Inula essential oil (Inula graveolens) is a powerful yet lesser known essential oil. It has a very strong affinity with the respiratory system, and while it's a very pricey oil, it's one that I keep on hand during the winter months.
Inula graveolens is in the Asteracae family, and the essential oil is steam distilled from the flowering part of the plant. While it is native to the Mediterranean region, it can also be found in other temperate regions. The essential oil mainly comes from Corsica, and it ranges in color from a pale yellow to a beautiful green depending on the distillation process. I have a bottle from Florihana that is a gorgeous green. When using a copper still for distillation, some components of the oil interact with the copper causing the oil to be a vibrant green. Distilling in stainless steel makes for a yellowish hue.
High in esters, particularly bornyl acetate (~50%).
Supported by monoterpene alcohols, specifically borneol.
Inula graveolens is considered to be one of the most powerful mucolytics in all of aromatherapy. It has been indicated for bronchitis, laryngitis, spasmodic coughs, asthma, and hardened mucus. It can also be used to support symptoms of anxiety or emotional exhaustion.
No known safety concerns or contraindications.
Methods of Application
Kurt Schnaubelt, in Advanced Aromatherapy, states that the best method of use is at night in a diffuser set at the lowest setting available. I would recommend putting a drop on a cotton ball on a bedside table if a diffuser is not an option.
An aromatherapy inhaler is also a nice option to have on hand. It would blend well with green myrtle, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus globulus, peppermint, bay laurel, rosalina, tea tree, or niaouli.
What are your favorite essential oils for respiratory support?
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