Asthma causes inflammation and swelling in the airways, and this makes breathing difficult. Some people suggest using essential oils to relieve symptoms. But is this a good idea?
Most types of asthma do not result in constant breathing difficulty, but exposure to triggers, such as exercise or an allergen, can result in an attack.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 8.3 percentTrusted Source of people in the United States have asthma, meaning that it affects approximately 6.1 million children and 20.4 million people aged 18 years and over.
There is no cure for asthma, but prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) treatment can help people lead normal lives.
Some people prefer more natural treatment options, such as essential oils. These oils may help relieve symptoms, but they should not replace conventional medical treatments and they can pose new risks.
This article will look at the use of essential oils to treat asthma and some of the possible risks. It will also cover other treatment options for this condition.
Some studies have suggested that substances in some essential oils may offer health benefits for people with asthma. These essential oils include the following:
Lavender: People use this essential oil for a variety of purposes. A mouse study published in 2014 showed that lavender essential oil has natural anti-inflammatory characteristics. It may help people with bronchial asthma by reducing the inflammation of the airways.
Eucalyptus: Research suggests that eucalyptus oil may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Tea tree oil: In a small studyTrusted Source published in the British Journal of Dermatology, findings showed that tea tree oil could reduce skin inflammation that occurs in response to histamine.
Histamine is a chemical that the body produces in an allergic reaction. Allergens trigger asthma in many people, and tea tree oil might help reduce the inflammation that occurs as a result.
However, the study involved only 27 people, and there is currently no further evidence to support its findings.
Roman chamomile: Chamomile is another essential oil that studies have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Research has also found that chamomile can help relax the bronchi, which are the airways linking the windpipe to the lungs. As a result, it may also relieve coughing.
Pistacia integerrima: Also known as karkatshringi, people in India use this plant to treat asthma, bronchitis, and other conditions.
In a study published in 2014, scientists used laboratory tests to demonstrate that the essential oil from Pistacia integerrima may help treat bronchial asthma. It may be beneficial due to its antihistaminic activity.