Symptoms, Causes, First Aid and Lifestyle Changes
As you can see from the thousands of research studies on essential oils found in pubmed.org, respiratory uses are some of the most effective ways that oils can be used. They are so remarkable, in fact, that Dr. Pénoël suggests that some respiratory conditions can only be treated effectively and deeply with essential oils. Nothing works so well.
As you look through these specific suggestions for respiratory health, we encourage you to review the Basic Rules of Safety.
This training is not about serious respiratory diseases like tuberculosis, emphysema or pneumonia, though you can speed deep healing of all kinds by following some of the suggestions given here. Be sure to work with your personal health care professional as you apply the suggestions we make on this website. These suggestions are no substitute for individual and professional medical assistance, especially in serious respiratory conditions.
What causes most basic respiratory problems and what are the lifestyle adjustments that will correct them?
Your sinuses, nose, ears, throat, and all the tubes and sacks of the air passages and lungs cannot do their job when they are clogged or inflamed. If you want to keep your respiratory system clean and clear, you may need to make some lifestyle changes like stopping smoking or inhaling toxins or dust where you work.
The digestive system and the respiratory system are closely related. If your diet is high in foods that cause inflammation and mucous, you are going to need to make some changes if you want good respiratory health. The foods that cause the most respiratory problems are typically milk and dairy products, highly processed grains and starches (white flour, white rice, mashed potatoes, chips, etc.), and processed sugar in all its forms. We recommend limiting dairy in general and eliminating it when you are trying to overcome a respiratory problem. Highly processed foods and sweeteners in all their forms should also be greatly limited if you want optimal respiratory health.
When toxins build up in the lower bowel, the first sign of trouble usually shows up in the respiratory system. Adjusting your diet or doing a cleanse will take the strain off your respiratory system and allow it to clear and heal.
• Apply a drop of Peppermint on the outlet of your vacuum.
• Put a few drops of Peppermint on a tissue and place it in the air vent of your car.
Asthma or hay fever
These conditions can be allergic or auto-immune reactions triggered by dust, pollen, exercise, fungus, toxins in the air and viral/bacterial infections. Essential oils can help you to relax and minimize coughing, relax and open bronchial passages and safely fight infections.
CAUTION: The lungs are very sensitive to any allergic trigger. So it’s often a BAD IDEA to inhale diffused essential oils because they may make your spasms worse. If there is any hint that you may be allergic to a particular aromatic herb or an essential oil, use the oils only on your feet or ingest them. Don’t use them on your skin without first testing a small area on your back. With the approval of your health care professional try these in-home procedures…
- To relax and calm yourself, use 1-2 drops of Lavender, Lemon or Tranquility undiluted on the ball and toes of the feet, the upper back, the nape of the neck and the upper chest.
- For easier breathing apply 1-2 drops of Eucalyptus radiata, fir or Aspire undiluted to the toes and ball of the feet, the upper back, the nape of the neck and the upper chest.
- For fighting infections make it a daily habit to apply 1-2 drops of Deliverance, Tea Tree or Eucalyptus radiata neat to reflex points on the feet, the upper back, the nape of the neck and the upper chest.
- Eucalyptus radiata is the mildest of the different types of eucalyptus oils available here. Do not diffuse eucalyptus oils around someone who may be asthmatic or have hay fever because they may aggravate coughing. Use lemon for diffusing instead. It has strong antiviral properties and can be safely diluted and ingested.
A cold or flu can lead to inflammation of the trachea and bronchial tubes. This inflammation triggers the frequent coughing spells of bronchitis. Colds and flu usually start as viral infections. When you use essential oils at the first signs of a cold or flu, they can help slow or even stop the cycle of inflammation that leads to bronchitis. In cooperation with your health care professional, here are some suggested in-home procedures to use when you have bronchitis…
- While you are trying to get over bronchitis, stop eating all mucous-producing foods like dairy products, white flour products, heavily processed foods and all products that contain a lot of sweeteners. A diet mostly of fruits and vegetables makes a great cleansing diet for any respiratory condition.
- Drink more water and avoid breathing dry air. Use a humidifier. You may want to add a drop of Aspire or Breezy to the humidifier to help purify the air.
- Stay away from tobacco or other smoke, dust and pollution of all kinds.
- It may be a good idea to avoid over-the-counter cough suppressants, since coughing helps to lift and eliminate the mucous that is generated by the bronchial inflammation. Cough suppressants may prolong healing, or they may be needed to stop the coughing and help reduce inflammation. Work with your health professional to decide what you need. Don’t allow serious bronchitis to go on for weeks or months without professional help.
- At the first signal of a bronchial “tickle” telling you that you’re about to cough, try licking a drop of Tea Tree oil off the back of your hand. Then transfer it with your saliva to the back of your tongue and let it stay there for a couple of minutes. This is like an antibacterial/antiviral “mouthwash.” Then slowly swallow the mixture. The tea tree oil will continue cleansing the esophagus and stomach. Repeat this every 5-10 minutes for an hour. As the tickle starts going away, you can use this trick less often. Some people use this every morning to prevent coughing, colds and flu.
- If you feel that a viral infection like a cold or flu was the beginning of your bronchitis and when your bronchial inflammation has restricted the air passages to the point that you can’t breathe normally, try applying respiratory oils on these reflex points of your body:
o Below and above the outer area of the collar bone
o On the upper part of the sternum in the center of your chest
o On the wrist at the point where you take your pulse
o On the balls of the feet where the lung reflex point is located
o On each side of the nostril (don’t use the oils inside the nostrils)
o Under your ear and on the bone behind your ear
- In the early stages of bronchitis, when coughing can be dry and painful, it may be especially helpful to inhale steam with Eucalyptus radiata, Lavender, Fir, Frankincense, Aspire or Breezy. Boil a pot of water and add 2-3 drops of one of these essential oils. Place a towel over your head and the pot and inhale the steam vapors. You can repeat this process several times.
- Diffuse 5 to 10 drops of the Deliverance, Eucalyptus radiata, Tranquility, Breezy or Aspire for 5 minutes at times during the day when coughing could be most severe.
Colds and Flu
Viral infections like colds usually occur with climate changes when there is less sunshine and the immune function is compromised. Antibiotics are not helpful for cold or flu and are only beneficial for secondary bacterial infections. But antiviral essential oils can help. In cooperation with your health care professional, try these in-home procedures…
- At the first hint of a cold (tickle in the throat or achy feeling), try the “lick trick” using Tea Tree oil. Apply a trace on the back of your hand and lick it every minute or two for about 10 minutes then every five minutes or so for a few hours. If you catch those signs early enough, you may be able to completely ward off a cold or flu. Tea Tree is both antibacterial AND antiviral.
- Eucalyptus radiata is mainly antiviral. You’ll want to apply it topically on all the reflex points shown under Bronchitis above.
- At nighttime when cold symptoms are often the worst, you’ll want to diffuse 20 drops of Eucalyptus radiate, Aspire, Breezy, Mariah or Stefanie so you can inhale it while you’re sleeping.
- To help unblock a stuffed nose or clogged sinuses due to colds or sinusitis, try mixing a drop of Peppermint into a teaspoon of honey. Hold the mixture in the back of the throat until the Peppermint vapors move into the sinuses through the back of the throat. This will often open your airways quickly.
Flu strains typically change from year to year. They can be mild or severe. The symptoms of flu include fever, chills, backache, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, a dry cough and chest pain. In cooperation with your health care professional, try these in-home procedures…
- Massage both the back and chest with a blend of 5-6 drops each of Eucalyptus radiata, Fir, Lemon, or one of the respiratory blends (Aspire, Breezy, Mariah or Stefanie) in a teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil.
- Throughout the flu season, you’ll want to diffuse respiratory essential oils every day for prevention. Try Tea Tree, Eucalyptus radiata, any of the 4 respiratory blends (Aspire, Breezy, Mariah and Stefanie) or Deliverance.
- Take vegetable capsules containing Tea Tree, Geranium, Oregano, Basil, and Peppermint blended into a carrier oil like Grapeseed Oil. Here's a video showing you how. You can make up 30 to 60 capsules at a time by mixing the essential oils at a ratio of 1:3 in Grapeseed Oil and using a dropper to fill the single-0 capsules for stronger oils like Oregano, Thyme, and Cinnamon. Or you can mix the oils half and half for milder oils like Lemon, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Basil, etc. You can take 3 to 6 capsules per day (depending on the seriousness of the symptoms), always with food. For a deep cleansing, continue taking your capsules for at least 7-10 days after your symptoms have ended.
- Apply 2-3 drops of an undiluted respiratory blend or Deliverance on the lung reflex area of the foot (on the ball of the foot).
- To help relieve pressure from the flu in the lungs or the lower back, apply hot compresses soaked in a mixture of 1 cup warm water and 6 drops each of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus radiata, Fir, a respiratory blend (Aspire, Breezy, Stefanie or Mariah) or Deliverance. Rotate compresses using your hot compress on the chest then on the back for at least 10 minutes each.
You’ll love what essential oils can do for inflammation or infection of the vocal cords (laryngitis). It’s usually connected with an upper respiratory infection of some kind so you’ll want to use many of the prevention suggestions above on a regular basis. Inflammation makes the cords swell, changing the sound they make. In severe cases it’s only a hoarse whisper. With the involvement of your health care professional, use the following in-home suggestions…
- Make an antibacterial mouthwash by placing 2 drops of Tea Tree oil in 1/2 cup of water. Shake well and use it immediately as gargle. Then swallow it.
- Frequently lick a trace of Tea Tree or Deliverance off the back of your hand. Mix it with saliva for a minute and swallow.
- Inhale steam with Eucalyptus radiata, Lavender, Fir, Frankincense, Aspire, Breezy, Mariah or Stefanie. Boil a pot of water and add 2-3 drops of essential oil. Place a towel over your head and the pot and inhale the steam vapors. Blowing into the pot will help to release the oils mixed with steam. Do this several times a day to help break up the mucous and relieve the inflammation. You’ll feel wonderful relief from doing this at least once a day.
- To heal in a deeper way, use a drop of Deliverance, Lemon or Peppermint per quart of your drinking water for a month after your flu symptoms have subsided.
Pneumonia is a name for many types of lung inflammations. Some are bacterial and others viral. Symptoms include a cough that produces mucous, chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, faster pulse rates, and sometimes a high fever. With pneumonia, the small air sacks in the lungs fill with pus and other liquids. Red blood cells can’t get enough oxygen through the lungs. Pneumonia can be a very serious condition and requires the care of a health care professional. The following steps could be taken under his or her approval to supplement professional protocol.
- Because they are both antibacterial and antiviral, breathing diffused essential oils of Tea Tree, Eucalytpus radiata, the 4 respiratory blends (Aspire, Breezy, Mariah and Stefanie), and Deliverance will help restore vitality to the lungs. It can be especially effective to alternate from one essential oil to the next, every few hours.
- To help prevent secondary sinus infections, put a trace of Tea Tree, Peppermint, Frankincense or Deliverance on the tongue and hold for a minute before swallowing. Do this often throughout the day.
- Steam inhalations using Lemon, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus radiate, Aspire, Breezy, Mariah, Stefanie or Deliverance will help strengthen immune function. Calming inhalations of Lavender or Fir can help with coughing spasms. Simmer 3-6 drops in 2 cups of water and breathe in vapors. Boil a pot of water and add 2-3 drops of essential oil. Place a towel over your head and the pot and inhale the steam vapors. Blowing into the pot will help to release the oils mixed with steam. Do this several times a day to help break up the mucous and relieve the inflammation.
- Warm compresses on the back and chest can be helpful. Mix 6-8 drops of one of the four respiratory blends or Deliverance in ½ cup of hot water. Soak a small towel in the aromatic water, wring it out slightly, and apply it to the back or chest for 20 minutes. Rotate between the back and the chest every 20 minutes if you wish.
- For steam inhalation, mix 6-8 drops of one of the four respiratory blends or Deliverance in boiling water.
- Use vegetable or gelatin capsules to take essential oils capsules internally. Open a single-0-sized capsule and add 4 drops of essential oil, fill the capsule with mixing oil, and close it. You can mix larger batches in a ratio of 1 to 3 (Grapeseed oil) and fill capsules with a dropper. See instructions and video above under Colds & Flu.
- Eliminate mucous-producing foods, such as products with dairy, highly processed foods like white flour and all kinds of processed sweeteners.
- Increase the amount of water, fresh fruits and vegetables you consume.
- Try flavoring your foods with fresh garlic, cayenne pepper and chili peppers. Studies have shown that they help with pneumonia symptoms.
Upper respiratory infections often come with inflammation of the sinuses. Symptoms can include severe headaches, earaches, toothaches, facial pain, pressure in the head, a loss of the ability to smell, fever, a stuffy nose and mucous discharge. The gentle but powerful action of aromatic essential oils can work wonders with chronic sinus conditions where other treatments fail to produce results. With the involvement of your health care professional, try these in-home procedures…
If started early enough, steam inhalations of Eucalyptus radiata, Tea Tree, Myrrh, Lavender, Lemon, any of the 4 respiratory blends (Aspire, Breezy, Mariah and Stefanie), or Deliverance, breathed deeply through the nose, can sometimes prevent upper respiratory infection from spreading into the sinuses. You can also try putting a drop of one of these oils in a tissue and breathe through it or put a drop in the palms of your hands. Cup your hands over your mouth and nose and breathe deeply.
To help with pain from sinus headaches, rub a couple of drops of Peppermint or Frankincense on each temple. Keep away from your eyes.
For quick relief from a stuffy nose, mix a drop of Peppermint in a teaspoon of honey and hold the mixture in the back of your mouth until the vapors rise through the nasal cavities from the back of your throat.
Breathe 20 drops of any of these respiratory essential oils diffused through the night while sleeping, especially Eucalyptus radiata or any of the four respiratory blends (Aspire, Breezy, Mariah or Stefanie).
Until you feel completely back to normal, be sure to increase the amount of water you drink every day and avoid mucous-producing foods like dairy, highly processed foods, white flour and all kinds of sweeteners.
Sore throat and strep throat
With the cooperation of your health care professional, try the following in-home procedures…
- Do the “Lick Trick” by taking a trace of Tea Tree, Frankincense or Deliverance on the back of your hand. Lick it and transfer it to the back of your throat. Mix it with your saliva let it coat the inflamed tissues. You can use a toothpick to adjust the amount if you wish. Hold the mixture in your mouth for at least a minute. Repeat once every minute or two for at least 15 minutes or until you start to feel some relief. Then do it every 5 minutes or so for the next 2 hours. You can decrease frequency as soreness subsides. This is especially effective if you start before your sore throat becomes a raging fire. Carry your oils with you or have them handy in your desk so you can act quickly at the first tickle in your throat.
- Mix a drop of the Deliverance into a teaspoon of honey. Hold the mixture in the back of the throat as it coats the tissues and mixes with your saliva. After a minute or two, swallow the mixture. It will help with the pain in the throat and continue its antibacterial effects in your digestive system.
- Apply a few drops of undiluted Tea Tree or Deliverance along the areas of your throat where there may be infected lymph nodes all the way from the predominant bone behind the ear to the clavicle at the center of the throat. Also apply 2 or 3 drops mixed in a little carrier oil down the back of your neck. If your neck feels stiff, add a few drops of Lavender.
- Put a trace of Peppermint or Tea Tree on a toothpick, then stir it into a cup of warm water. Drink this “aromatic tea” between meals on an empty stomach. Sip it slowly, allowing the aromatic molecules to coat the throat membranes as you swallow.
- For deep healing and keeping the infection from returning, continue taking a drop of Deliverance, Tea Tree, Lemon or Peppermint in each quart of your drinking water twice a day for several months after symptoms have gone away.
©2012 True Compass LLC
Copyright 2012 True Compass LLC