Three Essential Oils to Promote Healthy Lung Function

The use of Essential oils in folk medicine, to promote health and wellness is well documented. For ages across the world Lavender, Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Peppermint have been the ‘Go-To’ oils when helping the body combate upper respiratory infections. However, there are any number of oils that can be used, some of which may surprise you!

The three oils I have chosen to address are readily available, the concern for sustainability is very low, and their constituents are quite powerful! The first oil I would like to discuss is Myrtle (Myrtus Communis). Myrtle oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the Red Myrtle Tree with major constituents including: Myrtenyl Acetate, 1,8-Cineole,Limonene, a- pinene and linalool [1]. Myrtle is said to support the lungs against respiratory Issues including bronchitis, coughs, and colds, as well as fatigue, exhaustion and insomnia. [2,3]

This next oil is also a popular plant and herb found in many kitchens and gardens around the world, and that oil is Thyme. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the Thyme plant with major constituents including: Thymol, p-Cymene, Carvacrol, Gamma-Terpinene, B-Caryophyllene, Linalool, a-Pinene and a-Terpinene.[4] Thyme is purported to help combat the flu, colds, laryngitis, and a sore throat. [5]

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to discuss Ravensara. Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) not to be confused with Ravintsara, is a steam distilled oil from the plants of the Ravensara tree with major constituents including: Limonene, Sabinene, Isoledene, Estragole, B-Caryophyllene, B-Myrcene, a-Terpinene, a-Pinene and Linalool [6]. Ravensara reportedly helps combat the flu, bronchitis, whooping cough and fatigue.[7]

I chose to step off the beaten path when choosing these three oils to discuss respiratory health, due in large part to their varied and powerful properties. Thyme and Ravensara have strong antiviral properties, while Ravensara and Myrtle have antibacterial properties. All three oils are expectorants, while Thyme is also a mucolytic, and Myrtle is a decongestant. To round out the powerhouse properties these oils possess, Ravensara is also an immunostimulant and analgesic, while Myrtle displays Anti-inflammatory properties. [5,7,8] I believe it is important to have a wide repertoire of oil knowledge to choose from, since oils are such powerful tools in the fight against illness and disease. Additionally, all three oils are from plants and trees with ‘low concern’ for sustainability and population maintenance [9], and are easy to harvest, process and produce.

1- Usai, Marianna et al. “Chemical Composition of Myrtle (Myrtus communis L.) Berries Essential Oils as Observed in a Collection of Genotypes.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 23,10 2502. 29 Sep. 2018, doi:10.3390/molecules23102502
2- Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book Of Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition, New World Library, United States, 2016, pg 606-607
3- Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, Perfect Potion, Australia, 2003, pg 235-236
5- The Essential Life. Total Wellness Publishing, 2015, pg. 109
6- Tisserant, Robert and Young, Rodney. Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone, United Kingdom, 2013, pg 403
7- The Essential Life. Total Wellness Publishing, 2015, pg. 100
8- Higley, Connie and Alan. Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2014 Edition, Abundant Health, United States, 2014, pg 102- 103

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