As soon as you feel the warm breeze blowing and the flowers appear in your garden for the first time, you know what’s next: the dreaded ones Spring allergies.
While spring is a lovely time of year, the pollen released by flowers, trees, and grass certainly isn’t. Indeed in 2014 the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) reported that over 23 million Americans had hay fever in the past year.
Those sniffles and sneezes could make you reach for your trusted antihistamine – but as effective as it is, you may not feel much better or worse, it could make you incredibly sleepy.
Fortunately, you can add, or maybe even replace, your over-the-counter allergy medication with some powerful allies: essential oils.
How do essential oils fight allergies?
People have been turning to it for thousands of years essential oils cure a dizzying array of health problems, one of which is spring allergies. But how exactly do they work?
“Essential oils can bypass the digestive system, which means they can get into the bloodstream quickly,” explains Dr. Stacy Mobley NMD, MPH, a licensed naturopathic doctor. “The liver is more likely to metabolize oils after use than before, as in foods and drugs that are taken orally.”
In addition, many essential oils are made from plants that are believed to have potent antimicrobial, antiviral, or antifungal properties.
“The plants usually contain an anti-inflammatory component as well,” she says. “The body can use these properties of the oils to help heal the respiratory tract and the immune system.”
Related: Essential oils for headaches and migraines
Use of essential oils for allergies
If you are new to the essential oils world, you might think that all you need to do is dab a little oil on your wrists and you’re good to go. In reality, it’s a little more complicated.
Gillian Ehrlich, ARNP, DNP., is certified in Ayurveda & Functional Medicine and is a member of the Gut Council for Jetson, a probiotic company. She explains that if you have seasonal sinus and respiratory allergies, oils can be spread out while sitting in a room in your home. inhaled via steam by placing your towel-covered head over a bowl of hot water containing a few drops of oil; direct inhalation by smelling an oil bottle; or apply oil directly to the nose with a carrier oil such as coconut or grapeseed oil.
Dr. Mobley also suggests placing an essential oil scented towel near your pillow at night help you sleep or put a few drops in a warm bath. Additionally, you can mix an essential oil with a carrier oil and rub it on the bottom of your feet or massage it into your wrists, arms, and neck. You can also apply something behind your ears.
While inhaling these essential oils sounds heavenly, our experts share some cautionary words.
Ehrlich says, “All oils should be tested in dilute amounts by inhalation or on harder skin before inhaling at full strength or placing them in an air cavity, e.g. B. by inhaling steam or by applying it directly to the nasal membranes. “
Dr. Mobley says essential oils should not be taken internally unless you have consulted your doctor or herbalist.
And when you apply it topically or directly on the skin, Dr. Mobley, how important it is to always mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil – otherwise it can cause an uncomfortable skin reaction.
She advises, “Put a small amount of this mixture on an area of skin and watch for a rash or skin reaction.”
Connected: 10 essential oils for stress and insomnia
Best essential oils for allergies
Known for its anti-inflammatory “cooling properties” as Dr. Mobley describes Eucalyptus oil comes from eucalyptus trees native to Australia. Ehrlich says that eucalyptus oil can be used preventively or to treat allergy symptoms in spring by adding a few drops to a bowl of hot water and enjoying the steam. However, she warns that eucalyptus oil can make your eyes sting. This is why it is best to cover your eyes when they start to sting.
Frankincense oil is derived from Boswellia trees in India, Africa, and the Middle East and has been studied for its ability to aid the respiratory system. It promotes “deeper and slower rhythmic breathing”, as Dr. Mobley says.
Ehrlich recommends putting a few drops in a diffuser or steaming it for use. “You can also put a few drops directly into your hands and breathe in,” she says.
Dr. Mobley says oregano oil (which is made from the same material you sprinkle on your pizza) is immune system supportive and is known to be antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory – all things that help fight it off Spring allergy symptoms. Take a few drops of oregano oil in your hot bath or consult a doctor to take it orally.
Clove oil is harvested from clove trees and widely grown from Indonesia to Asia and Brazil. Ehrlich says you can either enjoy ground cloves in your food to combat allergy symptoms and warm digestion, or you can diffuse them into the air using a diffuser. You can also inhale the sweet scent directly.
“Citrus fruits are great immune system Supporters, ”says Dr. Mobley. “Lemon oil supports the respiratory tract and the immune system. It has anti-inflammatory and mood-boosting properties. “
While you can certainly enjoy a squirt of lemon juice in your water when you sniff, Ehrlich also recommends blowing the scent into the air.
While a pinch of cinnamon can liven up your morning oatmeal, it can also be a severe allergy – in fact, one Study 2019 A significant decrease in seasonal allergy symptoms was reported in participants who used a cinnamon bark infused nasal spray.
You can enjoy some cinnamon in your food or diffuse it into the air with a diffuser, apply it directly to the skin with a carrier oil, or inhale it from the vial.
Another ingredient that you likely have in your kitchen cabinet, rosemary can also help relieve symptoms of a spring allergy. Dr. Mobley says that it increases blood circulation and strengthens the immune system, as well Studies pointed out its antibacterial abilities. It can be inhaled from the vial, diffused or applied to pulse points along with a carrier oil.
Harvested from the evergreen leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree, tea tree oil has long been praised for its myriad benefits, from eliminating acne to acting as a natural deodorant. Dr. Mobley adds that it’s both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. For allergies, it can be applied to the skin with a carrier oil or used in a bath. Remember that tea tree oil is highly toxic to pets, either if swallowed or if inhaled.
Ravensara, a little-known essential oil, is distilled from leaves harvested in Madagascar and can relieve allergy symptoms. With a scent reminiscent of rosemary, Ehrlich says, “Ravensara is an essential oil that can be purchased online from various sources and taken by inhalation or sprayed on the nose. It can also be diffused into the air. “
That strong, pungent peppermint smell? There’s a reason it feels like your sinuses clear up every time you sniff on a bottle of this oil. Dr. Mobley says peppermint oil “helps the airways”. To take advantage of this, spread it out so you can really breathe it in, or apply it to the skin, with a carrier oil, of course.
Dr. In addition to aiding the digestive system and promoting blood circulation, Mobley says that thyme oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can help clear infections from the immune system if your allergies have blocked your airways or airways Sinus infection. You can mix it with another favorite essential oil fragrance in your diffuser to reap its benefits.
Connected: 8 medicinal herbs for your garden
Black cumin seeds
Also known as black seed oil, this essential oil is made from Nigella sativa seeds found in Southwest Asia and has been used for a variety of diseases since Biblical times. Ehrlich says that there are oral products that contain black seed oil that can relieve seasonal allergy symptoms, but taking it orally can cause side effects like itching and gastrointestinal problems. It is therefore best to ask your doctor or herbalist before taking black seed oil or any other essential oil.
Is there something that lavender Oil can not? Not only is it a proven anxiety reliever, but also an effective seasonal allergy sufferer. Ehrlich notes that it is “generally well tolerated” and that there are plenty of lavender oil products. She suggests using a lavender scented eye pillow to help you sleep, spreading lavender oil around your home, and breathing it in as needed.
Healthy now newsletter
Get good vibes and health tips straight to your inbox!
Dr. Mobley adds that getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult with seasonal allergies, and lavender oil can help you sleep better all night. She also notes that lavender oil has what is known as “antispasmodic” properties, which means that it can actually slow down the cough.
Next Up, Read about the 10 best essential oils for sleep.