Asthma, Mindfulness

Essential Oils for Asthmatics

I have a private group on Facebook devoted to asthmatics.  A recent post got a lot of discussion going.  It was all about essential oils and how they can help people with many conditions, especially those with asthma.  The people in the group were curious, surprised and almost timid about using oils for managing their symptoms.  That post got me thinking…

  • How many other asthmatics are out there that haven’t tried using essential oils?
  • How many other asthmatics are out there that are afraid to use essential oils because they don’t know where to start?
  • How many other asthmatics are wondering how they can use essentials oils to manage their symptoms?

That’s why I wanted to do this post.  Here I’ll be sharing some information about essential oils, the essential oils I use just about every day and how they help me and some things to think about when buying your own essential oils.  I do have to preface this post by saying I am not affiliated with any of the companies I share below, I’m just a customer and true fan.

What are essential oils?

The simple answer is that essential oils are the natural oils that are found in plants.  They’re highly concentrated and can be super powerful, both in smell and the healing properties of the plant itself.  Our ancestors used these oils for medicinal and therapeutic purposes and today, they’re growing in popularity.

How are essential oils used?

Most people know essential oils for their use in aromatherapy.  Typically that’s how I use them, but mainly because of the ease of the administration.  However, essential oils can be administered in other ways, as well.  If mixed with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, they can be administered topically.

What essential oils do I use regularly?

There are two types of oils I use regularly – pure oils and proprietary blends.  The pure oils are essentially single oils that come from only one plant.  Typically these do not contain additives, fillers or added fragrance.  The proprietary blends have multiple oils in them and are designed by a company, sometimes for the purpose of marketing.

Eucalyptus oil has been used to treat colds, flu, relieving muscle cramping or pain and more.  For me, I use it for my sinus problems.  As an asthmatic, every day is like having a cold.  I have a stuffy nose, my sinus cavities feel pressure and sometimes I can’t breathe well.  When I wake up in the morning, if I’m experiencing a lot of symptoms (i.e. stuffy nose, chest tightness, extra phlegm in my throat, etc.) I use this oil.  How?  I wear a chakra bracelet with lava stones and put a few drops on the lava stones.  That’s it!  Throughout the day, I bring that bracelet to my nose, inhale normally and take in that oil.  Even if I don’t do this, my normal movement will bring the smell of the oil to my nose.  In addition to the smell, my skin touches some of the oil, which will penetrate into my boy and work its way through my system.  Using this oil helps clear my nasal passages, clear my throat and make me more alert.  After all, the natural power of the oil is to dilate the blood vessels and essentially allow more oxygen into the lungs.  Which is why asthmatics can benefit from it.

Lavender oil helps most people experience a sense of calm and relaxation.  In addition to these benefits, lavender oil helps reduce anxiety, stress, reduces acne, relieves pain and alleviates headaches.  When it was first discovered, people actually used it as a sedative.  For me, it reduces my stress, calms me down and prepares my body for sleep.  I use this oil mostly at night, for obvious reasons.  When I smell lavender, I immediately have a switch flipped in my brain that gets me prepared to relax.  As an asthmatic, using this oil has benefits on my breathing, as well.  When that switch is flipped in my brain, my lungs know.  My airflow slows down and becomes easier.  This natural step helps my breath to become more normal and smooth.  I typically use this oil in my diffuser.  A few drops in my diffuser, right near my bed and within 30 minutes, I’ll be asleep.  However, you can also use it topically.  If you are going to use it directly on the skin, apply to to the chest or the temples because that’s where it will have the most direct effects.

Peppermint oil can be used a number of ways and in almost any medium.  It’s mainly known for its effects on muscle aches, seasonal allergies, energy levels and for aiding digestion.  For me, it’s all about the energy.  Have you ever woken up in a fog and just can’t seem to get out of it?  Peppermint oil can be your savior!  If I wake up with symptoms like brain fog, tired eyes or muscle soreness this is my go-to.  It’s because of the jolt of energy it gives me.  Picture a caffeine high that is gradual and doesn’t make you jittery.  Peppermint oil helps asthmatics clear up the brain fog and push through the day.  Just like the eucalyptus oil, I put just a few drops on my bracelet and smell the oil throughout the day.  Another way to use it is to put it on my temples, under my nose, on my chest or on the back of my neck.

BREATHE by doTERRA is the first blend of essential oils that I use.  This is a mix of about eight oils and help clear airways and breathe easier while minimizing seasonal threats.  I order this in the rollerball format and put it directly under my nose, on my wrists and on my chest.  It’s always in my bag in case I’m out and about and start to experience symptoms.  It works just like the eucalyptus, only stronger and faster.

Things to think about when buying your own essential oils.

Now that you know the essential oils I use regularly, I want to share with you some things to think about when buying your own.

  1. When buying single oils, make sure they’re pure.  If the oil is not pure, it may have fillers, added fragrance and additives that can impact the power of the oil and have a negative effect on you.  Many companies will indicate the oil is pure on the label, but try to obtain a list of the ingredients.  I say this because there really is no regulation on oils and without seeing the ingredients, you may not really know what you’re getting.
  2. Learn how you can use the oils you buy.  Some oils can be used in aromatherapy, some topically and some can be ingested.  Some oils can do all three and others can only be used one way.  By knowing how you can work with the oil you’ve purchased, you’ll be safer in the long run.
  3. Be careful when using around pets and children.  I say this one because cats and dogs can be severely allergic to essential oils.  In cats, it may even cause liver damage over time.  Children are similar to pets in their curiosity level and want to touch and feel new things.  My recommendation here is to keep oils out of reach of your pets and children and when using the oils in aromatherapy, place the diffuser on a shelf or hard surface they cannot reach.
  4. Experiment!  Although I’ve only gone through a few oils, try out a few that you’re interested in.  Pure oils or blends.  What works for me may not actually work for you and experimentation is the only way to figure that out.  As you choose oils to try, learn about them and have fun with the testing.  You might even find yourself getting so into oils that you decide to start making your own cleaners and beauty products.

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