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Coughs and Coughing – What is an Expectorant?

by Penny Keay

This is one of those lasting symptoms. Although annoying, coughing may be very necessary as your body heals from certain ailments.

Coughing can be voluntary but all too often is an involuntary action of the body as the bronchi go into spasm to attempt to expel an irritant such as thick mucus.

A cough can start as a little tickle in the back of the throat that causes your body to expel air rather quickly.

Some coughs are dry (non-productive) while others are moist and mucous filled. When there is congestion, coughs should not be suppressed, as mucous needs to able to be expelled (with ease).

To deal with a cough the first step is to determine the cause of the cough.

Do you have allergies? Are you getting a cold or the flu? Or, just getting over one? Are you a smoker? Alternatively, have you been exposed to airborne irritants such as those found in a restaurant, bar or other public place that allows smoking?

Does your chest feel tight and congested? Do you feel the need to get 'rid' of something? Maybe, it is just too thick. Do you have a little tickle that produces nothing when you do cough? Does your cough produce lots of mucous?

All of these types of coughs may need different types of essential oils.

Please note: Any cough accompanied by a fever should be addressed by a medical practitioner.

Also coughs that produce green and/or bloody sputum, coughs that persist more than a couple of weeks, or if you are having difficulty breathing - please seek medical attention.

Dry coughs are often caused by allergies or airborne irritants. Essential oils can be used to help with allergies. They may be used to relieve the nasal inflammation and the postnasal drip. They may stop and give relief from the cough.

Allergy caused coughs, if left unattended, may lead to bronchitis or other upper respiratory infection.

Moist coughs are those that may have a lot of congestion. These may respond better to the use an expectorant type essential oil. Expectorants can thin and loosen mucous so it can be expelled without a lot of excessive coughing.

Since many folks are not familiar with medical terminology, you may not have a clue as to what we are talking about when we say expectorant.

Well, an Expectorant is (according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary): an agent that promotes the discharge or expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract; broadly: an antitussive agent, (Antitussive – means it helps to relieve or suppress coughing. ) — expectorant adjective

So, now you have the definitions but how can you use essential oils to help this congestion? What essential oils possess the properties of expectoration?

Several essential oils can help to thin the mucous and that will help relieve the tightness so you can more easily cough and ‘expel’ this mucous. Several help by reducing the inflammation in the airway and discomfort due to the inflammation.

The following essential oils are good to help thin down the mucous in the nasal passage and throughout the entire respiratory tract – bronchial tubes and other structures in the lungs.

The most commonly known Essential oils to help with coughs include:

Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Several of the Conifer trees: Fir, Pine and Spruce needles.

Here are some that may work depending on your personal preference and the condition or infection you may be using them to give yourself some relief.

The following list is not in any particular order. You may want to try different essential oils over the period of your congestion to see if you have better results using one of the oils vs. another.

For Help with Congestions try

Cajuput, Camphor, Blue Tansy, Cistus, Bergamot, Cardamom, Clove bud, Ginger, Helichrysum, Cedarwood, Litsea Cubeb, Cypress, Elemi, Fennel, Fragonia, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lavandin, Sweet Marjoram, Niaouli, Peppermint, Spearmint, Myrtle, Oregano, Pennyroyal, Fir, Pine, Spruce, Ravensara, Sage, Thyme.

Steam inhalation may give some relief.

Some essential oils that help with coughs and are used along with steam or increased humidity include: Eucalyptus globulus (adults) Eucalyptus radiata (adults and children), Frankincense, Lavender, Marjoram, Niaouli, Ravensara, Rosemary, Pine Needle, Tea Tree, Cajuput, Cypress, Hyssop, Thyme, Peppermint and Sandalwood. Myrtle has also been used by a couple of our customers.

Decongestion and Expectorant Blend

Eucalyptus Radiata (best for children) or E. Globulus (if adult) – 25 drops
Thyme ct linalol – 10 drops
Myrtle – 10 drops
Niaouli – 10 drops
Ravensara – 5 drops

Blend well – then place several drops on the cotton pad of any cold air fan diffuser. Let this run continuously for several hours in the room you are occupying.

This blend can also be used in a bowl of hot water – place 3-4 drops in a bowl of hot water and inhale the vapors that rise. You do not need to drape a towel over the bowl or your head. Just inhale the warm essential oil filled air as it diffuses.

Try this blend for Moist coughs

Eucalyptus - 8 drops
Hyssop - 4 drops
Rosemary - 2 drops

Blend well and add 4 drops to a bowl of steaming water. The steaming water will speed the essential oils into the air and put some needed moisture in the air too.

For a Dry cough try this blend

Eucalyptus - 8 drops
Hyssop - 4 drops
Pine Needle - 2 drops
Lemon - 2 drops

Add to 2 tablespoons of Carrier oil, lotion or cream of your choice. Blend well. Rub on chest twice a day.

The following Synergy Blends may be helpful:

Allergy Tamer, Conifer, Easy Breathe, Forest Rain, Pure Cleansing, Respiratory, Refreshing, Keep it Moving, Invigorating and others. All of these blends have 2 or more of the above listed essential oils that may help with your cough and congestion.

All the products listed in the article are available at our Shopping Site - see link below.


CLICK HERE to Order supplies

© 2013, 2015, 2017 Penny Keay All rights reserved Worldwide.
Please do not use my information without my permission.

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