Lavender Essential Oil has Anti-inflammatory Effect on Asthma

Lavender Herb And Essential Oil Study: Lavender Essential Oil has Anti inflammatory Effect on Asthma

by John P. Thomas
Health Impact News

A study on treating asthma with essential oil showed substantial benefits from the use of lavender oil. Over 26 million children and adults in the United States have asthma. [1] Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases experienced by children. Many adults also have asthma. Inflamed airways in the lungs cause wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing at night or early in the morning. An intensification of symptoms is called an asthma attack. An asthma attack is often triggered by exposure to some type of external air contamination.

Lavender’s Anti-inflammatory Effect on Asthma

In a study published in June of 2014, researchers reported on the anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil as a treatment for asthma. Bronchial asthma is characterized by bronchial allergic inflammation, which reduces the capacity of the airways to move air into and out of the lungs. Scientists evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of essential oil of lavender on experimentally created bronchial asthma in mice. They induced asthma in two groups of mice and then gave one group daily inhalation treatment with lavender oil for two weeks. Then they compared the condition of the lungs of the mice in the two groups.

The mice that received the lavender treatments showed less airway resistance. They had fewer eosinophil cells (specialized white blood cells of the immune system) in the fluids and the tissue of the lungs when compared with the control group. The lavender group also had less mucus in the lungs. Furthermore, the lavender group showed lower Interleukin cytokine levels in the fluids of the lungs, which means that their immune systems were less stressed after breathing lavender oil. The researchers concluded that lavender may be useful as an alternative medicine for bronchial asthma. [2]

Avoiding Asthma Attacks

An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in the tubular airways of the lungs. The system of airways in the lungs resembles an upside-down tree. The largest airway is in the throat. The airways divide and branch off in different directions as they spread into the lungs. The airways become smaller as they spread, just like the branches of a tree are smallest at the outer edges of the tree. During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways swell, which reduces the open space in the airways. This restricts the movement of air, which makes it more difficult to breathe. The result is that less air gets in and out of the lungs as a person breathes. Mucous that the body makes also clogs up the airways and further reduces the airflow. In a few cases each year, death results from untreated asthma attacks.

The causes of asthma attacks are different for each person. Avoiding asthma attacks begins by avoiding the triggers. Examples of common causes are listed below. This list is a summary of information from the US Centers for Disease Control, the Canadian Lung Association, and other sources. [3, 4]

  • Avoid Secondhand Tobacco Smoke – This is smoke created by a smoker and breathed in by a second person.
  • Avoid Secondhand Fragrances – This is air pollution from the perfume, cologne, and scented laundry products that other people have on their bodies and clothing.
  • Use a barrier against Dust Mites – Dust mites are tiny insects that are in almost every home. Use special mattress covers and pillowcase covers on your bedding. This makes a barrier between the insects and your lungs. Avoid down-filled pillows and comforters. Remove stuffed animals and clutter from the bedroom. Wash your bedding on the hottest water setting.
  • Eliminate Cockroaches – Cockroaches and their droppings can trigger an asthma attack. Get rid of cockroaches in your home by removing as many water and food sources as you can.
  • Avoid Pets – If a furry pet is causing asthma attacks, then you may want to find the pet another home. If you can’t or don’t want to find a new home for the pet, then keep it out of the bedroom of the person with asthma.
  • Clean Up Mold – Breathing in mold can trigger an asthma attack. Excess humidity (over 50%) can make mold grow. Leaking water pipes or leaks in walls or roofing will cause mold growth.
  • Eliminate Indoor Air Pollution – Smoke from wood stoves, incense, candles of any kind, and air fresheners can be triggers for asthma attacks as well as scented cleaning products.
  • Avoid breathing Outdoor Air Pollution – These sources include: factory smoke and fumes, automobile and diesel exhaust, smoke from burning wood or grass, exhaust from dryer vents that contain fragrances and chemicals
  • Strengthen the immune system – Prevent infectious diseases such as flu, colds, and other respiratory infections by: avoiding sugar, getting adequate sleep, limiting stress, exercising, and periodically washing your hands. [5]
  • Avoid Strong Emotions – Intense emotional experiences can lead to very fast breathing, called hyperventilation, which can also cause an asthma attack.
  • Other Triggers to Avoid – Breathing in chemicals; acid reflux; physical exercise; some medicines; bad weather such as thunderstorms, high humidity or smog; breathing cold dry air; certain foods and food additives; and fragrances of all types.

Lavender Can Strengthen the Ability to Resist Asthma Attacks

The use of organic essential oil of lavender can help a person resist asthma attack triggers, because it can bring greater physical and emotional vitality to the entire body. This is how it helps:

  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Helps a person get adequate sleep.
  • Treats other respiratory problems such as bronchitis, sinus congestion, laryngitis, tonsillitis, etc.
  • Treats Drug-resistant Infections.
  • Treats Fungal Infections.
  • Reduces pain. (Pain causes stress).
  • Eases migraine headaches, nervous exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.
  • Stimulates blood Circulation.
  • Improves Digestion: Can help with colic, vomiting, and flatulence. [6]

Essential Oil Blend for Asthma Attack

Heidi Stevenson provided the following essential oil recipe, which may help with an asthma attack.

As is easy to imagine from lavender’s ability to aid sleep, it’s also able to relax breathing passages. In combination with two other essential oils, it may help ease asthma attacks. Here’s the recipe:

Peppermint, Mentha x piperita, 8 drops

Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus smithii, 20 drops

Lavender, L. angustifolia, 28 drops

Mix these three essential oils together and use as aromatherapy.

Because of its ability to relax nerves, lavender has been used to calm coughs and ease breathing in colds and influenza. It’s used in inhalers and vaporizers, or simply dotted on the neck or chest. [7]

For additional information about how to inhale or diffuse essential oils into the air, please use this link: Using Essential Oils to Cure Disease.

Lavender’s History

Daniele Ryman provides the following information about lavender in her Aromatherapy Bible:

Individual lavender plants grow up to 1 m. (3 feet) in height, and can become very woody and spreading. The narrow leaves are grey and downy; the flowers are blue-grey, borne on long slender stems. The oil glands are in tiny star-shaped hairs with which the leaves, flowers and stems are covered; rub a flower or leaf between your fingers to release some oil (it has a short-lived aroma).

Lavender has been used since ancient times as much for its delicate perfume as for its medicinal properties. The oils of aspic and stoechas were mentioned by Dioscorides, Galen and Pliny. The Romans added lavender to their bath water (the name comes from the Latin, lavare, to wash). It was an established plant by the twelfth century as St Hildegarde awarded it a whole chapter in her medical treatise. It was also a plant grown in medicinal monastery gardens in Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Lavender plants were grown at Hitchin in Hertfordshire in 1568, being commercially cultivated after 1823. In the eighteenth century, the perfumery company, Yardley, was making lavender soaps and perfumes, with fields at Mitcham in Surrey. Like so many other plants which produce essential oils, the trade is recorded in street names in towns and cities – Lavender Hill in south London among them. Norfolk is now as famed for its lavender fields as is Provence, particularly the mountains near Grasse, in France.

All lavender varieties were once distilled together without distinction, many calling the resultant oil sticadore or oil of spike. In 1760, however, the plants’ botanic characteristics started to be classified separately.

The ancients classified lavender as a stimulant, tonic, stomachic and carminative. Matthiole, the sixteenth-century botanist, regarded lavender flowers as a most effective panacea, mentioning lavender cures for epilepsy, apoplexy and mental problems; one of his recipes to prevent fluid retention involved boiling flowers in wine and drinking two glasses of this a day. The French used to make an herbal tea with lavender, cinnamon and fennel; this would cure jaundice as well as act as a cardiac tonic. Lavender is valued for containing many of the same properties as sage, rosemary and the other members of the labiate family: as well as those indicated by the ancients above, lavender is also credited with being an antispasmodic, diuretic, antiseptic, vulnerary and circulatory plant. All in all, it is one of the most commonly used, valued and prescribed oils.

The Essential Oil

Description: The flowers are steam-distilled, and approximately 100 kg (220 lbs.) are needed to obtain 500 – 600 g of essential oil. Lavender oil varies in colour from dark yellow to dark greeny-yellow, and smells very highly scented. The content and quality of the oil depends greatly on climate, soil and altitude. The French lavender is considered better than the English, for instance, because it is richer in linalyl acetate: this gives a fruitier and sweeter note, considered pleasanter than the camphoric English lavender with its higher proportions of lineol. [8]

Additional Uses for Lavender Oil

  • Repels Mosquitoes and Moths.
  • Eases Agitation in Dementia Patients.
  • Treats Alopecia Areata (an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out in patches).
  • Treats nail Fungus, Athlete’s Foot, and various other skin conditions such as Eczema. [9]

Personal Remarks

I have enjoyed growing lavender. It is easy to grow and is well suited for an inexperienced gardener such as myself. It doesn’t seem to mind sharing its pleasant aroma with gardeners and visitors who can’t resist gently rubbing its leave to enjoy the fresh scent. It will be happy in a hot sunny location that gets 8 hours of direct sun or more per day. It likes a well-drained soil and is happy in a rocky soil mix. Don’t over water, because this will cause the roots to rot. For additional information about planting, cultivating, trimming, and gathering the fragrant flowers, please use these links.

Growing Lavender – Easy Maintenance Perennial

3 Ways to Grow Lavender

Organic essential oil of Lavender is also an important part of a household first aid kit. It can help disinfect a wound, treat skin infections, treat insect bites, and provides fast relief for minor burns. It stops the pain from sunburn and brings rapid healing. In my experience, it can even prevent kitchen burns from blistering and can prevent sunburned skin from peeling if these burns are treated immediately. Lavender oil should not be used in the sun to prevent sunburn.

The essential oil of lavender is one of the most popular essential oils. It is added to many skincare products and its aroma is enjoyed by both men and women. Its medicinal uses are many and varied. It is a gentle oil, yet it can be very powerful. Don’t underestimate its ability to deliver health benefits. It can be used to treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and multi drug resistant clinical strains of Escherichia coli. Antibiotics can’t touch these infections, but gentle lavender can treat these and other resistant infections. [10, 11]

When I write about an essential oil, I make it a practice of using the oil during the process of preparing the article. So, as usual, I applied a couple drops of organic essential oil of lavender in the palms of my hands, and spent some time inhaling the aroma and enjoying the scent. Unfortunately, I forgot about the power of lavender to induce sleep. So, I got to take the afternoon off, because I wasn’t able to wake up enough to finish my work. It is always important to not lose sight of the fact that organic essential oils are strong medicinal substances and their effects can be powerful. The health giving benefits of organic essential oils are truly a wonderful gift from God. I encourage you to add a bottle of organic lavender essential oil to your medicine cabinet and to learn how you can use it for first aid and for addressing chronic health problems.

References

[1] “CDC – Asthma in the US | Vital Signs,” Retrieved 6/11/14. http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/asthma/

[2] Ueno-Iio T1, Shibakura M2, Yokota K1, Aoe M1, Hyoda T1, Shinohata R1, Kanehiro A3, Tanimoto M3, Kataoka M1., “Lavender essential oil inhalation suppresses allergic airway inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia in a murine model of asthma,” Life Sci.,” June 2014, PMID: 24909715.

[3] “CDC – Asthma – Basic Information,” Retrieved 6/11/2014. http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/faqs.htm

[4] “Scents: Canadian Lung Association,” Retrieved 6/11/14. http://www.lung.ca/protect-protegez/pollution-pollution/indoor-interieur/scents-parfums_e.php

[5] “How to Supercharge Your Immune System,” mercola.com, July 11, 2007. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/07/11/how-to-supercharge-your-immune-system.aspx

[6] “Lavender Is Effective Against Drug Resistant Staph Infection,” Heidi Stevenson, GreenMedInfo.com, Reposted by Health Impact News. http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/lavender-is-effective-against-drug-resistant-staph-infection/

[7] Ibid.

[8] “Lavender essential oil uses and benefits,” The Aromatherapy Bible, Daniele Ryman. http://www.aromatherapybible.com/lavender.html

[9] “Lavender Is Effective Against Drug Resistant Staph Infection,” Heidi Stevenson, GreenMedInfo.com, Reposted by Health Impact News. http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/lavender-is-effective-against-drug-resistant-staph-infection/

[10] Roller S1, Ernest N, Buckle J., “The antimicrobial activity of high-necrodane and other lavender oils on methicillin-sensitive and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA and MRSA), J Altern Complement Med., March 2009, PMID: 19249919.

[11] Sienkiewicz M1, Kalemba D, Wasiela M., “Sensitivity assessment of thyme and lavender essential oils against clinical strains of Escherichia coli for their resistance,” Med Dosw Mikrobiol., 2011, PMID: 22184923.