The Autumn equinox has just passed marking the beginning of fall. We begin seeing cooler temperatures and the changing colors of leaves. In Chinese medicine the fall is associated with the Metal Element. The Lung and the Large Intestine are the organs associated with the season and element.
The Lungs help to create our Wei qi energy (protective energy). This Wei qi energy helps us the stay well during the changing of the seasons. During this time of the change between the summer to fall it is beneficial to help support the Lungs and the Wei qi. The temperatures outside can fluctuate causing our Wei qi to work over time to protect us. Essential oils are a great way to help support the Lungs and therefor our immunity.
My favorite essential oil for supporting the Lungs and immunity is Eucalyptus radiata. I love this oil because it is gentle enough to use with children and powerful enough to help support the Lungs and stimulate the immune system. A diffuser is an excellent way to benefit from this oil. Breathing the oil can help strengthen and open the Lungs. Topically it can be used in a carrier oil rubbed on the feet or chest. A favorite carrier oil/cream of mine to use is a quarter size of Weleda Calendula cream per two drops of essential oil and rub directly on. You can also use a half tablespoon of olive oil per two drops. It can be inhaled to help open the Lungs and stimulate the Wei qi.
REMINDER: essential oils are not to be used direct – always dilute with a carrier oil!!
Another favorite for the Lungs is Cedarwood. Cedarwood oil is diffused in my house at the first sign of a cough. Cedarwood opens and decongests the Lungs. Another way to use Cedarwood for Lung support is to apply the oil in a carrier oil to the Acupuncture point Lung 1. This point helps to open the chest and strengthen the Lung. This point is is located in the delta-pectoral triangle on the chest. It is the hollow below the collar bone where it meets the shoulder. Google it! You can find an image to help you locate the point. Apply the oil 1-3 times a day and breathe deeply while gently massaging the oil into the point.
Tea Tree is a well know oil for its ability to help support the immune system. I like this oil for its ability to help strengthen the Lung qi. This oil is great for traveling used as an inhalation. You can apply a few drops to a cotton ball and inhale the scent. I usually do not diffuse Tea tree because I feel it smells to strong. I do love making a room spray with it though! Sprays are easy to make and help the room smell fresh.
To create a spray start with a 4 ounce (preferably glass amber) spray bottle. Add three ounces of witch hazel and a half ounce of distilled water. Add 20-30 drops of the tea tree oil. You can also make a spray blend adding 20-30 total drops of a combination of oils. General immune support oils are Ravintsara, Lavender, Niaouli and Pine to name a few!
I really enjoy using essential oils for myself and my family. I often give clients “homework” of applying oils to acupuncture points to help continue the benefits of a treatment. Snow Lotus is my favorite brand of essential oils. The company sources the oils from small producers worldwide who ethically wild harvest or sustainably cultivate the plants and distill the oils in small batches. Vancouver Wellness Studio carries Snow Lotus essential oils! They can be purchased in the studio or on our website! Have fun playing with the oils and see which oils you enjoy and benefit you!
Megan Burns, L.Ac., MAOM, RhAHG