Breathe Easy

Rae Allen on FlickrIt’s that time of year again when those nagging, allergy symptoms appear. Spring brings blooms that are usually welcome after a long, cold winter, but they can ruin the day of the almost 50 million Americans that have allergies. The season is difficult for those that are allergic causing anything from itchy eyes to stuffy nose to asthma attack. Most people suffer with these ailments but they don’t have to. Aromatherapy can bring badly-needed relief. It’s good to know that certain essential oils can assist you with deep and easy breathing.

“Our bodies are meant to heal themselves,” says Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, founder and director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy. “Essential oils can help by enhancing and encouraging the healing process. While they don’t directly stimulate the immune system, they do fight off infections and thin out mucus.”

Those suffering from clogged sinuses or bronchial infections can benefit by using aromatherapy in inhalation or infusion. For steam inhalation, place six drops of essential oil in a pot of just boiled water. Place a towel over your head and the pot and breathe in. (Note: don’t use if you have asthma). To infuse the air with aromatherapy, put 15 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle with 2 ounces of distilled water; shake prior to use.

Here are a few oils to diffuse or inhale that will help you breathe easy:
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a popular respiratory oil to improve breathing by relieving congestion and thick mucus;
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) is an antispasmodic that calms a cough while it is also an expectorant that removes phlegm;
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a powerhouse with anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic qualities.