Essential oils can assist and support people in a myriad of ways. For starters, they improve lives without breaking the bank or forcing people to compromise on questionable ingredients. Still, those with asthma may be skeptical, and understandably so. Avoiding an asthma attack at all costs is ideal, which leads up to a question we at EG get asked often: can I use essential oils if I have asthma? Here’s what you should consider.
Asthma is the inflammation of air passageways.The cause of asthma is unclear, yet there are many documented triggers which provoke an asthma attack, including allergies, irritants such as smoke and pollution, stress, fragrances and more.
Essential oils, and their naturally occurring constituents, have demonstrated the ability to support a variety of factors related to asthma — frommitigating inflammation toaiding allergies. Current studies have shown promising evidence thatLavender,phenethyl alcohol (found inRose absolute),1,8 - cineole (found inEucalyptus), eugenol1 (found inClove) and arange of other essential oils may be beneficial to those suffering from asthma. Still, there are safety concerns to address before using essential oils, if you have asthma.
Though essential oils have not been shown to be a cause of the condition, there are instances in whichessential oils may have triggered asthma. Furthermore, those with asthma are advised touse 1,8 - cineole rich oils with caution, despite its breathing benefits. Anyone wishing to use essential oils with asthma are recommended to avoid inhaling EO vapors directly, to use a 1% dilution for full body massage and to seek medical counsel from a doctor and aromatherapist prior to aromatherapy use.
The bottom line is, if you have asthma, use essential oils with caution. Start with low dilutions and inhale EOs in small quantities and short intervals. If you find something doesn’t work for you or triggers your asthma, discontinue use immediately and move onto the next thing (slowly and with caution). When it comes to essential oils, you have options, so be encouraged that you’ll find the oil(s) right for you.
- Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety: a Guide for Health Care Professionals. Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, 2014.