Ask an Aromatherapist: Can Essential Oils Help with Seasonal Allergies?
April showers bring may flowers and flowers bring pollen. For many pollen, pet dander, mold, or certain foods mean allergies. In this post we'll explore how essential oils can help with seasonal allergy symptoms and will not deal with food allergies. You'll also have a chance to register for a free webinar "Reduce Allergies Naturally Using Essential Oils" if you'd like to learn more ways to soothe seasonal allergies naturally.
What is a allergy? An allergy is when your immune system reacts to something that is normally considered harmless. The triggers or allergens can include pollen, dust, animal dander, mold, or certain foods. (1)
A severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis can be life threatening. Symptoms include wheezing or difficulty breathing, throat closing up, hives or rash, and tingling of hands, lips, or scalp. In this case call 911 or use a prescribed epinephrine auto-injector and seek medical treatment.
What happens when the body is exposed to an allergen such as dust, pollen, pet dander, or mold? When you come in contact with a trigger your body starts to make a protein called IgE which grabs hold of the allergen. HIstimine and other chemicals are then released into the blood. These cause the allergy symptoms to appear. Symptoms can include itchy watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, fatigue, rashes, or hives.
While there is no cure for allergies people can often find relief with decongestants, antihistamines and by reducing exposure to allergens. Immunotherapy can also offer relief but requires a series of shots and if you have numerous triggers it may not be a feasible option. Essential oils can help support these measures and research has shown the aromatic compounds in essential oils can also help reduce mucus, soothe and open the airways, and act as antihistamines. Using essential oils to replace synthetic fragrances in cleaning and body products can also help support the body.
Aromatic compounds such as cineole*, gamma-3 carene, camphor, and camphene are mucolytic and can help decongest airways and open up airways and are found in oils such as eucaplytus, hemlock, and black spruce to name a few. Chamazulene found in German chamomile, yarrow, and blue tansy, eugenol found in clove and cinnamon leaf, and terpinen-4-ol found in tea tree and marjoram essential oils have antihistaminic properties. Linalool and esters such as linalyl acetate can be soothing. So essential oils can help open airways and soothe and calm the symptoms. (* 1, 8 cineole can cause breathing problems in babies and young children. It is recommended no to apply them near the face of babies and young children)
How to use essential oils:
First, test oils to make sure they do not worsen symptoms. Sniff the cap of an essential oil and if the chest feels tighter or you feel any itching or discomfort avoid the oil. Then choose oils that offer relief.
Ideas for diffuser blends or inhalers:
Using oils rich in camphene and camphor can help open up airways. Try blending 2 drops hemlock, 1 drop black spruce, 3 drops orange or lemon, and 2 drops ravitsara in a diffuser. Double the amount for use in an inhaler. You can always try blending drop by drop adding more or less of an oil to get a blend you enjoy.
Tea-tree, eucalyptus, and orange offers a great smelling blend. 3-5 drops each of tea tree and eucalyptus combined with 4-6 drops of orange in a diffuser or inhaler can act as an antihistimic and mucolytic.
You can also try using lemon, tea tree, grapefruit, clove, etc. in cleaning products and room sprays to reduce your exposure to synthetic chemicals. This can help the body systems.
If you'd like to watch a free informative webinar about reducing allergies naturally visit:
So while there are no cures for allergies, essential oils help soothe symptoms and offer relief. If you have questions about using essential oils for allergies or would like aromatherapy products to help contact Tricia.
1. WebMD, Allergy Basics, accessed March 24, 2018: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/allergy-basics