Essential Oils for COPD Symptoms
COPD, which is also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is among the top causes of death in the US., and anyone who suffers from it knows that finding ways to breathe more comfortably is always a welcome opportunity. COPD is a respiratory disease characterized by restricted airflow due to abnormal inflammation in the lungs.
Diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments fall under the umbrella term of COPD. Those with this disorder understand the importance of being able to breathe freely, so it is always helpful when we can share natural yet effective treatments that can treat chronic diseases such as COPD.
Which Essential Oils are Best for COPD?
Many natural compounds are excellent for opening airways, decreasing mucus in the lungs, and lowering inflammation, all of which are symptoms of COPD. These natural ingredients are distilled into powerful and effective essential oils that can be used to treat these respiratory disorders.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Perhaps the most well-known and effective essential oil for treating COPD is eucalyptus. This plant has been used for centuries around the world to treat breathing troubles, as it naturally opens airways, increases airflow, and thins mucus. Eucalyptus is often used in over-the-counter medications to help enhance breathing, so why not try it yourself? Use eucalyptus in a steam sauna, in your bathwater, as a vapor rub, or on your pillow to help you breathe easier.
Orange Essential Oil
Orange essential oil is another effective treatment for COPD and other respiratory ailments. As a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, orange essential oil also contains antioxidants. Both of these can be beneficial for those suffering from COPD. The aromatic scent of orange essential oil helps lower pain and improve airflow.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is another popular choice for treating COPD. As an antioxidant, lavender can slow the progression of your disease, and its calming scent lowers stress and allows you to breathe more evenly and slowly. Stress often aggravates COPD symptoms, so lowering its effects can be beneficial on many levels.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil is wonderful when you are feeling very congested or need to support a weakened immune system. Thyme’s natural antibacterial properties also help thin and drain airway-clogging mucus, which can help you breathe easier.
Lemon Essential Oil
Like orange, this citrus essential oil is excellent for opening air passageways as well as boosting your immune system. As a natural anti-inflammatory, lemon reduces the irritation that causes breathing difficulties while also fighting germs.
Make Your Own COPD Essential Oil Mix
To create an effective and pleasant-smelling blend for your home diffuser, mix equal amounts of eucalyptus, thyme, and lemon essential oils into a small bottle. Add this to your home diffuser or place several drops of this onto a cotton square to use as an inhaler. This blend will help keep your airways open and allow you to breathe more deeply.
Oils, like medicines, should be used in moderation and according to instructions. While some essential oils are safe to be used on the skin or even internally, always be sure to read labels and instructions carefully before use. Some oils can have different concentrations or levels of purity, so be sure to purchase oils for treating COPD from a reputable manufacturer who focuses on quality.
Hasani, A., et. al. (2003). Effect of Aromatics on Lung Mucociliary Clearance in Patients with Chronic Airways Obstruction. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 9(2):243-9.
Rantzsch, U., Vacca, G., Dück, R., & Gillissen, A. (2009). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Myrtol Standardized and Other Essential Oils on Alveolar Macrophages from Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. European Journal of Medical Research. 7(14):205-9.
Worth, H., Schacher, C., & Dethlefsen, U. (2009). Concomitant Therapy with Cineole (Eucalyptole) Reduces Exacerbations in COPD: A Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Trial. Respiratory Research 10(69).