The good news is essential oils can offer relief and even prevention of seasonal allergy symptoms.
– Dina Voigt.
It’s The Time of the Season…
Essential Oils for Allergies
Ahh, spring is in the air! The beautiful weather of spring; flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, the air is crisp, and the weather is getting warmer. Spring is the perfect time to spend more time outdoors. Yet, for many people, spending more time outdoors, is accompanied by itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and coughing, all brought on by seasonal allergies.
Many people suffer from allergies, some year round and some just seasonal. When an allergen enters the body, the immune system sees it as an invader (even though most times, it is not a harmful substance) and overreacts, releasing something called Immunoglobulin E antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells that release histamines and other chemicals that trigger the inflammatory response in the body, hence, the allergic reaction.
The most common causes of allergies include pollen, dust, mold, insect bites, animal dander, food, medications, and latex. All of these allergens can trigger symptoms in the nose, throat, lungs, ears, sinuses, the lining of the stomach, or on the skin.
People who suffer from seasonal allergies (also known as hay fever) are allergic to pollen, trees, grass, weeds, fungi and mold spores.
● Tree pollen – these tend to affect people in the spring.
● Grass pollen – these tend to affect people later on in the spring and also in the summer.
● Weed pollen – these are more common during autumn.
● Fungi and mold spores – these are more common when the weather is warm
When you are suffering from seasonal allergies, you are probably more interested in what will stop the symptoms than what is causing them. However, when you know what is causing them, you can almost always find relief from the symptoms.
Essential Oils to the Rescue
The good news is essential oils can offer relief and even prevention of seasonal allergy symptoms. One of the most amazing benefits of essential oils is their ability to boost the immune system and fight inflammation. Using essential oils for allergies will help fight infections, bacteria, parasites and harmful toxins by helping to detoxify the body. Essential oils can help reduce the overreaction of the immune system when faced with a harmless substance it sees as an invader. Some essential oils work to relieve respiratory conditions, helping to eliminate toxins by increasing sweat and urination. They can also be used to cool down the body after an allergic response.
Which oils do I use and how do I use them?
There are many essential oils that can help with allergies. Let’s start with one of the most versatile essential oils of all. Lavender! Not only can Lavender oil help alleviate allergy symptoms, but it can also give you energy, help you sleep and so much more.
Here are some ways to use Lavender oil to relieve or eliminate allergy symptoms.
– Place 2-3 drops of Lavender into the palm of your hand. Rub hands together and inhale deeply 3-4 times a day.
– Place some Lavender on your forehead, on your temples, behind and in front of your ears, and on the front and back of your neck.
– Place 1 drop of Lavender to the sole of each foot and massage gently into the foot. Repeat 2x day.
– Rub a drop or two of Lavender oil between your nose and upper lip so you can inhale the fragrance and anti-inflammatory properties throughout the day.
Many of these protocols can be used with other Essential oils as well. One of my very favorite, homemade natural anti-histamine potions, is a combination of three very effective Essential oils (of course, one of them is Lavender).
– Peppermint – among its many benefits, is extremely beneficial for respiratory, digestive, sinus and liver disorders, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic
– Lemon – stimulating while calming, is antiseptic, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, antifungal, can kill bacteria and eliminate allergy triggers in the air and much more.*
– Lavender – as we know….extremely versatile – anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, prevents scarring in all tissues, even lungs
● Combine three drops each with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, V-6 oil, or other vegetable oil). Apply to the chest, back, and soles of feet 2-3 times per day.
● Diffuse 1-2 drops each
● Inhalation method – rub in palms of hands, cup hands over nose and inhale.
● Combine 3 -5 drops each with distilled or filtered water in an 8 oz. spray bottle, spray your surroundings. Take with you especially when you are going to be spending time outdoors and spray as needed (also works great as an insect repellent!).
● If you take Essential oils internally, (as I do), feel free to message me for more information and research information.
*Be sure to avoid direct exposure to the sun after using lemon oil on exposed skin.
Homemade vapor rub
● Combine 2-3 drops each Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint with one teaspoon carrier oil (coconut, V-6, jojoba) and massage into temples, behind ears, soles of feet, chest, back, between the nose and upper lip.
Other Essential Oils useful for allergies:
● Basil Oil – To support the respiratory system, dilute 2–3 drops of basil oil with equal parts coconut oil or other carrier oil and apply topically to the chest, back of neck and temples. Basil essential oil reduces the inflammatory response to allergens.
● Eucalyptus Oil – To treat respiratory issues associated with allergies, diffuse five drops of eucalyptus at home or apply it topically to the chest and temples. To clear the nasal passages and relieve congestion, boil a cup of water and add 1–2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, then place a towel over your head and inhale deeply for as long as you can up to 5-10 minutes.
● Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) This powerful oil can destroy airborne pathogens that cause allergies. Diffusing tea tree oil in the home will kill mold, bacteria, and fungi. It is an antiseptic agent, and it has anti-inflammatory properties.
When you suffer from allergies, it is important to disinfect your home and office often:
● In a 16oz spray bottle, combine 40 drops of lemon oil with 20 drops of tea tree oil (Melaleuca) with filtered water and a bit of white vinegar. Spray mixture around your home.
● Lemon oil reduces triggers inside your home. Add a few drops lemon oil to your laundry detergent, mix a couple of drops with water and spray it on your couches, sheets, curtains, and carpets.
● Diffuse a few drops Lemon oil throughout the day in your home or office.
This list is by no means all-inclusive. There are many Essential oils that are useful in treatment and prevention of allergies. I tried to narrow it down to some of the most effective oils. Any of these oils can be diffused, inhaled, and used alone or combined; they can be applied topically to the chest, back, soles of feet, etc.
A word on Carrier Oils…
Carrier oils, also known as base oils or vegetable oils, are naturally derived from vegetarian sources and have a neutral smell. They are used to dilute essential oils when they are applied topically to the skin or taken internally. They are called “carrier” oils because they carry the essential oil into the skin and body. Essential oils are volatile, meaning, they contain the natural smell and characteristics of the plant and they evaporate rapidly. This can make some essential oils too strong to apply directly to the skin. Diluting with a carrier oil reduces the concentration of the essential oil without altering its therapeutic qualities. You can control an essential oil’s concentration before applying by diluting with a carrier oil.
Carrier oils vary widely in their absorption ability, aromas, shelf life and other properties. They can be blended or used by themselves. Because carrier oils are high in fat, they have a limited shelf life, which means they can go bad. Be sure to store oils in their original containers in a cool, dark place to maximize their shelf life.
Here are some of the most widely used carrier oils and their properties
● Fractionated Coconut Oil – The difference between “regular” coconut oil and fractionated coconut oil, is that fractionated coconut oil is liquid at room temperature. It has no noticeable aroma and absorbs well into the skin helping to moisturize without feeling greasy. It is high in essential fatty acids and has a long shelf life.
● Grapeseed Oil – This is a very light, thin oil which makes it great for use in massage. It is high in linoleic acid and very moisturizing. It has a relatively short shelf life.
● V-6 Carrier Oil* – This organic oil is a proprietary blend by Young Living. It combines fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil (contains a lot of vitamin E and acts as a natural preservative), sunflower oil and olive oil. It is a great carrier oil for all your best essential oils and applications. Has a long shelf life.
*CAUTION – may cause a reaction to those with nut allergies.
● Olive Oil- that’s right….good old Olive Oil. Easy to find and very popular in both culinary and topical applications. Olive oil has a thicker consistency and leaves an oily feel on the skin. It has a stronger aroma and is a good source of omega fatty acid (oleic acid). Olive oil has a relatively short shelf life.
● Coconut Oil – Has a distinct coconut aroma and is solid at room temperature. It has a solid white color and is used widely as a moisturizer. Coconut oil has a long shelf life.
These are just some of the more popular and effective Carrier oils. There are many others out there. A lot of Young Living essential oils can be applied “neat” which means, they can be applied directly to the skin, but when in doubt….dilute, dilute, dilute. Dilution is especially important if you have sensitive skin. Be sure if you ever mistakenly get essential oils in or near your eyes, that you do not apply water, this will exacerbate the irritation, instead, immediately apply a carrier to the area and this will neutralize the irritation.
It is important to note that I am not a certified aromatherapist and am sharing this information based on my personal experience and research. I only endorse Young Living Essential oils and cannot attest to the efficacy of other brands of essential oils.
Pick up your Young Living Essential oils at Incentives Spa today!!
The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information in this article is in no way intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or illness. If you feel you have a medical condition, you are urged to seek the help of a medical professional. The suggestions in this article are for use with Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and no other. Use caution when using essential oils around infants, children, and pets. Some essential oils should be completely avoided around young children and cats.
Dina Voigt is the Manager of Fitness Incentives Pilates and Yoga programs. She is a PMA-certified Pilates trainer, a certified yoga instructor, a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and Cycle instructor. Dina teaches specialized classes to the general gym population and she also does private and small group Pilates sessions targeting both fitness and therapeutic results. She specializes in Body Movement Therapy, which helps people overcome back pain, joint pain, and injuries, and helps achieve and sustain general fitness.