Essential Oils & Sinus Problems

Essential Oils & Sinus Problems




Having sinus problems is very painful. I remember the first time I had a sinus infection, it was when my oldest son started  daycare in Sweden when he was a year and a half. Unfortunately I didn't know anything about essential oils at that time. Over the years I have used essential oils successfully for sinus problems in our house. We have also changed the diet since then. I also learned from Steven Horne, the Herbalist, how to activate the healing when I feel a cold coming. So it doesn't happen very often that my family suffer from sinus problems anymore. 

To activate healing
To activate the healing you need to give the body an energy boost to help it push the irritants out of the system. Herbs with pungent taste, such as capsicum, horseradish, ginger etc help generate wei qi energy. When you eat spicy food your eyes water, your mucus clear from your throat and lung, your nose runs and you start to perspire. You see, pungent herbs activate the energy that helps the body discharge whatever it is irritating it. So make them your best friends during a cold. As soon as you feel a cold coming on, stop eating, start drinking lots of fluid and start taking some of these pungent herbs. 


Other tips

  • Check for inhalant or food intolerants.
  • Poor bowel function may be the cause.
  • Battaglia suggests to increase garlic, onion and ginger. 
  • Eliminate sugar from your diet.
  • Avoid dairy.
  • Battaglia also suggests to make a sinus soup:  vegetarian minestrone with added horseradish, hot peppers, garlic, and ginger. 
  • Battaglia also suggests to use vitamin C to increase immunity against infection and to reduce mucus. He also suggests to add vitamin A since it increases the health of the epithelial tissue lining of the sinuses. 


My favorites essential oils  I've used for sinus problems
I have used different oils over the years, but one of my favorite is a Respiratory blend.  I have also used an Antimicrobial oil  successfully too. My son cleared his painful sinus congestion with a Pain Relieving blend  within a day. I also like to use frankincense, especially if I don't have any of my  favorite oil blends at home.

The Respirator blend contains the following oils:
Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, myrtus communis oil, pinus sylvestris (pine) leaf oil, origanum majorana (marjoram) leaf oil, eucalyptus radiata leaf oil, eucalyptus citriodora leaf oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, cupressus sempervirens oil, tsuga canadensis leaf oil, and mentha piperita (peppermint) oil.

The Antimicrobial blend contains the following oils:
Clove† (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon† (Citrus limon), cinnamon† (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata† and rosemary† (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol).

The Pain Relieving blend contains the following oils:
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), clove (Syzygium aromaticum) and peppermint (Mentha piperita).

Some single oils I've used in the past
Peppermint, helichrysum, thyme linalol, rosemary, marjoram, pine, eucalyptus, ravensara, myrtle and ginger. These oils have also historically been used for sinus problems.

How I use essential oils for sinus problems

  • I like to use steam inhalations for sinus problems and it is really powerful. For steam inhalations I add a few drops of oil to hot but not boiling water and inhale. Most of the times I drape a towel over my head to increase the intensity. I bought an electric facial steamer and it works great for upper respiratory problems. 
  • I also like to rub the oils on each side of the nose and over the sinus areas. It depends on the oil, some I may apply neat and others I mix with massage oil. I like to mix essential oils with some massage oil and put in a roll-on bottle,  I use it frequently on my sinus areas throughout the day. This is great when I have to leave the house. I have also used the YL Breathe Again Roll-On bottle specially formulated to promote healthy respiration. It has 4 different eucalyptus oils and its main function is to open the nasal passages to help clear up nasal congestion and to suppor the immune system function. 
  • I've also put oils on the sinus Vita Flex points on bottom of the feet, this is especially handy when dealing with stronger oils or when using oils on children. Some oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus should not be applied on the facial areas of small children.
  • I also diffuse appropriate oils in my diffusers.
  • For a quick relief I may inhale straight from the bottle. I plug on side of the nose and inhale deeply and then I switch side. 
  • I may also apply  a couple of drops of oil on the inside of my hands, rub them together, and cup them over my nose and inhale deeply. 
  • I've also used hot compresses over the sinus areas. (See at the bottom of page for how to make a compress)


Why I prefer to use blends
I prefer to use essential oil blends when possible since it will enhance the synergy between the oils, synergy is based on the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of the part. Essential oils with similar constituents can enhance activity. For example, research has shown a greater antimicrobial activity when oils were combined. Therefore, I like to mix several different oils into on blend for enhanced therapeutic value, and most of the times it is more economical for me to buy already blended oils.


How to make a compress

Place 5-15 drops of essential oils into a basin filled with warm water.
Agitate the water vigorously and let it stand for one minute. 
Place a dry cloth on top of the water to soak up the oils that float on the surface. Wring out the cloth and apply on the body. 



Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. Also, Read this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


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Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.










Photo credit

Sources:
Connie and Alan Higley, (Twelfth Edition, revised 2010). Reference Guide for Essential Oils. Abundant Health
Gary Young, ND (2006). Essential Oils, Integrative Medical Guide. Essential Science Publishing
Salvatore Battaglia (1995). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion Pty Ltd


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Coughing-  What To Do About It Naturally

Coughing- What To Do About It Naturally




Coughing can really ruin a whole night's sleep, even for the non-coughing members of the family. I remember when my daughter suffered from persistent cough when we lived in moist and moldy house in Wales. The cough didn't stop until I added essential oils to her treatment. I find essential oils extremely helpful in treating respiratory disorders, many times I used them in combination with herbal products. It is very easy and convenient to use essential oils for colds, coughs, bronchitis, sinus problems, or other respiratory problems.

Dry or moist cough
Coughs can be dry or moist, so when you choose the essential oils you need to consider the nature of the cough.  I use essential oils with expectorant and mucolytic properties for moist coughs, and when the cough is dry I use oils with antispasmodic and anti-tussive properties. Anti-tussive and antispasmodic essential oils are especially useful at night if the cough prevents sleep. Steam inhalations, chest rubs, and baths are just some ways that I apply the oils. In my daughter's case I added drops of cypress oil under her pillow at night. 

Here is a chest rub I used several times for moist coughs:
4 drops rosemary
8 drops hyssop
12 drops eucalyptus
2 tbl. cold pressed vegetable oil
Mix the essential oils with the vegetable oil. Massage the upper chest area and lower neck, both front and back. Inhale the essences from the hands before washing them. I use this blend a couple of times a day.

This is a chest rub I've used several times for dry coughs:
3 drops pine
12 drops eucalyptus
6 drops hyssop
2 tbl. cold pressed vegetable oil
Mix and use the same way as the previous rub for moist coughs.

A steam inhalation I used for both moist and dry coughs:
a bowl
4 cups of hot water
1 drop cedarwood
1 drop eucalyptus
1 drop hyssop
Pour the hot water into the bowl. Add essential oils. Hold the head about 8 inches over the bowl with a towel over the head to form a tent. Inhale slowly and deeply while keeping the eyes closed. Steam for about 5-10 minutes, two to three times a day. Cover the upper chest and neck with a towel or blanket immediately following the treatment.

Cypress, juniper, frankincense, lavender, myrrh, peppermint, and sandalwood are other oils that historically have been used for coughs. 

These are just some suggestions on what to do using essential oils, if you suffer from persistent cough for a longer time you should  see a physician.

The posts  Essential Oils and Bronchitis, Essential Oils and the Common ColdEssential Oils for The Respiratory and Immune System will give you more information about using essential oils for respiratory concerns.



Simple Home Remedies that have historically been used for coughs.

Syrup
You can make a simple cough syrup from warm pineapple juice and two teaspoons of honey. The bromelain in the pineapple is activated by the honey.

You can also make a cough syrup by mixing the juice of one  lemon with two tablespoons glycerine, and then add 12 teaspoons honey to the mixture and stir. Stir before each use. I always use raw honey.

Ayureda
According to the Ayureda tradition you can take equal part teaspoons of lemon and honey. If you have a cough with mucus you can add 1/2 teaspoon ginger, a pinch of clove, and a pinch of cinnamon to one cup of water.
You can also gargle by adding a pinch of salt and two pinches of turmeric to a glass of water.

Onion, pear and cinnamon
Another remedy which is easy to make at home, is to slice an onion into a deep bowl and cover with honey and let it sit over night. The next day you strain the mixture and this will make a simple elixir. Another tasty remedy is hot pear juice with a cinnamon stick. You can also add cardamon and cumin to juices.

This information is for educational purposes only and  is not meant to prescribe. Essential oils are safe to use as long as contraindications have been researched prior to use. As always, consult with your health care practitioner if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffer from any medical conditions. Some oils are contraindicated in certain conditions, so check out this essential oil safety page to make sure the oils are safe for you.


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Oil Blends that Support the Respiratory and The Immune System

Oil Blends that Support the Respiratory and The Immune System



Young Living has several excellent blends that are unique to them.

For example, here are some respiratory and immune blends:
R.C. Essential Oil Blend (Respiratory)
R.C.TM contains powerful therapeutic-grade essential oils that are invigorating when applied, especially to the chest and throat area. R.C. is a wonderful blend to diffuse during winter.

Ingredients: Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, myrtus communis oil, pinus sylvestris (pine) leaf oil, origanum majorana (marjoram) leaf oil, eucalyptus radiata leaf oil, eucalyptus citriodora leaf oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, cupressus sempervirens oil, tsuga canadensis leaf oil, and mentha piperita (peppermint) oil.


Breathe Again Roll-On (Respiratory)
Breathe AgainTM Roll-On is a proprietary blend of essential oils specially formulated to support respiratory health.


 Breathe AgainTM contains four powerful eucalyptus oils: Eucalyptus staigeriana, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, and Young Living's original Ecuador single, Eucalyptus blue.

Eucalyptus oils contain high amounts of cineole, which has been studied for its potential to support healthy lung function. The essential oils peppermint, myrtle, and copaiba also play an integral part in this blend. Breathe AgainTM is available in a portable roll-on applicator, making natural relief available anywhere.

Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Eucalyptus Staigeriana Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Laurus Nobilis Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit (Rose Hip) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Copaifera Reticulata (Copaibal) Oil, Eucalyptus Radiata Leaf Oil, Myrtus Communis (Myrtle) Oil, Leptospermum Scoparium (Manuka) Oil, Eucalyptus Blue Oil 


ImmuPower Essential Oil Blend (Immune+Respiratory)
ImmuPower TMis a powerful blend of therapeutic-grade essential oils that create a fragrant and protective haven while increasing positive energy.  ImmuPowerTM builds, strengthens and protects the body and supports its defense mechanism. 


Ingredients: Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), mountain savory (Satureja montana), cistus (Cistus ladanifer), ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), frankincense (Boswellia carteri), oregano (Origanum compactum), clove (Syzygium aromaticum), cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and idaho tansy (Tanacetum vulgare).

Raven Essential Oil Blend (Respiratory)
RavenTM is a combination of deeply soothing therapeutic grade essential oils that will provide comfort when applied topically to the chest and throat or diffused. 

Ingredients: Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), lemon (Citrus limon), wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Eucalyptus radiata.




Thieves Essential Oil Blend (Immune+Respiratory)
Thieves(R) was created based on research about four thieves in France who covered themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing plague victims. This proprietary essential oil blend was university tested for its cleansing abilities. It is highly effective in supporting the immune system and good health.

Ingredients: Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon (Citrus limon), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol).



Longevity Essential Oil Blend (Immune) LongevityTM contains oils that rank among the most powerful antioxidants known. Antioxidants are elements that help to neutralize free radicals and lessen the day-to-day oxidative damage everyone is subject to. Antioxidants are thought to protect the skin by attaching themselves to free radicals, which minimizes the harm they do and is important for youthful-looking skin. LongevityTM contains ingredients that score a very high 1,500,000 on the ORAC scale.

Ingredients: Thyme (Thymus vulgaris CT thymol), orange (Citrus aurantium), clove (Syzygium aromaticum) and frankincense (Boswellia carteri). 



More in depth information about respiratory and immune system health:

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.


Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.




The Common Cold

The Common Cold

Photo credit

Prevention is the best treatment for the cold, but sometimes in spite of our best efforts we catch a cold anyway. The main goal should be to build a strong body that can resist the microbes. I  wrote a post, Essential Oils for The Respiratory and Immune System last year so check it out to learn more about using essential oils for respiratory concerns and immunity.



Tips to Activate the healing 
First you want to give the body an energy boost to help it push the irritants out of the system. The Chinese have an energy system they call wei qi which protects the body from disease. The energy pushes outward on the surfaces of the mucus membranes lining of lungs, digestive tract and our skin


Herbs with a pungent taste, such as capsicum, horseradish, ginger etc help generate this wei qi energy. When you eat spicy food your eyes water, your mucus clear from your throat and lung, your nose runs and you start to perspire. 
Pungent herbs activate the energy that helps the body discharge whatever it is irritating it. Make them your best friends during  a cold. As soon as you feel a cold coming on, stop eating, start drinking lots of fluid and start taking some of these pungent herbs.


Use essential oils even when you are not sick

In the beginning of the flu season I make sure that I use antimicrobial oils when I clean the house, and I also diffuse the same oils in my diffuser. I let my children inhale straight from the bottles to boost their immune system, and I also occasionally add one drop lemon or orange therapeutic grade essential oils to their water bottles. (My children are 13 and 14 and small children should not take any oils internally, also, only use essential oils listed as suitable for ingestion.) I add oils to the bottom of their feet as well.

Essential oils are some of the most powerful antimicrobials known today, and as such they are very important in fighting many types of infectious disease. 
 


Add Powerful oils

Several essential oils have anti-microbial actions and they work directly against the micro-organisms. Most essential oils are antiseptic to a certain degree, but these oils have historically been used  for the treatment of respiratory disorders such as flu, colds, tonsillitis, cough, sore throats and other infections:
cajuput, clove bud, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, lemon,  pine, rosemary,  hyssop var decumbens, tea tree and thyme. 

Learn more in my post, Essential Oils for The Respiratory and Immune System 






Synergy enhance the therapeutic effect

My favorite is a powerful anti-microbial blend that I use a lot during the winter months. The blend consists of some of the most anti-microbial oils available such as clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Since it is therapeutic grade, it is added to some water to gargle for sore throats in our house. An easy throat spray can be made by adding a few drops to a small glass spray bottle. It is best to dilute this blend before using it topically since it is a pretty strong oil. I don't recommend that you stop at the regular health food store to pick up an oil to use ingest, you need to make sure that the company lists their oils as suitable for ingestion.



I would use essential oils liberally if we were sick right now. I would:
  • make massage blends for chest and back if my children were congested 
  • add essential oils to the bottom of the feet
  • make steam inhalations
  • put essential oils on the bottom of the pillow if any of my children were suffering from a cough
  • add essential oils to handkerchiefs to inhale when needed 
  • activate the healing with pungent herbs
  • diffuse anti-microbial oils in the air to ward off germs

Here are some quick facts, tips, and recipes taken from From the Essential oils Integrative Medical Guide.


How Essential oils can benefit the respiratory tract according to the Integrative medical guide:
  • Pine dilates and opens bronchial tubes
  • Myrrh is very effective for throat problems and hoarseness
  • Rose, sage, and sandalwood may help chronic bronchitis
    Suffer from bronchitis? Read my post,
    Essential Oils and Bronchitis for more information.



Colds

According to Gary Young, these oils can be considered:
Peppermint, thyme thymol, Bay laurel, oregano, rosewood, Eucalyptus radiata, tea tree, ravensara, rosemary cineol, mountain savory.



Head cold/sinus congestion


According to Gary Young, these oils can be considered:
Ledum, German chamomile, Eucalyptus radiata, frankincense, pine, peppermint, rosemary cineol, balsam fir, ravensara, lemon


This information is all based on using therapeutic grade essential oils. Oils not listed as therapeutic grade should not be ingested.


As always, this information is for educational purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose or prescribe.  If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffer from a medical condition, consult with your health care practitioner prior to using essential oils.



Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.


Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.


This is linked up to 
WFMW.
Healthy 2 Day Wednesday hosted by the Humbled Homemaker
Organically Thought – Alimentary Tuesdays Blog Carnival
Simple Lives Thursday