When looking for an essential oil that will help support respiratory health you want an essential oil that contains constituents that can calm congestion, ease inflammation, reduce infection and boost the body's immune system so that it is better equipped to deal with germs.
There are several essential oils that can offer this type of support, but the one that I have found to be most helpful is Eucalyptus because it contains high percentages of 1,8 cineole.
1,8 cineole is a remarkable chemical compound offering strong therapeutic properties that have been well researched. Using a therapeutic grade Eucalyptus oil during a cold or flu can help reduce pain, break up mucus and ease headaches. It can also reduce swelling (great for sinus infections), decrease muscle spasms, and calm spastic coughing.
Cause ain’t nobody got time to be sick!
Essential oils are the perfect natural remedy to get your health back on track.
4 ways to use Eucalyptus to ease respiratory congestion at home:
1. In the diffuser: Add 3-5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to a cold mist diffuser for 10-30 minutes 3 times a day to support the sinuses and lungs. Eucalyptus has a fresh, crisp aroma which helps to cleanse and purify the air.
2. In the Shower or Bath: Turn your shower into a healing spa by putting 5–10 drops of Eucalyptus oil on a warm, damp washcloth. Place it in the shower just out of direct contact with the water to create a Eucalyptus-infused steam. Works best with an enclosed shower. Or combine 3-4 drops with 2 cups of Epsom Salts and add to a warm bath.
3. Chest rub: Mix 2-3 drops of essential oil with a 1/4 tsp of carrier oil like coconut, almond or grapeseed oil, and massage onto chest, back and soles of feet. A natural alternative to Vics Vapor Rub. This rub also works amazing post workout for sore muscles or to reduce headaches.
4. Face Steam: Fill a bowl with steaming water and add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus. Place face over bowl and cover head with a towel. Start with 5 minutes and work up to 10 minutes. Remember to give space between the face and bowl and take breaks as needed.
Feeling stuffed up when face-down getting a massage? Have your therapist place a couple drops of eucalyptus on a tissue and place on the stool below the face rest.
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NOTE: The recipes for eucalyptus usage mentioned in methods 2-4 are intended for adults. For young children, I recommend sticking with just diffusing the oil, being sure to diffuse it away from the face in a ventilated room. You might also choose to use Cedarwood, Lemon, Copaiba, or Frankinsence instead of Eucalyptus. Those oils would work as an alternative to eucalyptus in the chest rub recipe as well. Just increase the carrier oil to 1 tsp.
Post written by Sjoukje Remark, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist, Infant Massage Instructor, Essential Oil Educator