When the daffodils start to bloom here in Atlanta, the yellow buds are a welcome sign of Spring! But for those with seasonal allergies, they are a reminder of the watery eyes, runny nose and chronic fatigue to come.
In my practice, we tackle allergies with a multi-tiered approach that usually includes reducing inflammation through diet and supplementation while alleviating symptoms as naturally as possible.
Recently, my patients have been curious about using essential oils (EOs) for allergy relief, and for good reason. For thousands of years EOs have been used as a therapy for respiratory conditions and their healing properties have become a hot topic again.
Three of the most commonly used EOs for relieving allergies are lavender, lemon and peppermint. They work well when blended, but can be used separately as well.
This essential oil is calming, cleansing and anti-inflammatory. It has long been hailed as a remedy for bronchial inflammation and current research backs up this claim. In addition to reducing swelling in the airways, lavender’s relaxing scent eases nerves and can be beneficial for headaches.
Caution: Excessive use of lavender oil can cause hormone disruption in young boys.
Lemon essential oil also has cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be beneficial for chronic asthmatics and for those whose airways become inflamed when pollen hits the air. Additionally, this citrus oil is both uplifting and calming — a wonderful combination for those dealing with exhaustion and mental fatigue.
Caution: Lemon EO increases photosensitivity, so avoid the sun if using it topically.
Peppermint essential oil is highly versatile. As far as its use for seasonal allergies, it can help to clear the airways and relieve a headache. Peppermint EO can also boost energy when you’re feeling sluggish.
Caution: Peppermint can sometimes be irritating for children.
How to Use Essential Oils
I like to diffuse essential oils in my home and at work. When I’m on the road, I often take an aromatherapy inhaler. Some oils can be ingested or applied topically, but I don’t advise this unless you have done your research and consulted an expert.
When we say “everything in moderation,” essential oils are included. They can be a fantastic therapy, but they are potent so study up, buy high-grade oils and speak with a professional about how to properly use them.
Be especially cautious when diffusing oils around children. Some oils are not intended for little ones or can be irritating to their sensitive skin. I recommend using around children that over six years of age.
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