Asthma is a common long-term condition that can cause coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness. The severity of these symptoms varies from person to person. Asthma can be controlled well in most people most of the time, although some people may have more persistent problems.
Exposure to various irritants and substances that trigger allergies can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma. Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include: Airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores. As we enter the summer months, airborne substances such as pollen will become an issue and will likely trigger asthma a lot more than usual. Hay fever can also increase your risk of an asthma attack. if hay fever combines with a cold, the extra inflammation can make your asthma symptoms even worse. This is a massive inconvenience and can make your summer a lot less enjoyable!
There are some essential oils that can help with asthma. Some essential oils have an anti-inflammatory action and may be beneficial for treating asthma in some people. Essential oils should never be the main treatment for asthma. For some people, aromatherapy may trigger symptoms.
- Peppermint- in essential oil form, may help reduce symptoms of an asthma attack when used in a diffuser or diluted in a carrier oil- such as almond or olive oil- and applied to the skin.
- Lavender- breathing in diffused lavender essential oil may help reduce inflammation caused by allergies and asthma. Add a few drops of the oil to a diffuser or a humidifier to reap the benefits.
- Clove- this flower also produces an essential oil that may help relieve symptoms of asthmaand may help reduce symptoms such as wheezing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.
- Eucalyptus- may be effective in helping people manage the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and the common cold. However, eucalyptus oil is one that is dangerous to children.
- Rosemary- t relaxes the smooth muscles of the trachea, according to an early study. This results in more relaxed breathing.
The best time to use an essential oil treatment for asthma is between attacks, not while you’re having one or experiencing an increase in symptoms. Here is some advice to help you get started with how to use your essential oils:
- Mix 2 to 3 drops of an essential oil in an ounce of a carrier oil (Carrier oils are neutral oils- such as almond or olive oil- that dilute the essential oil and spread the fragrance around so you’re not as likely to be overwhelmed by the scent).
- Spread the oil combination on your chest and inhale the scent for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Wipe clean.
- Repeat daily as needed.
If you’re using lavender essential oil, consider inhaling steam:
- Fill a bowl with steaming water.
- Add 2 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil to the water and gently stir.
- Place your face directly over the water, being careful not to touch the hot water. Drape a towel over your head so it covers both your head and the sides of the bowl.
- Inhale deeply for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Take a break for a few minutes and then repeat 2 to 3 more times.
An essential oil diffuser or a humidifier can disperse the concentrated oil into the air. Note that it’s important to clean diffusers and humidifiers regularly to avoid mold growth.
If you have a large bath, you can also add a few drops of the diluted oil to Epsom salt and then pour the salt into a warm bath. Breathe deeply to enjoy the aromatic benefits of the essential oils in your bath.
Safety note. Different people have different reactions to essential oils, so it’s important to be cautious as you integrate essential oils into your routine. Although they’re widely considered safe, you should speak with your doctor to make sure you don’t have an allergy. Never apply neat essential oils directly on your skin and always do a skin safety patch test first.
Here’s to a happy and healthier summer!