Essential Oils for Asthma: A Practical Guide to Natural Treatments

The best way to learn how to use essential oils for asthma is to know the basics of the disease. This is a respiratory disorder characterized by wheezing, usually of allergic origin. The syndrome is described by airflow obstruction that varies distinctly.

The airways are hyper-responsive to an array of triggers due to inflammation, causing the airlines to narrow markedly. Narrowing is reversible, but irreversible airflow obstruction may occur if you are suffering from chronic asthma. Asthma may present itself in atopic patients when they are exposed to chemical sensitizers.

Types, Causes, Symptoms, & Triggers of Asthma

There are three popular forms of asthma with similar pathological appearance, including allergic, non-allergic, and occupational. The onset of allergic asthma is in childhood and may continue into adulthood, but cutback in adolescence is common. The commencement of non-allergic is in adulthood, and it is usually associated with perennial non-allergic rhinitis.

The primary causes of asthma are not known. According to research, much has been learned about the root triggers of the condition. It is known that asthma results from a combination of genetic susceptibility, and exposure to environmental agents. People inherit a tendency to develop asthma from one or both parents. Nevertheless, you may be born with the genes, and never go on to develop the disease. Environmental mechanisms appear to be important in establishing whether one becomes asthmatic or not.

However, the following factors may increase the risks of developing asthma:

  • Maternal smoking
  • Exposure to high concentration of allergens


  • Wheeze
  • Cough, usually unproductive
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sputum production


  • Allergens (pollen, house dust mite, molds, and animal dander)
  • Stress
  • Irritants (strong odors, air pollutants, and tobacco smoke)
  • Occupational agents (allergens and chemical sensitizers)
  • Upper respiratory tract viral infections
  • Time of day
  • Endocrine factors (thyroid disease, pregnancy, and menstrual cycle)
  • Change in weather and food additives.

How to Use Natural Oils for Asthma

How to Use Natural Oils for Asthma

Asthma is treated with inhaled drugs, so it is not surprising that inhaling aromatic oils can prove helpful for people with asthma. In addition to providing symptom relief, essential oils are useful for eliminating stress and promoting sleep and relaxation. However, you need to take extra precaution when the patient is a child. The very fact of having an asthma attack can cause your child to feel anxious. Therefore, you need to get the mixtures right to avoid any undesirable results.

You can best use oils for asthma through calming bath mix, back/chest rub and massage, and inhalation. To make massage oil, take a given number of drops from the bottle, depending on your child’s age, and dilute in 5 ml of carrier oil. Use one drop for a child of fewer than two years, two drops for two to five years, three drops for five to eight years, four drops for eight to eleven years, and five drops for twelve to sixteen years. Back massage may help minimize the rate of recurrence of asthma attacks. Massage the back in large, sweeping movements in an upward direction.

To improve breathing, breathe in respiratory relief steam as necessary. Apply respiratory rub or breathing blend to your child’s throat, back, and chest. Use your aromatherapy diffuser to circulate a breathing mixture through your room.

In case of an imminent attack, breathe in asthma essential oils inhalant directly from the bottle as needed. You can ease your child’s pain or your own by massaging chest, back, and throat

Safety Measures When Using Essential Oils

  • Avoid essential oils that seem to upset the patient’s breathing.
  • Do not ingest essential oils.
  • Always conduct a patch test on your skin before using an essential oil topically.
  • Avoid essential oils if the patient is pregnant, and consult an aromatherapy specialist.
  • Keep essential oils away from your face and eyes.

Aromatherapy Oils for Asthma

Peppermint Oil for Asthma

Peppermint essential oil for asthma

Peppermint oil is a pale yellow or colorless liquid with a strong, fresh, minty, green fragrance, which is a combination of menthol and menthone. Menthol produces a cooling sensation when applied to the skin, and research supports its analgesic effects. These two constituents account for the therapeutic properties associated with the oil. The main uses for this oil are respiratory systems, especially asthma and bronchitis, as it is antispasmodic and expectorant. You must blend peppermint oil with an equal part of carrier oil before topical application and inhalation.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil for asthma

Lavender oil functions as a good antiseptic for bronchial tubes. This makes it the best preventative as well as a beneficial treatment for bronchial asthma and colds. It has been successfully used for treating physical and psychological spasms of asthma. A combination of lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils will help clear nasal passages, and relieve any accompanying headache. Sprinkle one drop of lavender oil, one drop of peppermint oil, and two drops of eucalyptus oil on to a tissue and inhale deeply as required.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil for asthma

Eucalyptus oil has a yellowish green color with woodsy aroma. It is antiseptic, expectorant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. Take four to five drops of eucalyptus, frankincense, and lemon oils in a capsule. Come up with a respiratory blend made of eucalyptus, marjoram, frankincense, lavender, lemon, and wintergreen oils, and use it in a diffuser. The eucalyptol aroma opens up the airways, and aids in breathing. You are advised to dilute eucalyptus oil with a vegetable oil prior to any application.

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium essential oil for asthma

Geranium oil is amber-yellow to greenish-yellow in color. The fragrance is mainly rose-like with a varying minty note. The oil consists of terpene alcohols, which provide it with its healing and toning properties. It is non-sensitizing, non-irritant, and nontoxic. Apart from treating asthma, it is the best oil for managing stress as well as relieving nervous tension. Geranium is known for its beneficial use on all skin types. Therefore, it is a good choice for a chest rub and back massage. However, pregnant women should avoid this oil.

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil for asthma

Frankincense oil is immune-stimulant, antidepressant, and anti-catarrhal. The oil is particularly useful for respiratory congestion associated with asthma and bronchitis. This oil is relaxing and soothing, making it popular for relieving stress and anxiety. As an expectorant, it is useful in treating bronchitis and asthma. You can use it topically in massage oil, lotion, or compress. It is an effective antiseptic and chest rub. Combine frankincense oil with pine, lavender, ginger, bergamot, and lemon essential oils for asthma attack to treat catarrh, asthma, and bronchitis.

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram essential oil for asthma

This aromatic oil is known for its sweet aroma. It relieves pain and spasms, and it is soothing for strains and aching. Marjoram oil is an effective expectorant. You can use it to treat wheezing, cough, and colic associated with asthma.

Essential Oil Recipes for Asthma Attack

Recipe #1 – Asthma Inhalant


  • 2 drops of niaouli essential oil
  • 2 drops of cypress essential oil
  • 4 drops of pine essential oil
  • 4 drops of marjoram essential oil
  • 6 drops of spruce essential oil
  • 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

Preparation and Application: In a small, dark-colored, airtight glass bottle, add all the ingredients, and shake. Inhale directly from the bottle as necessary to prevent or minimize asthma attacks.

Recipe #2 – Asthma Chest Rub


  • 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops of thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops of cypress essential oil
  • 2 drops of ginger essential oil
  • 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 ounces of carrier oil

Preparation and Application: Place the carrier oil in a clean, dark-colored glass bottle. Then add the oils for asthma and shake well. Massage the mixture over your throat, neck, and chest as required.

Recipe #3 – Massage & Rub Blend


  • 5 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops of cypress essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Preparation and Application: Pour the vegetable oil into a clean, ceramic bowl. Add the natural oils and stir to combine. Use the blend to massage your back.

Recipe #4 – Steam Treatment


  • 25 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 3 cups of hot water

Preparation and Application: Pour the hot water into a ceramic bowl. Then add the peppermint oil, and wrap a towel around your head. Bend to hold your face over the bowl and breathe deeply.

Recipe #5 – Asthma Attack Chest Rub


  • 1 drop of peppermint essential oil
  • 1 drop of marjoram essential oil
  • 4 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 6 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 ounce of vegetable oil

Preparation and Application: In a clean, ceramic bowl, add the essential oils to the vegetable oil, and stir to mix. Rub the blend on your chest as necessary.

In Conclusion

You should always exercise caution when using essential oils for asthma. Some oils may trigger an asthma attack in susceptible patients. If you have asthma, consult an aromatherapy specialist before using уssential oils for asthma. You should get immediate medical attention if you do not respond to a given natural remedy. Moreover, keep a diary of possible triggers as they occur for future reference.

Sources and References

  1. EPA Asthma Triggers: Gain Control
  2. MedlinePlus Asthma
  3. NIH What Is Asthma?
  4. CDC Learn How to Control Asthma

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