Essential Oils for Lung & Liver Diseases Caused by Air Pollution

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Aug 24, 2016 | Last Updated: Mar 4, 2019

Essential Oils For Lung and Liver Diseases

Air pollution has a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. Due to the fact that we breathe in polluted air, the tiny, but harmful particles enter our body and have the ability to cause damage. Air pollution is linked to various pulmonary diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, obstructive pulmonary disease, and many others. Besides lungs, the pollution affects other parts of the body such as the liver. The journal Toxicological Research published a study which confirmed that air pollution induces liver toxicity and accelerates liver inflammation and steatosis. The latest study showed that thanks to essential oils, we could treat liver and lung diseases that occurred because of pollution in a natural manner.

What did Study Find?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the outdoor air pollution and the fine particulate matter as carcinogenic to humans. Until now, nobody has ever inspected the role, and potential efficacy, of essential oils as an alternative medicine to manage the adverse health effects caused by airborne particulate matter (PM).

For the purpose of the study, Miriana Kfoury and a team of scientists at the Unité de Chimie Environnementale et Interactions sur le Vivant, used the following essential oils and their components:

  • Trans-anethole – Flavor component of anise and fennel
  • Estragole – Occurring in basil
  • Eugenol – Found in clove bud oil
  • Isoeugenol – Occurs in ylang – ylang

The research team collected air pollutant samples containing fine particles in Beirut, Lebanon. Then, they introduced the samples to human cell cultures of normal bronchial epithelial cells and cancer-derived hepatic cells.

Findings of the study were published in the Springer’s journal Environmental Chemistry Letter, and they showed that components found in natural essential oils counteract the inflammatory effects of the particulate matter. The results also showed that encapsulation in cyclodextrins preserved the properties of these elements.

Based on discoveries made throughout the study, these compounds should be considered as a natural therapeutic agent to reduced PM-caused inflammation in the lung and hepatic walls.

Essential Oils have other Significant Benefits too

Essential oils aren’t only beneficial for relaxation; they have tremendous potential to improve your health. For example, the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology published results of the study which recruited 100 healthy participants to investigate the effects of essential oil on heart rate and blood pressure among spa workers.

Scientists discovered that during the period between 15 and 60 minutes after the onset of exposure, the VOC (volatile organic compound) level was strongly linked to reduced 15-minute mean blood pressure and heart rate. On the other hand, after the exposure that lasted longer than one hour (75 – 120 minutes), the VOC levels were associated with increased 15-minute mean heart rate and blood pressure.

What does this mean? Well, exposure to essential oils for about one hour is an efficient manner of relaxation. It decreases heart rate and regulates blood pressure, thus improving cardiovascular health.

Did you know?

The Journal of Food Science published results of the study which showed that essential oils have yet another purpose – they can be used as food preservatives that aim to extend the shelf-life of food items. These oils act as antioxidants by destroying free radicals, termination of peroxides, preventing spoiling, and so on. Including essential oils as preservatives in food, packaging could increase the strength of the protein-based films and resistance to stretching, prevent food spoilage.

Conclusion

Essential oils are widely popular nowadays and not only in spas and wellness centers. They’re easily accessible and have various purposes besides the relaxation. What most people don’t know is that essential oils have health benefits as well. The latest study demonstrated that compounds found in these oils could treat liver and lung diseases that develop as a consequence to air pollution.

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