Homemade Cough Remedies For Kids: Essential Oils To The Rescue

Coughs are a natural way for the body to try and get rid of a foreign object or irritant that is present in the respiratory tract. The cough reflex is a normal, natural process that helps protect you from inhaling something dangerous into your lungs and even allows you to wake yourself up if you fall asleep with an obstruction in your airway. In general, coughing should pass on its own after 12-24 hours if there are no restrictions and no underlying cause for concern. However, coughing can be quite annoying at times, especially when it happens regularly or with certain triggers like taking cold medicine or being around smokers. Moreover, in children, the cough has been associated with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Though these are very common conditions in children, it is best to recognize their symptoms early on so that you can take appropriate steps to prevent the problem from worsening.

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The treatment plan will be designed based on what medicines you have prescribed for your child and it will also depend on how serious the condition is. Essential Oils are good for treating cough, cold, and flu because they have antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. These oils can be used in adults and children provided that you dilute them with a carrier oil before applying on the skin. It is also a good idea to consult your physician so that he or she can advise you on the right dose of essential oil to apply to your child's skin. Generally, adults require a higher dose of essential oils than children so always use caution while administering essential oils to young children.

Best Essential Oils For Cough And Congestion In Kids:

1) Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It helps treat chest infections and respiratory infections like croup, bronchitis, upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), sinusitis, colds, and flu. Tea tree oil can be used on the entire body including the skin so it can be inhaled as a vapour. It is recommended that you dilute tea tree oil with an equal amount of carrier oil before applying it to the skin.

2) Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is perfect for treating cough and cold in kids as well as in adults. The menthol that is present in this oil has a soothing effect, which can reduce irritation and pain. It also helps to clear mucus from the upper respiratory tract, which can help with a stuffy nose, wheezing, and shortness of breath. You can add peppermint essential oil to a diffuser or vaporizer and fill it with water or put two drops of peppermint essential oil on your palms and inhale the vapors for 5-10 minutes daily until you see an improvement.

3) Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Roman chamomile is recommended for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers as it helps to calm them down and can help with calming fussiness. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with respiratory congestion. You can inhale Roman chamomile essential oil by putting two drops on the tongue and releasing it slowly. Alternatively, you can add 3-5 drops of Roman chamomile to a bowl full of water and mist several times a day until the symptoms clear.

4) Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties that are primarily used for treating respiratory infections like colds, coughs, and flu. Inhaling lavender essential oil can help treat symptoms like nasal congestion, runny nose, irritation of the skin inside the nose and throat, and even pain during a cough.

5) Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is a powerful antiseptic. It can help eliminate infections that might be causing your child's cough and its menthol can help in expectoration. You can add two drops of eucalyptus to 2 cups of water and inhale it through a face mask or even spray it on surfaces around kids to freshen up the air.

6) Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is highly recommended for toddlers, as it helps them to relax and calm down. You can add rosemary essential oil to a diffuser or even inhale the vapors from a bowl full of water.

7) Melaleuca Essential Oil

This is an excellent remedy for dealing with coughs in kids caused by colds, flu, and upper respiratory infections. It has natural antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties that are perfect for treating infection within the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract. The tea tree and eucalyptus oils are perfect for treating upper respiratory infections, while the lavender and Roman chamomile essential oils are great for treating coughs caused by colds.

8) Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil is best used for treating cough and congestion in kids caused by colds, flu, and other respiratory tract infections. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with pain inside your child's nose, throat, and chest. You can use frankincense as a vapor with a diffuser or a humidifier to help clear nasal congestion. It also has strong antimicrobial properties that can help make the air smell fresher in your home or office.

DIY Recipes Of Essential Oils For Kid's Cough And Congestion:


Recipe 1: Oil Mix For Congestion


  • 6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil,
  • 4 drops of peppermint essential oil, and
  • 2 drops of tea tree essential oil.


  • Add these oils to a bowl of water and mix with a spoon until you get a homogenous mixture.

Recipe 2: Ear Candling For Congestion



  • Insert the end of the stick into the ear canal (not in the ear drum) until it touches the eardrum.
  • Place it near a flame until you see white smoke coming out from both sides and then remove it after 10 minutes.

Recipe 3: Cough Drops For Congestion



  • Add the oils to a bowl of crushed ice and mix for about 30 seconds.
  • Then place the mixture in an ice cube tray, cover it with a lid, and put it in the freezer until it is solid.
  • Remove them from the ice cube tray and roll them in your hands to make round balls that are 1 cm (0.5 inches) in diameter.
  • Drop one ball into each nostril 3 times every hour during sleep.

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    1) How should I store essential oils for cough and congestion in kids?

    You should store oils in a dark, cool place away from direct sunlight. They can be refrigerated for long-term storage.

    2) How do I use essential oils for kids' coughs and congestion?

    Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil can be added to a vaporizer or diffuser, and the vapors inhaled. It is recommended to use only two drops of tea tree oil at a time to reduce any adverse effects. The other essential oils should be added to cold water and inhaled through a face mask or sprayed on surfaces like cushions, curtains, etc.