INHALATION OF OILS – to Relieve Asthma

From an address by Sally Janssen at a Naturopathic Convention of the SPFNT Sydney 1971

Essential oils produce natural vaporous perfumes which when inhaled can be most effective in relieving asthma. The perfumes of pine, peppermint and cardamom are therapeutic and also others such as rose, cinnamon, ginger, lemon and lime. It is a case of trialling to find the most effective.

Perfume assists the flow of prana in the respiratory aspect of the brain through the olfactory nerves which convey their message directly to the sensory tissue of the olfactory lobe. The regio respiratoria and the regio olfactoria in the brain are closely associated. We call the olfactory sense Gandha Tanmatra in Yoga.

Improving the function and sensitivity of the whole olfactory system is of great general benefit. A firm but gentle manipulation of the septum will benefit the nasal area and assist the sense of olfaction. Also effective is to splash the nose with cold water several times a day. However it is not easy to recover the sense of smell and if any suffer from anosmia do not be disheartened but continue with the practices and observe any increasing sensitivity.

The throat needs attention as the glottis determines the pressure of air in the trachea and to help relax the energy in this centre the Chin lock or Jalandhara Bandha is used.

The solar plexus requires attention as the seat of mechanical muscular control of volume of air flow into the lungs in the process of respiration. The Uddiyana Bandha or Solar plexus lock is used here, except with young children.

Like a vicious circle a nervous panic state develops inside the patient in creating the conditions that result in asthma. Difficulties in breathing in turn create a further panic by their very nature. It is naturally a situation that creates a frightening feeling that one’s lifeline is blocked and the breath no longer flowing and functioning in the usual friendly and rhythmic way.

Try to understand your asthma patient and that because he cannot express his life by exhaling his breath properly, emphasis is placed upon inhalation and forces a gasping for air. Before long things get worse and the whole respiratory system becomes erratic  – the shoulders raise  – the back tenses – fear begins to show in the eyes and intense effort is required for him to just keep things going when an attack is serious.

At this stage, if in a classroom situation, the physical touch from the teacher often will release a degree of stress until the ventolin puffer achieves a temporary release from the struggle.  It is usually the only immediate relief for asthma that can be given in that situation, although other measures can be effective.

Teaching the art of relaxation, regaining self control of his body processes as well as his psychological states is the long term cure, together with careful instruction as to the balance of the energies of the right and left nostril breaths that ensures a long term cure of this disease.

It is difficult to generalize as to causative factors that are usually complex but there is a certain need to balance of the physical gases between oxygen and carbon dioxide as it is necessary for our physical health that the flow of air through each nostril is needed to stimulate the energy to both right and left sides of the brain. That is Nature’s design and offers the answer to why do we not have one big nostril !


Imbalance in the psychological level is often found to be stress through introvert attitudes and overly trying when actions and feelings should be more flowing and spontaneous. Not to allow emotions or situations to strangle the natural lifeline but a more relaxed attitude to life and to himself should be assumed.

Many adults respond when encouraged to understand compromise and accept that the gentle way is not always weakness.

Help the student to relax the body, become more outgoing, play gentle sports, and free his diet from intake of the dairy foods that may trigger an attack to focus upon fresh juices, salads and vegetables.

Let him inhale one of the fine natural essential oils to be aware of the difference and so be able to wish to avoid inhaling the harmful chemicals that are so common in our environments today.


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