You don’t have to be diagnosed with a serious respiratory disease to have breathing difficulties. They can be due to a common cold, asthma or allergies. No matter what is behind breathing problems, it can be miserable trying to catch your breath while only breathing through your mouth. Whether it is minor or serious, decreased respiratory function can affect both your physical and mental health negatively. You definitely want to talk to your healthcare professional about diagnosing and treating respiratory illnesses, but there are also some essential oils that can help with alleviating, healing or protecting against various respiratory problems.
How Oils can Help with Respiratory Conditions
Aromatherapy often incorporates the use of essential oils. They can work in two different ways. First, since they are antibacterial and antiviral they can be beneficial for killing germs that cause some respiratory illnesses. Secondly, they can stimulate the immune system, so it is better prepared to fight off disease. There are several oils that can also help open up the airways and sinuses if you are congested.
Ways to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils work differently for each person and so do the methods of application. You might try using different methods with your oils to see which one yields you the greatest benefit. Choose from these four basic ways:
Diffuser –Use a diffuser to distribute oils throughout the room. This is an excellent method if you are dealing with a sick child. Use 10 drops of the oil, or oils, of your choice in a diffuser. You can also use a humidifier or vaporizer, but there is a minimal risk of them becoming damaged by the oils.
Steam – Put some warm water in a bowl and add three drops of essential oils. Close your eyes and cover your heat with a towel as you lean over the bowl and breathe in. This method can be useful for easing blocked sinuses, colds or a tight chest. It should not be used by allergy or asthma sufferers.
Bath – Fill the bathtub with warm water and add 10 drops of your choice of essential oils along with a ½ cup of unscented salt. (Do NOT use basil, thyme, fennel, peppermint, oregano, clove, cinnamon or orange!)
Apply to the skin – Use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil and then apply it to the wrists, chest and neck area for relief.
Top 10 Oils to Use for Respiratory Relief
There are many different essential oils that can help relieve breathing problems. You can choose the oils you want to use based on their properties. Some of them help fight inflammation, strengthen the immune system, clear congestion, fight colds, purify the air or drain sinuses. Just be aware if you are wheezing or have asthma, discuss using oils with your doctor first. Conditions such as asthma can make you more sensitive to strong scents. Listed here are 10 of the top oils to use for breathing problems. You may want to create your own blend of preferred oils or purchase a blend such as Breathin’ EZ.
Eucalyptus Oil- Eucalyptus essential oil helps open up the airways and relieve congestion. For most people, facial steaming with eucalyptus oil is the best option to help reduce breathing difficulties.
Lemon Oil –Lemon’s detoxifying properties make it a good choice for diffusing since it can help purify the air of pathogens and allergens. It’s also useful for strengthening the immune system and relieving colds and coughs.
Peppermint Oil –This EO provides relief to the lungs and is antispasmodic. The vapors can travel into the lungs and help break up congestion. It naturally contains menthol and can also help improve mental focus and boost your energy.
Rosemary Oil –This oil is extracted from the leaves of the Rosemary herb. It can help expel excess mucus and phlegm while clearing out nasal congestion and sinuses. Rosemary oil is often found in over-the-counter vapor rubs.
Thyme Oil –Thyme is beneficial for reducing chills and colds that often complicate breathing. It is particularly useful to relieve respiratory symptoms that get worse with cold temperatures.
Ginger Oil – Consuming the spice ginger is believed to help reduce inflammation which can be a factor when you are having breathing difficulties. Mix ginger essential oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the chest, feet, and back to help warm the body and manage pain.
Tea Tree Oil – Tea Tree essential oil is often used as an antiseptic because it can destroy germs and irritants that cause breathing problems. It is also good at fighting off bacteria, yeast, microbes, viruses, and fungi.
Lavender Oil – Due to its calming and soothing properties, lavender can be beneficial for helping you sleep when you are experiencing breathing problems. It can also help soothe the respiratory tract.
Marjoram Oil – This oil can help alleviate pain and soreness that often accompany colds and flu. It is also good for relief from symptoms of bronchitis, wheezing, and sinusitis.
Oregano Oil – Oregano is an immune booster when consumed as a spice. It is also good for fighting sinusitis, bronchitis, viral infections and other respiratory problems.
Blends for You to Try
If you have a diffuser, you might want to try diffusing these blends for relief. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions that came with the diffuser.
Clear Your Airways Diffuser Blend
Add these oils to your diffuser:
- 3 drops of peppermint EO
- 1 drop of marjoram EO
- 2 drops of eucalyptus EO
- 2 drops tea tree EO
- 1 drop lemon EO
Respiratory Support Diffuser Blend
- 2 drops of rosemary EO
- 2 drops of pine EO
- 2 drops marjoram EO
- 1 drop of lemon EO
Vaporizing Rub-on Blend
This rub is beneficial to use as a remedy for clogged sinuses, congestion, and colds. It’s best if you can mix it in a bottle with a roll-on applicator. Add the ingredients to the roll and shake the bottle to combine them. Roll it on the temples, shoulders, chest, back, and neck.
- 10 drops of lemon EO
- 10 drops of eucalyptus EO
- 10 drops of rosemary EO
- 5 drops of thyme EO
- 100 ml of Carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, avocado oil, sesame oil)