The British Lung Foundation describes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD as
‘a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because your airways have been narrowed’.
Two of these lung conditions are persistent bronchitis and emphysema, which can also occur together.
• Bronchitis means the airways are inflamed and narrowed. People with bronchitis often produce sputum, or phlegm.
• Emphysema affects the air sacs at the end of the airways in your lungs. They break down and the lungs become baggy and full of holes which trap air.
These processes narrow the airways making it harder to move air in and out as you breathe and lungs are less able to take in oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide.
So, it’s hardly surprising that anyone suffering from COPD will do anything they can to breathe a little easier. This usually involves medication or some kind of medical procedure, but it is entirely possible that using Natural Pure Essential Oils can help manage COPD. I choose to use DoTERRA because they are 100% pure and they are rigorously tested to ensure consistency in each bottle. (For more information on DoTERRA standards, please click here) Although it is important to remember, not to stop using prescribed medication without consulting a medical professional. Essential oils should be treated with the same respect as prescribed medications. There is NO actual legislation on the purity of essential oils, which is another reason I choose to use DoTERRA who introduced Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) to guarantee purity and potency of all their oils
Recommended Essential Oils for COPD are:
Eucalyptus has been used in Chinese, Indian Ayurvedic and Greek medicine for thousands of years for a whole range of conditions. It acts as a decongestant and expectorant as well as providing some level of pain relief as its top properties are Antiviral, Antibacterial, Expectorant and Analgesic. It can help COPD sufferers create a stronger immune system, reduce flare-ups and shortness of breath as well as improve lung function by reducing airway inflammation.
For best results use the oil aromatically, either in an Essential Oil Diffuser or inhale straight from the bottle and breathe in the air, or topically by applying directly on to the chest. To reduce any potential skin irritation, this oil should be diluted with a carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil or Jojoba oil at a ratio of 1-2 drops of oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil.
Emotionally, Eucalyptus is the Oil of Wellness. It supports the soul who is constantly facing illness. It addresses a deep emotional or spiritual issue of the need to be sick. It encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own health, bestowing the trust that they can be well.
Did you know? Eucalyptus was widely used in World War 1 to control infections and influenza.
Lavender has Sedative, Antihistamine, Relaxing and Soothing properties helping the body to better fight the growth and progression of the disease. Studies show that individuals exposed to Lavender had lower stress hormones and since stress can make COPD worse, can help combat this. Lavender oil is very gentle with many uses. It can be applied directly to the back of the neck, temples or throat, but sensitivity can be reduced by diluting in the same ratio as Eucalyptus.
Emotionally, Lavender is the Oil of Communication and Calm. It helps calm the mind and any feelings of insecurity encouraging emotional honesty and communication.
Did you know? Lavender means ‘to wash’ in Latin. It is likely the most used essential oil globally, and for good reason, as it serves in all things calming!
Bergamot is Antibacterial and Antifungal which can help protect against other health conditions. It can boost mood and reduce negative emotions and fatigue. Dilute as for Eucalyptus and apply topically to the chest.
Emotionally, Bergamot is the Oil of Self-Acceptance and invites individuals to see life with more optimism and let go of self-judgement, cleansing negative belief systems.
Did you know? Bergamot was used in the first Eau de Cologne and is used to flavour Earl Grey tea.
.DoTERRA Essential Oil Users Have Found The Following To Assist In COPD Support:
Take 3 drops each of *Oregano Oil, Lemon Oil, Melaleuca Oil and On Guard Oil Blend in a capsule daily.
*After 10 days, replace the Oregano Oil with Basil or Marjoram Oil-and take a probiotic for at least 5 days*
Rub Breathe Oil Blend (can add extra Peppermint Oil if you would like) around nose and on chest, at least twice a day
Rub 2-3 drops of Frankincense Oil on chest 1-2 times a day, and rub 2-3 drops of Balance Oil Blend on feet nightly (helps oxygenate the blood)
Diffuse Breathe Oil Blend in the air
Rub AromaTouch Oil Blend on bottoms of feet nightly (helps increase blood circulation)
HELPFUL LIFE CHANGES:
Anyone with COPD must stop smoking, this is the best way to slow down the lung damage
Increase the amount of water you drink each day. One of the common and frustrating COPD symptoms is having mucus collect in your airways. This mucus can be difficult to clear and result in persistent and uncontrollable coughing and drinking at least eight glasses of water daily can thin mucus and keep the body hydrated
Diffusers can also help make breathing easier, particularly at night.
Try to avoid chemicals
In a 2015 study looking at 167 participants diagnosed with COPD, more than 60 percent of participants reported cleaning supplies as a trigger for COPD symptoms. More than 50 percent of participants reported trouble after being exposed to perfumes, scented candles or insect spray. About 50 percent reported hairspray as a problem for their COPD. By using natural DIY household products, you can avoid chemicals and improve your COPD symptoms. Essential Oils can also be used around the home, look out for my Greener Cleaning class coming soon!
COPD in Women
Deaths resulting from COPD are higher in women than in men. In the late 1960s, the tobacco industry intensely targeted women. This resulted in a huge increase in women smoking. We are still seeing new cases of smoking-related diseases, including COPD, as women age. Women are more vulnerable than men to lung damage from cigarette smoke and other pollutants as their lungs are smaller, and estrogen can also help to worsen lung disease. Women are often misdiagnosed because COPD has traditionally been thought of as a man’s disease, many doctors still don’t expect to see it in women and miss the proper diagnosis
Essential oils should not be used to replace prescribed medication and you should not stop taking any medication without consulting a medical professional. If you feel you may be suffering from COPD, please consult your Doctor.