Essential Oil Diffuser Blend for Breathing Problems

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Essential Oils for Breathing Problems

It’s winter, which means we are more susceptible to illness, especially little kids.

In our house, it seems like we have had some kind of stuffy nose for the past three months. We just can’t shake it! Every time I hear my kids sniffle, I cringe.

One of my favorite ways to help my kids feel better when they are stuffy is to use essential oils for breathing problems. I don’t bring my essential oils out with every illness though. My first line of defense is always rest and hydration. Kids need to build up immunity so they can fight off infections more successfully in the future. I just read a really well researched article from the Tisserand Institute on this subject.

Diffusing Essential Oils for Breathing Problems

I tend to lean on my oils when my kids are really having trouble. They are wonderful for respiratory relief and help to the immune system. Diffusing is my main method of using essential oils for breathing problems with kids because it’s safer and easier. Here are some guidelines on diffusing around kids.

When diffusing, it is important to diffuse in intervals: 15 minutes on, 30-60 minutes off.  It helps the body to not habituate to the oils.

Essential Oil Safety

The most important thing to remember when diffusing around children specifically is to choose child-safe essential oils. Not all essential oils are safe to use around children. There are a lot of unsafe essential oil recipes floating around the internet. There’s also a lot of confusion on peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils. (Both have concerns when using on children because of the large percentage of 1,8 cineole and menthol contained in the oils.) I’ll refer to the Tisserand Institute again here because they are an excellent source for safe information, especially on the ages to use Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils.

There are many other wonderful essential oils you can diffuse safely around little children. The recipe listed below is one that I use with my children at age one and older. It smells very “outdoorsy” and quite woody with a little citrus hint. It’s a lovely aroma and I find that it really helps when everything seems stuffed up.

My Blend of Essential Oils for Breathing Problems in Kids

The blend consists of cedarwood (atlas), rosalina, and Siberian fir (fir needle) essential oils. All are child-safe when used correctly. I generally make a master blend of these oils (meaning I’ll make a large amount) and then use 3-6 drops in my diffuser. The amount of drops used in the diffuser will be according to your specific model as diffusers come in a wide variety of sizes and can hold differing amounts of water. Make sure to check your manual to ensure you use the right amount of the master blend in your diffuser.

If you don’t have one of the three oils I used in the recipe, it’s okay! You can play around by substituting sweet orange, pine, balsam fir, or even fragonia if you have it. All are good inclusions in respiratory blends for children.

Children’s Respiratory Support Master Blend



  1. Blend all essential oils together in the ⅓ ounce amber bottle. (I re-purpose old essential oil bottles for this.)
  2. Cap tightly and swirl to stir.
  3. Use 3-6 drops in a diffuser (depending on your individual diffuser’s instructions).

Additional Notes

As always, make sure to closely monitor your child when using any essential oil for the first time. Check that the oil isn’t bothering them, causing any distress, or any types of reactions. If you notice anything abnormal, discontinue use and call your physician.

I also use this blend for myself! I find that it works well on adults just as well as it does with children.


About Katie Vance

Katie is a wife, mother, aromatherapist, and lover of all things DIY. She offers consultations and gives simple aromatherapy advice at Katie Vance, Aromatherapy Simplified. You can also find Katie on Facebook.

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  1. Carol says

    How do you go about finding the safest best brand of essential oils to use? There are so many companies out there and so many friends/family selling different lines. What factors are most important to consider and why have you chose the linked brand? Thanks!