By Angela Sidlo, Holistic Aromatherapist (also a Co-op Board member)
It won’t be long and springtime weather will arrive. I know it is time to get serious about using the essential oils that help to stay ahead of many of those allergy symptoms.
Scratching throat, itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip and runny water eyes and nose, etc are the most common symptoms. The best course of action is simply inhaling a few essential oils blends daily to help me stay ahead of the ‘game’ and avoid a majority of these.
The correct term for allergies caused by pollen is Seasonal Rhinitis. Indicating that it occurs ‘seasonally’ and second involves namely the nasal passages and upper respiratory tract. Many different allergens cause any number of allergies, or allergic reactions. It is possible you will need to individualize for your situation.
What is a great first line of defense? Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile help many folks. So starting when the first signs of spring to really take hold you may want to start using an inhaler with several drops of either (or both) of these two essential oils. You should inhale 4 times a day.
There are other forms of allergies too. Food and contact allergies will act differently and the body will have a different response. Some people develop hives or swelling of the areas affected.
Others will develop eczema or psoriasis as a more chronic allergic form. Still others may develop mild forms of hives or other skin rashes.
The good news is that it means your body is paying attention to foreign substances that it thinks are attacking it. Your immune system goes into hyper-mode and over reacts. Unfortunately it is not good news either as it actually is bringing your body’s defenses down. If, and when a ‘real’ invader attacks your bodies reserves may be too depleted to put up a real fight!
Therefore, we need to get things under control so the body gets on the right track. Essential oils are wonderful in their ability to help the body balance itself at the cellular level. However, not only can the essential oils give you a wonderful enjoyment of smelling all those beautiful scents, they get your chemical makeup back into alignment or ‘balanced’. Then your body’s immune system can fight where and when it needs to fight.
Here is a list of a few essential oils known to help with inhalant or airborne allergens to varying degrees.
Some of the best-known ones are the Chamomiles – Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile, both have antihistaminic properties and are typically the first choice. Other essential oils include, Helichrysum, Lavender, Blue Tansy, Tarragon, Yarrow, Geranium. Patchouli, Clove Bud and Niaouli.
Remember there are other essential oils that may work just for you but no one else. The following essential oils may give you some relief too and include: Bergamot, Fragonia, Juniper Berry, Lemon, Lavindin, Orange, Palmarosa, Rosemary, Sage, Spikenard, Hyssop, Rose, Ravensara and Peppermint.
The former list may help with the symptoms caused or related to the allergic reactions instead of actually stopping the reaction.
Try a few oils in a, inhaler and inhale several times a day.
Try this simple blend:
Roman Chamomile – 4 drops
(You may want to try German Chamomile or Helichrysum in place of Roman Chamomile)
Lemon – 3 drops
Lavender – 3 drops
Blend these in an amber bottle and then place a drop or two on a tissue or place several drops in an inhaler.
If you have nasal congestion that is causing you grief add one drop of peppermint to the above mix. One of the best things that may help this time of year is to start using some of the anti-histaminic essential oils prior to the season actually starting. If you know what you have seasonal allergies now is the time to watch the daily pollen counts.
In the spring before the conifer type trees start to pollinate simply use just a little Lavender and if your sinuses start to hurt – sniff a little peppermint. Just a little inhale in the morning and night for a few days and you may not be bothered. Allergy symptoms can make you miserable and if not controlled you can end up with sinusitis and other problems.
To relieve your congestion make sure you drink plenty of fluids. When your body is reacting to an inhalant allergen your body will naturally increase the flow of fluids in your nasal passages. In turn, your body will need more water. It is very important for you to increase the amount of fluids you consume.
Water is best but soothing teas may help relieve the itch and scratch in your throat. Keeping the fluid thin and running helps your body rid itself of the allergen.
Start now and be prepared before the pollen starts to fly.
Simple Allergy Relief Blend
Lavender – 5 drops
Bergamot – 2 drops
Lemon – 1 drop
Juniper Berry – 1 drop
Peppermint – 1 drop
Blend these together in glass bottles. Then put these drops in an inhaler. Use when you feel congested or need relief to breath more easily.
When your Sinuses are a problem:
Eucalyptus globulus – 10 drops
Helichrysum – 5 drops
Peppermint – 3 drops
Blend these essential oils together in a glass bottle. Then place several drops (3-5) in a bowl of hot water (not boiling). Hot water from the faucet usually is warm enough. You can cover your head with a towel if desired and ‘Steam’ yourself for about 10 minutes. Keep your eyes closed during the steaming. Repeat every 4-8 hours as needed for sinus congestion.
So spring in to action and get a jump on those allergy symptoms by using essential oils to help your body fight back!
Angela Sidlo is a certified holistic aromatherapist in Astoria, Oregon and formulates custom blends for people who want to use essential oils as part of their wellness program.