Respiratory Tract Infectious Diseases cause significant mortality in both sexes and include several acute and chronic diseases like pneumonia caused by viruses and/or bacteria.
A 2018 study on the use of essential oil vapors for combatting respiratory infections was conducted. The investigation of essential oils was thought worthy as the vapor of essential oils can pass into the body’s airway and make direct contact with infected surfaces.
The study noted that, “The increasing number of multidrug-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance has led to the need to discover alternative treatments against infections like respiratory tract diseases. Essential oils, because of their volatility, can easily pass through the respiratory system and reach both the upper and lower parts of the respiratory tract via inhalation.”
This study evaluated the antibacterial activity of clove, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, thyme, Scots pine, peppermint, and citronella.
The study concluded that, “Cinnamon bark oil possess the strongest antibacterial activity against all the respiratory tract pathogens used in our study.” Cinnamon, thyme, peppermint, and citronella were shown to have the most potent antimicrobial activity in vapor, whereas clove oil showed more potent activity when used in liquid form.
Steam Inhalation to Support Respiratory System
Steam inhalation with essential oils can be especially effective for supporting the respiratory system and to aid breathing. Whether you desire relief for asthma and allergy symptoms or for treating upper or lower respiratory tract infections, steam inhalation can be a great friend in your process of healing and recovery. Upper respiratory tract infections include: sinusitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis and the common cold while lower respiratory tract infections include: pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis
Research now shows that poor oral hygiene and gum disease may be a contributing factor in pneumonia.
Although steams are often performed primarily for cosmetic reasons, they can also offer extraordinary medicinal benefits for your respiratory system.
You can use steam to effectively soothe cold or flu symptoms, like sore throats, nasal congestion, or other respiratory symptoms.
A respiratory steam works by trapping the essential oil vapors in hot water and delivering them to provide soothing support to the respiratory system. The hot steam vapors also loosen congestion and help eliminate toxins. A respiratory steam is also therapeutic for all of your five senses, as well as relaxing for your body and mind.
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Directions Respiratory Steam
Extraordinarily easy to do, a respiratory steam takes very little time to perform.
All you need for an at-home respiratory steam is a small ceramic or stainless steel bowl to which you will add hot water (up to 102º). Not so hot you'll irritate your sensitive nasal passageways.
- Add your essential oils or blend to the bowl of steaming hot water.
- With a towel draped over your head, eyes closed, lean over the bowl of steaming water face forward. The towel will catch the steam from the hot water infused with essential oil so that it penetrates your respiratory system.
- The amount of time you take to do your respiratory steam treatment is individual to you and depends upon your comfort level with the steam, but generally takes between five to fifteen minutes.
You can also use your essential oils in a commercial respiratory steaming machine, commonly used at spas, that you can purchase for at-home use.
CAUTION: If you have serious respiratory issues like asthma it is recommended that you consult with a health professional, or doctor before using a steam that contains any aromatic herbs or essential oils to ensure they won’t cause irritation or other breathing complications. Essential oils are not water soluble and you must use a dispersant when adding them to a facial steam or bath. Also, hot water may cause essential oils to penetrate your system more quickly or cause irritation for sensitive or damaged skin, i.e. blemishes, sores or rash.