Asthma. If you’ve ever had it, you know how miserable this condition is. Whether you have to deal with it on a daily basis, or if it is seasonal for you, or if, like me, it is most often exercise-induced asthma (meaning that it acts up under physical exertion), the difficulty in breathing or simply the difficulty in getting full, deep breaths is awful. It can make a person feel weak and powerless.
Fortunately, there are many ways to treat this condition so that you can live a normal life, such as nasal sprays and inhalers (both of which I have used). What will you do, though, in a disaster situation when pharmaceuticals may not be readily available? Or maybe you are simply someone who doesn’t like all of the potential side-effects of those pharmaceutical drugs and wants natural treatments. What would you use in either of these situations?
Well, the first thing is to do your best to know what triggers your asthma symptoms so that you can avoid those triggers as much as possible. Common asthma triggers include dust and dirt, strenuous physical exertion like exercise, or cold weather. You have some control over your exposure to all of these depending on where you choose to live, how you exercise, or how you go about cleaning.
However, even with the most disciplined control of your triggers, anyone with asthma is likely to have deal with asthma symptoms from time to time. When that happens, there are natural “remedies” that can help to ease and control these symptoms. For many people, these remedies come in the form of essential oils.
One word of warning about using essential oils to control asthma symptoms comes from Gaye Levy, who writes,
Essential oils can be a powerful tool with asthma symptoms. However, it is important to note this is not for everyone!
I use essential oils without any problem. Strong scents, like essential oils or perfumes, are not a trigger for me.
Other people get triggered by strong scents and because of it essential oils may pose a problem for them. If you get triggered by perfumes and other strong scents, proceed with caution (or not at all). You can try if you like, just know it may result in some uncomfortable triggered symptoms. It’s up to you whether the relief is worth the risk.
If strong scents don’t trigger asthma symptoms for you, then you may want to consider using an essential oil such as peppermint which many people find very helpful for opening airways. Levy tells us why:
Peppermint can help prevent your body from releasing histamine, which in turn helps prevent and reduce asthma symptoms.
Peppermint also contains methanol, which helps relieve stuffy noses and helps you breathe better.
Other essential oils which many people find helpful include lavender which helps to reduce stress for many people and can help reduce inflammation and tea tree oil which can also help to reduce inflammation.
As with any care protocol, you would be wise to consult a doctor who is familiar with the use of essential oils to ensure no conflict with any current medication which you are taking, and you would also be wise to use an oil in very small amounts when first trying it so as to make sure that your body does not have negative reactions to the oil.
Having said that, many people (including me) find essential oils incredibly useful in controlling their asthma symptoms, and you may find it possible to live a life relatively free of asthma flair ups by controlling your triggers and the use of the right essential oils.