Did you know that you could use aromatherapy for asthma symptoms? In various studies published recently, scientists have evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils and proved that asthmatic individuals who receive aromatherapy treatments report less airway resistance.
Asthma is caused by inflamed airways in the lungs causing chest tightness and insufficient inhalation and exhalation. As such, by easing airflow resistance and reducing the level of mucus in the lungs, this method has been proven to be useful as an alternative remedy for bronchial asthma.
1.Lavender Oil Therapy
When breathing becomes difficult due to an impending asthma attack, steam inhalation with lavender oil may be of help. You only need to add 6-10 drops of lavender oil into a bowl of hot water. Then cover yourself above that bowl (forming a mini-sauna) and inhale the steam. Do at least three rounds of these routine several times a day but be sure to keep your eyes closed when putting your face over the steam.
aromatherapy for asthma
Some benefits of using lavender aromatherapy for asthma treatment include:
* Improves air passage into and from the lungs
* Strengthens your immune system
* Reduces chest pain
* Eases nervous exhaustion, depression and anxiety
* Stimulates blood circulation
* Treats other respiratory conditions such as laryngitis, tonsillitis, sinus congestion and bronchitis
One study published in February 1999 in the “Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology” suggested possible lavender benefits for those suffering from allergic-type asthma. Another credible (German) study by the “German Journal of Chemical Sciences” showed that lavender has sedative effects that may be useful for alleviating stress in asthma sufferers.
2.Peppermint Oil Therapy
Peppermint oil is a natural antihistamine. Usually when you are exposed to an allergen (say smoke, pollen or dust) your body releases histamines. The more histamines accumulate in the lungs, the greater the risk of an asthma attack. On that note, the fact that peppermint oil is an antihistamine means it works to negate the effects of histamines and this can help prevent the threat.
For maximum benefits, combine a drop of peppermint oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil (e.g. coconut oil) and massage the mixture on your chest. Apply some of this mixture on the soles of your feet as well. Repeat this regularly and you may notice a general improvement in your condition.
Some benefits of using peppermint oil for treating asthma include:
* Helps decongest the respiratory system
* Relaxes your body muscles
* Eases the cough and wheezing
* The aroma clears a stuffy nose in a few minutes
Peppermint has been proven beneficial to asthma sufferers in a number of studies. The most popular one of these was published in the “Journal of Enthnopharmacology” in July 2010 which highlighted peppermints strength as capable of relaxing the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract. Conventional asthma drugs (brohodilatators) use a similar action to prevent attacks.
aromatherapy for asthma
3.Frankincense Essential Oil Therapy
Frankincense has a long history as a muscle relaxant, stress reliever and immunity booster. But did you know that it can be used to soothe the respiratory tract and improve your asthma condition? You simply need to diffuse undiluted Frankincense oil and inhale its aroma in order to access its benefits. For instance, you can create a mini-sauna and inhale for 5 minutes or put a few drops of it on your handkerchief and then inhale. Repeat this therapy twice a day.
Additional benefits of using this therapy include:
* Reduces heart rate and prevents high blood pressure (and related) complications
* Destroys harmful bacteria and prevent accumulation of the same on the air tract
* Balances hormone levels and prevents anxiety and nausea
* Reduces inflammation and pain associated with asthma and arthritis
* Acts as a sleep aid by opening breathing passages, allowing your body to reach the ideal sleeping conditions
Although there are no major studies done on the relationship between Frankincense and asthma, scientists think the oil’s indirect benefits can be of help to sufferers. For instance, one recent study by the Mansoura University Department of Pharmacognosy titled “Chemistry and Immunomodulatory of Frankincense Oil” has lauded its antiseptic and astringent benefits as being the key to eliminating histamines and bacteria. Aromatherapy for asthma is very helpful.
Eucalyptus oil contains a strong substance known as eucalyptol, which breaks up phlegm and mucous allowing for easy breathing. The intense activity of the oil’s strong scent also opens up the congested airways of your lungs. All you need to do is add a few drops of the oil to steaming water in a bowl and then gently lean over and inhale the steam for 5 minutes.
Benefits of eucalyptus oil actually go beyond easing the congestion:
* Unblocks stuffy nose
* Reduces flare ups especially in people diagnosed with bronchitis
* Topical application of the essential oil mixed with ethanol and peppermint oil can also reduce pain and anxiety
Research shows strong evidence of eucalyptus oil being beneficial on respiratory bacteria. In one 2008 study titled “Effect of Eucalyptus Oil on Respiratory Bacteria and Viruses” scientists identified oil sourced from the Australian fever tree (or blue gum) as the most effective for asthma treatment. This should however not be taken orally to avoid possible interactions.
These 4 essential oils are ranked highly because there is adequate scientific evidence to back their use for asthma related symptoms. But they are not the only ones that are used and experts have identified other options such as thyme oil, clove oil and oregano oil on the list of leading asthma alternative therapies.
However, more scientific studies still need to be done to ascertain whether there is a direct connection between their therapeutic benefits and asthma recovery. What has been clearly proven to-date is that they do help decongest the respiratory tract and ease the pain, but whether they can actually cure the problem still remains a scientific mystery.
You should note that aromatherapy is more of a preventive measure and is best used to reduce the chances of attacks. The main benefit of this is that it reduces dependency on prescription medicines. By utilizing natural remedies you acquire other additional benefits such as stronger immunity, fewer side effects and faster recovery from related ailments.
Note: Use aromatherapy for asthma in conjunction with your prescribed medicines (not as a replacement for your drugs).