Asthma, is a chronic, common condition characterised by symptoms of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightening, and cough, is an inflammatory disorder that causes airway hyper-responsiveness and airflow obstruction.
Uncontrolled asthma can have a profound, negative effect on a patient’s quality of life. Despite current interventions and substantial healthcare investment, approximately 250,000 people worldwide die each year from asthma; almost all these deaths being avoidable.
There are 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12). The NHS spends around £1 billion a year treating and caring for people with asthma.
Conditions can be worse and heightened at different times of the year, dependant on the seasons and can be triggered by different allergies in people.
Aromatherapy can provide a natural support and relief to medication. For oils to work they need to enter the body, there are two main methods for this to take place, which is; inhalation and penetration.Inhalation is perhaps one of the quickest ways for oils to access the body. The molecules pass up the nose binding to olfactory receptor cells which send messages to the brain. The forefront of the brain interprets the electrical impulses and responds to the unique aroma or properties. The second effect from inhalation is that the oils molecules pass through the lungs and respiratory system into the bloodstream where then contribute their effect on the body.
Caution needs to be used for oils that can irritate the mucus membranes. Specific treatments can be used for Asthma, Bronchitis, Chesty Coughs, Flu and Pneumonia.
Antispasmodics will help coughs, colic, whooping cough - Bergamot, Chamomile, Cypress, Cedarwood, Lavender.
Sandalwood calms the nerves of the bronchial area to reduce coughing
Decongestants will help clear the airways - Lavender, Eucalyptus, Bergamot.
Infections are supported with Antiseptics such as; Bergamot, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lemongrass.
Expectorants will clear mucus - Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lavender, Sandalwood, Marjoram, Pine, Thyme, Myrrh and Fennel.
Good oils for general colds are; Eucalyptus, Lavender, Marjoram, Thyme.
Airbourne Bacteria - Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Black Pepper Allergies - Chamomile
For specific Asthma support;
- Peppermint and ginger have decongestive and antihistamine powers and work best when rubbed on your chest.
- German chamomile seems to stop the release of histamine (histamine causes your airways to close).
- Some oils such as marjoram, geranium, rose and lavender work to help control your bronchial spasms.
- Frankincense, rose and marjoram allow your lungs to expand to help with deep breathing.
- Lemon and oregano oils can strengthen your immune system which decreases your bad reactions to allergens and other things that can lead you to have an asthma attack.
- You could also try breathing lavender steam during an asthma attack to quickly relax your lung spasms and open your airways. Lavender also helps you to relax mentally during an attack, which allows you to deal with the panic you feel when you can't breathe.
- Atlas Cedarwood and frankincense are woody comforting oils that help slow down the breathing, giving a sense of peace and openness in the chest.
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