Spring is here! Unfortunately, I can’t breathe! Oh, no, it must be allergies!
Millions of people suffer from allergies each Spring. Wheezing, sneezing, coughing, red, itchy eyes, rashes, and the list of symptoms go on. All due to having an overactive immune response to natural substances, such as pollen, or other unnatural substances, such as pollutants found in the air. The response of the immune system in these cases is to release histamines which cause inflammation and irritation.
Many people turn to antihistamines to stop the symptoms of allergies and histamines. Though antihistamines can work well to block or prevent the symptoms of histamines, they often contain steroids or other harmful substances. They can cause fatigue, headaches, stomach upsets, become addictive, and create additional health problems.
Thankfully, essential oils are extremely effective at relieving the symptoms of allergies.
What is an Allergy?
As mentioned, an allergy is an overactive response of the immune system to a substance, be it natural or unnatural, which is called an allergen. In response to the allergen, the body produces histamines which start the process of fighting the allergen. Histamines are what create the itch, stuffy or runny nose, and red, puffy eyes. It’s all part of fighting off the allergen.
The body’s response to allergens, be it pollen, ragweed, dust, pet dander, or other pollutants, is put in place to keep you safe. Unfortunately, the reaction meant to keep you safe might cause symptoms worse than the actual allergen, itself.
Best Essential Oils To Combat Allergies
1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is a natural expectorant, and can quickly clear up nasal congestion and blocked sinuses. Simply inhaling peppermint essential oil can clear up your airways.
Additionally, peppermint essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties, so it reduces inflammation of the respiratory system.
Because peppermint is anti-spasmodic, it can soothe coughs, as well.
Try inhaling peppermint essential oil directly from the bottle, a tissue, or dab a small amount on the collar of your shirt to keep the scent with you throughout the day.
For more severe congestion, try adding about 5 – 6 drops of the oil to steaming water. Drape a towel over your head and inhale the vapors deeply until all of the oil has evaporated from the steaming water.
2. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile is a soothing herb and essential oil. It is good for treating a broad range of allergic reactions.
If you have red, itchy, inflamed skin due to hives or poison ivy, try mixing chamomile with a carrier oil and massaging it directly on the rash. It will calm the rash, and your nerves, as well.
If you are suffering from excess phlegm, sneezing, or a runny nose, try inhaling chamomile essential oil directly or through a steam bath. Its calming effect works great on the respiratory system, too.
**Please note that it is not safe to ingest essential oils.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil works as a natural antihistamine. It has natural anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, analgesic, and calming properties.
For rashes and hives, blend lavender oil with a carrier oil and massage it into the infected area.
If you have a headache from your allergies, try rubbing a small amount of lavender essential oil blended with a carrier oil into your temples.
Because of its calming effects, lavender can also help you get a good night’s rest when you are suffering from allergy symptoms.
Make a linen spray to spray on your sheets and pillow cases by adding lavender essential oil to purified water.
And, take a soothing bath with lavender essential oil swirled into warm water to help soothe the itch and inflammation of rashes and to promote calmness.
4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus is a natural expectorant. Therefore, it is ideal for relieving congestion, coughing, and sinus pressure. This action is because of the cooling effect that eucalyptus has on the respiratory system.
Create a chest rub with eucalyptus essential oil and a carrier oil. Massage it into the chest area, as needed, to help you breathe easier.
Or, use it in a steam bath and inhale the oil which is released from the steam.
5. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil is ideal for skin rashes because it can help to heal them and will prevent infections from setting in. This is because tea tree is naturally anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can help reduce inflammation of skin irritations.
Create a massage rub by blending tea tree essential oil with a carrier oil and massage it into infected areas of the skin. Tea tree oil blends well with coconut oil, which in turn, has significant healing properties for your skin.
6. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon is a natural antioxidant agent which is extremely effective for destroying toxins. In fact, using lemon on a regular basis can help your body to fight off allergies more effectively, reducing your chance of having allergic reactions in the first place.
Furthermore, lemon essential oil is a natural expectorant, so inhaling it can relieve the symptoms of congestion, coughing, a runny nose, and sneezing.
Lemon is naturally anti-bacterial, so it can fight off bacterial infections, as well.
Cleaning your home with a lemon essential oil based cleaner can help to remove allergens from your home and help you to breathe easier.
**Beware that lemon essential oil is phototoxic so don’t use it on your skin if you are going out into the sunlight.
Use lemon essential oil under clothing as a blended massage rub, in a steam bath, or simply inhale it from the bottle or a tissue.
7. Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil is perfect for treating allergies related to dust mites, pet dander, and allergic rhinitis, which is watery, itchy eyes, sneezing over and over, and wheezing. It works by reducing the actions of the antibodies in your body.
When you inhale sandalwood vapors, the compounds released from the oil help to hinder allergic responses that cause stuffiness, mucus buildup, and a runny nose.
8. – 14. Additional Essential Oils to Combat Allergies
These Essential oils are also perfect for fighting off the symptoms of allergies because of their various properties:
- Bergamot Essential Oil
- Clove Essential Oil
- Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Basil Essential Oil
- Rosemary Essential Oil
- Frankincense Essential Oil
- Thyme Essential Oil
Try adding these oils to the previously mentioned oils to make the perfectly healing, scented blends for you!
Ways to Use Essential Oils for Allergies
A hot Bath:
Add about 6 drops of any essential oil or oil blend to a hot or warm bath. The oils will soothe your skin and combat allergy symptoms, such as congestion, as you inhale the tiny molecules released from the oils into the steam.
If you find that the oils irritate your skin, blend the oils with 1 tsp carrier oil before adding them to your bath water.
Add about 5 – 6 drops of essential oils to a bowl of steaming water. Cover your head and face with a towel and inhale the vapors until the oils have completely been released from the water.
A Room Diffuser:
Add 5 – 10 drops of essential oils to a room vaporizer, humidifier, or air diffuser to fill the room with the vapors of the essential oils.
A Massage Rub:
Add 10- 12 drops of essential oils to 2 tsp of carrier oil. Massage into the chest for sinus relief or onto rashes to help soothe, heal, and stop the itch.
We know that allergies can be draining on the body, mind, and spirit. We hope that these essential oils and ideas on how to use them will combat your allergies this Spring so that you can enjoy the beautiful weather!
Do you have any natural ways to combat allergies? If so, let us know in the comments below.
And, if you found this information useful, please share it with your family and friends so that they too can combat allergies with essential oils.
Robin, and the Zen team!
*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Photos Sources: Pixabay.com