Despite stubbornly frigid temperatures, the daffodils have started to bloom here in Atlanta! For many, these 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. You may also want to read:
Juicing Your Way Through Allergy Season
Allergies: Separating Fact from Fiction (Raw Honey, Hepa Filters, The Neti Pot)
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.
Lately, my patients have been very inquisitive 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.
Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint Oils
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.
Lavender 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 is cleansing and anti-inflammatory. It can be beneficial for chronic asthmatics and for those whose airways become inflamed when the pollen hits.
This citrus oil is simultaneously 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 on a sluggish, hazy day.
Caution: Peppermint can be irritating for children.
How to use essential oils
I like to diffuse essential oils in my home and at the center. 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.
Everything in moderation, essential oils included. They can be a fantastic therapy, but they are potent so study up, buy high-grade oils and use them wisely.
Be especially cautious when diffusing oils around children. Some oils are not intended for little ones.