Essential Oils to Reduce Allergic Reactions
by Annie Mascia
Glorious spring and the onset of autumn bring a hurdle many of us loathe - pollen. Allergies can cause lethargy, sleep disturbance, respiratory issues and goes by a few names including allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies and hay fever. Its effects can be downright debilitating: red eyes, scratchy throats, inflamed sinuses, runny noses, itchy throat, wheezing, sneezing, etc.
One reason allergies occur is when the immune system overreacts to a harmful substance it comes into contact with, such as dust or pollen. In response to the threat, mast cells make what are called antibodies. Allergic reactions are the symptoms resulting from breathing in, ingesting or touching these particles. Symptoms appear as watery eyes, rashes, inflammation, swelling, itching, a runny nose and in some circumstances may be life threatening.
Certain essential oils and herbs work as natural antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, and immune boosters, keeping in check your body's response and reducing your symptoms. Some essential oils can reduce allergic reactions by stabilizing mast cells and reducing histamine reaction. It isn't witchery or magic but findings backed by science. For some allergies can be around the clock nuisances.
Aromatics are best made into an essential oil blend to increase their efficacy on many fronts such as aiding as an antihistamine, immune boosting, inflammation reduction and reducing congestion. Using essential oils in a room diffuser to reduce symptoms, a drop added to a mask or tissue and held close to the nose or mouth for a few minutes and one of my favorite applications - steam inhalation.
Positive aspects of using essential oils:
help reduce fatigue and increase mood
help improve sleep
aid in the decrease of histamine reaction
clear your sinuses
reduce itchiness that often coincides with skin allergies
There are many essential oil blends out in this wide web for you to choose from. Here at La Strega, we have Allerg-ease. It's a blend made up of Tea Tree, Sweet Marjoram, Lavender, Frankincense and Larch Tamarack - all of which are gentle essential oils blended to ease the discomfort of allergy season. Our goal is to help you feel strong, rested and breathing clearly.
Essential oils for allergies include but are not limited to:
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) chemical component Terpinen 4-ol has been found to be an antihistamine
Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) relieve seasonal sinus congestion and open the airways to breathe easier during allergy season
Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum) helps soothe sore, tender skin and helps reduce itchiness
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) supports the breath during colds/flus/allergies
German Chamomile (Matricaria recucita) reduces skin irritation, inflammation and itchiness
Larch Tamarack (Larix laricina) supports natural, healthy breathing with colds/flus/allergies
Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica) affinity for the respiratory system as it opens breathing
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) most versatile oil with an affinity for the skin and reducing inflammation
Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct 1.8 cineole) component 1,8-cineole opens the breath, protects immunity against seasonal threats and mental sharpness
Lemon (Citrus limon) boost mood and support the immune system with citrus oils
*Please consult a trained professional before taking using the below herbs and essential oils
Another way to go on the offensive in spring is to clear the stagnancy of winter and focus on cleansing the body. Here are some ideas for staying proactive:
Add fresh and cleansing herbs* to your food(sprinkle it on everything from dill to parsley to cilantro, chives and more).
Drink teas such as nettle which is great at combating allergens.
Citrus is great for the liver (the liver filters, metabolizes and detoxifies the body). Grapefruit, added to a cleansing belly massage oil with cod liver oil or other citrus oil can do wonders for cleansing and improving digestion.
Simply add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to water (lime is gentler on the digestive system.)
Although this may seem counterintuitive if you suffer from allergies, get out and move, fill your lungs with the humid air of spring, sit in the sun and absorb some vitamin D.
And lastly, my favorite: steam with essential oil blend (Allerg-ease) to reduce your body's histamine reaction.
*Certain herbs can be also be beneficial to reduce allergies naturally - ingested as teas, tinctures, or extracts and include:
Stinging nettle, Quercetin, Bromelain, Butterbur