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If you’re like us, you probably anxiously await spring each year. You count down the days until the equinox. You yearn for that day when, all at once, everything rushes back to life. Spring invigorates and inspires! But it also makes you sneeze, sniffle and and feel not quite like yourself. If you have allergies, it can be hard to enjoy all spring has to offer. Luckily, essential oils can help banish seasonal allergy symptoms. That way, you can be your sunshiny self all season long!
Seasonal allergies, or allergic rhinitis, surface when the immune system sees normal substances as a threat. [i] So everyday things like pollen, mold and dust are seen as toxins. As a result, the body tries to flush them out. The resulting inflammation can wreak havoc on our bodies. It can cause symptoms like blocked sinuses, shortness of breath, itchy eyes or a hoarse cough.
Since, it turns out, it’s hard to avoid dust, many conventional antihistamines have been made to help manage symptoms. But, before reaching for the medicine cabinet, why not treat your seasonal allergies naturally?
For centuries, essential oils have been used to treat maladies. They still have countless uses in the modern world, from soothing anxiety to easing insomnia. For example, studies show they can improve symptoms from seasonal allergies! [ii] Try these oils to ease congestion, scratchy throats and pesky coughs. What’s more, they can even help you sleep when symptoms keep you up at night. With these age-old remedies, you can literally breathe easier this spring!
Essential Oils to Calm Seasonal Allergies
If you’re blocked up, use eucalyptus to clear chest and nasal congestion. Thanks to its antiseptic properties and cooling effect, it can also ease a cough or sore throat caused by post-nasal drip [iii]. And reaping its benefits is easy! Simply add eucalyptus essential oil to your diffuser or dilute with a carrier oil, like jojoba, and apply topically to your chest. You can also add a few drops to a bowl of boiling-hot water and inhale the steam to unclog your sinuses. Placing a towel over your head (and the bowl) can help make sure you get as much steam and eucalyptus as possible!
A well-known antibacterial agent, tea tree essential oil has been used for centuries to ward off infections. Because of its antimicrobial properties, tea tree also cleanses the air of pathogens that commonly cause seasonal allergies. [iv] So, if your allergen of choice is dust, dander or mold, diffusing this essential oil can help keep symptoms like sneezing and itching at bay. For the same reason, it also makes an effective household cleaner when diluted in water!
Similarly to eucalyptus, peppermint essential oil promotes easy breathing. It opens the lungs, promotes clear passageways and soothes an irritated throat. Because it also helps you relax, it works as an expectorant. That means it can clear out nasal blockage and also reduce the urge to cough. [v] As an added bonus, peppermint helps lift mental fog that might result from feeling congested or under the weather. It leaves you sharp and focused for your day! [vi] Diffuse in your home or add a few drops to a hot shower for symptom relief and increased clarity. Just be careful not to slip!
Frankincense helps reduce inflammation caused by allergies. This encourages normal breathing and healthy drainage. [vii] Like tea tree, it is also antimicrobial and can help purify the air in your home to minimize pollutants. In addition, frankincense is known to help relieve stress and boost immunity. So beyond easing allergy symptoms, it can help you stay balanced and avoid the colds that go around this time of year. As usual, unlocking the benefits of frankincense is simple. Diffuse it in your home or dilute with a carrier oil and apply a small amount to your temples. Either way, it’s a recipe for stress relief and easy breathing!
Another essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender can calm irritation caused by seasonal allergies and lessen negative reactions to pathogens. It also has a relaxing effect on the mind and promotes deep sleep. [viii] So if symptoms like a stuffy nose or sore throat are keeping you awake, lavender can help you get the rest you need! To use, diffuse lavender at night for better sleep and eased symptoms.
Studies show lemon essential oil helps reduce symptoms from seasonal allergies, especially nasal blockage. [ix] That makes it easier to breathe freely! Lemon also helps renew energy and lift mood. So if you’re sleep-deprived or feeling low because of your symptoms, diffusing lemon essential oil can put the pep back in your step!
Four Pleasing Blends to Banish Symptoms
If you want to mix up scents or benefit from more than one oil at a time, try these blends! They’ll have you breathing deeply and feeling the renewing energy of spring in no time.
Clear and Uplift Blend: 3 drops of Lemon, 2 drops of Lavender, 4 drops of Eucalyptus
Breathe Easy Blend: 4 drops of Peppermint, 2 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Eucalyptus
Purify and Energize Blend: 3 drops of Tea Tree, 3 drops of Lemon, 3 drops of Frankincense
Relax and Renew Blend: 3 drops of Lemon, 4 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Frankincense
With these natural remedies, you’re truly free to enjoy the season!
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[i] The Mayo Clinic. “Allergies: Symptoms & Causes.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351497
[ii] Ansari, Munawar Alam, et al. “Nagilla Sativa: A Non-Conventional Herbal Option for the Management of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis.” Pakistan Journal of Pharmacology. 2006 July: 23(2): 31-35. http://www.probotanic.com/pdf_istrazivanja/crni_kumin/Crni%20kumin%20-%20nekonvencionalna%20prirodna%20opcija%20u%20tretmanu%20sezonskog%20alergijskog%20rinitisa.pdf
[iii] Mulyaningsih S, et al. “Antibacterial activity of essential oils from Eucalyptus and of selected component against multdrug-resistant bacterial pathogens.” Pharm Biol. 2011 Sep: 49(9): 893-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21591991
[iv] Carson, C. F., K. A. Hammer and T. V. Riley. “Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties.” Clinical Microbiobolgy Reviews. 2006 Jan: 19(1): 50-62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/
[v] de Sousa, A. A., et al. “Antispasmodic effect of Mentha piperita essential oil on tracheal smooth muscle of rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010 July: 130(2): 433-436. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20488237
[vi] Shrivastava, Alankar. “A Review on Peppermint Oil.” Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research. 2009 May. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alankar_Shrivastava/publication/237842903_A_REVIEW_ON_PEPPERMINT_OIL/links/00b7d51be7ec239993000000.pdf
[vii] Al-Yasiry, A. R., and B. Kiczorowska. “Frankincense – therapeutic properties.” Postepy Hig Med Dosw. 2016 Jan: 4(70): 380-91. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27117114
[viii] Koulivand, Pier Hossein, Maryam Khaleghi Ghadiri and Ali Gorji. Evid Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 2013 Mar 14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
[ix] Ferrara, Lydia, Daniele Naviglio, and Arturo Armone Caruso. ISRN Pharmaceutics. 2012 Oct. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2012/404606/abs/
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