Updated 08 November 2019

Should you shower with eucalyptus to get sinus relief?

The antibacterial properties of eucalyptus will open up your nasal passages and reduce any inflammation in the area.

So you think you've tried everything to relieve your sinusitis? But have you tried showering with eucalyptus? It might just be nature's answer. 

Natural cleanse

Eucalyptus forms part of the diet of the Australian koala bear, but luckily you won’t have to eat it to reap the benefits; we’re just suggesting you shower with it.

Eucalyptus, originally used as a medicine by the Aborigines, is packed with all kinds of healing properties. Unlock these properties by popping this nutrient-rich plant in your shower.

You can buy some fresh eucalyptus branches from your local florist. Tie them together with some garden twine; it’s a little more absorbent than cotton twine. Once you have a big enough bouquet, attach the bouquet to your shower head with some more twine.

Do not hang the leaves directly under the stream of water, as this will make them spoil sooner. Once your "nature shower" is set up, let the steam do its thing.

Replace the leaves every two weeks. 

Breathe in deeply

The steam from the shower will help to release the essential oils from the plant. Its antibacterial properties will open up your nasal passages and reduce any inflammation in the area. Eucalyptus has also been known to remedy sinus headaches efficiently. 

You’ll be able to relieve any congestion or stuffiness as it helps to push out phlegm. By breathing in deeply, the calming aroma can rid your mind and body of stress, alleviate pain and improve your mood. 

It is said that the plant is capable of boosting your immune system and its anti-parasitic properties can also help repel or treat head lice.

However, be careful with it around your pets. Eucalyptus can be toxic to cats and dogs if ingested.

If you’re not that eager to have your bathroom smelling like eucalyptus, but you still want to reap the benefits of the oils, you can buy the oil from a wellness store or pharmacy.

Add some drops to your temples to get rid of sinus headaches. Try adding two to three drops of eucalyptus oil to some water and inhale deeply to help relieve sinuses. 

Image credit: iStock


Ask the Expert

Sinusitis Expert

Dr Gary Kroukamp MBCHB, FCORL(SA) is an ENT Specialist, practising from rooms at Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont, Cape Town. He also has a teaching sessional appointment as an ENT Consultant at the Tygerberg Hospital. He is a member of the ENT Society of South Africa and the South African Cochlear Implantation Group. His interests in the ENT field include sinusitis and sinus surgery, nasal allergy and ENT conditions in children.

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