How to Use Aromatherapy for Asthma

Aromatherapy can work as a natural way to relieve asthma symptoms, without the side effects that come with some prescribed medications. Some doctors warn that using aromatherapy during an asthma attack can actually worsen it, but aromatherapy for asthma between attacks can be used as a preventive measure and ease discomfort during an attack.


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    Consult your doctor or an aromatherapist before pursuing aromatherapy treatment for asthma. You should never substitute aromatherapy for medical treatment.
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    Discover the benefits from different essential oils and decide which combination of aromatherapy oils you want to try. Each essential oil can be used diluted on its own, or you can combine several according to your needs.
    • Use marjoram, rose or frankincense, which opens up the chest and allows the body to breathe fully and deeply. These herbs have anti-inflammatory and expectorant effects. Many people report feeling uplifted after experiencing frankincense in particular.
    • Relaxants like lavender and geranium can lessen the spasms that accompany an asthma attack. Both are known to have a comforting and calming effect.
    • Try using salvia sclarea as an anti-inflammatory.
    • Peppermint and ginger are known decongestants and contain antihistamines.
    • Chamazulene, found in German chamomile, stops the release of histamines in the body that cause irritation in the lungs and can bring on an asthma attack.
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    Use a twice-daily chest rub of aromatherapy oils in between asthma attacks to help soothe the respiratory system..
    • Combine 10 drops of aromatherapy oil with about 20 milliliters of another oil, such as sunflower oil or soy oil, to make the chest rub.
    • Since most asthma sufferers have scent sensitivities, take a small sniff of your blend first to determine if it will cause an adverse reaction.
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    Make a steam with lavender by adding 10 drops of essential oil to each quart of a very hot bath or bowl full of steaming water. Then create a tent over the bowl or bath so you can breathe it in.
    • Steam can open your airways and lavender has a calming effect. The steam method can be used during an asthma attack and has been known to completely stop an attack or at least make it less severe.
    • You can steam up to 3 times per day. Make sure to avoid burns to the face by hot steam and keep your eyes closed to avoid eye injuries.
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    Try using lavender in a humidifier or diffuser in your home if the steam method is too intense.
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    Massage aromatherapy oils on your feet.


  • When purchasing aromatherapy products, look for essential oils -- not fragrances.
  • Remember to purchase only medical grade aroma for the asthma but not the therapy grade aroma.


  • Do not use eucalyptus oil as it can make asthma conditions worse. Those with high blood pressure should also avoid this essential oil.
  • Aromatherapy is not recommended for children under 5 years old.
  • Be careful about using aromatherapy products as they are most likely toxic as well as flammable. They can also cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivities in some cases. You should never apply the essential oil directly to the skin without diluting it.
  • The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate aromatherapy and it has not been proven scientifically to relieve asthma symptoms.

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Categories: Asthma