the muscle surrounding the thoracic cavity contract the
lungs expand bringing air through the nasal passage and
trachea down through the bronchial tube to the left and
right bronchus. These tubes on the interior of the
lungs divide and subdivide ending in small bronchiole
that then terminate with the alveoli. It is here
that oxygen from the air is diffused into the blood
traveling through nearby capillaries and hence delivered
into the bloodstream where it is taken to all the cells
of the body. The unwanted carbon dioxide in the
bloodstream is released into the lungs for exhalation.
In an adult there are 300
million alveoli making this life-giving conversion 15 to
18 times a minute. There are a number of diseases that
can compromise this process and affect the quality of
life. Some of the most common respiratory diseases
are described below. The most common have links to
more detailed discussion on other pages while the
remaining are discussed on these pages.
(see also pneumonia)
This is usually a bacterial or viral infection within the lungs.
The infection can occur in the air sacs (alveoli) deep in the lungs
or the air passages (bronchial tubes). As it spreads
it inhibits the
critical transfer of oxygen from outside air into the
bloodstream that then feeds the cells of the body.
(for more information see also asthma)
Asthma is an inflammation or a muscle constriction of the
bronchial tubes that then limits the amount of air that can
be delivered in or out of the lungs. The triggers for
asthma are varied and include airborne allergens or
pollutants, spasmodic cough, or it may be exercise induced.
For some it is a continual shortness of breath and for
others episodes come in “attacks” interspersed with normal
This is usually a slow developing disease. The
small bulbs at the ends of the bronchial system called the
alveoli are compromised limiting the amount of oxygen that
can be delivered into the blood steam. Loss of
strength and stamina result as well as this requires the
heart to work harder and leads to other complications.
(for more information see also bronchitis)
With bronchitis there is an excess of mucus in the
bronchial tubes usually stemming from some form of external
irritant. The body’s reaction to the excess mucus is
to expel it by coughing. If the irritant continues the
cough continues resulting in chronic bronchitis.
Cigarette smoke is a common irritant leading to this malady.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary
This refers to a group of diseases the most common of
which are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Their
common characteristic is that oxygen is not delivered to the
bloodstream either because airflow is blocked or the
assimilation of oxygen into the bloodstream is compromised.
Of course either makes it difficult to breathe. The
Mayo Clinic states that COPD is the leading cause of death
and illness worldwide.
The most common cause of COPD is smoking and it is a
preventable disease by simply not smoking or quitting as
early as possible.
(more information see also
This is a genetic disorder wherein the mucus that is
normally produced by the body is deficient in water content,
thereby is too viscous or thick. This in turn makes it
difficult for the normal process of expulsion of mucus and
hence unwanted toxins from the lungs and bronchial tubes.
Collaterally the digestive system is also affected.
Damage to the bronchial passages may then lead to more
susceptibility to bacterial or viral infections as well as
breathing problems with the accompanying persistent
(for general information see cancer)
This is the most common cancer in U.S. males. It is
also the leading cause of cancer deaths among U.S. males and
now exceeds breast cancer in number of cancer deaths among
U.S. women. The most common types of lung cancer
involve the uncontrolled growth of cells in the lining of
the bronchial tubes. Continual exposure to irritants
can lead to the formation of these malignant and rapidly
growing mutated cells. Eventually in the process, as
the number of malignant cells increase, some may dislodge
and be carried in the blood or lymph to other parts of the
(for more information see also
Pulmonary tuberculosis is a bacterial infection of the
lungs. The bacteria may infect other parts of the body
but the high levels of oxygen and blood in the lungs make
them an ideal target location. Tuberculosis, until the
1980s, had become very rare. With diseases that weaken
the immune system becoming more common it too has also
recently become more common. The infection is spread
through coughing, sneezing or other exchanges of air
from the lungs.
[additional search terms lungs, pulmonary, respiratory,
breath, breathe, breathing, emphasyma, emphasema,
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends:
Balance, Breathe, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint
Essential oils based
products: GX Assist, Life Long Vitality
supplements, PB Assist
Cinnamon, Clove, Frankincense, Oregano, Purify,
Sandalwood, Wild Orange
see also pneumonia,
COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema
Although reversing the damage to lungs
is not instantly possible help can be provided from essential oils
by opening the air passages to the lungs thereby
increasing the oxygen available. Most direct of
these techniques is using the doTERRA blend Breathe or a
similar blend of essential oils. Breathe includes
the oils Eucalyptus, laurel leaf, Lemon, Melaleuca,
Peppermint, and ravensara.
Aromatically applying this blend is most commonly
recommended. Some simply apply 2 or 3 drops
nightly to their upper lip, just under the nostrils, so
it may be inhaled during the sleeping hours. For
instant results others have used the cup and inhale
technique. Here 1 or 2 drops are placed in the
palm of the hand, the hands are rubbed together and then
held over the nose while the aroma is inhaled deeply.
Another technique is to use a diffuser where the blend
can be diffused in the atmosphere for long-term
inhalation. Other oils can be used or blended if
Breathe is not available. Look primarily to those
oils mentioned above blended to your special needs or
Coupling this with topical application of 1 or 2
drops of the blend to the chest and trachea area or the
bottoms of the feet provides added effect for many.
One of the most common cause of COPD (emphysema and
chronic bronchitis) is smoking and it is a
preventable disease by simply not smoking or quitting
(easy to say) as early as possible. (Essential
oils can be helpful in overcoming some addictions.
See the page on
Suggestions from real experience
I have COPD and I use Breathe nightly. I rub it on my
chest and lung area and go to bed with my hand cupped near
my nose. It opens up the lower passages of the airway and
lets you breathe deep a bit before you fall asleep.
I also put a drop or two of Balance on my feet to
make sure blood cells are delivering a better supply of
oxygen to the lungs. Also, to keep mucus thinned out,
I have a pitcher of water in the refrigerator with Lemon or
Wild Orange drops in it to drink. I also use Peppermint
during the day to keep "lack of oxygen" headaches away.
Long Term Helps
For longer term benefits use techniques that
strengthen the immune system and the body’s overall
homeostatic balance. This will highly benefit someone with COPD since
their quality of life has already been compromised with
this debilitating disease. Anyone with this
problem should consider the following steps:
· Weekly (or more frequently)
technique. This is a massage type application
of eight various oils and blends designed to reduce
stress, toxic insult, inflammation, and autonomic
· Daily supplement the diet with
nutritional supplements such as the
doTERRA Life Long
Vitality Pack. This provides necessary
antioxidants, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and chelated
minerals to add vitality and support overall wellness.
· Concurrent with these two steps begin
with an overall body cleanse and rebuilding of the good
microorganisms in the gut. This can be done using
the doTERRA products
followed by PB
Assist. GX Assist is a 20 day regimen with
essential oils capsules designed to destroy harmful
pathogens in the digestive system. PB Assist is a
five day regiment, taking a beadlet three times daily,
that resets and decolonizes the friendly digestive
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Our thanks to:
I love your oils. "Breathe" is an incredible
oil. I have a neighbor who suffers
from severe lung problems and he tried some
on his upper lip and immediately felt relief
and could breathe much better. Thanks,
Yvette - Hi, I
have a question from a friend. She has a respiratory
problems. I suggested for her to use the Breathe blend.
My husband not only uses Breathe but also Cinnamon
bark, Oregano, and Clove. Diffusing these oils does
help. He also applies it on the feet. He uses it
orally neat so he is pretty tough, others should dilute
it. Is there something else she can use to help her
Pat - You are so right with using
the Breathe blend, it to proves to be completely
satisfactory to a lot of those who use it. Also
strengthen her by suggesting a cleanse from inside. Tthe
GX Assist followed by the PB Assist protocol is super,
couple this with the nutritional supplements found in
the Life Long Wellness supplements.
Momof6 - I have
a question that a person at work asked. Is there anyone
who knows which oils might benefit some one with MAC
Lung Disease? Here is some information she gave me.
“Mycobacterium avium intracellulare” (MAI) or
“Mycobacterium avium Complex” (MAC) is an atypical
NON-TB germ (micro-organism). MAC is related to the
tuberculosis germ, but is not contagious and the MAC
microbes live in the environment. It comprises more than
one type of microorganism (both M. avium and M.
intracellulare). It causes two types of lung disease.
One type results in multiple nodules in the lungs and is
referred to as “nodular disease”. The second type is
associated with cavities in the upper parts of the lung
that mimic tuberculosis. This type of disease is
referred to as “upper lobe cavitary disease”.
Dian - Try Purify in the diffuser,
rub it on her back in the lung area, down her sides
starting from under the arm just below the armpit and on
the upper chest area were the top of the lungs are.
Pat – The topical application of the
Breathe blend and Frankincense oil applied as others
have suggested increases the oxygen supply. Also
strengthen her by suggesting a cleanse using GX Assist
followed by the PB Assist as well as the Life Long
Wellness pack for the proper nutritional supplements.
energy4life - The husband of a
friend of mine has cystic fibrosis, and is closely
monitored by his doctors. In November, my friend bought
a diffuser and some oils. Right around that time, they
both got H1N1, and were very ill. The H1N1 turned into
pneumonia for my friend (thankfully, not for her husband
though.) They diffused lots of Lemon throughout this
time, as well as Geranium.
On an outing this evening, my friend announced to
everyone that if it wasn't for the doTerra oils and her
diffuser, she is sure that she would have ended up in
the hospital. Then she told me that her husband went for
an MRI last week, to track his cystic fibrosis, and his
doctors were very excited to see that his lungs are in
comparable condition to what they were 10 years ago.
Apparently a big improvement from the last MRI. Most
significantly, the lower portion of his lungs were in
excellent condition (it is not good if there is a lot of
congestion very deep in the lungs, for a cystic fibrosis
patient). I was thrilled to hear this, and just want to
share about what a great oil Geranium is! I have also
used it with another client for shingles with excellent
Chris - An 83
years old friend has been having a difficult time. She
can't go out and do the things she would like to do
because she has problems breathing and becomes exhausted
quickly. After an auto accident where she had no
apparent injuries she has been experiencing more
difficulty breathing. Her huffing and puffing is most
noticeable and more pronounced with any activity like
getting out of chair and walking across a room.
Brooke - The lungs function to
exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide and they keep the
body supplied with the oxygen necessary to keep cells
alive. Essential oils books recommend Frankincense and
Sandalwood either applied topically (diluted with
carrier oil) to the lung area flow or diffused into the
air to help with increase the oxygen supply.
It also would be helpful for her to apply Breath,
Eucalyptus, and Sandalwood on the bottoms of her feet.
(Other oils that are also recommended are Elevation and
On Guard for possible infections). The recommendations
also say to apply to oils or blends to the chest,
sinuses, neck or reflex points on the feet.
Sunny - For as long as I can
remember, I have had trouble getting enough air while
breathing at night. I'll lay down to sleep and my nasal
passages will be totally free. However, when I wake in
the morning, my nose will be totally blocked up. Even
when I arise and blow my nose, this action doesn't
remove the blockage. Only by standing upright and
proceeding about my day does the blockage gradually
Last week, two neighbors of mine told me how they use
a drop or two of Breathe under their nose when they go
to sleep at night. It helps them to get a better
night's rest. I've tried this for 3 days now and I
cannot tell you what a blessed, welcome relief it is to
awake in the morning and be able to take a deep breath
through my nose!
Additionally, I find that I'm sleeping more soundly
(sometimes don't wake up in the middle of the night) and
get up feeling like I have more energy right off the
bat, which in turn contributes to a more positive
Ramona - Awesome story! We
LOVE Breathe at our house too! Perfect for asthma!
LaReita - Dr. Susan Lawton also
suggested that the pillows and the bed itself contain
agents that our bodies do not like. (Pillows and
mattresses usually contain synthetic fragrances and dyes
as well as petrochemicals, both known to disrupt our
breathing.) She suggested that for pillows and beds to
once a month spritz with Clove and Peppermint.
Joni - Does anyone know what can be
done for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis? I'm thinking
Breathe just to help open up the lungs and increase
breathing capacity. Any other oils that would be
Pony - I have COPD & I use Breathe
nightly. I rub it on my chest and over my lung area, put
on a light t-shirt and go to bed with my hand cupped
near my nose. It feels so good! It opens up the lower
passages of the airway if you breathe deep a bit before
you fall asleep. You can feel the warmth as the oil
penetrated your rib areas.
I also make sure to put a drop or two of Balance on
my feet to make sure those blood cells are running
freely in order to better supply the oxygen to the
lungs. Also, to keep mucus thinned out I have a
pitcher of water in the refrigerator with Lemon or Wild Orange drops in it to drink. Use Peppermint during the
day to keep those "lack of oxygen" headaches away and
breathe deeper, slowly.
Pat - My brother also has COPD and
he uses the Breathe blend and it really helps him a lot.
folks recommend for children
Diet and Nutritional
complements to essential oils
What Science & Research are saying
98th General Assembly of the American Society of Microbiology
Dr. Diane Horne, Weber State University
Synopsis (by Robert James)
Research found that some essential oils, Oregano, Thyme
and Rosewood oils, in particular, create an autolytic
reaction in organisms, including Streptococcus pneumonia.
Dr. Horne told the 98th general assembly of the American
Society of Microbiology about the serendipitous discovery of
the impact of the oils on cells such as Streptococcus
pneumonia. A co-researcher was spraying aromatic oils in the
laboratory. "When I looked at the S. pneumonia that I was
preparing for another experiment, the cells were just
falling apart," Dr. Horne reported
The best results occurred with Oregano, Thyme and
Rosewood and intermediate inhibition of the pathogens was
achieved with Cinnamon oil and Clove oil, Dr. Horne said at
a poster presentation at the meeting. Dr. Horne pointed out
that the oils also showed efficacy against E. coli and
several species of fungi.
Anti-inflammatory effects of Myrtol
standardized and other essential oils on alveolar
macrophages from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary
Eur J Med Res. 2009 Dec 7;14 Suppl 4:205-9.;
Rantzsch U, Vacca G, Dück R, Gillissen A.; St.
George Medical Center, Robert-Koch-Hospital, Leipzig,
Myrtol standardized is established in the treatment of
acute and chronic bronchitis and sinusitis. It increases
mucociliar clearance and has muco-secretolytic effects.
Additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties
have been confirmed for Myrtol standardized,
Eucalyptus oil, and Orange oil in several in vitro
The aim of this study was to prove the ability of
essential oils to reduce cytokines release and reactive
oxygen species (ROS) production derived from ex vivo
cultured alveolar macrophages.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Alveolar macrophages from patients with chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, n=26, GOLD III-IV) were
pre-cultured with essential oils (10(3)-10(-8)%) for 1 h and
then stimulated with LPS (1 microg/ml). After 4 h and 20 h
respectively a) cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) using
2',7'-dichlorofluorescein (DCF), and b) TNF-alpha, IL-8, and
GM-CSF secretion were quantified.
In comparison with negative controls, pre-cultured Myrtol,
Eucalyptus oil and Orange oil (10-4%) reduced in the
LPS-activated alveolar macrophages ROS release significantly
after 1+20 h as follows: Myrtol -17.7% (P=0.05), Eucalyptus
oil -21.8% (P<0.01) and Orange oil -23.6% (P<0.01).
Anti-oxidative efficacy was comparable to NAC (1 mmol/l).
Essential oils also induced a TNF-alpha reduction: Myrtol
(-37.3%, P<0.001), Eucalyptus oil (-26.8%, P<0.01) and
Orange oil (-26.6%, P<0.01). TNF-a reduction at 1+4 h and
1+20 h did not vary (Myrtol: -31.9% and -37.3% respectively,
P= 0.372) indicating that this effect occurs early and
cannot be further stimulated. Myrtol reduced the release of
GM-CSF by -35.7% and that of IL-8 only inconsiderably.
All essential oils tested have effective
antioxidative properties in ex vivo cultured and
LPS-stimulated alveolar macrophages. Additionally, Myrtol
inhibited TNF-a and GM-CSF release best indicating
additional potent anti-inflammatory activity.