An amazingly powerful respiratory oil, Inula should be treated with respect. Inula is probably the strongest mucolytic oil available to the aromatheraist. It is the most effective oil I know of for loosening bronchial congestion. It can be amazingly effective in relieving asthma, bronchial asthma, and chronic lung infections.
Shirley Price lists it as a powerful immune system stimulant in her discussion of AIDS/HIV support, although I suspect most aromatherapists would reach for more commonly accepted oils.
Useful in treating the symptoms of asthma, both chronic and acute bronchitis, unproductive coughs, and laryngitis, there is nothing better for loosening deep congestion in the lungs, bronchial tract or sinuses. Its antibacterial properties make it especially effective for infections of the respiratory system.
Some authorities recommend Inula graveolens for lymphatic drainage and circulation, although I would reach for Cistus for this purpose.
Jeanne Rose also recommends Inula Graveolens Oil by inhalation for treating seriously congested infected sinus’. (For the times that our SineEase Synergy just isn’t enough!)
I have recently seen research indicating that Inula graveolens is also an effective antibacterial, specifically effective agains staph infections.
Appearance: In the past we have offered a striking deep green Inula oil. The green color comes from distillation in a copper still. Molecules of copper bond to molecules of essential oil giving the familiar green color. Unfortunately, our French distiller has retired and is no longer producing the copper distilled oil. This organic Spanish species was quite obviously distilled in stainless steel, not copper, hense the golden rather than green hue. Yes, the bluegreen oil was beautiful. But I can attest from personal experience that this golden oil is as effective. We were lucky to find it.
WARNINGS: A close cousin of this Inula graveolens, Inula helenium, is a known strong sensitizer and skin irritant that has NO use in aromatherapy. The much safer Inula graveolens does not bear these warnings. It appears to be both non-irritating and non-sensitizing. However, because it lacks extensive testing, I would still avoid its use with infants, children, and the elderly, and during pregnancy and lactation. NOTE, Robert Tisserand says no known hazards or contraindications. Perhaps I am overly conservative.