Now that spring is here, so is allergy season. That means millions of people will be experiencing itchy, watery eyes, running noses, and overall misery. It also means millions of people will be turning to expensive and side-effect riddled medications to take care of these annoying allergy symptoms. Luckily, there’s another more natural, and inherently healthier, way of combating allergies: essential oils.
Essential oils are gaining traction as a popular way to treat a wide number of issues, from stress and sleeplessness to colds and fevers. As allergies can only be treated, not cured, using essential oils to take care of the more annoying symptoms is a great solution to avoiding the complex chemicals that make up most allergy medications.
Lavender: Lavendula agustifolia, or Lavender, is an essential oil that is primarily used for skin and respiratory allergies. At the first onset of respiratory allergies like hay fever, working some of this oil into your hands and inhaling deeply will quickly put an end to the symptoms. For overnight treatment you can place a few drops to a nightstand diffuser, which will also serve as a relaxing sleep aid. For even more effective treatment of a completely plugged nose and inflamed throat, you can mix a few drops of this essential oil with coconut oil and dab it on your face and neck. This method can also be used to treat dermatitis, rashes, blisters and itching.
Eucalyptus: For congestion relief, look no further than the pungent oil of several species of eucalyptus trees. The best way to take it is to apply a few drops to a diffuser, which will quickly open up your sinuses and get your congested throat, nose, head and chest moving freely. This is a powerful oil, so care needs to be taken to avoid irritation. Cover your eyes with a damp towel if you are inhaling directly from a diffuser and dilute the oil with coconut oil if you are applying it directly to your chest.
Chamomile: Chammaemelum nobile, while often used for a calming nighttime tea, also does an excellent job of providing relief to itchy skin from rashes and insect bites. An excellent way to take this essential oil is to apply to the skin after a shower or bath, mixed with a lotion or coconut oil. You can also apply a drop or two of the oil directly to insect bites or rashes to provide instant soothing relief. This is one of the most gentle essential oils, and can even be given topically to newborns for diaper rash relief. It’s also very effective as a treatment for the chicken pox rash, and can be soothed topically and as a tea to aid in the sleeplessness caused by such rashes.
Peppermint: Mentha piperita has anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective in treating allergy symptoms which have progressed to the point of bronchitis or sinusitis. These infections are caused by too much mucus flowing in the throat or sinuses for too long, which is a major irritant for the sensitive membranes of these areas. This infection can in turn cause more mucus buildup which results in major congestion and discomfort. Menthol, the active ingredient in peppermint, loosens up this mucus and prevents further infection to the area. To soothe your throat, add a few drops of oil to tea or simply to hot water and let the anti-inflammatory properties take place. This also does wonders to soothe an upset stomach. To use topically, dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to the chest so the soothing vapors can interact with the warmth of the skin and be breathed in easily.
Lemon: This essential oil works by increasing circulation of the blood and works well with peppermint oil to clear the sinuses more effectively. It also works well when applied with lavender oil because its circulation-increasing effects mean the antihistamine properties can be distributed more quickly, meaning faster relief. Lemon oil can be mixed with other oils to increase their effectiveness when applied topically or it can be added to tea in order to increase the body’s blood circulation and metabolism, which will result in quicker healing times.
Allergy season is a difficult time for an increasing number of people, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilizing the pure and simple essential oils above, anybody can rid their bodies of the menace of allergies in a much more natural and healthy way. No longer will you have to reach for Benadryl and a case of 5 Hour Energy to get through the day. Carry a little bottle of essential oil, dab some on, and carry out your day. It’s really that easy.