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Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


Pleurisy is an inflammation of the double membrane that surrounds and protects the lungs. This membrane is a double structure that allows the pleural fluid to provide a pPleurisyrotective buffer around the lungs. When this area becomes inflamed the inner and outer layer can rub together creating the sharp pain that those with pleurisy feel.

The inflammation can come from a variety of root causes. A viral or bacterial infection of the lungs is the most common source of pleurisy but other causes include trauma from an injury such as broken ribs or surgery involving the pleural cavity. It may also result as a side effect of other diseases such as pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, pulmonary embolism, tuberculosis or pancreatitis.

The symptoms of pleurisy are sharp chest pains that are more acute with breathing in and often lead the person to shallow breathing to avoid the pain. The inflammation and pain are usually on one side of the chest and can extend up to the shoulder or down to the stomach area.


[search helps: pleura, pleuritis, pleural effusion, tachypnea ]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  Respiratory Blend, CypressC, ThymeC

Essential oils based products: GI Cleansing Formula/Probiotic Defense Formula, Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV)

Also consider: Basil, Bergamot, Frankincense, Lemon, Melaleuca, Protective Blend, Oregano, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Cypress and Thyme applied topically to the painful area of the chest 2 -3 times daily. Cup & inhale and/or diffuse Respiratory Blend (or Cypress and Thyme) 2 -3 times daily also.

For severe problems and reoccurrence read the comments in the testimonials (tab above) for more oils, LLV supplements, GI Cleansing Formula/Probiotic Defense Formula cleanse, probiotics and healthy diet.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Elaine - Last month I got pretty sick.  A real nasty cold.  I thought I'd kicked it in a few days thanks to several of the oils I diffused, took internally, and applied topically. A couple of weeks later I went to the ER with chest pains.  It was so scary.  Turned out I had Pleurisy.  I don't know a lot about this; had never heard of it before last month. Something about the tissue in the chest, I think between the ribs and the lungs, got irritated and inflamed because of all my coughing.  Of course the doctor gave me a couple of scripts for drugs.

Instead of filling the scripts immediately like I would have done pre-(...), I came straight home and opened my book.  The protocol suggested was cypress and thyme. Thankfully I had both of those on hand.  I rubbed them both on my chest where the pain was and did this every few hours.  I filled my diffuser, set it close to my bed, and slept for a few hours. The doctor told me it would take up to two weeks for the pain to go away.  I was better in three days!


Ramona – I am struggling so bad with pleurisy.  It has happened before, and the last time it cost me $900 to get it diagnosed at an emergency room, so I'm not going that route again. It is an inflammation in the lining around the heart and lungs. My entire left side hurts (chest portion) and my left arm is numb and tingly from it.  It has been going on for a few days. Is there anything internally that I could take that would be anti-inflammatory?

Pony - Where do I start?!     Personally , I've fought many excruciating bouts with pleurisy. I have COPD so my entire life is centered around keeping my lungs fit so I can have a "normal", active life.

First, for the oils: Respiratory Blend; in your cupped palms inhaling as deeply as possible, slowly at first or until you gag, even inhale as much of the fumes in your lungs via your mouth and nose, until the smell evaporates. Do this every couple of hours while in crises. It is an anti-inflammatory. Also, rub Respiratory Blend all over chest and both sides of rib/lung area (couple times day). You can top it with Peppermint to get it to go deeper. Cover with a warm towel and rest! The best way to heal is rest, it restores your immune system to fight the bad guys. Then Oregano, Frankincense, Basil, Thyme, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, any or all of these oils in a shot glass with water and slug it down followed with a lemon water chaser. Two to three times a day. Use capsules if you can't handle them straight.

Second: LLW, GI Cleansing Formula (oregano) and the Probiotic Defense Formula regime. If you don't do the GX (or even if you do) --> lots of Probiotic Defense Formula. 2x a month until you get back up and running. Your immune needs built back up. Do it every month after your encounter as part of regular regime.

Third: Diet, if your kidneys aren't working your lungs take over. But you don't often know of the kidney problem until the lungs are in crises. So, Lemon water in the frig all the time. Drink lots! Metabolic Blend to break down fats and rid your system of them.  No white sugar, white flour, wheat, corn, red meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine in moderation (caffeine can actually help a lung situation--gets the heart pumping and you breathe deeper--but not 6 cups of coffee a day!). Mate’ tea - in the AM - with Cinnamon ((...) oil) honey—yum and many antioxidants. Lots of organic vegetables, seeds, some nuts- almonds, sweet potatoes, beets, red veggies. Keep fruit to a minimum until after crises – as they are a detox/cleanser and you can stress the lungs.

Oh, and sunshine-in-the-sky type, the natural vitamin D seems to help immensely. Must be a warm day. Cold air can make it worse. There's more, but if you can get a handle on this and turn it into your life you shouldn't have to relive Pleurisy. I'm not a doctor and these are only suggestions due to personal experiences with many times with pleurisy, pneumonia, hospitals, National Jewish Medical Lung & Allergy Research Center, Prednisone x 1000 times it seems, etc,etc. But I'll tell you what--nothing has worked like these oils!!! And the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV).  

Ramona - Thank you so much.  I don't think my case is very severe yet, which is why I want to jump on it now.  I'm feeling some better this morning.  When I hadn't found anything last night, I muscle tested a few oils, on my own and found Respiratory Blend to be one I really needed.  I also used Birch and had my husband rub it into my back and spine.  I slept quite well.  Resting is near impossible as I have six kids and my husband will be gone this weekend.  I will do my best!  I also started the GI Cleansing Formula last night and I'm on the LLW.  These oils are amazing.  With six kids, we have been able to solve all health issues over the past year, and it is an amazing and empowering feeling!  Thank you for all your suggestions.  I will follow them and report back!

Carla - I get pleurisy also.  It usually comes when I am under stress or sleep deprived.  It is a virus, which is why the only thing the doctors will give you, is massive amounts of ibuprofen.  It is the kind of virus, that once you have it, you have it.  Kind of like a cold sore that reappears under stress.  When I get it, I take a capsule with oregano and melaleuca, put Protective Blend on my chest where the pain is, and on my feet.  I put Respiratory Blend in my diffuser and rest for a few hours.  I can usually knock it down before it gets bad.  If yours is deeply seated, you might have to be more persistent in getting rid of it.  It is very painful, and I'm sorry you have it!  The first time I got it, it got so painful, I thought I was having a heart attack. Good Luck!


Leora - I have a friend who is pregnant and she was just diagnosed with pleurisy.  The doctor told her that there is nothing he can do for her. She is in a lot of pain. Does anyone know if there are any oils that can help her?

Blake - Cypress and thyme. Rub on chest where pain is every couple of hours and diffuse.

Elaine - Have her use cypress and thyme--layer topically on her chest.  And diffuse both in the air. Do this frequently, every hour or two, until the pain is under control.  Then just as needed.  It will likely never go away completely--she'll probably notice the dull pain resurface any time she is coughing a lot or even laughing really hard.  Just pull out the cypress and thyme again.   My doctor told me it would take 2 weeks to feel better.  Using the oils, topically and diffusing them for a few hours each day, helped me get better in about 3 days!!

Protocols folks recommend for children



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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.