Steam inhalation with eucalyptus essential oil can be used for upper respiratory congestion, irritated upper respiratory membranes, cough, and asthma. This therapy increases your innate immune system activity, is soothing for the respiratory tract, helps relieve nasal congestion and cough, increases the blood flow to the respiratory tree, and loosens secretions. Eucalyptus contains chemicals that decrease smooth muscle contractions in airways. It is also anti-inflammatory and contains antiviral properties. Eucalyptus stimulates the innate cell-mediated immune response. Contraindications to this procedure would include extremely young children or the very aged who may not respond well to heat. Be careful to avoid burning. During the steam treatment, make sure fresh air is available by opening one side of the sheet as needed. If in any doubt, consult your physician regarding your concerns before applying this therapy. CAUTION: Do not take eucalyptus by mouth, as Eucalyptus can be toxic in this form.
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