Essential Oils for Allergies
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Fall is upon us and you may be thinking that allergy season is over. The horrible symptoms of congestion, post-nasal drip, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes can be evaded until the following spring. Unfortunately, springtime is not the only time for allergies. Affecting nearly 50 million Americans each year, allergy symptoms can occur any time of the year. The two main allergen causes in the fall however, are ragweed, and dirt-based molds.
A single ragweed plant can produce up to one billion pollen grains per season. These lightweight pollen grains grow throughout the country, and can travel about 400 miles in the wind. The other fall allergy culprit, dirt-based molds, thrives in frost. These molds are typically found in soil, compost piles, and sadly fall leaves. With these allergens nearly taking over your surroundings, along with the fact that they thrive in the colder season, what can you do to protect yourself?
The benefits of essential oils for allergies
If you are tired of dealing with allergy symptoms and have tried multiple medications without any relief, essential oils may be used as an alternative or complementary treatment. Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants and left in their natural state of smell and flavor. Often used in the form of aromatherapy, essential oils can be inhaled or diluted and rubbed on the skin. Other popular ways to use essential oil include using them in a bath, and spraying them into the air.
Though there are many essential oils, the most popular ones used for allergies include:
- Lavender: may soothe allergy symptoms, reduce inflammation, and prevent enlargement of mucous cells.
- Eucalyptus: may help with congestion, and contains anti-inflammatory agents. It also has a cooling sensation that may provide additional relief while congested.
- Peppermint: may reduce inflammation and help you breathe easier.
- Lemon: may boost your energy, clear your sinuses, and reduce congestion. Citrus scents are also used to increase alertness.
If you would like a blend of all the health benefits from the essential oils listed above, On Guard produced from doTerra, is the perfect essential oil for you. On Guard is a blend of wild orange peel, clove bud, cinnamon bark/leaf, eucalyptus leaf, and rosemary leaf/flower. According to doTerra, this essential oil boosts the immune system and wards of harmful viruses and bacteria. While research is limited, a study from 2010 found the essential oil blend, On Guard, to attenuate the influenza virus in canines.
It is important to note that essential oils should never be ingested. Children, along with women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should also be cautious when using these products.
Allergy medications such as antihistamines can have many side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. Other options of medications include nasal sprays and eye drops, which can cause headaches, dry eyes, fatigue, and a bitter taste. If you are battling allergies on a daily basis, constantly taking medications and dealing with the side effects is a lose-lose situation. Consider consulting with a doctor of natural medicine, who can help treat your needs in with a holistic approach, rather than just a prescription.