Essential Oils for the Respiratory System
Essential oils and herbs are great supporters to the respiratory system. Implementing them using specific aromatherapy practices can help balance specific respiratory system imbalances. When you match up the right oils with the particular health condition, you can experience great results. For example, do you need essential oils that are drying or mucolytic? Do they need to be relaxing or stimulating? And, should they be cooling or add some heat and warmth? Knowing this can guide you in the right direction of choosing your oils wisely to get the nest, effective results.
How does aromatherapy help respiratory functions?
Essential oils are comprised of chemical molecules that make it act a certain way. This determines its unique characteristics and direction of support. Whereas a camphoraceous oil may be drying, another can be cooling. Chemistry is a wondrous thing, but when you see it in action, it is even more splendid.
Your olfaction system has an intimate relationship with your respiratory. That’s obvious, right? You smell an oil, it travels through your limbic system processes to connect with your brain and tells it how to respond. Sound simple? Well, not really. There is much more to it than that. But keeping it light, your sense of smell is powerful.
When you breathe in a scent, it can shift and inspire physical, mental, emotional, and energetic movement. Why is this important? Because it keeps you from being stuck…in a health ailment, on a mental merry-go-round- and in emotional stress.
Aromatherapy balances respiratory imbalances
There are many culprits that can contribute to respiratory imbalances such as smoking, chronic respiratory infections, chemical exposures, allergies and more. Lucky for you, essential oils and herbs can help. Scents activate your mind, create movement within your body and facilitate balance. It can strengthen your –
- Breathing ability
- smelling ability (and anosmia)
- Immune health
- Emotions of grief (which is typically buried in the lungs)
Aromatherapy safety for respiratory distress
- Use proper safety measures including appropriate dilution ratios, potency and frequency of use
- Know and understand all contraindications of using particular essential oils with certain respiratory concerns, especially if it is a serious health issue. Know the health of the person using essential oils and cross reference with sensitivities, allergies and medications. For example,
- Allergies: do not use an essential oil if someone has an allergy to the plant or tree in which the essential oil was derived from
- Asthma: avoid overstimulation of drying oils such as thyme, cinnamon & rosemary; and do not use more than 15 minutes sessions.
- Lung disease: use less than 1% dilution ratio
- Dilute essential oils in a fat-soluble carrier to ensure proper absorption, dispersion throughout your body, and elimination of essential oil molecules.
Read more about aromatherapy safety here.
Carriers and application methods for respiratory support
Using carriers shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antibacterial and antiviral properties can prove beneficial.
- almond oil
- coconut oil
- evening primrose
- hazelnut oil
- Nigella sativa
- prickly pear oil
- rosehip oil
Application methods that are helpful include:
- aromatic spray
- lotion or cream
- smelling salts
6 popular essential oils for the respiratory system
Respiratory Support Smelling Salt (or diffuser blend)
In an 8 ounce glass or BPA free jar, add Epsom salt or sea salt, just below the rim (should be 8 ounces). Then, mix in the following essential oils and stir with a stainless steel drink stirrer or popsicle stick. You can also place the lid on it securely, and shake rigorously to mix it all together.
- 2 drops eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus or radiata
- 1 drop ravintsara, Cinnamomum camphora
- 2 drops lemon, Citrus limonum
- 2 drop frankincense, Boswellia carterii
- 1 drop oregano, Origanum vulgare or compactum
Want to learn more about which specific essential oils and herbs to use to strengthen your respiratory system and how to combat common ailments? We go way more in-depth in our Aromatherapy for the Respiratory System Masterclass. Register today to get all of the nutty gritty details, recipes, essential oil specifics, evidenced-based research, application techniques specific for respiratory health, and more. See you in the online class.
Parts of this article include excepts from the JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide & Phyto-Aromatherapy for Advanced Pathophysiology courses at the JennScents Aromaversity.
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