Chemistry of dōTERRA Breathe® Respiratory Drops


doTERRA Breathe® Respiratory Drops can help promote respiratory health, feelings of clear airways, and easy breathing. doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops are infused with a blend of different essential oils thought to confer respiratory benefit, including essential oils from Laurel Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Melaleuca Leaf, Lemon Peel, Cardamom Seed, Ravintsara Leaf, and Ravensara Leaf. (Note that Ravintsara and Ravensara are two different essential oils.) For example, Laurel Leaf and Eucalyptus oil support feelings of clear airways due to their high content of the constituent 1,8-cineole. Peppermint oil is high in menthol, which is known to have soothing properties on the respiratory system.1-16

The other essential oils included in doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops contain specific chemical constituents that give the drops additional benefits. For example, the combination of limonene, alpha-Pinene, and eucalyptol has been studied for its ability to accelerate ciliary beat frequency and mucociliary clearance.1 Mucociliary clearance is the process by which tiny hairs in the respiratory tract move mucus along, freshening the respiratory tract by clearing out old and dirty mucous. In the next section, we’ll discuss the various benefits of the different essential oil constituents in doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops in more detail.

Chemical Constituents 

1,8-cineole, also known as eucalyptol, is the most prominent essential oil constituent in doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops. In experimental studies, 1,8-cineole has shown the ability to soothe inflamed lung tissue, reduce mucus production, and help manage a healthy inflammatory response in the lungs.2-4 All of these effects help promote feelings of open airways and easy breathing. 1,8-cineole also has antioxidant properties and may help protect against damage from reactive chemical compounds.5 Other experimental studies showed that 1,8-cineole had measurable results in in vivo experimental models.6

Menthol is the second most concentrated essential oil compound in doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops. Menthol is most well-known for its activity as a TRPM8 receptor agonist. The TRPM8 receptor is responsible for sensing cool temperatures, so menthol elicits a cooling sensation that soothes irritated tissues.7 Experimental research also suggests that menthol can attenuate feelings of respiratory irritation.8,9 Other research has shown that, like 1,8-cineole, menthol can support healthy breathing in in vivo experimental models.

Limonene levels in doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops are comparable to the levels of menthol. Limonene has the unique benefit of protecting against environmental threats.10 Limonene has powerful surface cleansing properties, is an antioxidant, and has also been shown to have gentle relaxing properties on the smooth muscle in the airways.10-12

Sabinene levels are much lower compared to 1,8-cineole, menthol, and limonene; however, there are biologically significant quantities of sabinene in doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops. Sabinene is an antioxidant and demonstrates radical-scavenging activity.13 It also helps mediate a healthy inflammatory response and protects against certain kinds of environmental threats.13-15

p-Cymene levels are comparable to sabinene and alpha-Pinene levels. p-Cymene helps protect against specific environmental threats to which the respiratory tract is especially vulnerable.16

In the respiratory system, alpha-Pinene synergizes with limonene and 1,8-cineole to increase mucociliary clearance and ciliary beat frequency.1


The essential oils in the doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops (and the doTERRA Breathe essential oil blend) were chosen carefully to create a diverse mixture of chemical constituents that contribute to a feeling of clear breathing. The doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops further support the many different facets of healthy respiratory function. Although we live in a world where air quality is steadily declining, try taking one or two doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops a day to help protect your lungs and respiratory tract from feelings of irritation and discomfort. You can also try diffusing the doTERRA Breathe blend in your home for added feelings of clear airways and easy breathing.


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