Seasonal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis or hay fever, are reactions to airborne particles such as pollen, mold spores, animal dander and dust mites. These substances are known as allergens.
Common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
Seasonal allergies can make life miserable. If you’re one of the estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from them, you know what we’re talking about. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ease your symptoms. And one of those things is using essential oils.
How do essential oils work?
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. They’re made by distilling or extracting the natural oil from the flower, fruit, seed, bark or leaves of a plant.
The chemicals in essential oils interact with your body in several ways. When you inhale them, they go straight to your brain. When you apply them to your skin, they’re absorbed and interact with your body’s endocrine system.
Essential oils are thought to be antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory. They’re also believed to boost the immune system. All of these properties make essential oils a promising treatment for seasonal allergies.
How essential oils can help ease your seasonal allergies
By inhibiting the release of histamine: Histamine is a chemical that’s released by your immune system in response to an allergen. It’s what causes many of the symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes.
Some essential oils, such as lavender oil and peppermint oil, have been shown to inhibit the release of histamine. This means they can help reduce your allergy symptoms.
By reducing inflammation: Inflammation is a key component of an allergic reaction. It’s what makes your nose and eyes red and swollen.
Essential oils, such as ginger oil and eucalyptus oil, have anti-inflammatory properties. This means they can help reduce the swelling and inflammation associated with allergies.
By boosting the immune system: A strong immune system is key to preventing seasonal allergies. Essential oils, such as lemon oil and oregano oil, are thought to boost the immune system. This may help your body ward off allergies.
Which essential oils are best for allergies?
There are a number of essential oils that have been shown to be effective in treating seasonal allergies. Some of the most promising include:
Lavender oil: Lavender oil has been shown to inhibit the release of histamine. It’s also thought to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. A study shows that the lavender essential oil prevents allergic inflammation and enlargement of mucous cells.
Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil has been shown to inhibit the release of histamine. It’s also thought to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Ginger oil: Ginger oil has been shown to reduce inflammation. It’s also thought to have immune-boosting properties.
Eucalyptus oil: Eucalyptus oil has been shown to reduce inflammation. It’s also thought to have antimicrobial and expectorant properties.
Lemon oil: Lemon oil is thought to boost the immune system. It’s also thought to have antimicrobial properties.
Oregano oil: Oregano oil is thought to boost the immune system. It’s also thought to have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is thought to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to use essential oils for allergies?
There are a few different ways you can use essential oils to ease your allergy symptoms. You can:
Diffuse them: Add a few drops of the oil or oils of your choice to an essential oil diffuser. Diffuse for 30 minutes, then take a break for 30 minutes. Repeat as needed.
Inhale them: Place a few drops of the oil or oils of your choice on a tissue or handkerchief and inhale deeply.
Apply them topically: Add a few drops of the oil or oils of your choice to a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, coconut oil or almond oil. Apply to your chest, back of the neck, temples or bottom of feet.
If you’re using essential oils for the first time, it’s important to do a patch test first to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. To do a patch test:
Apply a small amount of the diluted essential oil to a small area of skin, such as the inside of your elbow.
Cover the area with a bandage and leave it for 24 hours.
If you don’t have any redness, swelling or other signs of irritation, it’s probably safe to use the oil on your skin.
Are there any side effects?
Essential oils are generally considered safe. But they can cause side effects in some people. The most common side effects include:
Skin irritation: You may experience redness, swelling or other signs of skin irritation if you’re allergic to an essential oil or you use it undiluted.
Nausea: You may feel nauseated if you inhale too much of an essential oil.
Headaches: You may get a headache if you use too much of an essential oil or you’re allergic to it.
If you experience any side effects, stop using the essential oil and see your doctor.
Are there any risks?
Essential oils are generally safe when used as directed. But there are a few things to keep in mind:
Never take essential oils by mouth. They can be toxic if swallowed.
Don’t use essential oils on broken skin.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using essential oils.
If you have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma, talk to your doctor before using essential oils.
Essential oils are a natural way to ease your allergy symptoms. But they’re not for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about trying them.
This website does not provide medical advice.
All information provided on this website, and on associated social media networks, including but not limited to texts, images, and numbers are for general information purpose only. It is not intended as medical advice and it does not include all possible precautions, side effects, or interactions that may occur. Neither NaturalLivingOnline.com nor its author/founder take responsibility for how you use this information. Statements contained on NaturalLivingOnline.com have not been evaluated by the FDA. You should conduct thorough research via multiple sources and consult your physician or qualified doctor before using any essential oil or herbal remedy. Information on NaturalLivingOnline.com must not be relied upon for medical, legal, financial or other decisions.