5 Essential Oils for Breathing

by Jodi Cohen

Take a deep breath, inhaling slowly into the diaphragm.  Then hold it for a moment and slowly exhale.

Slow, deep, intentional breathing  is one of the best things you can do for your health.  Deep breathing  not only allows us to take in oxygen and expel waste, it can also help us drop into the parasympathetic “rest and digest” state.  Slow deep breathing tells the nervous system that there is no emergency that it’s safe to downshift into the parasympathetic state.

Slow deep breathing can boost our physical and mental energy, help us release toxins and waste, and activate the parasympathetic state.  To help you take advantage of all these benefits,  I wanted to arm you with tools to help  open your lungs and expand your capacity breathe deeply. Continue reading to learn more about essential oils for breathing.

How Essential Oils Help Breathing

The lungs are one of the most powerful channels into the body.   When you breathe, air enters your body through your nose or mouth and transfers to the air passages, which carry oxygen to your lungs. Your lungs then pass oxygen into your bloodstream where is it transported to tissues and organs.  Therefore, anything you inhale via the lungs quickly travels to every cell of the body.  In fact, the entire process from the initial inhalation of an essential oil to a corresponding response in the body can happen in a matter of seconds.

The effectiveness of this delivery channel explains why cocaine is snorted through the nose and why anesthesia is delivered via inhalation.  When remedies are inhaled, they go straight into the bloodstream via blood vessels in the nasal cavity.  Upon entering the bloodstream, the remedy can travel quickly to the brain, thus eliciting a host of intense effects shortly after snorting.

In addition to being the fastest channel into the body, the inhalation channel allows remedies to bypass the digestive tract and the liver, where it would be subjected to digestive processing.  Read more about why inhalation is the most effective method of consuming Essential Oils HERE.


Essential Oils for Breathing

Our lungs inhale and exhale an average of 16,000 times a day. If you’re experiencing any respiratory problems, ranging from allergies, a cold or indoor air pollution to more serious conditions like asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis or pneumonia, you may have difficulty breathing  which may leave you feeling mentally and physically fatigued and can compromise your immune system, ability to detoxify and to drop into the parasympathetic state.  Essential oils, with their natural anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties, can help you breathe easily again.


Breathe™ blend contains three different types of Eucalyptus oil, a potent antiseptic, expectorant and decongestant that can help clean and strengthen the lungs.  Breathe also contains Peppermint™ Essential Oil whose expectorant qualities may help support upper respiratory congestion caused by asthma, bronchitis, allergies, cold or flu.

To use, apply 1- 2 drops  topically on throat and upper chest (Breathe™ contains a lot of hot oils and can turn the skin red.  We therefore recommend diluting with castor oil, coconut oil or olive oil before topical application).  Breathe™ can also be inhaled using steam inhalation (Place 2 to 3 cups boiling water + 5 drops of Breathe™ in a bowl, cover your head with a towel, close eyes and bring face close to the bowl and gently inhale the steam) or used with a hot wet towel compress to the lungs and throat areas.


Lung Support™ The lungs serve as a fundamental source of life energy –transporting oxygen from the atmosphere into the capillaries so they can oxygenate blood – as well as an important channel of elimination – releasing carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere. Similarly, emotions like feelings of grief, bereavement, regret, loss, remorse can obstruct ability of the lungs to accept and relinquish, impeding their function of “taking in” and “letting go”.  Grief that remains unresolved can become chronic and create disharmony in the lungs, weakening the lung’s function of circulating oxygen around the body.  When lung function is impaired, it leads to shortness of breath, fatigue and feelings of melancholy.  Lung Support™ helps overcome grief and let go of negative experiences.

Apply 2- 3 drops over the lungs.  Allow yourself to deeply exhale any grief as you apply the blend.  A normal and healthy expression of grief may be expressed as sobbing that originates in the depths of the lungs, including deep breathes and the expulsion of air with the sob.


The parasympathetic state of the Autonomic Nervous System is influenced by external factors like breathing.  In fact, deep breathing can trigger the Parasympathetic state by stimulating the Vagus nerve, which originates in the brain stem and winds through the throat and upper body, connecting the lungs to the brain.  This is a bi-directional signal, meaning that actively focusing on your breath and the movements of your diaphragm, can help trigger the parasympathetic state and that inducing the parasympathetic state can help enhance deep breathing.

To trigger the parasympathetic state, simply apply a drop of the Parasympathetic™ blend to the vagus nerve (behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone).


Sinus Support™ The sinuses make up the upper part of your respiratory tract from your nose into your throat.  Any sinus-related issues that lead to restricted, congested or inflamed nasal passages can contribute to breathing difficulty.  Sinus Support™ helps to clear and open the nasal passages and supports the relief of sinus pressure from chronic sinus infections and/or sinus issues related to allergies.

To help open sinus passages and improve breathing, apply 2 – 3 drops of Sinus Support™ to a Q-tip and swabbing the inside of the nasal passages 2 – 6 times daily.  For optimal effectiveness, you can leave the Q-tip in the nasal passage for up to 20 minutes.


Histamine Balance™ Histamine is a chemical substance that can be released in the lungs and cause narrowing of the bronchial tubes and difficulty breathing.  While the release of histamine is a normal defense mechanism, an exaggerated histamine response can contribute to chronic inflammation of the nasal passages, sinuses and lungs contributing to  breathing troubles such as wheezing, severe coughs, asthma, or hiccups. The goal is to balance, not block, the histamine response as histamine performs critical functions in body, contributing to HCL production and neurotransmitter signals.

To help reduce over-active histamine reactions and allow healthy breathing patterns, apply 1 – 2 drops of Histamine Balance™ behind your ears, on the back of your neck, or on your sternum to open airways.



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About The Author

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.

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Subscribe to Vibrant Blue Oils and receive weekly information on oils and how to use them. As a bonus, we’ll send out Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils to your inbox immediately!