Using Essential Oils to Combat Allergies
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Do you usually dread springtime because of the constant sneezing, watery eyes and itchy nose? I know I do! The pollen that flies through the air can be troublesome to many people. In fact, roughly 50 million people in the United States alone have some sort of allergy!
While prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines work great at fighting against things that make your allergies go haywire, they often come at a price with many side effects.
According to Mayo Clinic, all combinations of antihistamines can cause these severe side effects:
- Severe drowsiness
- Clumsiness or unsteadiness
- Dryness of the upper respiratory tract
- Fast heartbeat
- Continual or severe headache
- Shortness of breath
These nasty side effects make antihistamines pretty limiting on what you can accomplish in daily life while taking them. But most people continue to take them because they don’t believe there’s an effective alternative.
However, many people have not considered using essential oils to combat their allergies!
Using essential oils instead of antihistamines to combat allergies and target symptoms individually can help you feel better faster without any of the unwanted side effects. Just be sure to dilute them! The pure oils can be harsh and irritating if used too potently.
The most widely used essential oils for allergies are:
Lavender is the most common go-to oil for allergies. It contains naturally-occurring antihistamines. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties to help open up those sinuses and relieve aches and pains.
Lavender is also often used for relaxation and as a sleep-aide. You can spray a water-lavender mix on your pillows at night or on the soft areas of your skin (underside of the wrist, behind the ear, on the neck, etc.) for all-day benefits.
Peppermint is commonly used in teas. It tastes great and works fantastically to help ease congestion and open up the airways. It’s a direct rival to topical vapor rubs. It can even help with non-allergy related digestive problems and respiratory illnesses.
You can use it by simply diluting a few drops of the oil with a carrier oil and rubbing the mixture on your temples or under your nose.
Lemon is a very popular do-it-all oil because of its wide range of benefits from making a strong cleaning solution for the home to having insomnia-remedying abilities. When it comes to allergens, they have little chance against lemon due to its immune system boosting properties.
You can add lemon oil to your regular laundry soap or even mix a bit with water and spray it on your bed sheets.
Eucalyptus is known to loosen mucous membranes, meaning it shortens coughs and helps clear the chest by making it easier for your body to get rid of the nasty mucous. This leads to shorter and less violent coughs and easier, more comfortable breathing.
You can use eucalyptus the same as peppermint. Mix it with a carrier oil and rub on your temples.
You can also diffuse any of these oils in your favorite essential oil diffuser.
Essential oils are extremely powerful alternatives to store-bought and prescription medications. They’re helping to change the way that we think about health and wellness and giving us more of a choice over what we put in and on our bodies.
Essential oils are also very flexible in their applications, being able to be used as vapors, ingestibles and topical treatments. Knowing about the power of essential oils and their effects on our bodies gives us power to take charge over them and help ourselves on our own terms. Harmful chemicals and side effects are not the only way.
What are your favorite essential oils to use for allergy relief? Share with us in the comments below!
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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