Health Desk: 15 March 2018: There are many causes for someone to cough, including the common cold, flu, or chest infection. Essential oils may help to soothe the throat, reduce inflammation, and clear away mucus.
The medical community tends to view essential oils as a complementary alternative therapy rather than a medical treatment. These oils should be used with caution, as there are no approved guidelines about dosage or strength.
However, there are instructions, and if a person follows them, any of the 10 essential oils below may help to relieve a cough.
1. Eucalyptus essential oil
Many people use this oil without realizing it. Over-the-counter vapor or chest rubs marketed to suppress coughs often contain eucalyptus oil. Or, they may include the oil’s key compound, called eucalyptol or cineole. Eucalyptus essential oil can be used to calm a cough in several ways. A person may want to try:
2. Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary is a common garden herb. Like eucalyptus, it contains the compound cineole. A study published in the journal Cough found that cineole may help to break up mucus and reduce inflammation.
3. Peppermint essential oil
Natural care products for respiratory conditions often contain this oil. Menthol is an extract of peppermint. When inhaled, it creates a cooling sensation that can soothe or numb a scratchy throat.
A 2013 study suggests that when a healthy person uses peppermint oil, it can help to relax the muscles of the windpipe, known as the bronchial muscles. This may explain why the oil can ease breathing in people with coughs.
4. Oregano essential oil
Oregano essential oil contains a high level of a potent compound called carvacrol. Authors of a 2014 study found that carvacrol is a helpful antimicrobial agent that can fight off many types of germs. This oil could, therefore, help to treat viral or bacterial causes of a cough.
5. Thyme essential oil
Thyme essential oil also contains a high level of carvacrol. It may be helpful in eliminating or protecting against viruses and bacteria.