Essential Oils for Allergy
Allergies are on the rise, and not everyone wants to resort to powerful medications or creams in order to battle them.
Many reports have found that Australia and New Zealand are home to some of the most common types of allergies around, and that means many people are living with these allergies without need.
Of course, if an allergy is severe and causes any issues with breathing, you should seek out medical advice as a matter of urgency, but if an allergy simply causes you annoying symptoms, it’s a good idea to look around for ways to battle it.
you should seek out medical advice as a matter of urgency, but if an allergy simply causes you annoying symptoms, it’s a good idea to look around for ways to battle it.
As we mentioned earlier, not everyone wants to go down the line of powerful medications.
Even antihistamines have side effects, with some causing drowsiness.
If you have a lot of tasks to complete in a day, drowsiness is not going to help you out!
For this specific reasons it’s no wonder that many people are looking towards essential oils for allergy relief.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the oils which are extracted from flowers, trees, and plants and are referred to as the ‘essence’ of the plant/tree/flower.
This is the most natural part, which is reputed to have healing benefits, helping with a variety of different ailments.
The way these oils are extracted varies, but the most common method is steam extraction.
This ensures that the oil isn’t damaged or altered in any way during the process.
From there, it’s up to you to shop around for the best oil, with organic essential oils being the highest quality possible.
Of course, the sheer number of essential oils on the market makes it difficult to find the one which is going to bring you the greatest benefit.
Research is your friend in that regard!
Identifying the ailment you want to focus on and then doing your research into which oil is beneficial will allow you to find an answer which could bring you natural relief.
The use of essential oils is called aromatherapy and the benefit comes from the natural scent.
These are very strong scents which can affect various parts of the body and mind.
For instance, many essential oils are used to help relieve anxiety, such a lavender.
When this type of oil is inhaled, e.g. through a diffuser, it travels through the nose, up to the brain and affects the limbic system, which is known to control mood and memories.
Smell overall is extremely powerful; surely you’ve been sat minding your own business and you suddenly sniff a particular scent which takes you back in time to a specific memory?
Perhaps someone’s perfume reminds you of doing your exams in school or a person who has passed away.
For this reason, aromatherapy is considered an extremely powerful and beneficial holistic therapy, but one which you should discuss with your doctor before using, if you have any existing conditions or you’re on any specific medications.
How Can Essential Oils Relieve Allergies?
Now we know what essential oils are, how can they help to reduce allergies?
The most common allergies in Australia are:
- Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, due to pollen
- Allergy due to animal fur
- An allergy from an insect sting or bite
- Food allergies
Obviously, if you have a food allergy you’re going to avoid the particular ingredient which causes the allergy.
If you don’t do this, you could put yourself at risk of a severe reaction, called anaphylaxis.
Overall, the other allergies we have mentioned are more annoying than life threatening, asthma aside.
You might wonder why asthma is considered an allergy when it is a specific condition, but it is worsened by allergies, e.g. pollen.
For that reason, essential oils can reduce the allergen, and therefore reduce the asthma effect.
If you regularly suffer from an allergy such as hay fever, then it’s a good idea to think about using essential oils for allergy relief via inhalation.
We mentioned earlier that many people use inhalation of essential oils for anxiety relief, but the same benefit would come from inhalation for allergy relief too.
You would do this by:
Using a diffuser and allowing the scent to infuse into the air, which you would then breathe in
Adding a couple of drops to your bath water and allowing the steam and oil to combine, which you would then breathe in once more using a room spray.
You could also apply essential oils topically, i.e. directly to the skin. If you’re going to do this, you should dilute your specific oil down with a carrier oil.
This reason is because essential oils can be very potent and may cause skin irritation in a neat form.
We’re trying to avoid allergies here, not cause them!
Olive oil, almond oil, or essential oil are all great choices, which have their own benefits to grab too.
The best ratio to use is around 5 drops of your chosen essential oil to 1oz of your carrier oil.
However, test this out to see if the scent is too strong, and if so, dilute it a little more.
When applying essential oils to the skin topically, you’re allowing them to penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin and then enter your bloodstream.
These are then carried around your body to the areas which you require relief of a specific problem.
We should point out that whilst aromatherapy has been around for centuries, medical professionals have been very sceptical about whether or not they work for a long time.
Lately however, many have come around to the idea, and you’ll now find health practices which offer aromatherapy sessions for various problems, such as relief of chemotherapy side effects, or even during the antenatal period.
Essential Oils For Allergy Relief
So, now you know what aromatherapy is and how it could be used to reduce allergies, what essential oils for allergy relief are best to try first?
Remember, one size doesn’t fit all, so it’s not a case that we can say “this one is best” and you’ll get instant relief.
You may have to try a few in order to find the best fit for you.
Overall however, there are many essential oils which are considered ideal for helping with allergy control.
Lavender Essential Oil
The most easy to find essential oil around is certainly lavender oil.
You will not struggle to purchase this, as you’ll often find it in supermarkets and health stores.
Lavender oil is super-popular, mainly because it covers a wide range of ailments which is particularly useful for.
Lavender essential oil is also a good choice for allergy relief too.
If you suffer from pollen allergy during the summer months, e.g. hay fever, then lavender may help to reduce the inflammation which occurs within your nose, calming that itching feeling which the condition is known for.
Lavender oil is also thought to reduce the size of the mucous cells, which often become enlarged when allergy is present.
You can add lavender oil to a diffuser and breathe it in for great results, or even ad a coupe of drops to your bath water, for a truly relaxing feel.
Of course, always dilute down with a carrier oil to avoid skin irritation.
Ravensara, Germanium, & Sandalwood Essential Oils, Blended Together
The oils when blended together are thought to help with the troublesome symptoms, such as sneezing, blocked nose, itching, and a runny nose.
The best way to use this type of blend is to dilute it down with sweet almond oil, which would act as the carrier oil.
It can then be placed into a diffuser, so you would inhale the blend and grab the benefits, or you could apply it to the skin directly, to allow it to do its work quite quickly.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
This is an essential oil which is often found as an ingredient in many cold and flu remedies, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
This helps to reduce inflammation in your nose and therefore allow you to breathe more easily.
This is the same issue which occurs during allergy season.
Eucalyptus also has a slightly minty/cool sensation, so it will help to reduce irritation in your nose, by cooling the skin and giving you relief overall.
Again, use a diffuser to allow the oil to drift into the air, which you would then breathe in and gain the benefits.
If that isn’t possible, e.g. you’re at work when your allergy is at its worst, you could add a couple of drops onto a tissue, or simply breathe from the bottle.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Whist peppermint oil might be best known for helping with digestion issues, it can also be a great help as one of the best essential oils for allergy relief.
Again, peppermint oil is a good option for reducing inflammation within the nose, whilst also having that same cooling effect, to help you feel much better throughout the day.
Again, use a diffuser or you could dilute down with a carrier oil and apply directly to the skin, to gain relief from your specific allergy.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Another very good option is tea tree oil.
Again, we’re talking about an anti-inflammatory oil which gives you the same benefits as peppermint and eucalyptus.
The only issue with tea tree oil is that it may cause allergies themselves for some people.
Do a patch test to find out whether you’re sensitive to this oil before really going for it and trying it out on your hay fever or other allergy.
What Else Can Essential Oils Help With?
Aside from allergy relief, essential oils are reputed to have any other health benefits too.
Different oils have different benefits, but some of the most common are:
- Helping with sleep issues and overall insomnia – Studies have shown lavender oil in particular to be very useful
- Reducing the side effects of chemotherapy treatment
- Stress relief
- Relief from anxiety and even mild depression
- Uplifting mood in general
- Some oils help to improve certain skin issues, such as eczema
- Reducing headaches
- May help with some infections and boost the immune system (with caution – a true infection needs medical attention!)
- Helping with focus and concentration
These essential oils for allergy relief are certainly good options to try and all are very easy to source in health stores or in supermarkets.
Always remember to speak to your doctor before you try any type of essential oil, especially if you have any known conditions or you’re taking any medications.
Whilst there isn’t a huge amount of evidence to suggest major problems, there isn’t enough to suggest none, so it’s always best to air on the side of caution.
Again, remember to dilute your essential oil down with a carrier oil prior to use, in order to take away from of the potency, which may otherwise cause irritation.
Never ingest any type of essential oil.
The only methods of use should be topical or inhalation, as ingesting any essential oil could be extremely dangerous for your overall health.
Certain aromatherapists may advise you to create teas out of certain oils, but these will be diluted down by a huge amount and will be blended extremely carefully by a highly trained professional.
Never attempt to do this yourself!
Overall, essential oils have some seriously impressive benefits, not only for allergy relief.
Despite that, when allergy season rolls around and you’re sniffling and sneezing every five minutes, finding an essential oil which works for you could be the answer to your prayers.
It’s really no hardship to breathe in a wonderful scent every so often, and the benefits you will gain as a result will help you to overcome your allergy and get back to some kind of normality.