Monday, June 20, 2011
Treating Asthma With Essential Oils Part 1
My son was born with breathing problems. We were in the hospital two times his first year with asthma attacks and were treating him with Albuteral often to keep his airways open. He tended to get asthma if he got any kind of upper respiratory infection. It would start with a runny nose and then by that night his chest would be con-caving as he struggled for breath and he would start throwing up. I had many suggestions of herbs and teas to help asthma, however we were constantly reverting back to the Albuteral because when the symptoms started to worsen I couldn't keep anything in his stomach long enough to work. It was about that time I started experimenting with essential oils and experiencing amazing results. It has now been over a year since his last asthma attack and thankfully his nebulizer is gathering dust in the closet. I am going to share several of the possible methods of treatment for asthma including the ones I use in the order I use them.
When I first started trying essential oils my first concern was opening his airways when he started to have an attack. I hated Albuteral and watching my little baby shake and run around like he was on illegal drugs (though that was better than him not breathing). To replace the Albuteral, I first placed collodial silver in his nebulizer as the carrier for the essential oil. Collodial silver is antibiotic in itself and when nebulized helps to clean out any infection in the lungs, so it is a perfect liquid carrier for the essential oil. If you do not have collodial you can also use distilled water. I just estimated the amount of collodial to place in the bowl of the nebulizer. I wanted it to be the same amount as the albutral vial I was given. Then I put two drops of peppermint essential oil in the collodial and attached the mask shaking it up to mix. Peppermint when inhaled clears out the sinuses and lungs, but it is also very strong so it is important to cover the eyes to avoid them stinging and watering. For an older child or adult you can just have them close their eyes, but for my son, who was around 1 years old, I put swimming goggles on him so that he wouldn't get upset by getting it in his eyes. I have some pretty funny pictures of him in swim goggles and the nebulizer mask. From there I ran the nebulizer as normal until it was empty. This helped to clear out his breathing and it has no side effects.
Now essential oils work differently for each person, so you have to be willing to experiment a bit to find what will work best for you. The situation may also call for creativity based on the level of asthma. I begin the peppermint treatment as soon as he starts laboring to breathe. Then I repeat every 30 minutes to an hour based on his symptoms. The great thing about peppermint is that it has no side effects, so you don't have to worry about the spacing of treatments. You could easily do back to back treatments or go as often as every 15 minutes if you wanted to. I also have an oxygen meter (which I highly recommend for anyone with asthma) for his finger and if his level falls below 92 then I would go ahead and use the Albuteral. The oxygen meter gives you data to work with. When you, or your child, is struggling for breath, emotions start running high. If you are like us, we are back and forth about rather or not to go to the ER. With a meter you have data to work with. You know if that level falls below a certain level and peppermint or albuteral isn't bringing it up you need to head to the ER. It also gives you data on how the oil is working. You can take his oxygen level before the treatment and after to see how the oil affected his lungs. Asthma can be life threatening, so you must be cautious in your approach to healing. One of my trips to the ER his second year was because I waited too long to give him the Albuteral and by the time I did, he wasn't responding to it. So use extreme caution.
See Part 2 in this series to read how I was able to replace his steroids with essential oils.
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