Many people rely on prescription medicines, shots, antihistamines and decongestants to relieve their symptoms, but there is a more natural solution for combating allergies. Pure, therapeutic-quality, essential oils are one of THE most popular, natural, alternative medicines on the market. “There’s an oil for that” is a very funny yet true quote used in the oil world. We use essential oils everyday and are continually amazed at their effectiveness.
Millions of people suffer from allergies. Hay fever, asthma, and eczema are the most common reactions associated with allergies.
Allergies are the body’s immune system over-reacting to normally harmless substances known as allergens. The immune system makes antibodies to protect you from bacterial or other infections but with allergens, even though harmless, the body identifies them as dangerous and antibodies are created causing a variety of inflammatory reactions. These may include skin disorders (rash or eczema), respiratory problems (hay fever or even asthma), or digestive discomforts. Allergens may originate from:
· Pollen from trees, flowers, grasses, etc. giving rise to the common hay fever.
· Hair, dander, urine, ect., from animals.
· Foods. More common in children than adults are reactions to various food types.
· Mold. When mold spores are present in the air they can cause an allergic reaction just as pollen and other allergens.
· Synthetic substances. Some have allergic reactions to repeated use of latex gloves, some cosmetics, other beauty products, and a variety of synthetic materials.
· Insect bites. Some develop allergic reactions after multiple instances of bee stings and other insect bites.
Eucalyptus – helps to fight symptoms such as congestion, headaches and respiratory conditions. It is anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, and expectorant. When mixed with a carrier oil such as grape seed, jojoba, or fractionated coconut oil, it can safely be applied topically to chest and throat areas.
Peppermint – helps to improve breathing by opening sinuses and airways, fights infection, relieves pain of headache and muscular pain, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Apply to temples for headache pain. Apply to back of neck to relieve stress and tension.
Lemon – protects immunity, relieves respiratory issues. Excellent antibacterial agent, which makes it well suited for respiratory inflammation. Cleansing to the environment. Citrus oils can be photosensitive, so exercise caution with exposure to UV rays.
Lavender – anti-inflammatory, builds immunity, relieves headaches and eases muscle pain, acts as a natural antihistamine. It has a very calming and relaxing, soothing aroma. Diffuse to help ease mental strain.
Roman Chamomile – anti-inflammatory, relaxing, relieves headaches, and eases inflammation. It is a powerful antispasmodic and muscle relaxant that can be used as an emergency remedy during asthma attacks, rub on solar plexus, wrists and temples. It is important to note that one should avoid Roman Chamomile if allergic to ragweed.
Cypress – Antispasmodic and disinfectant. Helps to relieve breathing difficulties and suppress coughing. May benefit symptoms of Asthma.
Ginger – Analgesic, expectorant and stimulant. Decreases respiratory symptoms such as constricted breathing, wheezing and coughing. Can be very beneficial for any kind of digestive issue or upset stomach.
One way to benefit from essential oils is to massage oils around the neck and behind the ears, or add a few drops to tissue and inhale throughout the day as needed.
For congestion combine one or two drops each of Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Lemon in a bowl with hot water. Cover head and bowl with towel, close eyes and inhale deeply.
To relieve allergy symptoms combine two drops each of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint in a small amount of water. Swish inside mouth for 10 – 20 seconds, and then swallow. May also be taken orally in a gel cap, or added to a teaspoon of locally made honey. Diffuse in a room or rub on the back of the neck. It is also beneficial to start this regimen before allergy season starts by taking one capsule per day and then adding more per day as needed.
*disclaimer: internal use of oils is a very debated topic. Use essential oils internally with caution*
Put a drop of Peppermint on your pillow (on the corner to avoid eye contact) to open up sinuses and help induce deep breathing. Add a drop of Lavender for its calming benefits and a better night’s sleep.
*Not all essential oils are safe for children. Check out this article for which to avoid: Essential Oils and Children