What Allergies AreIf you suffer from allergies, you are definitely not alone! Allergies are the fifth most common chronic disease in the United States. Allergies is a broad term here including everything from food allergies to seasonal allergic rhinitis (the fancy name for seasonal allergies most people experience). Allergies occur because our body identifies a given substance as a threat. The substance is known as the allergen. An allergen can be anything from pollen to cat hair to peas. In response to the threat, our body makes a substance known as immunoglobulin E. It is an antibody whose role is to respond to the allergen, which creates symptoms known as an allergic reaction. Many people suffer from seasonal allergies, where our body identifies substances like grass pollen as a threat. Most symptoms are not life threatening, but they are pretty irritating! You may experience a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and other such symptoms. In more severe cases, people experience life threatening symptoms like difficulty breathing or throat swelling.
Allergy Relief OptionsWith allergies, there are two types of relief options: preventing symptoms before they occur and managing symptoms after they come up. To prevent symptoms, you can:
- Remove the source of allergies (like rehoming your cat if you are allergic to cats)
- Avoid triggers (like not jogging on a freshly mowed field if you are allergic to grass pollen)
- Wash out your nose with a tool like a sinus rinse to flush out allergens
- Engage in stress management (stress can make you more likely to experience symptoms and make the symptoms worse)
- Shower at night to keep pollen off of your bedding
- Wash your bedding once a week
- Wear sunglasses and a hat outside to help keep pollen out of your eyes and hair
- Get acupuncture
- Use over the counter antihistamines to help reduce sneezing, itching, and runny noses (since these can make you drowsy, make sure you know how you react before driving)
- Use over the counter decongestants to help with stuffiness (these are best used only in the short term)
- Get allergy shots from your doctor (for severe allergies, you can get multiple injections to help your body build up a defense)
Essential Oils and AllergiesEssential oils are a great choice for allergies for a few reasons.
- Avoid over the counter medications. Maybe you want to limit the number of medications you take. Maybe you want to avoid possible reactions with current medications. Maybe you want a decreased dependency on a pharmacy. Whatever the reason, you can often replace over the counter medications with essential oils.
- Target one of the contributors to allergies. Stress affects our allergy symptoms. People who are more stressed are more likely to develop symptoms and suffer from more severe symptoms. Essential oils can be used for proactive stress management to help manage allergy symptoms.
- Helps when you can’t avoid triggers. Sometimes, you have no choice but to be in an environment full of allergy triggers. Playing a soccer game outside makes it hard to avoid grass pollen triggers for example. You can use essential oils to try to help prevent or manage allergy symptoms in these unavoidable cases.
Essential OilsEssential oils are liquids made from plant extracts like flowers, fruits, and grasses. There are hundreds of different essential oils, each with a different scent and benefit.
How to Use Essential OilsThere are three ways to apply essential oils.
- Oral application. This involves ingesting the essential oil, like placing a few drops in a glass of water. Because of the safety concerns, I recommend not ingesting oils.
- Topical application. This involves placing the essential oil on your skin. Our skin is semipermeable, allowing the properties in the essential oil to be absorbed. This usually takes around ten minutes to feel the full effects. Always make sure your given oil is suitable for topical application and is paired with a carrier oil (helps avoid problems like skin irritation).
- Aromatic application. This involves inhaling the molecules of the essential oil, allowing the properties to enter into our respiratory system. You can use a tool like a diffuser to spread the aroma into the air.
Essential Oils for AllergiesThere are hundreds of essential oil options out there, making it hard to choose the right one for you! Each oil contains different properties and offers different benefits. One oil may be great at rejuvenating you but do nothing for your allergies, so it is important to make sure the benefits meet what you need. Below are our top five essential oils for allergies. methanol, which works to relieve stuffy noses and help you breathe easier. It also unclogs your sinuses and relaxes the muscles in your nose. Peppermint also helps target drainage from mucus and provides a cooling sensation to relieve a scratchy throat. improved air flow, which can be much needed relief when suffering from a stuffy nose. It also relieves congestion and loosen phlegm, helping you breathe easier. Within eucalyptus oil is a chemical called cineole which reduces inflammation. Studies show it can help reduce symptoms of a sore throat and cough, which often accompany allergies.
3. Tea Tree OilTea tree oils is helpful in reducing inflammation and reducing congestion, helping you breathe easier. It helps reduce your symptoms of allergies. Tea tree oil also serves as a great all natural cleaner. It is loaded with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, helping it be a great defense against bacteria, yeast, and fungi. You can clean with tea tree oil to help get rid of some allergy triggers in your home.
4. Oregano OilMost people think “cooking” when they think of oregano. But this is also a useful thing outside of the kitchen. It contains rosmarinic acid, a natural antihistamine that helps decrease congestion and other allergy symptoms. Oregano oil also provides a soothing feeling, which can help stuffy noses or sore throats.
5. Lavender OilLavender oil is a helpful tool for respiratory issues like sinus congestion and inflammation of lung airways, making it easier to breathe when suffering from allergy symptoms. Lavender oil is also highly calming. Many people use it in aromatherapy to help reduce stress. Again, stress aggravates allergy symptoms. By managing your stress, you can help make your allergy symptoms less severe. Each of these essential oils offers slightly different benefits. You can try them each out to see which you prefer, building up a small collection of essential oils. You can use them daily (like lavender for stress management) or on occasion (like oregano oil once you get a stuffed nose). They make a great addition to your all natural health toolkit. Essential 4 Pack. It includes helpful allergy oils like peppermint. If you want a larger pack, we recommend the Health and Wellness Kit. This includes more options in addition to helpful allergy oils like oregano. If you choose to buy either kit, use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” for 20% off your order!
Learning More About Essential OilsAllergy symptom relief is just the start of essential oils’ capabilities. You can use them for other health remedies, like soothing a sore throat. You can use them as an all natural cleaner. You can use them in aromatherapy and stress management. The list goes on and on!
The Final WordSearch our site for essential oils for a number of other ways to use essential oils in your life. For a collection of DIY remedies to try out today, check out our Pinterest board. The more you learn about essential oils, the more ways you can add them to your life.
If you are just getting started in using essential oils for wellness purposes, I recommend the Spark Naturals Health and Wellness Kit which includes all of my favorites or the Essential 4 Pack which includes Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and Peppermint.
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