Inhalation is one of the quickest ways to get the benefits of using essential oils. Find out how to make your own inhalant or use simple methods, such as direct or steam inhalation.
What are Essential Oil Inhalants?
Essential oil inhalants are an alternative to using over the counter drugs to treat various ailments. Using essential oils is also a cost-effective way to treat many common ailments as compared to buying expensive prescriptions and drugstore remedies. Most remedies call for just a few drops of the oil.
The most common uses of inhalants are to clear the sinuses, but they can also be used to promote sleep, improve mental clarity or ease a headache. The following article will show you several ways to use essential oils as an inhalant, including step by step instructions to make your own.
Simple Inhalant Methods
Two of the easiest ways to use essential oils as an inhalant are to either simply sniff a bit directly from the bottle or place a small drop under your nostrils. When your traveling or out and about, this is an easy way to get instant relief.
If you are treating a more persistent problem or when you need to use a blend of oils, use one of the methods below.
Using Direct Inhalation
Direct inhalation is an easy way to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy
Direct inhalation is very simple to do:
- Cup your hand and place a few drops of the essential oils in the palm of your hand.
- Rub both hands together
- Bring your hands together and cup them over your nose.
- Breathe in deeply several times.
Using Steam Inhalation
Steam inhalation is another popular way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. It is especially effective when clearing out the sinuses as the steam helps the vapors to penetrate the sinus passages.
To prepare a steam inhalation:
- Bring a large teapot of water to a boil.
- Pour 4-6 cups of boiling water into a large bowl.
- Add 4-5 drops of essential oil into the water.
- Place a towel over your head and hold your head over the bowl.
- Breathe in deeply for up to 15 minutes, taking breaks when needed.
Video to Make Your Own Essential Oil Inhalant
Watch this video to make your own Essential Oil Inhalant that can fit in your pocket and last several months. Great for travel.
You will need:
- Blank Inhaler
- Essential Oils
- Small Bowl
You can buy the inhalers online from Amazon, eBay or specialty shops like Aromatics International. Here are a few options for you:
- mEssentials – Aromatherapy Essential Oil Inhaler Sticks (Set of 12). These are the plastic nasal inhalers & come with wicks, covers & plugs.
- Rivertree Life – Multi-Color Plastic Personal Essential Oil Inhalers (Set of 5 ). These are a good choice if you like a bit of color! They also carry aluminum inhalers.
- Home Healthy – Blank White Nasal Inhaler Sticks (Set of 20). These also include the unscented wicks, covers & plugs.
Make a Homemade Essential Oil Inhalant to Ease a Cold
If don’t have a blank inhaler, you can also make your own inhalant with supplies you can typically find around the house.
You will need the following ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon of menthol crystals or salt
- 1 small plastic bottle or jar, an empty oil jar is ideal
- 5 drops each of Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Peppermint Oils
Simply pour the salt into the jar. Add the oils slowly as to not overdo it. Then put the cap on and shake the bottle making sure to fully coat the crystals. Store the bottle in a cool, dry environment, away from the light.
Popular Essential Oils for Congestion
Eucalyptus Oil – An Exhilarating, Cleansing Oil
The eucalyptus is rich in essential oils that are used for both their fragrance and medicinal applications. It has an exhilarating fragrance that helps to rejuvenate the mind.
Eucalyptus has many healing properties. It has been used as an analgesic, antiseptic, antiviral and a decongestant. It fights the bacteria known to cause colds and sinus ailments. This is why it is one of the top essential oils used when fighting the common cold. Eucalyptus is also an effective oil to use when treating a cough.
While used most often as an inhalant, eucalyptus oil can also be applied topically to treat cold sores, relieve muscle aches and pains. However, Eucalyptus is not recommended while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Peppermint Oil – Refreshing Scent to Calm Wind
Peppermint is a strong scent that blends nicely with other essential oils. Peppermint is used in Chinese medicine to relieve wind and provides a calming effect on the stomach.
The peppermint plant contains menthol, which is responsible for giving us that wonderful cooling sensation. Peppermint oil also has an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory effect which makes it a perfect herb to use in herbal remedies.
When used as an inhalant, peppermint oil will ease congestion and provide relief from headaches. The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint help to ease the swelling of the nasal passages while the menthol brings instant relief.
Rosemary Oil – Provide Clarity and Block Histamines
Rosemary is used in herbal remedies to stimulate the central nervous system and improve circulation. It has also been used throughout history to improve focus, memory, and concentration.
The leaves of the rosemary plant can block histamine which is the chemical behind both asthma and allergies. Rosemary oil is a good choice when treating a cold since it can clear congestion and help ward off the mental fogginess that accompanies a head cold.S
Balsam Fir Oil – Ease Pains and Support the Respiratory System
Balsam Fir is another oil that has a strong pleasing scent. It has traditionally been used to ease muscle aches and pains. Balsam Fir Oil is also known for supporting respiratory function and providing an overall sense of well-being.
Essential oils have a long history in herbal remedies. Whether you are relieving stress, easing a migraine or treating a cold, they are one of the most economical ways to help bring relief for minor ailments. And let’s face it, the more time we can spend out of the doctor’s office the better!
See the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy for more ways to use essential oils in natural medicine and visit our home page for the latest ideas on saving money while leading a natural life.