(BPRW) Essential oils that help you breathe easier
(Black PR Wire) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to lung diseases that make it difficult to breathe. It is estimated that more than 11 million Americans have COPD. There is no cure, but remedies can help relieve symptoms, stop complications, and slow disease progression.
Signs of COPD include shortness of breath, needing to clear your throat often, and frequent coughing. People with COPD often suffer from emphysema and chronic bronchitis
COPD can result from long-term exposure to pollutants or toxins, including the toxins found in cigarette smoke. Genetics may also play a role in the development of COPD.
Primary therapies for COPD include:
- Stop smoking
- Oxygen therapy
- Medicines that widen your airways, including nebulizers and inhalers
Home treatments and holistic therapies may also work to reduce your symptoms. Some research shows that essential oils can effectively treat COPD when combined with traditional medical treatment.
COPD and essential oils
Research indicates that essential oils may be helpful in treating upper respiratory tract infections.
Upper respiratory tract infections include the common cold, sinusitis, and pharyngitis. They are acute disorders, meaning they only last for a short time, usually a few weeks. By distinction, COPD is a chronic, lifelong disease. Nevertheless, both conditions relate to the inflammation of your bronchioles.
Eucalyptus oil has been widely used for centuries as a home remedy for respiratory ailments. Eucalyptus oil is also an anti-inflammatory and boosts your immune system. Using eucalyptus oil can kill destructive bacteria that make your COPD symptoms worse. It can also soothe your throat and chest and speed healing.
Lavender oil is known for its soothing scent and antibacterial effects.
Sweet Orange Oil
Orange oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. In a study that compared a proprietary oil blend with eucalyptus oil and orange oil, orange oil demonstrated clear abilities to help fight COPD.
Bergamot is another component of the citrus family. It is famous for its smell and its ability to soothe the nervous system. Bergamot may work well in relieving pain and soreness caused by cough symptoms during a COPD flare-up.
Frankincense and myrrh
These two ancient and widespread essential oils have a long history of treating respiratory conditions. Research has shown their anti-inflammatory effects, and they have many other effects that can improve your health and help you feel better.
But what we know about how frankincense and myrrh help, particularly with COPD symptoms, is mostly anecdotal. When other essential oils have been shown to work for COPD, these two oils might rank lower on your list in terms of established remedies.
When to consult a doctor
People with COPD are at higher risk for other illnesses that affect their lungs, such as the flu and pneumonia. Even the common cold can put you at risk of further damaging your lung tissue. Don’t try to use essential oils to self-treat a COPD flare-up that makes you hard to breathe or causes shortness of breath. If you notice the following symptoms, you should see a healthcare professional within 24 hours:
- Presence of blood in your mucus
- Green or brown mucus
- Extreme coughing or wheezing
- New symptoms such as intense fatigue or difficulty breathing
- Sudden, unexplained weight gain or loss (more than 5 pounds per week)
- Waking up breathless
- Swelling of the ankles or wrists
There is no cure for COPD, but traditional treatment can be supplemented with essential oil therapy to control its symptoms. Research indicates that certain essential oils can soothe symptoms, promote healing, and boost your immune system to help prevent flare-ups in many people with COPD. You can buy essential oils at your local pharmacy or online.
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