Bronchitis is often caused by a bacterial infection that originated in the upper respiratory tract. It is characterized by an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the build-up of mucus in the lungs, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing. While there is a risk of bronchitis developing into pneumonia, especially for people who have other respiratory problems or chronic illnesses, the body usually returns to health within a couple of weeks.
Aside from a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting plenty of rest, essential oils for bronchitis can be used to help the body overcome the illness. Specific oils with expectorant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties can help to thin and expel mucus from the lungs, to address the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, and to help the body fight the actual infection.
All of the following essential oils can be useful for treating bronchitis:
“¢ Thyme is wonderful for treating respiratory problems. It has antiseptic, antispasmodic, and expectorant properties.
“¢ Eucalyptus is a decongestant, an expectorant, an antiseptic and an antiviral essential oil.
“¢ Lavender can be used to boost the immune system and to reduce the inflammation.
“¢ Hyssop stimulates the respiratory system and helps to clear the lungs of congestion.
“¢ Cedarwood is an antiseptic, expectorant, and a sedative.
“¢ Pine essential oil also has expectorant and antiseptic properties. It is also stimulating and a restorative.
Excellent blends include hyssop and lavender, eucalyptus with pine, and lavender with cedarwood.
How do you use these essential oils to treat this illness? You can do a simple steam inhalation. Boil two quarts of water. Add to a large glass bowl. Add six to seven drops in total of any of the above listed oils. Place a towel over your head to trap the steam. Inhale for about ten minutes.
You can also take a therapeutic bath. Add ten drops of essential oil to a cup of water and then add to hot bath water. Relax in the bath, breathing deeply and calmly for about fifteen minutes.
Essential oils are safe for general use, although always talk to a doctor before using them for children, or if you are pregnant, nursing, or if you have a serious illness. Hyssop essential oil should not be used by anyone who has epilepsy. If the bronchitis is chronic or if you have other respiratory illnesses that may put you at risk of pneumonia, be sure to see your doctor about your illness. Essential oils for bronchitis can help make healing and recovery more efficient, but they are not a substitute for regular medical care.
Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Page, Linda. “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone.” Eleventh Edition (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).