Aussie Eucalyptus Steam For Asthma

Inhaling steam helps to relax airways, increase circulation, and thin respiratory mucus, which makes it easier to expel. The eucalyptus is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory; and expectorant. A 2003 study found that an oral preparation of a key chemical in eucalyptus (eucalyptol) had an anti-inflammatory effect in people with asthma and reduced the need for steroids. (Plant essential oils, including eucalyptus essential oil, however, should not be taken by mouth.)

Note: For some people with asthma, essential oil vapors trigger coughing.

What You Need

  • 1 quart (946 ml) water
  • 1 to 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil, or 1/4 cup (6 g) crushed, dried eucalyptus leaves

Preparation And Use

If using eucalyptus essential oil:

1Boil the water. Turn off the heat.

2Remove the pot from the burner.

3First try inhaling the steam. If steam alone doesn’t trigger asthmatic coughing, add 1 drop of eucalyptus oil.

4Lean in gradually. If the eucalyptus vapors don’t trigger coughing, you can add the second drop of essential oil.

5Cover your head with a clean towel to entrap the steam.

6Breathe through your mouth slowly and deeply for 1 to 2 minutes.

If using dried eucalyptus leaves:

1Boil the water. Turn off the heat.

2Add dried eucalyptus leaves to the pot, cover, and steep for 10 to 15 minutes.

3Remove the lid.

4If you no longer have steam, heat the liquid again – just to the boiling point – and remove from the burner.

5Lean over the steam and cover your head with a clean towel.

6Breathe slowly and deeply.

7If the steam triggers coughing or seems to worsen your asthma in any way, stop.


1 Application

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