Runny nose. Itchy eyes. Sneezing. Sound familiar? I don’t know about you, but when symptoms like these hit me, I know it’s allergy season. If you suffer from allergies like I do, than you know that they are no walk in the park. If you’re lucky, they only make you miserable. For some people, though, allergies can really be debilitating and have a serious impact on their quality of life. Sure, there are over-the-counter and prescription medications you can take, but that can add up to a lot of money, and even worse, you’re cranking your body full of chemicals that don’t belong there in the first place. So, what can you do?
Thankfully, the last couple of years have seen a rise in the use of essential oils to help treat all sorts of conditions. If you don’t know, essential oils are simply natural oils that have been extracted from a plant, and are known to have therapeutic properties. Some of them can soothe or relax you, but others have been found to have various medicinal benefits. Are you looking for a way to treat your allergies without dealing with OTC or RX medication? Then read on, because I’m going to show you how some of the most common essential oils can be used to treat your allergic symptoms and provide that long sought-after relief.
What You Need
The good news is that you need almost nothing to reap the benefits of essential oils. Most oils can be used in a variety of ways. Many oils can simply be administered topically, which means you just apply a couple of drops directly onto your skin. Oils can also be used through inhalation, which typically means simply placing a couple of drops onto the palms of your hands, rubbing them together, and then breathing them in. Oils can also be taken through a cold diffuser, which can be bought very cheaply online.
Depending on your specific allergy needs, then, you are going to need some or all of the following:
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Chamomile Essential Oil
While most essential oils can be applied directly to the skin or into water or some other liquid, it can also be useful to invest in the following:
- A carrier oil, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil (to dilute the essential oils for topical use, since some oils can irritate sensitive skin)
- A Cold Air Diffuser (It must be a cold diffuser. Heat-based devices such as rings, burners, and mini-crock pots can actually damage the oils on a molecular level, rendering them useless)
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil contains a natural antihistamine, and also has many anti-inflammatory properties. It is extremely useful to treat skin reactions, such as hives, rashes, or eczema. Lavender can also soothe inflamed respiratory passages and help with headaches. Really, the list goes on and on.
To get the full effect, you can take lavender oil in a couple of ways. Lavender can be applied directly to the skin. Simply place one drop on your temples, cheeks, or forehead to help reduce allergic reactions. Lavender can be quite strong, so if you have sensitive skin you might want to dilute it in a few drops of a carrier oil first.Lavender can also be taken through a cold air diffuser to help fight congestion. Diffuse for at least fifteen minutes at a time over the course of a couple of hours, or put it by your bed to help sleep better all through the night.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Like lavender, peppermint oil is also a natural anti-inflammatory that can be used to treat a number of issues. Armed with the power of menthol, this oil is especially effective in treating congestion and other respiratory conditions associated with allergies, and can be taken in a number of ways. Diffuse it by your bed at night to help you breathe deep while you sleep and clear your nasal passages. Dilute two or three drops into a carrier oil and massage it into your chest help relieve allergic reactions. You can also run a diluted solution under your nostrils to help reduce inflammation and congestion in your sinuses.
Peppermint oil can also help with digestive issues cause by allergies. Simply put a couple of drops into a glass of water or a cup of tea and drink to help your stomach calm down and feel better.
You can also inhale peppermint oil. Rub a couple of drops on your palm and bring your hands to your face, or put two or three drops in a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam. The peppermint will immediately go to work clearing your sinuses, allowing you to breathe once deeply once again.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil can be used to help with respiratory issues related to allergies, and has even been known to provide relief for those suffering from asthma. This oil has a stronger aroma than some of the others, so you definitely want to use it sparingly. Your best bet is to start with a minimum amount -- a drop at most -- and add drops only as needed. You can always add more!
Eucalyptus oil works by opening up the sinuses and breathing passages, which is thought to promote healthier circulation and lead to relief from allergy symptoms. You can dilute it with a carrier oil to apply topically to the chest and temples, or put five drops into a diffuser to inhale. You can also put several drops into a pot of boiling water and breathe the steam, but make sure to wrap a towel or some other form of protection around your eyes first, as the oil-infused steam can be mildly irritating to some people.
Lemon Essential Oil
In addition to sharing similar antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties with other essential oils already mentioned, lemon oil works to eliminate excess mucus. It also provides a calming, cooling sensation which can help soothe a sore throat or other conditions brought about by allergies. This oil can be used in any number of ways. Add it to water for a soothing, therapeutic drink. Add lemon-infused water to a spray bottle and spray your sheets or curtains. Not only will this you’re your allergy symptoms, it will make your house smell great!
Although it is powerful on its own, it works best when mixed with lavender and peppermint oils. Take an equal amount of each—about one or two drops—and apply directly to the forehead, chest, or behind the ears to help bring instant relief. Apply all three to your wrists and rub together to create a powerful, and effective, aroma to breathe. If you’re worried about the intensity of these oils mixed together, as always, it’s perfectly safe—and just as effective--to mix in a couple drops of a carrier oil first. You can also use a blend of these three orally, by adding to water and gargling, or mixing with honey and eating. Either way, these three oils together pack a powerful punch that will ease your throat and other allergy-related symptoms.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman chamomile has long been known for its medicinal properties, and its essential oil is no exception. Revered especially for its effectiveness against skin conditions, Roman chamomile oil works well to combat conditions such as hives, eczema, and other rashes caused by allergies. Since Roman chamomile is used to treat skin conditions, this is an oil that is best applied topically. All you have to do is dilute two or three drops of Roman chamomile oil into a carrier oil and then rub it directly onto your affected areas. Because everyone’s skin is a little different, I highly recommend trying out just a little bit in an inconspicuous spot, just in case your body doesn’t react so well. This oil can also be used with a diffuser--just diffuse for one hour up to three times daily--or added to your bath water for an aromatic and therapeutic soak.
If you’ve been suffering from allergies and you’re looking for a safe, healthy, cheap, natural way to deal with them, then you owe it to yourself to try essential oils. The essential oil industry has grown tremendously over the past couple of years because of one simple reason: it works. For just a few bucks you can get a bottle of one of these oils and try it out. No other equipment is necessary--however, as you can see, a cold air diffuser wouldn’t be a bad investment sometime down the road. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Have you tried one of these oils? Are there other essential oils out there that I missed? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me your experience in the comments, and share this post with your friends!