The Scent of Relief: Aromatherapy Techniques for Managing Allergies.
As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. And after a particular rainy season that we really needed Southern California is experiencing a "superbloom".
It's beautiful but with it comes some unwanted company -- seasonal allergies. If you suffer from seasonal allergies you know that they can be annoying and uncomfortable.
Allergies are tough to tackle but fortunately aromatherapy can provide some relief from uncomfortable symptoms. Here are a few ways you can use aromatherapy to get relief from some of the uncomfortable symptoms of stuffy nose and itchy eyes.
1. Aromatherapy steam tent: This is a simple but powerfully effective way to open up airways. You simply boil some water, add it to a glass or metal bowl, add a drop of appropriate essential oil or synergy, close your eyes, bring you nose near the steam, cover you head, and breathe in the vapors. We keep a stock bottle of a sinus support blend in the kitchen cabinet to pull out to ease stuffiness from colds and allergies. It's welcome relief!
Appropriate oil choices include things like peppermint (Menta x piperita), ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora), Eucalyptus globulus or radiata, or a repiratory synergy. Avoid spicy oils or citrus as they can be irritating to the mucus membranes of the nose. To read more about how to create an aromatherapy steam tent with a blend recipe check out this post.
Here's a blend for adults:
To a 5 ml stock bottle add:
33 drops of Eucalyptus radiata essential oil
25 drops of Mentha x piperita (peppermint) essential oil
25 drops Cinnamomum camphora (ravintsara) essential oil
9 drops Abies siberica (Siberian fir) essential oil
8 drops Lavendula angustafolia (lavender) essential oil
2. Aromatherapy inhaler: No time to steam? No worries an aroma inhaler can also help open up airways on the go. An aroma inhaler is like a personal diffuser. The outside is made of either plastic or aluminum and it houses a cotton or polyester wick that holds the essential oils. To use you just add 15 to 20 drops of oil to the wick and enclose it inside the inhaler.
To use, just uncap and inhale. A blend of airway opening oils such as eucalyptus, ravintsara, peppermint can work well or you can add your favorite respiratory blend. Below is a recipe example of an inhaler for adults.
One aroma inhaler
5 drops Citrus sinensis (orange) essential oil
5 drops Mentha x piperita (peppermint) essential oil
5 drops Eucalytus globulus or radiata essential oil
5 drops Melaluca alternafolia (tea tree) or Abies siberica (Siberian fir) essential oil
Add the essential oils to the cotton wick of the inhaler and seal. Uncap the inhaler and inhale to ease symptoms. You can watch the video below to see how it's made:
3. Shower Steaming: Adding 3-5 drops of a respiratory support blend to the shower floor or a wash cloth is an easy and effective way to help open up airways. It can be as simple as adding a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus or using a respiratory blend. You can also try a shower steamer which often contain menthol in addition to essential oils.
Some of my favorite essential oils to ease allergies include (please note there are others, these are just some readily available, easy to find essential oils ...):
Boswellia carterii (frankincense) -- respiratory support, analgesic, calming
Cinnamomum camphora (ravintsara) -- respiratory support, open airways, mucolytic
Eucalytus globulus or radiata -- open airways, mucolytic, anti-inflammatory
Lavendula angustifolia (lavender) -- analgesic, tonic, antispasmodic, sedative
Mentha x piperita (peppermint) -- analgesic, anti-inflammatory, opens airways
Melaluca alternafolia (tea tree) -- analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-histiminic
Lesser known essential oils to ease allergies:
Abies siberica (Siberian fir) -- open airways, calming
Larix laricina (larch tamarach) -- open airways, anti-spasmodic
Picea mariana (black spruce) -- opens airways, calming
Tsunga canadensis (hemlock) -- opens airways, anti-spasmodic
Please note that caution should be taken using essential oils around children and babies. Oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, or ravintsara can be too strong for children. Be sure to consult an aromatherapist or check essential oil safety data before using essential oils for a young child.
To read more about using aromatherapy to ease allergy symptoms or how essential oils work to provide relief check out some of these previously published blog posts:
**Disclaimer: I understand that the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the therapeutic suggestions or any statements made on this website about essential oils, carriers or other products offered by Aromatherapy by Tricia Ambroziak (ABT) The statements made on this website are for educational purposes and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The data on this website is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment based on something you've read or accessed through this website. Tricia Ambroziak is a professional aromatherapist but not a licensed health care professional. I understand that essential oils and aromatherapy are not a substitute for professional medical care. I understand that the products being sold by ABT are not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease.