Essential Oils For Croup

Treating Croup With Essential Oils

Croup is every parent’s nightmare. Although it most often affects children aged 2 and under, it’s not uncommon in older children. Finding an effective treatment quickly becomes paramount when your child is suffering from that tale-tale barking cough. 

Croup may begin with the symptoms of a common cold, not surprising since the most common source of the ailment is one of several easily transmitted viruses. So it should also not be surprising that, as with the common cold, this uncomfortable malady can often be prevented by frequent handwashing and staying away from other children who have been diagnosed with the illness. 

Of course, no matter how careful you may be, your child may still contract the illness. But don’t panic, croup generally lasts about the same amount of time as a cold and is usually treatable at home. Only if symptoms persist or worsen do more serious measures need to be taken. 

The most noticeable symptoms of croup are a barking cough and possibly stridor, which is a raspy sound when breathing. These symptoms are caused by irritation and swelling around the vocal cords, windpipe, and bronchial tubes. There are several ways to ease the symptoms and quicken your child’s recovery time. 


Essential oils are a natural alternative treatment. There are a number of these oils which have been shown to be especially effective for anyone suffering from croup symptoms. Studies have shown the benefit of these oils for an easier recovery.

Essential oils are versatile and many can be used by any age group. Here are some of the top choices for croup:


Essential Oils For Croup

Plantlife Evergreen 100% Pure Essential Oil Blend - 10ml
Evergreen Essential Oil
Use for Aromatherapy, Massage, Vaporizer, Diffusion, Oil Burner, Inhalation, Compress, Perfume, Essential Oil Blends, Spa, Health and Wellness, Bath, Home Care, Scent Your Own Products.
Origanum Majorana From a culinary additive to a health-care ingredient, Marjoram essential oil comes packed with benefits. The “winter sweet” as it’s commonly referred to, is a very powerful oil. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Lavandula Angustifolia Cherished for over centuries, lavender essential oil is renowned for its unmistakable aroma as well as myriad benefits. With topical, internal and aromatic applications, the oil definitely has a lot to bring on the table. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Eucalyptus globulus Eucalyptus essential oil is primarily gathered from Australian eucalyptus trees, so perhaps it is appropriate that it is most widely used to promote relaxation!* Applications: Aromatic, Topical  
Boswellia Renowned as one of the most beneficial essential oils, frankincense is truly a gift of nature. It brings a range of splendid advantages and it’s truly precious, to say the least. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Santalum album Deriving from the wood of the Indian Sandalwood, this essence comes packed with various benefits. It is versatile in its application and it provides a range of different advantages. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal
Healing Solutions Tea Tree 100% Pure Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil, 30 ml
Tea Tree Essential Oil
The most unique and amazing smelling tea tree on the market; if you are not absolutely amazed, receive a full refund no questions asked!
from $5.99
Thymus vulgaris Recognized  for centuries for its purifying properties, thyme has many uses beyond the kitchen. Use it in numerous ways to cleanse all parts of your life. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  


1. Evergreen Essential Oil

Evergreen oil has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years. This aromatic oil can be used as an inhalant or topical treatment to help ease breathing and shrink swollen membranes.

Never apply essential oils full strength. The oils should be suspended in a carrier oil such as safflower, coconut, almond, or avocado oil. 

How to use it:

  • until you have tested your child’s reaction, start with a weak solution, 2-4 drops to 2 oz. carrier–can be increased to up to 10 drops

  • add to hot water, diffuser, or vaporizer and inhale aroma

  • massage on throat/chest (in prescribed amounts)


  • keep oil out of reach of children

Evergreen oil has antiviral, anti-analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties to help fight against colds and croup. It’s woodsy scent is refreshing and calming, helping your child to sleep.


2. Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential OilMarjoram oil is extracted from the leaves of the marjoram plant and was used in ancient times in Greek and Mediterranean cultures. It is a well-known treatment for cold and flu symptoms.

Marjoram is an aromatic treatment that helps to clear the sinuses and relax airways for easier breathing. It may also be used as a massage to relieve tightness in muscles due to your child’s effort to breath more freely. 


How to use it:

  • dilute in carrier, 5-10 drops per 2 oz. of carrier or as prescribed

  • add to diffuser of vaporizer as an inhalant


  • massage a weak solution into chest, throat, or on feet

  • dilute with water instead of oil and spray in room


Marjoram oil helps to alleviate croup symptoms with it’s antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

It’s spicy scent is remeniscent of the orient. As with may other essential oils, it should be kept out of reach of children and stored at room temperature in a cool location. 


3. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential OilLavendar oil is extremely popular for its calming effect. It can help children with croup to sleep easier and alleviate cough. For croup, the best application of lavender may be topical, although it is also used in aromatherapy for its calming properties.

How to use it:

  • dilute as prescribed after testing

  • rub on back, chest, or sole of feet

  • optionally, add to diffuser or vaporizer

Lavendar is a non-toxic, non-irritating folk remedy that is safe for all skin types. This oil has powerful healing and soothing properties and is found in any number of products.

Lavendar is safe for all ages, including infants. As an essential oil, it should be closed tightly and kept away from direct sunlight or heat. 


4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus Essential OilThe camphor-like aroma of Eucalyptus oil has made it popular as an inhalant for relieving the congestion of colds and flue. For children suffering from croup, this oil can help to open airways, relieving stridor and easing a cough. 

How to use it:

  • begin with a weak concentration for young children, 2 drops per 2 oz carrier, can go as high as 10

  • massage on chest and throat

  • add a few drops to vaporizer or diffuser

  • add to water instead of carrier to use a spray in room

Eucalyptus is a very powerful oil that should not be used with infants under 6 months old. It should always be kept out of the reach of children. Eucalyptus oil is also believed to be an energy booster along with clearing clogged sinuses. 


5. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential OilFrankincense has been recognized in the east since biblical times for its rejuvenating capabilities. The oil has a calming effect and helps encourage deep breathing along with restoring energy levels.

Frankincense supports healthy lungs and can be combined with peppermint oil as an effective topical treatment. 


How to use it:

  • dilute as prescribed, begin with weaker solution of 2 drops per 2 oz. carrier for younger children

  • optionally, add 2 drop peppermint oil to mixture

  • add to diffuser or vaporizer as inhalant

  • after testing in a small area of skin for reaction, rub on bottom of feet


Frankincense oil’s astringent properties can help kill germs and bacteria. It also helps boost the immune system, aiding in quicker recovery time. The oil’s calming capabilities help relieve the stress of illness. Keep the oil out of nose, eyes, ears, or mouth. As with other oils, keep frankincense out of the reach of children. 


6. Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood Essential OilAlthough Sandalwood oil is best known in Western cultures for its use in perfumes and incense, it also has medicinal properties that can be helpful for alleviating croup symptoms. It can be used as an inhalant or ointment to help calm and heal.

How to use it:

  • begin with a weaker solution of two drops per 2 oz. of carrier to test reaction, can slowly increase as prescibed

  • add a few drops to a diffuser or vaporizer as an inhalant

  • after testing on a small patch of skin, rub on chest or feet

Along with its calming effect, sandalwood is also astringent, antiviral, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory. This oil also has expectorant properties to help clear airways if needed. Sandalwood can be a bit expensive, as it becoming increasingly rare.


7. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil comes to us from Australia. It is known for its pungent aroma that can help open airways as well as heal irritations and inflammations. It can be applied topically or inhaled to ease breathing and help aid the overall recovery process.

How to use it:

  • mix 15 drops in 2 oz. water and use it to spay the room

  • begin with 5 drops per 2 oz. carrier to add to a vaporizer

  • after testing on a small area, apply to chest and throat

Tea tree oil is non-toxic and hypoallergenic. It can be applied directly to the skin, but always test on a small patch first in case of adverse reactions. This oil is safe for any age, newborn to elderly.

However, it should not be ingested. Keep it out of the reach of children. Tea tree oil is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial.


8. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme Essential OilThyme oil is one of the strongest-known herbal antioxidants. It has powerful calming properties along with its many healing effects. The oil can act as a sleep aid and is especially helpful with infections in the chest and the throat, including croup.

This essential oil can also be used either topically or as an inhalant to help ease symptoms and combat the viral causes.

How to use it:

  • combine 1-2 drops in 2 oz. of carrier and rub on chest and throat

  • add 2-4 drops to diffuser as an inhalant

  • optionally, combine 3 drops thyme and 3 drops peppermint oil to diffuser

  • after testing on a small area for reactions, rub a small amount on the chest


Thyme is not recommended for use with children under 2 years old. It can be a skin irritant for some people so make sure you try it on a test patch first. Thyme is known for its ability to fight infections and kill bacteria. It also helps to rid the body of toxins and lessen stress.


Final Thoughts

Essential oils have become an increasingly important part of homeopathic medicine in recent years. However, their application is not always an exact science. If you have any concerns about treating a child suffering from croup, contact a medical advisor before you begin.

Remember that essential oils need to be diluted in order to avoid skin irritation and should not be ingested unless safety is clearly stated. When using these oils with young children, it’s a good idea to begin with less than the recommended dilution for the sake of caution. 

Monitor your child’s symptoms carefully. If they grow worse or continue for more than a few days, call your doctor. If your child cannot speak or seems to be struggling to catch his or her breath or has bluish lips or fingernails, seek emergency assistance. 

For most cases, essential oils can be applied at home for a quick recovery. As with cold or flu, croup cannot keep a healthy child down for long. Using essential oils can help alleviate discomfort while the illness is running its course.

There are many helpful websites that explain what you can expect from croup. With effective treatment, your child will soon be back to their normal rambunctious self.