How Can Essential Oils Help with Your Allergies?
Although essential oils can trigger allergies in some people, in others, they can provide an effective allergy relief.
Seasonal allergies may affect you at various times of the year, whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall. You may experience the symptoms from time to time, e.g. when the plants that trigger your allergies bloom. However, there are also allergies that cause symptoms nonstop during certain seasons or months.
Some specialists believe that in some cases, allergy symptoms can be controlled using essential oils as an alternative or complementary treatment. These are natural oils derives from plants, and you can use in many different ways. For instance, you can add them to your bath and spa products, apply diluted oils to your skin, spray or diffuse them into the air, or breath the oils in from the container.
The practice that involves breathing the air filled with the scents of essential oils is called aromatherapy. It is meant to stimulate your body through the sense of smell. Depending on what you smell, different parts of your body get affected.
The oils can also enter your bloodstream through your skin, when you apply them to your body. Before being applied to your skin, essential oils should always be diluted. For this purpose, you can use some vegetable oils (known as carrier oils) like almond or olive oil. For five drops of an essential oil, experts recommend using about 1 ounce of carrier oil.
If you think that essential oils might help you with your allergy symptoms, you can try oils made of lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree and other plants. Below, you will find a detailed information about six essential oils that may help you with allergy treatment.
Lavender oil can offer many benefits to your health, which makes it one of the most popular essential oils. This oil is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties; therefore, you can try using it to alleviate your allergy symptoms.
One study suggests that lavender oil is able to prevent the inflammation and the enlargement of mucous cells associated with allergies.
It is a good idea to try aromatherapy with the lavender oil or use in a bath mixed with a base oil or soak.
Eucalyptus-based essential oil can reduce inflammation, which helps to relieve nasal congestion – a common symptoms of allergies. When breathed in, eucalyptus oil provides a pleasant cooling sensation, which can also contribute to allergy relief.
Many people breath the oil in directly from the bottle, but you can also diffuse it into the air.
Essential oils made of citrus fruits are known to stimulate alertness and energy. Lemon oil is sometimes used to decrease nasal congestion and clear your sinuses. You can apply it to your skin to help control allergy symptoms. However, if you are using lemon oil or any other citrus essential oils, you should be careful when you expose your skin to the sun or tanning beds.
Diffusing lemon oil into the air can also help to improve your mood.
Sandalwood, Frankincense and Ravensara Oils
According to one research study, a mixture of sandalwood, frankincense and Ravensara essential oils might help to treat the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis, including nasal congestion, runny or itchy nose and sneezing. Therefore, they are considered to improve your sleep and quality of life related to allergies.
If you want to try this mixture, you can use it with a carrier oil that will dilute the strength of the essential oils. In addition, these blended oils can also be diffused into the air, which will provide quite a pleasant scent.
Peppermint oil is another natural anti-inflammatory treatment that can help you with nasal allergy symptoms. You can apply the oil on your skin or diffuse it into the air. If you use it for your body, make sure to dilute with some carrier oil.
Some experts recommend mixing peppermint essential oil with lavender and lemon oils to make your alternative allergy treatment more effective. However, keep in mind that the chances of having an allergic reaction are higher, when you use a combination of different oils.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been proved to provide anti-inflammatory effects, which means it can be used to treat allergy symptoms.
However, in some people, this oil may trigger an allergic reaction. Therefore, you should only use tea tree oil, if a skin patch test shows that you are not allergic. This oil should be used topically.
What Are the Risks Associated with Essential Oils?
If you are interested in using essential oils for your allergy treatment, you need to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with this type of natural remedies. Since the purity and quality of essential oils are not supervised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is important that you choose quality brands.
All the essential oils should be used as directed by your healthcare provider or as stated on the label. Before using essential oils for your allergy symptoms, you should always talk to your doctor first. If you are very sensitive to chemicals or have multiple allergies, your symptoms may get worse because of essential oils.
When using an essential oil for the first time, you have to make sure to use it cautiously, little by little. You are recommended to test the oil first on a small unbroken area of your skin (like your forearm) and mix it with a carrier oil. If you are allergic to it, you will normally have a reaction within 24 hours. If you don’t, the oil is likely to be safe for you.
Remember that essential oils should never be used without being diluted in a carrier oil first, and they should never be ingested. They must also be used with caution around pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and infants.