Essential Oils for: Respiratory
Details of Respiratory
Respiratory is defined as relating to or affecting respiration or the organs of respiration. The anatomy of the respiratory system consists of the nose and nasal cavity, the mouth, the pharynx, the larynx, the trachea, the bronchi and bronchioles, the lungs, and the muscles of respiration. According to InnerBody, the nose and nasal cavity form the main external opening for the respiratory system and are the first section of the body’s airway—the respiratory tract through which air moves. The nose is a structure of the face made of cartilage, bone, muscle, and skin that supports and protects the anterior portion of the nasal cavity. The nasal cavity is a hollow space within the nose and skull that is lined with hairs and mucus membrane. The function of the nasal cavity is to warm, moisturize, and filter air entering the body before it reaches the lungs. Hairs and mucus lining the nasal cavity help to trap dust, mold, pollen and other environmental contaminants before they can reach the inner portions of the body. Air exiting the body through the nose returns moisture and heat to the nasal cavity before being exhaled into the environment. The mouth, also known as the oral cavity, is the secondary external opening for the respiratory tract. Most normal breathing takes place through the nasal cavity, but the oral cavity can be used to supplement or replace the nasal cavity’s functions when needed. Because the pathway of air entering the body from the mouth is shorter than the pathway for air entering from the nose, the mouth does not warm and moisturize the air entering the lungs as well as the nose performs this function. The mouth also lacks the hairs and sticky mucus that filter air passing through the nasal cavity. The one advantage of breathing through the mouth is that its shorter distance and larger diameter allows more air to quickly enter the body. The pharynx, also known as the throat, is a muscular funnel that extends from the posterior end of the nasal cavity to the superior end of the esophagus and larynx. The pharynx is divided into 3 regions: the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx. The nasopharynx is the superior region of the pharynx found in the posterior of the nasal cavity. Inhaled air from the nasal cavity passes into the nasopharynx and descends through the oropharynx, located in the posterior of the oral cavity. Air inhaled through the oral cavity enters the pharynx at the oropharynx. The inhaled air then descends into the laryngopharynx, where it is diverted into the opening of the larynx by the epiglottis. The epiglottis is a flap of elastic cartilage that acts as a switch between the trachea and the esophagus. Because the pharynx is also used to swallow food, the epiglottis ensures that air passes into the trachea by covering the opening to the esophagus. During the process of swallowing, the epiglottis moves to cover the trachea to ensure that food enters the esophagus and to prevent choking. The larynx, also known as the voice box, is a short section of the airway that connects the laryngopharynx and the trachea. The larynx is located in the anterior portion of the neck, just inferior to the hyoid bone and superior to the trachea. Several cartilage structures make up the larynx and give it its structure. The epiglottis is one of the cartilage pieces of the larynx and serves as the cover of the larynx during swallowing. Inferior to the epiglottis is the thyroid cartilage, which is often referred to as the Adam’s apple as it is most commonly enlarged and visible in adult males. The thyroid holds open the anterior end of the larynx and protects the vocal folds. Inferior to the thyroid cartilage is the ring-shaped cricoid cartilage which holds the larynx open and supports its posterior end. In addition to cartilage, the larynx contains special structures known as vocal folds, which allow the body to produce the sounds of speech and singing. The vocal folds are folds of mucous membrane that vibrate to produce vocal sounds. The tension and vibration speed of the vocal folds can be changed to change the pitch that they produce.