Coughing is relatively common and without exception, all individuals experience bouts of coughing attributed to one of many reasons. The very act of coughing is a reflex action which helps the throat to relieve itself of irritants and mucus. Among the multiple reasons for cough, cold and flu are considered as most common. While presently, there is no cure for cold, there are options for relieving the associated symptoms of cough. Various natural remedies have a soothing effect and this includes essential oils. Here is a good look at 12 essential oils for a cough which will help you understand the efficacy of the oils, and the right manner in which the oils have to be used for treating cough. Before that lets understand a little more about the reasons behind coughing – this will help in taking the most suitable remedial action.
What causes cough? What are the 12 essential oils for a cough
The reasons behind cough are broadly classified into temporary and permanent conditions. The act of coughing is mainly triggered when the airway experiences irritation from mucus or dust/smoke. While coughing is typically not very frequent, this frequency is likely to increase when the airways are expose to the irritants in the atmosphere. Before we look at the 12 essential oils for a cough lets look at common irritants that cause coughing.
#1 Viral infections – Common cold and flu that are regarded as respiratory tract infections are the main reasons for cough. These infections are caused by viruses and are known to last almost a week. The bouts of coughing help to free mucus from the lungs and cold/flu typically resolve naturally in a few days, while cough can persist for a longer period.
#2 Allergies – Individuals who are allergic to certain conditions or substances are likely to experience bouts of coughing. For instance, if you are allergic to mold, you are likely to cough when exposed to mold, and this cough is actually a reflex action trying to remove the allergens.
#3 Smoking – Smokers are known to cough more than others, and the distinct cough is commonly known as “smokers cough”. Individuals who are allergic to smoke or perfumes are also known to cough when exposed to passive smoking.
#4 Medication – Certain types of medication are known to cause coughing. For instance, certain ACE inhibitors (prescribed for treating heart ailments and high BP) can cause coughing.
#5 GERD – Individuals with Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) are likely to experience coughing as the backed up stomach acid can trigger a reflex action in the trachea which can cause coughing.
Overview of 12 essential oils for a cough and how to use the oils?
Here is an overview of the 12 essential oils for a cough including the ideal way to use the oil for extracting best benefits.
Essential oil of Eucalyptus
This is one of the most commonly used essential oils for treating a whole range of conditions, including cough. The oil has potent anti-microbial qualities and this makes it effective in soothing and offering relief from cough. The mechanism of action of eucalyptus oil is attributed to the compound cineole, popularly known as eucalyptol. The best method to use the oil for relief from cough is to include a few drops of the oil with carrier oil following which the contents are to be rubbed on the throat and the chest. Another effective method is to use eucalyptus oil as an ingredient during steam inhalation. This offers quick relief from cough.
Essential oil of Peppermint
This is one of the 12 essential oils for a cough that are regarded as potent and effective in offering quick relief. This is one of the reasons why peppermint essential oil is a common ingredient in products specifically targeted at cough relief. It has a mechanism of action that include a soothing and cooling sensation that offers quick relief to throats that go hoarse after coughing bouts. The relaxing effect of the essential oil helps to soothe the throat which helps in improving breathing in individuals who suffer from intense cough. It is ideally used as a topical application on the throat/chest or used as an inhaling ingredient in steam inhalation.
Essential oil of Rosemary
This is another commonly used essential oil with a similar mechanism of action as that of eucalyptus oil. This is again attributed to the compound cineole in the oil that gives it potent anti-microbial qualities. Additionally, rosemary oil has the effect of relaxing the muscles in the trachea. This helps to give significant relief from coughing. The most effective methods of using rosemary essential oil is to either apply a mix of rosemary oil with carrier oil on the throat/chest or to inhale diluted oil as part of steam inhalation.
Essential oil of Oregano
This makes it to the compilation of 12 essential oils for a cough by virtue of the active ingredient carvacrol. This is a powerful antimicrobial agent which helps treat a range of respiratory illnesses. As cough is a condition associated cold and flu, this essential oil is effective in helping alleviate the condition. The proven method of using oregano essential oil is to mix it with virgin coconut oil and use it as a topical application on the chest and throat. The alternative method is to use the oil as an ingredient during steam inhalation.
Essential oil of Frankincense
This is one of the oldest oils man has ever known. It is traditionally used across various cultures for relieving symptoms associated with respiratory illnesses. Individuals suffering from cough as a result of respiratory illnesses receive significant relief when frankincense essential oil is used. The best method to use the oil is to include it in an aromatherapy diffuser or including it in a steam bath for inhalation. The ideal duration of inhalation is around 5 minutes, which will ensure that the individual enjoys swift relief from cough.
Essential oil of Cinnamon
While this may not appear to be a natural fit in this list of 12 essential oils for a cough, it is effectively a good choice, as it delivers excellent results when used to alleviate conditions associated with respiratory illnesses.
Essential oil of Thyme
This is another essential oil whose mechanism of action is attributed to the presence of carvacrol. This is one among the few essential oils that can be consumed. The best method to for using thyme essential oil for cough is to mix it with tea and drink it for relief from cough. It can also be used as a topical application by adding it with a suitable carrier oil before applying.
Essential oil of Geranium
Geranium essential oil is popularly used for cough treatment due to its pleasant scent, which makes it easy to use on individuals who are averse to strong smells that are characteristic of essential oils. It is mostly used in diffusers for relief from cough.
Tree Tea Essential oil
This is another traditionally popular medication used for treating cough and cold. Inhalation of the oil is known to have strong effects in preventing the growth of bad bacteria that is commonly associated with respiratory infections.
Among the 12 essential oils for a cough there is a category of oils that have similar mechanism of action that is attributed to common compound – camphene. Essential oil of Bergamot, Essential oil of Nutmeg and Essential oil of Cypress are three types of essential oil with the same action and results. The best method of using these three oils is to inhale the as part of steam inhalation. The antioxidant properties of the oil help to soothe the throat and offer relief.
Points to remember when using the 12 essential oils for a cough
It is important to remember the following points when using the 12 essential oils for a cough.
· Most of the essential oils are not to be consumed, only a few are safe to consume as an ingredient in preparations. Check out if the oil you have chosen can be consumed.
· The oil is to be diluted sufficiently when used as a topical application
· The oil is to be diluted in boiling water when used for inhalation
· The blending of essential oils with other oils needs to be performed in a manner as to ensure that the oil is diluter sufficiently
· Pregnant women and children below specific age limits are not to use the oil without the consent of a medical practitioner