Top 5 Essential Oils for Asthma Symptoms

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Top 5 Essential Oils for Asthma Symptoms

Dr. Josh Axe — Food is Medicine
Sep 6, 2018

People respond differently to specific essential oils for asthma and to essential oils in general. If you are being treated for asthma (or any other ongoing health problem) or are currently taking any medication, talk with your doctor before trying essential oils for your 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 breathe. 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. (1) 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 isn’t the only essential oil that may help you to breathe easier! (2)

5 Essential Oils for Asthma

Asthma and allergies often go hand-in-hand, especially in cases of allergic asthma, which is asthma triggered by exposure to the same substances that trigger allergy symptoms. That’s why it’s not surprising that there is a good deal of overlap between essential oils for allergies and essential oils for asthma. What is the best essential oil for asthma?

  1. Eucalyptus Oil

Asthmatic bronchitis is when asthma and bronchitis occur at the same time. If you’re looking for essential oils for asthmatic bronchitis, eucalyptus oil is a great choice. Eucalyptus oil is known for helping to open up airways, improving bronchial restriction. Eucalyptus contains the active component, citronellal, which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. (3)

Wheezing can be a symptom of asthma where a combination of swelling, mucus and muscles tightening can cause narrowing of the airways. What essential oil is good for wheezing? Eucalyptus oil may definitely be worth trying! A scientific review published in 2014 highlights a beneficial component of eucalyptus oil known as eucalyptol, which is known for its ability to reduce spasms in the respiratory tract and thin out mucus, making it less thick, sticky and problematic.

Also known as 1,8-cineole, eucalyptol has shown to have therapeutic benefits in inflammatory airway diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Overall, the review concludes that based on the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties demonstrated in recent clinical trials with eucalyptol, there is evidence for its use as long-term therapy to improve asthma control. (4)

Research has also shown that inhalation of eucalyptus oil produces a cold sensation in the nose that helps to improve airflow. (5) Talk about a great natural decongestant!

  1. Peppermint Oil

Is peppermint good for asthma? Peppermint oil is definitely another top choice of essential oils for breathing difficulties. With its purifying and enlivening scent, peppermint oil is often used to cleanse the lungs and open up the bronchial passages.

A study published in the European Journal of Medical Research suggests that peppermint oil and its active component L-menthol have impressive anti-inflammatory effects that can benefit chronic inflammatory disorders like bronchial asthma. (6)

Another animal study published in 2010 demonstrates peppermint oil’s ability to act as a relaxing antispasmodic, which is a quality that can be especially helpful to common asthma symptoms like wheezing and coughing. (7) It’s also why peppermint oil is considered one of the best essential oils for coughing.

  1. Thyme Oil

Thyme has potent antiseptic properties that can be cleansing to the lungs for healthier respiratory function. If you’re someone with asthma, struggling with an added layer of breathing difficulty due to bronchitis, thyme oil can really come in handy.

It’s one of my favorite essential oils for bronchitis because it’s known to be so successful at killing off all kinds of bacteria including those that can infest the respiratory tract. Thyme oil has even been shown to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria! (8)

  1. Ginger Oil

Ginger has been used for centuries to treat respiratory disease. Ginger essential oil is often used as a natural remedy for asthma as well as colds, coughs and bronchitis. Research has shown that ginger extract inhibits airway contraction which can make for easier breathing. (9)

Airway hyper responsiveness and inflammation are two common characteristics of asthma. A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology found that ginger and its active components caused a significant and rapid relaxation of isolated human airway smooth muscle. Researchers conclude that active components of ginger oil including gingerol may provide “a therapeutic option” for people with respiratory diseases like asthma alone or in combination with other accepted forms of treatment. (10)

  1. Lavender Oil

Asthma is known for getting worse when a person experience stress or anxiety. Using a calming essential oil like lavender in combination with deep breathing may offer some relief.  Lavender oil is quite well-known for its relaxing, carminative, and sedative effects, which is exactly why it makes my list of the top seven oils for anxiety.

Bronchial asthma involves bronchial allergic inflammation with airway remodeling. An animal study published in 2014 demonstrates how the inhalation of lavender essential oil can inhibit allergic inflammation and decrease mucous production. Overall, the researchers conclude that lavender oil may be useful as an alternative medicine for bronchial asthma. (11)

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