation
(for detailed instructions see How to Do a Steam Inhalation)

  • 1 drops of Eucalyptus essential oils OR Black Spruce Essential Oil
  • 1 bowl of steaming water

Directions: Simply add 1 drop of your preferred essential oil to a bowl or mug of steaming hot water. Place a towel over your head and lean toward the steam, keeping your eyes closed. Inhaler for at least 5 minutes.

2. Sinus Headache Nasal Inhaler (helps to release congestion)
(for detailed instructions see How to Make a Nasal Inhaler)Ingredients:

  • 5 drops Black Spruce
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Peppermint
  • 1 Blank Inhaler – White

Directions:  Add these essential oils to the cotton wick that gets inserted into the blank inhaler. Use as often as needed and whenever symptoms arise.

3. Sinus Headache Topical Roll-on Blend
(for detailed instructions see directions see How To Make a Roll-on)Ingredients:

Directions: Apply to back of neck and forehead. Avoid the cheeks and eye area.

Thank you for listening and, until next time….

❤️ If you found this episode helpful, feel free to support the production with a small donation❤️

Aromatic Wisdom Podcast Episode 47: Essential Oils for Sinus Headaches

Liz: You're listening to the Aromatic Wisdom Podcast, Episode 47. Today I'm going to be talking about specific essential oils and their chemistry that are really good for addressing headaches, and give you a couple of recipes so you'll be able to start right away

Hello, friends! Welcome back to another episode of the Aromatic Wisdom Podcast. I'm so happy to have you here with me. My name is Liz Fulcher, and this podcast is designed to help you take your.
knowledge of aromatherapy to the next level so that no matter where you are on your aromatic journey - whether you're just starting out or you're a certified clinical aromatherapist - there's something for everyone! Even if you've been practicing aromatherapy for a long time, it's always good to review or hear something from another perspective.

I recently looked over the first 46 episodes prior to today's 47th episode. And I got the feeling that maybe I haven't had enough episodes where I simply share how to address a specific issue with either essential oils or hydrosols.

Therefore, I'm going to start adding more episodes like that. If there is a specific problem or an essential oil that you'd like me to cover, or you'd like to have an aromatic remedy, just write to me and I will make a show about it. You can write to me at the contact page of my website, AromaticWisdomInstitute.com/contact

About Today's Podcast Episode

Today I'll share about sinus headaches and how they differ from other headaches. I'll talk about how you can determine when it's a sinus headache by specific symptoms. Then I'll dive into five essential oils that can help; there are many more that can help, but I'm going to keep it to five.  I'll go through each essential oil and talk a bit about the chemistry of that oil so you have an understanding of makes each a good choice for sinus headaches. Then I'll give you four methods of application of those essential oils. And finally, I will put three recipes in the show notes.

Types of Headaches

There are a lot of different types of headaches that people can experience everything from being dehydrated to brain tumor, but the most common. Tension headaches, cluster headaches, migraines, and sinus headaches. Sometimes people think they have a migraine when actually it's just a sinus headache. And the big difference is in the symptoms and the level of pain, the pain of a migraine is so bad that it's really debilitating, that all you can do is crawl into bed for the rest of the day.

When you have a migraine, you pretty much can't function because the pain is so bad. With a sinus headache, though, you're still uncomfortable and there's pain, but you can still go about your day. What you're going to feel with a sinus headache is pain and pressure, and that pressure is kind of signature. The pressure tends to be around your eyes or behind your eyes; You will feel it over your cheeks, over the bridge of your nose, around your, up across your forehead, even all the way up to your temples. Although we don't have sinus passages in our temples, the pain can radiate up there.

Then, we start to feel tense from the pain and our whole head hurts. Your head may even throb with a sinus headache and it hurts to bend over or lie down because it increases the pressure. Now the pain is caused by inflammation. Good old inflammation. Gosh. I think 90% of our problems are there's some sort of point of inflammation in our body.

So that inflammation in our sinus passages is caused from either an allergic reaction or an infection. Your sinus passages swell up. Create even more mucus, which really clogs up everything and the channels that naturally keep them drained. They get blocked. So now you've got all this pressure that builds up into your sinus passages and cavities creating a lot of discomfort.

Five Essential Oils for Sinus Headache Relief

This is where our beautiful essential oils come into focus. The five essential oils that I've chosen to talk about in this episode for sinus headaches are

- Eucalyptus
- Spike Lavender
- Lemon
- Peppermint
- Black Spruce

Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus  This is a classic essential oil for all respiratory issues, especially when you use it in combination with a steam inhalation. The component which makes eucalyptus so helpful for sinus headaches is called 1,8 cineole and acts on receptors in the nasal mucus membranes to help reduce the stuffiness. I call this one of the "rockstar molecules" because it is so powerful and effective in what it does.  I'm in fact, I have an entire podcast episode dedicated just to essential oils high in one 1,8 cineole.  You can find it at AromaticWisdomInstitute.com/014.   The other thing I love about eucalyptus is that it is very uplifting. So if you have this headache and you're kind of dragging your butt, it helps to clear your mind and uplift your spirits a little bit eucalyptus and all the one eight Sineal essential oils come with a big safety banner do not use essential oils high in 1,8 cineole on kids under the age of 10

Spike Lavender, Lavandula latifolia First of all, it is a lavender and lavender's are always helpful in every situation. Lavender also helps with relaxation, but this particular lavender has camp. Which is really helpful for this kind of issue that we're talking about today.  It's also a personal favorite of mine is one I love to clean with, because I love that kick that comes from this lavender with the camper in it. So it's also high in the one eight Signo that we talked about with eucalyptus. So apart from being analgesic and. the camphor in this oil helps make it mucolytic, which means it thins, the mucus, making it easier to get out of your system.

Peppermint Mentha x piperita Peppermint is another classic headache relief essential oils . The Latin name is written with an X meant that because it is a hybrid. Peppermint essential oil is very high in a component called menthol. Menthol is what makes this essential oils so cooling. One of menthol's superpowers is being analgesic, which means that it is very effective at reducing pain and in particular topical pain.  If you were to use peppermint in a nasal inhaler, those molecules are going straight up your nose, into your sinus passages and will land on the mucus membranes and help to reduce some of the pain from your sinus.

Lemon Citrus limon   Beautiful, bright, uplifting lemon. Lemon is best known for its high level of d-limonene which is a component whose superpower is being an immunostimulant that helps support your immune system. Your body is already compromised because your sinus passages that are fighting for their life.

The last thing you want us to get really sick or sicker. So an immuno-stimulant is really a great addition to any blend. If you're having a sinus headache, also lemon, and actually all the citrus oils, orange grapefruit bergamot, they'll help lift your mood and promote kind of a sense of wellbeing. That's so important when you're just feeling lousy from having a headache.  So I love lemon. You could replace lemon. With grapefruit or orange in, um, in your blend.

Black Spruce Picea mariana Black Spruce is another personal favorite. Actually, I love all the "Christmas tree" oils; meaning all the conifer oils like the Spruces, the Firs, the Pines.  But Spruce in particular because of the aroma.  It is gorgeous and will make you feel like you're out in the forest. This particular essential oils has a really great affinity for the respiratory system as well. It's a super oil for for any kind of allergies, a cold or a flu for congestion. The chemistry of this oil is a little more complicated that the others I've talked about in this episode, but it is very high in two monoterpenes that are analgesic and mucolytic.

Methods of Application of Essential Oils for Sinus Headache

1. Steam Inhalation: Put one drop of essential oil in a cup or a bowl of hot water that has steam coming off of it.. It doesn't have to be boiling, but hot enough that there is steam coming off of it. You put in one drop of essential oil, put a towel over your head, lean over the bowl and breathe in.  That does a couple of things. First of all, it's very comforting and secondly, the essential oil wafts up into your sinus passages and can help give you relief.

Of the five essential oils I recommended, I'd probably only do a steam inhalation with eucalyptus and black spruce. That's not always convenient to do so you might want to make a nasal inhaler, which you can carry with you.

2. Nasal Inhaler: I have a blog post on how to make a nasal inhaler, and I'll put a link to that in the show notes, but that's something to throw in your pocket and take it with you and you just keep putting it in your nostril and sniffing. And, and that helps very much with keeping the essential oils up into your sinus passages to keep bacteria and things at bay and help you to feel better.

3. Roll-on: Another thing I like to use for sinus headaches are making a roll-on or a roller bottle. I also have a blog post on how to make your own. You're applying the essential oil in a carrier oil with the roller bottle. And that is great for things like back of the neck, your chest, even, I'd be really careful about using the roller ball across your face, up at the temples. Even rolling over the forehead is okay, but keep the essential oils away from your eyes. Don't use them on the cheeks or across the sinus passages on the face.

4. Diffuser: And finally the last method of application for helping address a sinus headache is putting a central oils in a diffuser and sitting nearby. That would be a nice way to use essential oils before bed. Or if you have a home office keep the essential oil diffuser close to your desk while you're working. It's ot as direct as steam inhalation or a nasal inhaler, or even the topic application with a roll on, but you're still breathing in those components, those essential oil molecules.

Layering the Various Methods of Application
I like to use diffusion combined with the other methods of application. You can have a layering effect and use all of those oils in different methods of application. For example, eucalyptus in a steam inhalation, plus a roll-on with lemon and, say, Black Spruce essential oil plus add other essential oils, like Lemon and Peppermint in the diffuser, and so forth. It's a lot of fun to layer the essential oils in different methods of application to address one issue.

Three Essential Oil Recipes for Sinus Headache Relief
To wrap up this segment of the podcast, I have three recipes that I have written that I've used personally with success. They are in the Episode 47 show notes. If you are on the Aromatic Wisdom Institute website, you can open the transcript and I have this whole thing written out everything I'm saying, rather than read it to you on the podcast.

Smell My Life!
And now let's take a moment to smell my life!  🙂

I have a beautiful bottle of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). I use Lavender essential oils in SO many ways, but this past week I when I changed the sheets on my bed I sprinkled this beautiful new Lavender essential oil, all over the mattress after I removed the sheets; in particular up near where I lay my head so I can smell it when I get into bed.

The aroma of Lavender wafts up from the mattress, and it also kills dust mites. No matter how clean we are. We've always got dust mites on our mattress. I think I just imagined that helps kind of keep the dust mite population down. But when I put the clean sheets on and I get into bed at night, as I said, there's this that just rises up from the mattress. It's delightful.

Ask Liz
And finally the last segment of this podcast is called ask Liz.  Today I'm answering a question that was sent in to me by Sharon, who is a student of mine in the Hydrosols for Health Online Course. There is a private Facebook group for this training where students can ask questions or have conversations about aromatic waters called hydrosols.

Sharon asked this in the Facebook group:
"Is Lavender Hydrosol safe for birds?"  She knew of someone who wanted to use hydrosols with birds and wasn't sure if it was safe so she inquired in the group.  I said, "Sharon, it isn't clear why they want to use lavender hydrosol with their birds, but I see no reason why hydrosols would be dangerous. Essential oils, yes.  Don't use essential oils on animals unless you've had a special animal aromatherapy training. But hydrosols are a water product so they're safe for animals and infants and, I would say, also for birds.

Then, Amy, another student in the group who is an animal aromatherapist, added to the thread with this information. Amy said, "I'm an animal aroma therapist and I have a small parrot. I have diluted about a half a teaspoon of hydrosol in a spritz bottle and mist it over her. You could also put it in her bath water. I use neroli for anxiety because she's fearful from a traumatic past. I agree with Liz. Birds don't have a strong sense of smell, but have a very sensitive respiratory system." That was terrific input from Amy, that she has the experience with the bird and experience with Neroli Hydrosol. So even I learned from that question! That's it for this week's segment called, Ask Liz.

That's all for Episode 47! If you're enjoying the podcast, I would be so delighted if you went into Apple Podcasts and leave a review. The positive reviews  help other people find the podcast. If that is something you feel led to do, I would be very appreciative.

Next episode, Number 48, I'm going to be talking all about Tea Tree Hydrosol!

Until then, Be Happy, Be Well

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