This is one of my favourite topics when it comes to essential oils. I love telling the story of how essential oils change my life!
The original reason I became interested in using essential oils was for respiratory support. For the past 5 or 6 years, I have suffered from a seasonal cough that shows up every spring.
I then usually have a persistent & deep chest cough all summer, and into the fall. I had an air conditioner in my room that I would have on every night, because laying down would bring on a fit of deep chest coughs. Sometimes I would also wake myself up at night coughing, and then it would be hard to stop the cough and go back to sleep. I was so congested, that certain foods made it even worse. Drinking a coffee, or anything with milk or cream was especially bad.
Having tried every kind of prescription puffers available, I was getting no relief, and really didn’t like the idea of taking this sort of medication all the time. After a couple of trips to the Dr. and the emergency room (due to shortness of breath from coughing), I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands.
I started researching natural remedies I could try. I started taking a daily supplement of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as I learned that this can help with inflammation for asthma and persistent coughs. I also supplement my diet with bee pollen in the spring in summer, as this is a good way to boost your immune system and de-sensitize the body to airborne pollen. Check out this post on Mind Body Green for more information about using bee pollen to cure allergies.
Two other herbal tinctures I take are Ribes nigrum (Blackcurrant) and Rosmarinus officials (Rosemary). I have found both of these to help significantly with reducing inflammation and congestion. These drops can be taken daily, with a small amount of water. While all of these herbal remedies and supplements were helping me, I was still experiencing a lot of respiratory congestion, coughing, and breathing difficulty, and it was hard to enjoy the summer months!
I began using essential oils in January 2016. The very first Young Living oil I got, was RC – which stands for respiratory congestion. After that I was hooked. I have done a lot of research on using essential oils for respiratory support, and have been using the following oils since January. It is now late June and I have not experience ANY coughing or respiratory congestion, at all.
One thing I will say, is that you have to be very persistent with these oils. Using them once or twice is not going to cut it – you have to use it every day, as a preventative measure. These are the oils I carry with me every day, and I apply them every morning and evening.
My Top 5 Essential Oils for Respiratory Support
Raven is a cleansing blend of Ravintsara (cinnamomum camphora), lemon (Citrus limon), wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Eucalyptus radiata. When applied topically, Raven is soothing to the chest and throat.
With this blend, I make a 10 ml roller bottle and dilute it with a carrier oil to keep in my pocket or purse. I roll it on my chest, neck and back whenever I need it. It is also wonderful to diffuse to soothe the chest.
Another thing you might try is making an essential oil inhaler, using a himalayan salt inhaler, or a small plastic inhaler. This allows you to inhale the oil through your nose, and it is much more powerful than just sniffing the scent from the bottle. It is very invigorating, and cleansing.
RC is an invigorating blend of cypress, spruce, and three varieties of eucaly
ptus that is comforting when applied to the chest and throat. It can be inhaled directly, diffused, or diluted an applied topically.
With RC, I like to make a simple “vapo rub” using coconut oil, and apply this to my chest.
The eucalyptus oils are the main ingredient in RC, and they are well known for their respiratory supporting abilities.
This RC Balm is a great natural & homemade alternative to vicks vapo rub, and is so easy to make!
Breathe Again Roll-on
The Breathe Again Roll-on features four types of Eucalyptus essential oils, including
Eucalyptus Blue, which is grown and distilled at the Young Living farm in Ecuador.
I keep this handy roll-on with me when I go out, and apply it multiple times throughout the day as a preventative measure. You can put breathe again on your chest, neck, throat, ad back – and I even like to put it over my sinuses sometimes, but this can be a bit strong on the eyes.
Cold pressed from the fresh fruit peel of lemons grown in Argentina and the United States, lemon oil has refreshing and cooling properties. Its fresh, citrus scent is an instant pick-me-up.
As suggested in the Young Living Canada Natural Remedies Guide, lemon essential oil can be applied topically or inhaled to reduce the symptoms of cold & cough. This is a great oil to diffuse when you’ve got a cold or flu to reduce symptoms.
One of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs, peppermint essential oil has a fresh aroma that is energizing to give you a renewed feeling of vigor.
Peppermint is a good oil to use in the shower when you’re feeling congested. Put a drop or two on the shower wall, or on the floor & have a hot shower. The oil will diffuse in the steam from the shower, and can help relieve your symptoms. I also use peppermint vitality when I’m feeling congested, by adding 1-2 drops to my peppermint tea. Relax and inhale the cooling aroma. This is a wonderful way to clear the sinuses.
Some more info from the Young Living Canada Natural Remedies Guide about peppermint:
In Aromatherapy peppermint can be used topically:
- to help relieve joint or muscle pain associated with sprains, strains & rheumatoid arthritis
- or inhaled can act as a nervine and calmative which enhances relaxation
- or inhaled to reduce the symptoms of cold & cough
- when experiencing digestive discomfort can act as a carminative and antispasmodic
For more reading on using essential oils for cough and respiratory support, check out this page by Dr. Josh Axe on the Top 5 Essential Oils for Allergies.
Take a look at David Avocado Wolf’s website for more reading on Lung Cleansing With Peppermint Essential Oil For Congestion.