There are a number of essential oils which can help to loosen and expel mucus. Learn what they are and how to use these natural expectorants.
Congestion in the chest and nasal passageways, which is a symptom of the common cold, the flu, sinus infections, hayfever, and bronchitis, is caused by an accumulation of the sticky, gooey substance known as mucus. It makes breathing difficult and can lead to serious coughing. A natural expectorant helps to get rid of this mucus build-up in the respiratory system.
While the formation of mucus is a natural healing response to respiratory tract infections, getting rid of it is a way to not only relieve the related symptoms, but also to return to health; expel mucus and you expel the bacteria, toxins, and other microbes that may be causing the illness. Natural expectorants, such as several essential oils, can be used to safely get rid of mucus from the lungs and nasal passageways without the negative side effects of over-the-counter medications. Which are some of the best aromatherapy oils to use and how can they be used as a natural remedy for nasal and chest congestion?
How Expectorants Work
What exactly do expectorants do in the body to help expel mucus? They act by breaking up and then clearing congestion in both the lungs and the upper respiratory tract. The wonderful thing about using plant-based remedies such as herbs and essential oils is that they not only provide medicinal compounds which help to get rid of mucous build-up, but they also possess additional healing benefits. Natural expectorant essential oils may also encourage the healing process through anti-bacterial, antiseptic, sedative, and anti-spasmodic properties.
Natural Expectorant Essential Oils
The following essential oils can be used to help expel mucus from the respiratory tract:
- Cedarwood — Also has good antiseptic, astringent, and sedative properties.
- Sandalwood — This is a natural expectorant that is particularly beneficial in soothing both the mind and body during illness as it is both an antidepressant and an aphrodisiac.
- Thyme — This is a wonderful healing essential oil for respiratory infections as it helps to eliminate mucus, destroy pathogens, calm coughs, and relax the body.
- Frankincense — This essential oil has expectorant properties but it is also an anti-inflammatory, an antiseptic, and it helps to promote cellular regeneration.
- Hyssop — Hyssop essential oil is ideal for chest congestion and bronchitis as it stimulates the respiratory system while also encouraging the release of mucus. It is also an antiseptic. This oil should not be used if you have epilepsy or any type of seizure disorder.
- Eucalyptus — Ideal in cases of nasal congestion, eucalyptus is a natural expectorant, a decongestant, an antiseptic, and an antiviral essential oil. It also helps to reduce fevers.
All of these essential oils are safe for general use except for hyssop. If pregnant, nursing, if you have a serious medical condition, or if you are taking medication talk to your doctor before using aromatherapy.
How to Expel Mucous with Aromatherapy
There are three simple, accessible methods that you can use to get rid of mucus with these natural expectorants. First, you can use any essential oil diffuser to release the scent molecules into the air. The beneficial phytochemicals will enter the body through the olfactory nerves.
A steam inhalation is another method that is particularly useful for expelling mucus. Boil two quarts of water. Pour into a large glass bowl. Add five to seven drops of the expectorant essential oil of choice. Put your head over the steam, inhaling for about ten minutes. Putting a towel over your head will help to trap the steam.
You can also treat congestion naturally with an aromatherapy bath. Add eight to ten drops of any of the above essential oils to a cup of water. Add this solution to bath water. Soak for fifteen minutes.
Essential oils have much to offer the human body. Use these natural expectorants to help relieve the symptoms of a respiratory infection and improve overall well-being.
Page, Linda. “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone.” Eleventh Edition (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
Balch, Phyllis A. “ Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
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