Breathe deeply! We often take breathing for granted and don’t engage in deep breathing. We acknowledge the power of our breathing, or the lack of it, only when we feel “choked” in life. Otherwise, we treat it as a casual part of us, like it is no big deal that our life depends on our breath.
You should judge the importance of breathing by the fact that any time you are experiencing a stressful situation, you are encouraged to “just breathe”. Breathing is truly that enriching! But did you know that one in every 12 Americans is not able to enjoy a full breath every moment? Yes, we are referring to those affected by asthma, a lung disease that robs us of what we have come to expect – effortless breathing.
Asthma is a condition where the airways in our lungs have tightened to such an extent that breathing is no longer easy. This happens as a result of airway inflammation and swelling, eventually constricting our very breathing. While asthma itself leaves us in an uneasy condition, its symptoms can be debilitating during an asthma attack. In severe cases, it can even lead to death.
Its triggers are many: stress, active and passive smoking, extreme allergies (especially to pollen or animal hair), cold weather conditions, lung infections, etc. In each case, if our overly sensitive system perceives a threat from the trigger, it will cause our immune system to send a flood of blood and histamines into our respiratory system. (Histamines are typically produced to combat allergies.) This is also accompanied by a release of mucus into our airways, also known as bronchi..
Over time, our airways are inflamed by this constant inflow of blood and choked by the mucus. It is hence no surprise that we feel suffocated and struggle to breathe! In mild cases, this can manifest as constant coughs and wheezing.
Essential Oils for Asthma
Medically speaking, asthma is deemed incurable. Fortunately, it is not always fatal. With a little bit of medical aid and plenty of sensible living, asthma patients can lead relatively normal lives. But do note that the aids provided by the medical world can sometimes be addictive in nature (like inhalers), or have long-term side effects (like steroid-based drugs).
This explains why we have seen a surge of alternate therapies in recent times. They are low-cost yet equally effective, and can be used to diffuse asthma symptoms using nature’s bounty. Among them is the use of essential oils. Experts recommend three ways of using essential oils:
- Direct inhalation, where the oil is used with an aromatic diffuser. As a bonus, the oils also purify the surrounding air.
- Rubbing directly onto the skin.
- Taken orally, via supplements.
These oils reduce the inflammation and swelling around our bronchi. Some may even reduce the secretion of excess mucus, further clearing our airways. Sounds good, right? So without further ado, we explore the top essential oils that are a must-try for asthma patients.