Almost all respiratory issues are caused by viruses of all sorts. These viruses thrive especially in winter when the immune system is tired from fighting them every day. Drugs can indeed help us overcome most severe symptoms. But there is also another way to prevent and improve lung problems. That way refers to the use of essential oils for lung health.
Aromatic oils may indeed be of great help as long as they’re used in moderate amounts. Lung problems are serious health concerns and you should always seek medical help first.
Essential oils have great benefits when they’re used as a preventive measure. They can also speed up your lung healing and soothe respiratory problems.
Find out how to use these oils to improve the health of your lungs in the first part of the article. I will also give you a few safety details to know before using any oil. They are natural and they present almost no side effect, but they may also be dangerous. They can be so if they’re used in high amounts.
You can then continue reading about 7 of the best essential oils for lung health. Aromatherapy blends using these oils will help improve and prevent respiratory symptoms.
Speaking of blends, you can take your inspiration from the last chapter of this article. Use one of my blend recipes to relieve those coughs, phlegm and congestion that bother you so often.
Did You Know?
- The lungs expand and contract to supply the oxygen in the blood. Then, the lungs release carbon dioxide from the body. This process takes place about 20 times/minute.
Tips on How to Use Aromatherapy for Your Lungs and a Few Safety Words
Lungs are one of the few large organs of the body with a very demanding activity. We need oxygen to survive and the lungs are the ones that process it. Breathing is a mechanical activity we do without thinking. When a person breathes in, the oxygen gets to the capillaries and they oxygenate the blood.
When a person breathes out, the lungs expel carbon dioxide, a waste gas from the body. In this process the lungs stay a bit inflated because of a fluid.
The fluid contains fatty proteins and white blood cells (macrophages). This fluid is responsible for the health of the lungs. All those cells destroy all sorts of irritants that come with the oxygen.
Today, the number of viruses, bacteria, chemicals, dust and fungi has risen. Because of that people are more and more exposed to lung infections. The protective fluid in the lungs can’t face all of them and so we’re faced with lots of affections, from small to severe.
Lungs need a bit of help from us to face all these airborne germs and irritants. This is where essential oils for lungs health enter.
What Can Essential Oils Do?
Essential oils have antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Containing such small molecules, these aromatic oils can penetrate into the lung-heart system. They can also travel through blood, but that means they’re broken down by the liver first. This process happens when you take oils internally.
By ingestion, the effects of essential oils are more powerful and dangerous. It is not recommended to take essential oils internally! Not without a doctor’s approval anyway. That’s why the best practice of using Aromatherapy is the massage of the stomach and chest area.
Essential oils can:
- Help eliminate airborne bacteria and other microorganisms.
- Dissolve mucus.
- Relieve coughs and the upper respiratory passages (sinuses).
- Prevent inflammation and pain in the lungs.
The digestive system and the respiratory one are interconnected. Sometimes, the food you eat may cause inflammation and mucus or phlegm. If the problems are quite serious, you should consider making some changes in your diet and lifestyle.
You might have to give up dairy products and highly processed foods and grains. If your bowel is full of toxins, your respiratory tract will also suffer. A combination of a healthy lifestyle with essential oil blends for lung health will make a big difference.
Some of the most common respiratory problems are:
- Hay fever
- Strep throat
- Sore throat
There are of course those contagious bacterial infections of the lungs, like tuberculosis. But that, and pneumonia can be fatal, so medical advice and treatment is mandatory.
Ways of Using Essential Oils for Lung Health
This method is one of the most efficient methods of purifying the air. One study has showed that in half an hour, certain essential oils managed to destroy hundreds of strains of airborne bacteria.
Diffusing and inhaling essential oils is beneficial for health and mood as well. They can uplift or relax while clearing the air and strengthening your immune system.
You can diffuse 4 – 7 drops of oils for 15 – 20 minutes/hour. Make sure the room is well ventilated and don’t let them diffuse for more than recommended. After an hour of diffusion, these aromatic oils can raise the blood pressure.
Steam baths are also good to relieve respiratory infections. You can add up to 3 drops of essential oil in 16 fl. Oz. of boiled water and inhale deeply for a few minutes. After you’re done, make sure you don’t get out in the cold for at least an hour.
This is a safe and easy method to use essential oils for lung health. You can blend 15 – 20 drops of essential oil in 1 Oz. (30 ml) carrier oil. Massage the abdomen and chest area with your blend and allow the oils to penetrate the capillaries and blood.
If you also diffuse a few drops, the air you breathe in will also be purified. At this rate you could protect yourself and your family from all sorts of respiratory problems throughout the cold season.
Do not use a blend for more than 8 – 10 days straight, and take a week break before you start again.
The internal method should only be used with the approval of a doctor. Essential oils can be dangerous if you take a larger dose. You can read more about internal oil consumption here.
Safety Words on the Use of Essential Oils for Lungs
- You should always test a new essential oil for allergies. Pour a drop of it on the soft inside of your arm and leave it on for at least half an hour. Allergic reactions should usually show up in that time.
- Do not use strong oils like Rosemary, Peppermint, Camphor or Eucalyptus on babies and children without medical consent. Substances like camphor, menthol and 1, 8 – cineole can cause severe respiratory problems on kids.
- Do not use them without medical consent if you suffer from different other affections.
- The same goes for people on special diets and treatments. Some oils may interact with drugs and cause other problems.
- Do not use them if you are pregnant or nursing.
- Never use essential oils undiluted. Never apply them around the eyes, nose, ears or mouth.
Did You Know?
- The lung tissue surface that covers them both is around forty times bigger than the outer surface of the body.
7 Essential Oils for Lung Health that Can Help Prevent and Improve Symptoms
Some of the best oils to use are very high in antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. For example, all essential oils that contain 1, 8 – cineole are very efficient in preventing and even treating colds, flu and mucus. This substance is also known as eucalyptol.
They can also reduce pain and headaches. This substance has been well researched over the years. Those studies have revealed that 1, 8 – cineole can kill viruses and bacteria efficiently.
In other words, most symptoms of respiratory infections can be soothed and prevented with essential oils high in 1, 8 – cineole.
Other substances that can be useful in taking care of your lungs are menthol and camphor. They are good antispasmodics and antiseptics. They can also decongest the upper respiratory tract.
But let’s see what the best essential oils for lung health are:
Eucalyptus (radiata or globulus) essential oil.
Both varieties of eucalyptus are high in eucalyptol (1, 8 – cineole). This substance makes the oil very good at treating and preventing colds. But it is good for coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion too.
These essential oils have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. They have decongestant and antispasmodic qualities too. Eucalyptol has been found efficient in non-bacterial bronchitis.
Ravintsara essential oil.
This is one of the best essential oils for lung health. It is so because it also contains a high amount of eucalyptol (1, 8 – cineole). Ravintsara is closely related to the two varieties of Eucalyptus from above. This oil can strengthen the immune system and kill bacteria and germs.
Rosemary ( 1, 8 – cineole) essential oil.
There are many species of Rosemary, but the 1, 8 – cineole chemotype is better for lung health. It can boost the immune system and create a better defense against viruses and infections. Rosemary oil is a good antioxidant too. It has mild sedative and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Rosemary essential oil can help with allergies, sore throats, and other respiratory infections. Its antispasmodic properties may help with bronchial asthma too. The eucalyptol in this oil makes it a great mucolytic agent.
Peppermint essential oil.
The high content of menthol in this oil makes it a very good decongestant. It also has antispasmodic properties. This property can help with coughs and asthma attacks.
Peppermint can open up the upper respiratory passages and clear sinuses. This oil is very well tolerated and good in digestive blends too. Since the gut health influences the respiratory system too then this oil can be very useful.
Camphor essential oil.
Another good essential oil for lung health is this oil high in camphor. It has strong antiseptic and antimicrobial qualities. Camphor is also useful at relieving spasms. It reduces swelling and infections, and it can stimulate the circulation as well. The oil can also relieve lung and bronchi congestion. Great caution should be used with Camphor oil.
It can be narcotic and interact with various drugs. Always ask your doctor before using this oil!
Oregano essential oil.
Oregano is a very strong oil and it should be used with caution! It has antibiotic effects and strong antimicrobial qualities. It is useful in getting rid of the phlegm and buildup from the sinuses and upper respiratory tract. Oregano oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
This oil is recommended in digestive blends too. Ward off from viruses and parasites by diffusing Oregano oil or rubbing it on the skin.
Tea Tree essential oil.
Tea Tree is also among the best essential oils for lung health. It is used to prevent and treat all sorts of infections, even tropical ones. With its strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, this oil can be poisonous if ingested. Tea Tree should only be used in local applications and diffusions.
It is recommended for relieving coughs and congestion, and other colds and flu symptoms. It is great at purifying the air when diffused, thus preventing many respiratory infections.
Essential Oil Blends for Lung Health
You’ve read about lungs and essential oils that can be used to prevent and even treat certain respiratory symptoms. Now it’s time to get some inspirational recipes also.
I’ve put up 4 blend recipes that will help you battle colds and flu and bronchitis. You will also find recipes for respiratory allergies and relief from laryngitis and pharyngitis.
These are very simple blends that use carrier oils and essential oils for lung health.
Remedy against Flu and Viral Infections
- Sweet Almond oil: 2 Oz. (60 ml)
- Ravintsara essential oil: 30 drops
- Eucalyptus radiata essential oil: 15 drops
- Bay Laurel essential oil: 10 drops
Blend the oils together and shake well before use. Apply a moderate amount on the solar plexus 4 – 5 times a day for 7 – 8 days straight. Take a week break before continuing. You can also diffuse the mixture of essential oils.
Remedy against Acute Bronchitis
- Jojoba oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
- Eucalyptus essential oil: 3 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 3 drops
- Rosemary essential oil: 3 drops
- Ravintsara essential oil: 3 drops
Apply this blend on the chest area and the lower back 4 times a day for 10 days. Always take a week break if you want to continue with the treatment.
Remedy against Respiratory Allergies
- Tamanu oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
- Tea Tree essential oil: 4 drops
- Eucalyptus essential oil: 3 drops
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 5 drops
Apply this blend of essential oils for lung health on the chest area and the upper back. You can also apply this blend on the sinuses. Use moderate amounts and apply 2 – 3 times a day for 3 to 6 days. Make sure not to go near the eyes or the oils may sting and cause tears.
Laryngitis and Pharyngitis Relief
- Carrier oil of choice: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
- Tea Tree essential oil: 4 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 4 drops
- Rosewood essential oil: 2 drops
- Thyme essential oil (ct. Thujanol): 2 drops
You can either diffuse only the blend made from essential oils, or mix them with carrier oil. You can then apply with gentle movements on the neck and jaws. Apply the blend and/or diffuse it 5 – 6 times a day for 5 days. You can also gargle with the mix of essential oils (without the carrier in it).
Essential oils can help you overcome many respiratory problems caused by viruses and bacteria. They have strong properties that can cause any mucus buildup to dissolve. Thus, they will clear the nasal passages and help you breathe easier. At the same time, they can also kill germs and viruses from the air through diffusion.
Use these essential oils for lung health in blends or diffusion as often as possible. But also use them with a bit of caution too. Seek medical advice first if you suffer from other complications or you are on medication. Some aromatic oils may interact with certain drugs.
Have you ever used any of the above mentioned essential oils for your lungs? Which blend did it work better for you and how do you like to use your oils for respiratory problems?