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Clinical Corner: The Respiratory System

The respiratory system is responsible for the exchange of gases between the body and the environment. It consists of the lungs, airways (including the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles), the diaphragm, and various muscles involved in breathing.

When air is inhaled, it passes through the nose or mouth and into the trachea, which is also called the windpipe. From there, it passes through the bronchi and into the bronchioles, which are smaller tubes that lead to the alveoli. The alveoli are tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.

The diaphragm, a muscle located at the bottom of the chest cavity, plays a crucial role in breathing. When it contracts, it moves downward and expands the chest cavity, causing air to be drawn into the lungs. When it relaxes, the chest cavity becomes smaller, and air is forced out of the lungs.

The respiratory system also plays a role in regulating the body’s pH balance by controlling the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood. Additionally, it is involved in vocalization and serves as a defense mechanism by helping to filter out particles and microbes from the air.


Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can occur intermittently or persistently.

The exact cause of asthma is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Triggers that can cause asthma symptoms to flare up include allergens such as dust mites, pollen, and pet dander, respiratory infections, exercise, cold air, and certain medications.

Standard medical treatment for asthma usually involves a combination of medications, including bronchodilators to open up the airways and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. In addition to medication, avoiding triggers and making lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking can help manage asthma symptoms.

In severe cases, asthma attacks can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. It is important for individuals with asthma to have an asthma action plan in place and to regularly follow up with their healthcare provider to monitor their symptoms and adjust their treatment plan as needed.

Single Oils:

Mandarin, Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, Spikenard, Eucalyptus Radiata, Ravensara, Rosemary Verbenone, Tarragon, Ylang Ylang, Cypress, Oregano, Larch, Hyssop, Hyssop Decumbens, Sitka, Frankincense, Ammi Visnaga, Caleput, Anise, Lavender, Peppermint, Pine, Sage, Savory, Thuja


Bronchioles, Breathe Easy, Pulmonary Stress Support, Unconscious

Initial Phase of Treatment:

a. Gentle inhalations with Roman chamomile, lavender, or mandarin 

b. Eventually (after several days) use clary sage, spikenard, or Tarragon with general inhalations

c. The use of Ylang Ylang helps to slow down the breath

d. Rosemary Verbenone is helpful for inflammation in the mucus membranes while increasing blood to the brain

e. Sage can be used to reduce brain fatigue due to strained breathing

f. Frankincense taken internally (1-2 drops in water) has shown to reduce reactivity due to environmental factors

g. Anise taken internally can be used to reduce spasms in the trachea and stomach which reduces the gulping of air, especially when eating

h. For a body out of balance and in crisis Rosemary Verbenone can be very beneficial

Intermediate Phase of Treatment

Sustained Inhalations

Single Oils: Hyssop Decumbens, Hyssop, Larch, Eucalyptus Radiata, Ravensara

– apply Ylang Ylang to the chest and abdomen 

Advanced Phase

Single Oils:

Oregano, Savory

1-2 drops in water taken daily

Psychological Factors:

Emotional support

– Tarragon or Bergamot taken internally (1-2 drops internally) or sustained inhalations

– Bergamot can be very balancing and stabilizing to the emotions

– Blue Healer applied to the body and inhaled soothes the emotions and reduces inflammation in the body


Helichrysum and spikenard are exceptional for treating trauma that may impact asthmatic conditions


Ylang Ylang slows down the breath

Anise, Rosemary Verbenone, and Tarragon can help reduce stress 

Larch is great for a chest rub

The blend Pulmonary Stress Support is made specifically for reducing stress associated with the respiratory tract

Other Support:

 – Pursed lip breathing with diaphragm technique

 – Quercetin 1500-3000 taken daily 

 – Cordyceps 3000mg taken daily (for three months or longer) 

 – Magnesium 400-500mg taken daily

 – Garlic 500-1000mg taken daily

 – Flax Oil 1000mg taken twice daily

 – Fish Oil 1200-2400mg taken daily (especially for exercise induced asthma)

 – Lobelia (in capsule form) one capsule 1-2 times a day

 – Pau d’arco if there is a history of smoking

 – Reduce salt intake

 – If fluid retention is present in body (especially the lower legs) use essential oils that have a diuretic effect. Examples: Sandalwood, birch, parsley, juniper, lovage, celery