Essential Oils for Breathing Difficulties

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

No person on planet earth likes to suffer with breathing problems. There couldn’t be a more unsettling feeling than when your lungs are not getting enough air circulating through them. Even worse is having no air circulating through them. These breathing difficulties will affect other parts and organs in the body. If the brain does not get oxygen within five to ten minutes irreversible brain damage will set in. The exception to this is if a young person passes out and gets very cold at the same time.

Sometimes people do not take lung health seriously. If we stop breathing it could be fatal. Lung health is essential to our very survival. It is claimed that the average person takes 6 million breaths per year on average. (more if they are a superman) Lungs of a human are structured like other vertebrae the one exception being fish but they are similar to a lot of other animal groups. Our lungs are defined by little elastic-shaped sacs that have little air passages that the air flows through  so oxygen can pass into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is released out of the body into the outside environment.

health seriously to avoid breathing or respiratory problems such as pneumonia, flus, colds, coughs, and asthma to name a few. A very serious disease that can kill is cancer which can develop if we do not take care of our lungs.

There is a natural remedy that can help us take care of our lungs and reduce or eliminate breathing problems. The solution is essential oils and to this day people still do not take the effectiveness of essential oils seriously. But the essential oils are growing in popularity as legitimate health treatments. Let’s get going and talk about those valuable essential oils.

Tricks for Respiratory Maintenance

  • Keep the dwelling purified. Healthiness starts in your own backyard literally. Keep sinks and bathrooms sterilized. The floors should mopped often.
  • Getting on a daily routine will take you a long way to exercising routinely
  • Breathing exercises help in keeping lungs healthy. Make these a daily habit
  • Make it a habit to use essential oils for your respiratory issues. This is optional if you want to use them on a regular basis or not. It may not be healthy to overuse essential oils.
  • Do not smoke tobacco, weed products or any type of drugs. Think about second-hand smoke than other people who are not smoking or breathing the same nicotine-filled air as you are. In a way they are smoking involuntarily Don’t ever smoke anything
  • Place plants in your home wherever you can breathe in fresh oxygen. This may be extreme and an unnecessary precaution

The lungs are attached to the trachea (a large membranous tube reinforced by rings of cartilage, extending from the larynx to the bronchial tubes and conveying air to and from the lungs; the windpipe.) and when the trachea is affected you can bank on a sore throat to follow suit. The Respiratory system.has seven main parts that make up its structure main function of the lungs is to deliver  the oxygen breathed into other parts of the body.  The healthier the air you breathe in is the healthier you will keep your lungs and the rest of your body.

Peppermint Essential Oil

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Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is an extremely powerful oil to help the lungs keep breathing properly. Breathing is the way we stay alive and in the wintertime congestion can often lead to lung congestion, inflammation and pain. Peppermint oil can help to reduce and eliminate congestion from whatever source and it is one of the best oils to use for breathing problems.

Lavender Essential Oil

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Lavender Essential Oil

This oil is powerful and be used for many breathing-related problems. It has healing properties that may be able to heal lung infections though there is no solid proof that it can heal lung infections. The lungs can be infected by diseases, pollution issues and many other factors.The most common lungs infection is caused by staphylococcus bacteria.Ann American study says that a lavender and eucalyptus blend can kill 70% of all bacteria found in the lungs.

Bergamot Essential Oil

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Bergamot Oil

Bergamot essential oil is used traditionally for helping with breathing issues. It has wonderful properties that help it fight inflammation and clear out bronchial passages.

Recipe Method:

  • To use this oil, add 2 drops of bergamot, 2 drops of eucalyptus and peppermint oil and use it as an inhaler.
  • Star anise essential oil: Star anise is an influential herb. In ancient times it was used to treat cough, sore throat, and running nose. You can intake this oil by adding two drops in a cup of black tea. Drink at least 3 cups a day to see the wonderful influence this oil has on breathing problems.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

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Eucalyptus essential oil is a very powerful herb-like oil  for proper lung health. Eucalyptus oil can assist with many respiratory problems  like coughing, flu symptoms, congestion caused by any source, bronchial diseases which it will help to clear bronchial airways that begin the healing process, lungs that become infected with bacteria, asthma and its symptoms, and other ailments like the ones described earlier in this article.This oil is used differently for health issue relating to the body differently than other oils

Clove Essential Oil

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Clove Essential Oil

Clove is a strong essential oil to clear runny noses and can kill infections,It can lower high temperatures that are caused by fever, asthma symptoms, and a sore throat will be a thing of the past.

Recipe Method:

  • Although this oil is edible, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before ingesting it. If you feel you do not have time to consult a doctor, you can add 4 cloves (not clove essential oil) in your tea and boil for 5 minutes. Intake this tea at least 3 times a day. This is a perfectly safe and healthy therapy to treat flu, cough, sore throat, and mouth ulcer.

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

The marjoram plant has a very distinct but strong scent. This essential oil has many health benefits and is a key ingredient in many medicines and it can be very effective in treating lung infections.  

Tips on Using eucalyptus, clove, and marjoram essential oils for lungs:

  • Keep your eyes covered when using essential oils otherwise they will tear up
  • Neve blend any of these three oils together
  • Never take these oils internally
  • Moderate how much of these oils you apply to your skin
  • If you have sensitive skin dilute these essential oils before you use them
  • Virgin coconut oil and virgin olive oil are friends of these essential oils. Use them together

Recipes for Using Essential Oils for Breathing Issues

  • Inhalation: Inhalation is the most common and effective way to exercise for any respiratory ailments. It is also known as the fastest way to treat any lungs ailment. Specifically pour some hot water into a pan. Add a few drops of the essential oil that will clear your symptoms. Add  equal amount of drops of a carrier oil. Wrap a towel around your head and lower your head to the pan of essential oil vapors and inhale the vapors directly.
  • There are various methods through which you can inhale essential oils:
  • Diffuser put a few drops in it and let it freshen the surrounding air
  • A few drops on a handkerchief
  • Carrying a pot of essential oils blend to breathe wherever you are



  • 6 drops of eucalyptus oil,
  • 10 drops of lavender oil,
  • Water (for steam process or to create a mist)


  • Store the blend in a pot to inhale every now and then, just add an ounce of carrier oil to the above essential oils and store it in a small bottle and inhale whenever required.
  • Do this 3 times a day to witness extremely speedy recovery.
  • To diffuse the blend, just add a few drops in the diffuser and let it diffuse for at least 30 minutes.


  • For topical use, dilute essential oils in carrier oil prior to its application on skin. Essential oils for lungs are strong, herby oils, so dilution of these oils prior to use is a must.
  • In one ounce of carrier oil add 6-9 drops of essential oils. To use essential oils for lungs, apply it on chest, neck, back, and vita flex. However, you can also apply a small amount of oil on the tip of the nose for better breathing.

Pauline B’s Testimony:

Last year I developed a severe bronchial infection and cough, then a sinus infection on top of that. It took 3 ‘upgrades’ of antibiotic and several weeks to knock down the infections, but I was left with a continual sinus drip and a chronic cough with heavy mucus.

I had been inhaling Raven and RC and the Breathe Again Roll-on for temporary relief, but house dust, changing sheets, outdoor air and all cleaning products and hair sprays sent me into gasping, coughing fits. After being tested for asthma, given an Rx for an inhaler and Advair, which I didn’t use, I decided to research the Young Living info I had been collecting for years as a distributor, since 1992.

I came across notes from a Young Living seminar I had attended in 1996, which gave us a blend for COPD for inhaling. In an empty bottle, pour:

  • 4 drops Thyme oil
  • 4 drops Rosemary oil
  • 3 drops Peppermint oil
  • 3 drops Lemon oil

Inhale this deeply for 2-3 minutes, as needed. I mixed a big batch, using 40 drops Thyme and Rosemary, 30 each of Peppermint and Lemon in a clean empty Young Living bottle. I carry this with me, and take it to bed.

To use, pour one drop in palm and inhale, as often as needed. I also advise users to apply the oils undiluted on Reflexology points on the bottoms of feet, corresponding to the lung and bronchial areas, best done at bedtime. Google reflexology for a chart.

It stops the tickle, the wheezing, and the sinus drip. My once chronic condition has disappeared, and using it as soon as symptoms appear nips the allergy reaction in the bud.

You can now diffuse a few drops in the house before cleaning, and in my bedroom on bad air-quality and sheet changing days. Diffuse for 20 min only at a time, once or twice a day.

Essential Oil Inhalation Methods

Inhalation of the Essential Oils

Pillow Recipe Method

Pillow Recipe Method


  • Simply place 3 to 5 drops of your oil(s) on your pillow or on a cotton ball near your bed to get a mildly diffused inhalation effect throughout the night.
  • Alternatively, place a small amount of salt or epsom salts in a bowl or wide mouthed jar and put 10-15 drops of essential oils in the salt. The salt slows the evaporation rate of the oils so you’ll get a longer diffusion throughout the night.

Tissue / Handkerchief / Pocket Square Recipe Method

Tissue / Handkerchief / Pocket Square Recipe Method


  • Add 1 to 3 drops (or more, if you fancy) of your favorite essential oil to your favorite tissue, handkerchief, or if you’re a dapper fellow; pocket square.
  • Carry it around with you and inhale liberally.

Aromatherapy Inhaler Recipe Method

Aromatherapy Inhaler Recipe Method


  • add your preferred essential oil(s) to the insert that’s included (the soft piece that absorbs the oils.)
  • Slide your insert into the plastic inhaler tube.
  • Seal it with the cap.

Steam Inhalation Recipe Method

Steam Inhalation Recipe Method


  • Pour hot water into a bowl and add 2-3 drops of your preferred oil(s). Sometimes i’ll add more, but that might be just me.
  • Thoroughly stir your oils into the water
  • Cover your head with a towel and lean your face over the steaming bowl (about 10 inches)
  • Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose for about one minute, up to 2 minutes at a time.
  • Repeat 2-4 times, as necessary.

If you’ve been stuffy you should notice immediate decongestant relief. If you are so stuffy that you can’t even breathe in through your nose, you might want to start with a Neti Pot before giving steam inhalation a try.

Essential Oil Blends

Essential Oil Blends

Blend One Recipe:

Perfect for coughs, loosening and expelling mucus. It’s also strengthening for the lungs.


  • 45 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 30 drops benzoin essential oil
  • 15 drops helichrysum or hyssop essential oil


Combine oils in a 1/6 oz (5 mL) glass dropper bottle and mix well. When needed just add drops for use with your desired inhalation method.

Blend #2: Respiratory Recipe Infection Blend


  • 8 drops ravintsara essential oil
  • 4 drops eucalyptus (globulus) essential oil
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil

Blend #3: Common Cold Recipe Blends

For steam inhalation use one drop of the following:

  • Thyme
  • Tea tree
  • Lavender
  • Clove

For inhaling from a tissue apply one drop each of:

  • Red thyme
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Clove

Essential Oils a Bonanza of Methods

Use the Oil in a Diffuser

Diffusion Method:

  • Diffusing and inhaling essential oils is beneficial for health and mood as well. They can uplift or relax while clearing the air and strengthening your immune system.
  • You can diffuse 4 – 7 drops of oils for 15 – 20 minutes/hour. Make sure the room is well ventilated and don’t let them diffuse for more than recommended. After an hour of diffusion, these aromatic oils can raise the blood pressure.
  • Steam baths are also good to relieve respiratory infections. You can add up to 3 drops of essential oil in 16 fl. Oz. of boiled water and inhale deeply for a few minutes. After you’re done, make sure you don’t get out in the cold for at least an hour.

Local Recipe Methods:

  • This is a safe and easy method to use essential oils for lung health. You can blend 15 – 20 drops of essential oil in 1 Oz. (30 ml) carrier oil. Massage the abdomen and chest area with your blend and allow the oils to penetrate the capillaries and blood.
  • If you also diffuse a few drops, the air you breathe in will also be purified. At this rate you could protect yourself and your family from all sorts of respiratory problems throughout the cold season.
  • Do not use a blend for more than 8 – 10 days straight, and take a week break before you start again.


There are many essential oils and methods to use to help a person treat a variety of breathing issues. Just be sure to pick out the best oil and method that will work for your particular circumstance. Essential oil therapy for breathing problems is a solid proposition and it is fairly effective. So, pick your oil and method and start breathing easier today.

Remember keep trying the recipes listed above until you find the right one that will alleviate your particular health issue. Make sure you pick essential oil blends that agree with your skin type.And if using the essential oils doesn’t improve your breathing in conjunction with other treatments. Then it is time to consult a medical professional.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.