THE BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR TREATING SEASONAL ALLERGIES
Spring marks the beginning of allergy season for many people. As temperatures rise and the snow melts, allergens in the environment are exposed, making it difficult for people who suffer from seasonal allergies to enjoy the warm weather and longer periods of sunshine. While these symptoms are not life-threatening in the vast majority of cases, allergic reactions are uncomfortable and inconvenient side effects of the seasonal changes in the environment. Essential Oils and their respective herbs have been used for centuries to support immunity, treat seasonal illnesses, and improve overall wellbeing. Whether inhaled, diffused, or applied topically with a carrier oil, essential oils for allergies make an effective natural treatment as the seasons change. Read below to identify the common symptoms of seasonal allergies, and the best essential oils to support your health.
COMMON ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
The medical term for seasonal allergy symptoms, also known as hay fever, is allergic rhinitis. This occurs when the body's immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to something in the environment. In most cases, allergic reactions are uncomfortable inconveniences. However, for some, certain allergies can trigger life-threatening reactions, such as inflammation and shortness of breath.
People with seasonal allergies typically experience symptoms from late winter to end of spring, or even in late summer and into fall. The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
- Ear congestion
- Postnasal drainage
The most common causes of seasonal allergic reactions are:
- Insect stings
- Animal dander
Wind-pollinated plants such as trees, grasses, and weeds are the most common triggers of seasonal allergies, and are most prominent during the spring months leading into the summertime. While it is possible for people to experience allergic rhinitis year-round, it is less common during the winter. There are numerous treatments available on the market that can alleviate the season's most prominent allergies. However, the best essential oils for allergies possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties that can support immunity and ease flare-ups in the body. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, consider the following essential oils, so you can relish in the natural wonders of the new season.
THE BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CLEARING ALLERGIES
Lavender Essential Oil – This floral oil is amongst the most popular essential oils due to its relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe specific allergic reactions. A 2014 study demonstrated Lavender Oil's ability to ease allergic airway inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia, which are common symptoms of asthma.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil - Cooling and anti-inflammatory, Eucalyptus Oil is believed to help open the lungs and sinuses, which improves circulation and reduces certain allergic symptoms. Its stimulating, slightly medicinal scent is believed to improve airflow when inhaled. 1,8 Cineole, one of the main constituents in Eucalyptus Oil, is believed to possess anti-microbial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, while Piperitone is believed to act as a decongestant.
Tea Tree Essential Oil – Tea Tree is one of the most versatile and multipurpose essential oil, with its medicinal properties ranging from anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-microbial, antiseptic, and stimulating. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic activities, Tea Tree Oil may be beneficial in easing symptoms of seasonal allergies. It may also act as a disinfectant when used around the home in natural cleaning solutions. However, Tea Tree Oil may also trigger certain allergies, so conducting a patch test is recommended.
Peppermint Essential Oil – One of the most effective essential oils for treating allergies, Peppermint Oil provides relief for clogged sinuses when inhaled. It may also help to treat symptoms of colds, coughs, asthma, and bronchitis. A 2010 study found that Peppermint Oil possesses soothing and antispasmodic properties, which can ease coughing. Numerous studies have also demonstrated Peppermint Oil's anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Basil Essential Oil – Derived from "the Royal Herb", Basil has been used throughout history to support mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Possessing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties, Basil Essential Oil is believed to help soothe discomforts associated with asthma and seasonal allergies. Inhaling Basil Oil may also alleviate sinus congestion and infections, opening the airways.
Lemon Essential Oil – Another excellent oil for treating seasonal allergies, this brilliant citrus oil inhibits the growth of bacterial while supporting immunity. It is also believed to kill airborne bacteria and allergy triggers throughout the home, making it a common ingredient in natural home cleaning formulas. When used in aromatherapy, Lemon Essential Oil can help manage symptoms of seasonal allergies, including clearing sinuses and reducing congestion.
HOW TO APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS FOR ALLERGIES
Essential Oils can be used alongside allergy treatments or as a replacement for them. Some of the most common ways to use essential oils to treat seasonal allergies include diffusing them throughout the home, applying a few drops to warm bath water, applying them topically with a carrier oil, spraying them into the air, and inhaling them directly from the bottle. Aromatherapy can act as an effective treatment because it stimulates parts of the body through the sense of smell. Inhaling anti-inflammatory oils can soothe irritated areas that are triggered by allergic reactions. Similarly, applying diluted essential oils topically allows their therapeutic properties to enter the bloodstream, targeting areas that are experiencing inflammation.
Certain Essential Oils, when diluted, may be able to ease the intensity of skin irritation. Blend 2-3 drops of Tea Tree or Basil Oil to a carrier oil such as Coconut, and apply the mixture to a cotton ball or pad. Rub it onto the effected area. Massaging this oil blend over the liver area may also encourage the flushing out of toxins. To disinfect surfaces in the home during allergy season, add 40 drops of Lemon Oil and 20 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a 16-ounce spray bottle. Then add filtered water and about ¼ cup of white vinegar. Shake well before use.
Essential Oils with antimicrobial properties can be used individually or blended together to create an allergy blend. Add 2-3 drops of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Lavender Oils to one teaspoon of a carrier oil and massage into your temples, behind your ears, and into the bottoms of your feet to alleviate clogged sinuses. This blend can also be diffused in the air.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR ESSENTIAL OILS
All New Directions Aromatics Essential Oils are for external use only. They should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with essential and carrier oils, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or another generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime-size amount of the specified oil to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours suggests that the oil is safe to use.
The topical application of most carrier oils is generally known to be safe with responsible use, but irritations, allergies, rashes, and other side effects are possible. In the chance of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
Essential or carrier oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin.
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