New-season brings about changes and allergens is the most annoying one! A whole lot of coughing fits, stuffy nose, and nasal congestion. Right? You must have even tried your share of different remedies from taking steam or trying out allergy medicines and probably, none of it worked for you because well, that’s the reason you are here right?
We feel you and we are here to help you out getting rid of those irritating allergens. It’s time for you to add an effective remedy to your list and that’s ‘essential oils’.
Essential oils are amalgam extracted from plants that are famous for their well-being and enhancing properties. They can be treated as an alternative to providing relief from seasonal allergic symptoms if not curing them permanently. Essentials oils are also frequently used in aromatherapy, which is a form of substitute medicine to support well-being and health.
However, it is also advisable to consult a doctor before incorporating essential oils for treating allergic symptoms and then proceed with caution.
We will let you know with in-depth details about everything related to ‘essential oils for allergies.’ Read further to know more.
Types Of Allergies
Allergy is a condition in which your immune system reacts abnormally when it sees a certain substance as harmful. Such substance is known as allergens which are often found in pets, pollen, insects, ticks, dust mites, molds, foods, and some medications.
Few types of allergies are:-
- Drug allergy– In this type of allergy, your immune system has an abnormal reaction to a medication. The allergic reaction is mild in many cases but in serious cases, it can lead to shock or may even be life-threatening.
- Contact dermatitis– In this allergy, a skin rash is caused when a person’s skin is irritated or triggered by an allergic reaction by coming in contact with a certain substance. Some common substances include fragrances, soap, and cosmetics.
- Food allergies– It is a type of allergy in which there is an unpleasant or dangerous reaction by your immune system after a certain food is consumed. The cause of food allergy is unknown.
- Allergic asthma– Asthma is triggered by exposure to the same substances that often trigger allergic symptoms.
- Latex allergy– This allergic reaction is caused to some proteins that can be found in natural rubber latex, a product made from rubber tree fluids.
- Animal allergy– This is a relatively common type of allergy where your immune system reacts abnormally to proteins present in an animal’s skin cells, urine, or saliva. It often occurs in people suffering from asthma and can often run in generations.
- Allergic rhinitis– It is an allergic reaction where the symptoms are sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and other symptoms. It occurs year-round or seasonally.
- Allergy to mold– It is an allergy where there is an abnormal reaction to mold spores. Being exposed to mold, your immune system may overreact.
- Insect stings and bites– Mild symptoms are caused when the bite of an insect such as a bee or a mosquito leads to systems like stinging sensation, itching, and skin redness.
Allergens are a type of antigen that releases abnormal response by the immune system where it fights off a perceived threat that otherwise is harmless to other bodies.
Two types of allergens are:
Seasonal allergens– Seasonal allergies are allergens that typically occur due to seasonal changes. It occurs due to the sensitivity of airborne mold spores, pollens from grass, weeds, and trees.
Perennial allergens– Perennial allergies are allergens that cause allergic reactions year-round. Some examples include food allergy, medication allergy, and dust mites. In this type of allergy, you have a congested, runny, and itchy nose, nasal blockage, or itchy throat.
General symptoms of seasonal allergies
Essential oils will help you reduce the general symptoms of seasonal allergies. Some of the symptoms that you can relate to includes:-
- Nasal congestion
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Itchy and sore throat
- Itchy skin
- Chest congestion
How do essential oils for allergies work?
Essential oils are most common in the practice of aromatherapy and can be inhaled through various methods. The best essential oils boast anti-inflammatory properties, helping to alleviate congestion and sinus pressure by clearing up your air passages and improving your breathing. A decrease in inflammation can also help relieve puffiness and itchiness in the eyes aiding in your recovery.
While most of the essential oils contain antibacterial and antifungal properties, it is mostly their aromatherapy benefits that bring about relaxation and calmness to those people who are up all night coughing and sneezing.
The most efficient and effective way to use essential oils for allergies is either through inhalation or through an application on the skin in a carrier oil (coconut oil or olive oil).
Caution: Essential oils are strictly not meant to be swallowed.
List Of Essential Oils For Allergies
There are more than 100 essential oils, varying in their uniqueness, smell, and health benefits. But here is a list of some frequently used and popular Essential oils for allergies that can literally calm down your most annoying symptoms:-
Lavender is a very popular essential oil because of its many health benefits. The versatile lavender oil naturally reduces inflammation, holds back anxiety, alleviates puffy and itchy eyes, relaxes your breathing, and stimulates good sleep, all of which benefits people with allergies by unwinding and relaxing their senses.
Research also indicates that it speeds up your healing process as it is anti-inflammatory that can potentially reduce mucus (the magic word for a person with allergens).
You can use lavender in a diffuser for aromatherapy or dilute it in a carrier oil and apply it to your skin.
Lavender oil contains components like linalyl acetate and linalool, and it should not be ingested.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is recognized to have anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties due to its histamine effect on the body, which can help you with allergic symptoms. People also use tea tree oil for treating small wounds and reducing acne. However, it may not be suitable for everyone and it may trigger allergies. Thus, it is advisable to do a skin patch test before using the oil.
The oil should only be used topically and should not be ingested. It can turn out to be dangerous if swallowed, only use it externally.
Peppermint oil may help you loosen up mucus and clear your airways with its anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. This is another effective essential oil that can reduce inflammation and is an excellent decongestant. Inhaling diffused peppermint oil can unclog the sinuses and offer relief to your scratchy throats by reducing inflammation.
It can also act as an expectorant and provides allergy relief with symptoms like headache, migraine, colds, coughs, asthma, and sinus. A combination of peppermint oil with lemon or lavender oil provides soothing relief to your annoying allergic symptoms. But be aware that a combination of oils often increases the chances of allergic reaction. You should do a skin patch test before using the combined oil.
Lemon oil is abstracted from oil-containing cells in the skin. It is often used in aromatherapy which does not affect the human immune system but may help you with relaxation. It is a citrus-scented essential oil that helps in boosting energy and alertness.
Lemon oil helps you reduce your common symptoms of seasonal allergies, by reducing congestion and clear sinus. In research, it was found that lemon-based nasal spray proved to be effective in the treatment of perennial and seasonal allergies.
However, it is highly not recommended to apply any citrus-based essential oil before sun exposure, because it may cause blisters or skin burning as it makes your skin more sensitive after applying any citrus-based essential oil. Lemon oil is acidic hence, can also be used as a bug repellent.
If you want to lift your mood from a bad day at work or a sad breakup? Try diffusing the lemon essential oil and it will instantly lift your mood.
Sandalwood oil has been highly valued for centuries. It is extracted from the woods of Santalum and is cited as the most expensive woods in the world. Sandalwood oil lowers your body’s response to allergies because of its antihistamine properties.
A study conducted in 2016, used a blend of sandalwood, ravensara, and frankincense oil that helped the participants with improvement in sneezing, blocked nasal passages, and runny nose. It also helped them sleep better. Any you thought it was impossible to have a good sleep during allergy seasons?
To use these blended oils, dilute the oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the skin properly. In aromatherapy, it can also be diffused into the air.
Eucalyptus oil is a cineole-based oil that is used to relieve the symptoms of cough, cold and sore throat. Inhaled eucalyptus oil, in aromatherapy, maybe a decongestant, and it also reduces inflammation. It is an effective agent for loosening mucus which further helps in improved breathing.
You can use the eucalyptus oil either by diffusing it into the air or by mixing it with a carrier oil and then applying it to your skin.
However, despite its anti-inflammatory properties, it may trigger allergies in some people. So it is recommended to do a patch test before using this oil.
Rosemary oil has antihistamine and antispasmodic properties which helps in loosening up congestion an also prevents muscle aches and creates a feeling of calmness and relaxes the mind and body. It is rich in a compound called alpha-pinene which aids in clearing the congested airways, promotes better breathing, and also reduces wheezing. Few other properties of rosemary oil are that it increases circulation and relieves pain.
You can either use the rosemary oil topically or through inhalation. The simplest way to inhale rosemary oil is to breathe indirectly through the bottle or by diffusers.
There are two types of chamomile oil that are used in aromatherapy, Roman and German. It is advisable to use Roman Chamomile oil as it contains a lower level of the chemical.
Chamomile oil has antihistamine properties that will help you work on your stuffiness. Though it has no established medical properties, in aromatherapy it is believed to promote sleep and reduce sleep. It also relieves itching when mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically. It is effective in treating skin conditions and symptoms of sinus.
Frankincense is another effective essential oil that has anti-inflammatory properties. It exhibits sinus infection and also benefits people with asthma.
This essential oil often helps with symptoms of seasonal allergies, relieves pain, and improves blood circulation. You can use this essential oil with a diffuser.
How to use essential oils for allergies?
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways to treat, allergies or seasonal allergies. Some of the most frequently used are:
- Diffusion– You can use essential oils with the help of a diffuser. It is a device that disseminates essential oil into the air. It can be simply used, just by adding a few drops of oil to a plug-in diffuser you get the benefits of the essential oil. This method of using essential oil is very beneficial for treating the symptoms of seasonal allergens. There are various types of essential oil diffusers that you can use. Some popular types are:-
- Reed diffuser
- Lamp rings
- Direct inhalation– Essential oils can directly be inhaled either from the bottle or by putting few drops on your handkerchief. This is the easiest way to use essential oil. Also, keep in mind that you do not let the undiluted oil touch your skin when inhaling directly from the bottle. You can also take essential oil through steam inhalation just by adding a few drops of the oil in hot water and deeply inhale the steam for several minutes.
- Topical application– Topical application is the application that is directly applied to a particular part of your body. People who suffer from skin allergens and have symptoms such as itching, and rashes can directly apply the essential oil to their skin.
Also, be cautious while using citrus-based essential oils on your skin before sun exposure as they are sun-sensitive and may lead to discoloration of the skin. Some oils also require to be mixed with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil before application. A ratio of 1 drop of any carrier oil to 2 drops of essential oil is recommended.
3. Dry evaporation– Rarely do people use this method of using essential oils but it is our responsibility to inform you of all possible ways. Some type of dry material is required in dry evaporation such as a cotton ball or fabric. You can proceed with this method just by adding few drops of the essential oil to the material, hold it to your nose and simply inhale until the scent disperses.
- Targetting allergens– Few oils, such as lemon, tea tree, and eucalyptus can help kill dust mites and molds, both of which are the most common allergens that trigger symptoms of an itchy nose and wheezing.
To proceed with this method, you should add 20 drops of essential oil and a tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of water. This mixture will help kill dust mites. Also, do a patch test and wait for 24 hours before spraying it on a larger area.
How to choose the correct essential oil for allergies?
You should not buy essential oil from a company only because they claim to be ‘pure’ or ‘original’. The composition and quality of essential oil vary. However, you should check on certain factors before buying the right essential oils.
Keep the following factors in mind before choosing the right essential oil:-
Quality– The essential oils that are least changed during the extraction process are the best quality ones. Choose the ones which have been extracted through mechanical cold pressing or distillation.
Reputation– The reputation of the company whose product you want to buy should have a good reputation for producing high-quality products.
Purity– Choose an essential oil that does not contain additives or synthetic oils but has aromatic plant compounds.
Potential Side Effects And Risks
- Do not swallow any essential oils, they are not meant to be swallowed.
- Some essential oils may have an allergic reaction after using it. Therefore, it is advisable to do a patch test before applying it to larger areas. If for 24 hours you do not have a reaction, you can use it safely.
- It is advisable to consult a doctor before using any essential oil.
- Always choose a good-quality essential oil from a trusted source.
- Kindly follow the instructions as mentioned.
- It is also advised to not use essential oils around, children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women.
- Always dilute any essential oil with a carrier oil. Do not use undiluted essential oil.
Can All Allergies Be Treated With Essential Oils?
Essential oils like lemon, lavender, tea tree, chamomile, peppermint, eucalyptus, frankincense, rosemary, and sandalwood oils can help reduce the symptoms of allergies if not completely treating it. However, this does not work for everyone. Many essential oils have allergic reactions when applied by some people. It is always suggested to do a patch test before using any essential oil. Some symptoms of allergy may be reduced with the help of essential oils for some people and may not work for some.
Essential oils are naturally extracted from health benefits plants. Essential oils are being used widely by people across the world. Research also shows that it actually helps people with allergies by reducing their symptoms of sore throat, itchy and runny nose, sneezing, and wheezing. We have covered you with all aspects of using essential oils for allergies.