With cold and flu viruses rampant, now is the time to strengthen and repair your respiratory system – your body’s first line of defense against invading pathogens. Utilizing essential oils through inhalation by a diffuser can build our immunity towards winter’s pathogenic invasions of respiratory viruses and bacteria with oils that strengthen the Lungs. The inhaled oil coats the mucus membrane of the respiratory tract from the nostrils all the way down the trachea, into the bronchi, and finally the sac like alveoli where gaseous exchange occurs with the blood.
The following oils are safe for standard use in your diffuser around all members of your family (children and animals too). These substances, when inhaled, have been shown to reduce inflammation of the respiratory tract, soothing damaged mucosal tissue and helping it to repair. While these oils also have a slight anti-viral and anti-bacterial property, we’ll recommend stronger anti-microbial oils in our next article.
Consider adding 5 – 10 drops of any combination of the following oils at nighttime so that you are breathing in the therapeutic oils as you sleep. This also provides moisture to your respiratory tract and reduces the influenza virus’ ability to spread. A recent meta-analysis shows that the influenza virus’ ability to survive and be transmitted is impacted by the moisture level in the air, specifically it needs dry air to survive. This finding has led health officials from the National Academy of Science to recommend the use of humidifiers in hospital settings to decrease the spread of the flu. When using essential oils, you will want to invest in a good quality ultrasonic diffuser and not just add the oils to a standard humidifier. The diffuser will add humidity to the air while breaking the oil up into bioavailable particle sizes.
At KMA, we carry the highest quality, artisinally crafted essential oils from Snow Lotus. These oils are USDA organic and directly sourced by our mentor acupuncturist and medical herbalist Peter Holmes. Therapeutically, this matters! You can read about why we feel Snow Lotus products are the very best here.
Siberian and Silver Fir: The pungent, sweet, and warming oils of the Fir tree tonify and regulate the qi of the Lungs. This oil is uplifting to the spirit, and brings yang energy to the brain thus improving mental clarity, memory, and fatigue with brain fogginess. Siberian Fir is soft and helps to circulate the Lung qi. It is indicated for patients who have a history of chronic respiratory conditions due to weakness, such as asthma, wheezing, and a weak, tense chronic cough. Silver Fir is the mildest of the fir tree oils. It is gentle enough to be used with children who are prone to coughing at night. Silver Fir is a great oil to use in your diffuser every night to strengthen the Lungs as we move through the Fall season.
Laurel and Green Myrtle: Laurel and Green Myrtle are both pungent, green, cooling oils that have an affinity for the Metal element. They serve both the Lungs and the Large Intestine in their rhythmic functions by draining damp accumulation so that these organs are clean and clear. Laurel was a sacred plant used in Ancient Greece to clear the mind so that once can acheive inner and outer balance in the world. Earning your “laurels” meant unleashing your inner warrior to achieve something spectacular. Laurel improves creative insight, critical thinking, and helps us to break old habits that no longer serve. Laurel helps us to persevere through life’s challenges and is perfect for someone who experiences chronic respiratory illness in the fall and winter.
Green Myrtle also transforms damp conditions in the lungs and the digestive system. Green myrtle helps to regulate blood sugar. It was used in the temple of the goddess Aphrodite / Venus . Green myrtle is useful for those trying to break an addictive behavior that damages the lungs or large intestines such as overeating or smoking.
Hyssop: This is another pungent-green oil that breaks up damp accumulation in the lungs. It also relaxes and circulates the qi, thus providing some calming to the spirit and the mind. Breathing in a deep breath of hyssop can break up phlegm lodged in the lower bronchi, thus providing you with the emptiness you need to receive healthy, cleansing oxygen. You can almost feel your lungs giving a deep sign of, “Ahhhh, hyssop!”