What Asthma Patients Need To Know About Essential Oils And Diffusers
Essential oils have been around for centuries, but a new interest is sweeping the market. Maybe youve picked up a bottle in the store or attended an essential oil party in the home of a friend. While many benefit claims are unsupported by the Food and Drug Administration , companies and those who use essential oils claim they help with several conditions including depression/anxiety, headaches, congestion, hormone imbalance, cold sores, high blood pressure, and much more.
The Top 6 Essential Oils For Breathing Better
Breathing difficulties are becoming a more common occurrence in the modern world. Its hard to deny that the worsening condition of our planet and the continued degradation of our air is to blame for this. The reality of the situation is that there has never been more air pollution than there is right now. Its reached the point people in countries such as China and Japan are unable to leave their homes without protective masks.
The increase in pollution has left more contaminants and pollutants in the air that make respiratory conditions worse. Anyone who is predisposed to such respiratory ailments are at a greater risk when exposed to the constant pollution they have to live with. Essential oils have been shown to offer therapeutic benefits for a range of medical conditions. Some essential oils have even been shown to help with breathing problems. Here are some of the best essential oils for breathing that you should keep handy if you have breathing problems.
Who Shouldnt Use Peppermint Oil
People who should avoid using peppermint oil include:
- People with G6PD deficiency. People with a specific enzyme deficiency, called G6PD deficiency, should avoid using peppermint as an extract or oil in aromatherapy.
- People taking certain medications. Peppermint oil aromatherapy can inhibit an enzyme called CYP3A4, which is responsible for breaking down many types of medication. If youre taking any prescription medications, talk with a doctor before using peppermint oil.
- Children and babies. You should avoid applying peppermint oil to the faces or chests of babies and young children. Side effects can occur from inhaling the menthol in peppermint oil.
Peppermint aromatherapy can also be toxic to pets like dogs and cats.
Peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant. It has been used for many things, such as relieving:
- GI discomfort
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Does Peppermint Oil Help Coughs
Yes, peppermint oil has been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of a cough. It appears to be more of a psychosomatic response though as theres is no hard evidence to back the science up at the moment.
Peppermint oil has menthol in it which has long been used as a holistic way to relieve congestion. A good way to use peppermint oil for coughs is to add a few drops to a bowl of boiling water.
Place your face above it and cover your head with a tea towel to trap the steam. Sit here and inhale the peppermint steam for 15-30 minutes.
Top 5 Essential Oils For Asthma Symptoms
Have you ever tried using essential oils for asthma? Asthma disturbs normal functions of the airways reaching the lungs that allow us to breath. If you struggle with asthma symptoms and are looking for natural alternatives to improve how you feel, you may want to consider essential oils.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma is more common in young boys than young girls, but more common in adult women than adult men. When used appropriately, essential oils can be a really effective part of a natural treatment plan for asthma.
Given its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant and anti-congestive properties, oils like peppermint have been used for breathing difficulties in traditional herbal medicine for centuries and now recent research is showing that peppermint isnt the only essential oil that may help you to breathe easier!
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Essential Oils: The Basics
Steaming or pressing plants releases aroma-rich oils. These oils contain the odor and flavor of the plants. They are often referred to as the plants essence.
Essences can be added to a variety of products like perfumes, candles, and aromatherapy scents. Theyre also sometimes added to foods and drinks.
For centuries, essences or essential oils have also been used as alternative treatments for a variety of medical conditions. In recent years, essential oils have gained popularity as nontraditional treatments. These oils are also gaining attention from the health community.
Essential oils give off an essence. Using them is called aromatherapy. Essentials oils should be diluted in a carrier oil if applied to the skin. Essential oils should not be swallowed.
Extracting essences from plants by natural means produces pure, high-quality oils. These oils can be used in a variety of ways. Many people use essential oils strictly as an aromatherapy product.
Asthma is a condition that often gets worse in anxious moments, said Erin Stair, MD, MPH, a New York-based doctor. Breathing exercises combined with some aromatherapy may also offer relief in many instances.
Some essential oils have an anti-inflammatory action and may be beneficial for treating asthma in some people.
The Best Essential Oils To Relieve Asthma
Asthma is a chronic or acute inflammation of tissue that causes the lungs and airways to swell. Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, and shortness of breath.
There are many natural treatments available to relieve asthma and in this article I am going to specifically describe how essential oils can help to relieve asthma.
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Aafa Explains: Can Essential Oils Help Asthma
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that inflames the airways and makes it hard to breathe. There is no cure. The best way to manage asthma is:
- Avoid your asthma triggers.
- Take medicines to prevent symptoms.
- Prepare to treat asthma episodes if they occur.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils, like herbal remedies, come from plants. Examples include lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil and eucalyptus.
Practitioners of traditional and folk medicine have used essential oils for thousands of years, much like herbal remedies.
Today, they are often sold as aromatherapy with claims that they are natural.People use the oils by massaging them onto the skin or inhaling the aromas.
Is there any evidence to back up claims that essential oils can help my asthma?
There is no evidence that essential oils can help asthma. In fact, breathing in the particles released by the oils may trigger an asthma attack.
The strong odors emitted by essential oils contain volatile organic compounds . VOCs affect indoor air quality, just like incense, air fresheners and scented candles. Poor indoor air quality can make you sick with asthma, allergies and other illnesses.
Some essential oils may irritate the skin.
Oils may also be poisonous to young children if swallowed.
The bottom line:
There is no evidence that essential oils can help asthma. Essential oils may be harmful to people with asthma.
Using Frankincense Oil For Allergies
How it helps: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, immunostimulant, disinfectant, sedative
Best for: Hay fever, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, runny nose, sleep, pet dander, dust mites home disinfectant
Another potent anti-inflammatory, frankincense oil is one of those wonderful multipurpose essential oils when it comes to treating allergies. It has been shown to help ease the symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, and even asthma. It even stimulates the immune system to help keep you healthy and well.
And if you thought a good nights sleep was distant dream during allergy season, think again. A landmark study found an anti-allergy blend of frankincense, sandalwood and Ravensara oils not only reduced annoying hay fever symptoms – itchy and runny noses, blocked nasal passages and sneezing – but people slept better, had more energy and felt happier.
As an air or surface disinfectant, frankincense oil can also help beat allergens like animal dander and dust mites.
How to Use Frankincense Oil for Allergies
Diffuse: Blend a mix of 3 drops frankincense, 2 drops sandalwood and 1 drop ravensara oils and diffuse for 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Disinfectant: Simply mix a few drops of frankincense oil in spray bottle with water for an all-purpose cleaner that smells amazing.
The Ultimate Guide on How to Use Essential Oils – Read More
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Essential Oils And Asthma
Little is known as to whether or not essential oils are safe for treating asthma. Dr. Joy Hsu from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you never replace your prescribed therapies and always consult your physician before supplementing your medication regimen. Some common essential oils are claimed as helpful in treating asthma.
Essential Oils: A Poor Choice For Asthma
Alrightwe need to talk. Those of you who know me personally or follow my blog are aware that I dont shy away from controversial topics, and that I dont have a problem speaking my mind. I try to do it in a respectful, informative, and somewhat humorous way. But I saw something this morning that needs to be addressed, and its not funny at all.
As I was eating breakfast this morning, I saw a link about essential oils posted on a fellow pediatrician/bloggers , where he made some important observations about the authors claims regarding medical uses of essential oils. I agree with him completely, but I think the point needs to be driven home a little harder. The article he linked to is called Essential Oils Alternative for Pediatricians Top 10 Prescribed Drugs. Its a bit unclear, but the article appears to have been written by one of two people:
- Xavier Lannes, the CEO of The Essential Tools, LLC . Based on his , Mr. Lannes has a strong interest in skateboarding, some business experience, and no medical training whatsoever. But Im sure hes just as knowledgeable about childrens health as your pediatrician.
- Or , a Gold Member at Young Living Essential Oils, with a BS in Biological Sciences and a couple MA degrees in unrelated fields. She also blogs at essentialsurvival.org, where her profile states that she is also a reflexologist/holistic healer. Again, no medical training. Did I mention that she sells essential oils?
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Nutrients In Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is loaded with a number of nutrients including:
These nutrients are beneficial for your health in many ways. It can provide your body with bioavailable nutrients that help ensure that your health operates at its peak levels. This also helps in building a stronger defense system, protecting you from diseases by keeping out toxins, germs and microbes.
Defense Against Respiratory Diseases & Protection of Lung Health
Ulm Universitys Otorhinolaryngology Department conducted a study to determine the effect of peppermint inhalation on nasal congestion and temperature variations. The researchers at the German university found that the menthol from peppermint oil did not cause any alterations in the temperature.
It did give a cool sensation to the subjects, but it was not accompanied with any changes in temperature. The researchers came to the conclusion that the ingredient stimulated the cold receptors in the nasal passages, which gave the unique sensation.
They also found that 16 of the 18 subjects noticed improvement in breathing through the nose after inhaling menthol.
Are Essential Oils Safe
Many people believe that natural products are always safe for use. While some plant extracts can be safe, you shouldn’t assume that all of them are. In fact, many plants have varying effects on your body. For example:
- Cumin oil: safe in food, but can cause blistering if left on your skin.
- Citrus oil: safe in food, but has varying degrees of safety. Citrus oil is particularly harmful in cosmetics if you are in direct sunlight.
- Peppermint: a mint that is used safely to treat upset stomachs, however, the pennyroyal variety of mint is toxic to your liver.
- Wintergreen: a common flavor used in gum, food, and pain relief products. While used safely in small amounts, consumption of a large amount induces symptoms like an aspirin overdose.
- Sage, Eucalyptus, and Camphor: while sage can be used in small amounts in food, large amounts of sage or any ingestion of eucalyptus or camphor can cause seizures.
As you can see, natural occurring plant oils can be dangerous if not followed in a recommended manner. This is why many clinicians will discourage use of essential oils for treating illnesses, as there is very little scientific evidence to the benefits and risks associated with aromatherapy as a medical treatment.
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Final Thoughts On Essential Oils For Asthma
Essential oils are a great option for asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. This is because essential oils contain anti-inflammatory, anti-congestive, expectorant, and antispasmodic properties that can help relieve your symptoms.
In this article, we mentioned a number of essential oils for asthma, including rosemary oil, frankincense oil, clove oil, cypress oil, oregano oil, tea tree oil, chamomile oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, ginger oil, and thyme oil.
How do you use essential oils for asthma? You can inhale essential oils with a diffuser, steam bath, Epsom salt bath, or right from the bottle. Essential oils can also be absorbed through skin, but some people may sensitive to certain oils and should dilute them and test on a small patch of skin before long-term use on a larger area of skin.
It is also a good idea to consult your doctor before taking essential oils for asthma, especially if you are being treated for asthma or taking any kind of medication.
Can I Use Essential Oils If I Have Asthma
Essential oils can assist and support people in a myriad of ways. For starters, they improve lives without breaking the bank or forcing people to compromise on questionable ingredients. Still, those with a respiratory condition like asthma may be skeptical, and understandably so.
Avoiding an asthma attack at all costs is ideal, which leads up to a question we get asked often: can I use essential oils if I have asthma?
The reality is that essential oils can trigger asthmatic symptoms, especially if used at too strong a concentration. However, there are some essential oils that may actually benefit people with the respiratory condition.
Are you curious about the best essential oils for asthma and how to use them safely? This is your guide.
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How Peppermint Oil Is Beneficial For Dental Care
Peppermint oil may be all-natural, but it also has powerful antibacterial properties to help fight against plaque. It is believed to soothe gums, kill bacteria, alleviate pain, and produce a tingly feeling which can help to ward off food cravings.
Peppermint oil has been shown to speed up the healing of dental treatment-related pain as well as
How Aromatherapy Helps Improve Asthma
Asthma, a chronic lung disease often associated with allergies, may only be seen as just an occasional cough to some, but those who have experienced this chronic respiratory disease on a personal level know how serious it can truly be. Asthma affects approximately 25 million Americans and this number only continues to grow. Asthmatics often suffer from flare-ups at night and in severe cases, these attacks can rapidly lead to late-night emergency room visits. While inhalers, antihistamines, immunotherapy and breathing treatments are often necessary in the treatment of asthma, many people are unfortunately unaware of the relieving benefits they could receive from aromatherapy. Aromatherapy, the practice of inhaling natural healing essential oils for psychological and physical well-being, has been used for hundreds of years for the treatment and management of respiratory health.
Peppermint essential oil helps suppress asthma symptoms by relieving the muscle contraction of the lungs and acting as a natural antihistamine. When the body is exposed to an allergen- commonly a main asthma trigger- histamines are released by the body as a reaction. Peppermint hinders the release of histamines, helping to prevent these asthma symptoms. Peppermint oil also contains menthol, a natural decongestant, which quickly and efficiently clears out nasal passages.
How To Clean Your Lungs And Get Rid Of Respiratory Problems
If you are suffering from problems of the upper respiratory system like flu, asthma, cold, bronchitis, allergy, or congestion, peppermint oil can be beneficial in fighting these conditions. In fact, it is also used as part of therapeutic creams applied on chest. It is also used to cleanse lungs.
Directly inhaling vapors of peppermint oil is considered the best way for clearing your nasal passages and congestions. It does not cause any side effects such as sleepiness or anything else. Most prescription drugs and over the counter solutions come with their own set of side effects.
Causes Of Bronchitis And Its Risk Factors
Lets look in more detail at the most common causes of bronchitis.
Dr. Charles Patrick Davis on MedicineNet says that the main cause of acute bronchitis is a viral infection. The most common type of viral infection is influenza or rhinovirus. Both of these cause flu and cold symptoms. Sometimes, bacterial infections can be to blame for a cough that brings up green or yellow phlegm.3
Its important to remember, that viral and bacterial bronchitis infections are contagious. So, you should avoid coughing or sneezing on items that other people may touch.
The main risk factor of contracting respiratory infections is being in close contact with infected people. Being around people who are sneezing and coughing, or touching items that infected individuals handled can pass the virus onto you.
According to Dr. Charles Patrick Davis, the greatest risk factor for chronic bronchitis is smoking.3
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