Aromatherapy is one of a range of natural therapies used for the treatment of bronchitis. Though medications such as antibiotics are often required to deal with serious chest infections - rest and recuperation combined with the use of selected essential oils can help to relieve the symptoms of bronchitis.
Bronchitis is a type of chest infection typically caused by a virus or bacteria, which results in the inflammation of the airways, or bronchi of the lungs. This often leads to the production of mucus which blocks the airways of the lung and make breathing laboured and difficult. If your body’s immune system is not able to fight the infection, it may require antibiotics to resolve. Other infections of the chest include pneumonia, which affects the alveolar sacs, and bronchiolitis which is the form of the condition in children, most especially infants.
Aromatherapy uses natural extracts from plants and flowers, typically oils, which are used to stimulate the senses and treat the symptoms of various conditions. The sense of smell is thought to have a direct link to our brain, with the potential to activate positive feelings and effect recovery from infection and disease. The essential oils of plants are extracted by heating them with water or steam, where they vaporise and condense for collection. The essential oils can then either be used as a massage, inhaled or dissolved in a bath.
Essential oils can be an effective decongestant and have been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for chest infections. A number of essential oils are recommended for the alleviation of the symptoms of bronchitis, including: tea tree, lavender, pine, lemon, eucalyptus, sandalwood and peppermint oils. These are often combined and used as a chest rub, inhalation relief or in a soothing bath. These work by relieving the congestion, inflammation and discomfort that characterise chest infections.
Find out about other effective natural treatments for bronchitis.