Pollen, grass, dust, pets, smog … we live in an environment where so many of us have sensitivities which trigger an allergic response. Traditional medicine can offer you nasal steroids and antihistamines but many people prefer a more natural way to minimize allergy symptoms. Fortunately, there are natural, organic, and safe ways to relieve these symptoms.
Putting an air purifier in your house helps eliminate allergens in your home. Adding a humidifier (using distilled water) can help reduce dryness and nasal irritation. What many people don’t realize is that essential oils can be a great help in reducing the suffering from allergies.
Essential oils are made when plant material is distilled or cold pressed. Many plant parts can be used to make essential oils, such as leaves, needles, flowers, bark, seeds, etc. Each essential oil contains many chemical components – these components make them effective in helping with both physical and emotional issues. When using essential oils it is important to use high quality organic oils.
Here are a few ways in which aromatherapy can help bring relief during times of allergies:
- Inhalers – inhalers are wonderful tools to use for many intentions, including allergies. They are portable, discrete, inexpensive, long lasting, and provide quick relief. The inhaler is used in the nostril as needed and typically lasts a few months. There are many effective oils which can be blended into an inhaler based on each individual’s symptoms. Fragonia is an oil I love having in the inhaler blends I create. It is best to combine a few oils and not just use one oil. In general, when you combine approximately 3 to 5 different oils for one purpose, they work synergistically for a great result!
- Steam blends – for fast relief and to help rid the body of allergens, I always recommend a steam blend. Bring a pot of water to boil, remove it from the heat and while it is still steamy, add 1 or 2 drops of a customized blend of essential oils to the water. Put a tent over your head with a towel, lean over the steam, and breathe deeply for 5 to 10 minutes. This immediately helps to clear congestion and expel allergens from the body. If you make your own blend, I always love using Xanthoxylum within the blend. I also generally recommend oils with a high 1,8 cineole content and those with anti-inflammatory properties for these blends.
- Diffusing – creating an anti-allergenic blend to diffuse in the home is another effective tool. Diffusers distribute the essential oils into the air that you breathe. Blends are tailored to specific concerns, taking into account pets, infants, small children, or elderly are living in the home to ensure safety. Diffusing can help clear the air of allergens and offer purifying benefits. Cedarwood is always great to have in a diffuser blend of oils.
- “Clean” cleaning products – people with allergies benefit immensely from using natural cleaning supplies. Commercial cleaning supplies contain environmental toxins and can further exacerbate symptoms relating to allergies. Cleaning products made from simple, economical ingredients like distilled water, vinegar, baking soda, Castile soap, olive oil, and essential oils are effective, non-irritating and smell fabulous too!
- Facial and body spritz and eye compresses -spritzes, or hydrosols, offer a lot of relief when sprayed directly onto face and body. Hydrosols are the water which separates from the oil during the distillation process. They contain many of the therapeutic properties of oils but are safe and gentle; they can be used when oils are not appropriate (on babies, and on the face) If your eyes are red, itchy, and irritated, making a cooling compress of a hydrosol with anti-allergenic properties, like German Chamomile, brings a lot of comfort and significantly eases symptoms. (Never apply regular essential oils directly to your face or eyes.)
The next time you are faced with allergies, if you want additional help be sure to talk to your certified clinical aromatherapist to see how you can naturally and effectively find relief safely.
Article By Sharon Mayberry
Certified Clinical Aromatherapist