Can We Just Boycott Allergies Already?
Allergies can be so annoying! Sneezing that doesn’t seem to stop. That tickle in your throat that you just can’t get rid of. That itchy, runny nose, which is somehow also congested. (How the heck does that happen?) Those dry, irritated eyes. Contact lenses that always seem to be drying out. And sometimes…just plain not feeling well. If this is you..I feel ya!
I also struggle with seasonal allergies, mostly during the winter. For those who don’t have allergies, it may not seem like a big deal. But we know better don’t we? Allergies can really take a toll on our lives! They make us feel run down, with little energy to finish everyday tasks. Having to carry around tissues, allergy pills, throat drops, eye drops, Benadryl…it gets real old! And expensive!
Could There Be a Better Way?
What if I told you it was possible to see symptom relief without medication? Or that there are natural ways to help with allergies? What if I told you about ways to support your immune system with essential oils, so that you don’t feel so run down and stuffed up? Well then sit back, relax and keep reading my friend! I am about to share with you, specific methods to use essential oils (with recipes), when you want to shake those awful allergies. But first, let’s talk a little bit of science!
Where’s the Evidence?
Unfortunately, for people like you and me who are wanting to live a life less toxic, there aren’t many studies done on essential oils. Compared to pharmaceuticals, essential oils are much cheaper to make, and therefore are sold for less profit. So…there isn’t much incentive for research in this area in the United States.
Other countries, specifically those in Europe and Asia, have many more clinical trials done on essential oils. Good news is, thanks to the internet, we have access to this information! Yay for us! It is historical fact that essential oils have been used for their therapeutic properties for centuries. But now, we can use the information from these more recent overseas trials to help direct our use of essential oils in our own homes. Fabulous right?
Show Me the Science!
There have been numerous medical studies done on essential oils, especially in the last 30 years or so. Many of them have shown promising results for specific essential oils in the areas of their antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Some even being more effective than mainstream antibiotics! Crazy I know!
Antimicrobial Properties of Essential Oils
Several studies have found essential oils including Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint, Clove, Cinnamon and Tea Tree have significant antimicrobial properties. By preventing overgrowth of common household bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and E. Coli we can prevent infections, doctor visits, and allergy symptoms that may be aggravated by such bacteria. One study from 2016 looked at several essential oils used via inhalation route and how they relieved allergy symptoms. You can read about the study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808543/. It is some truly fascinating information!
Essential Oils for Inflammation
Besides the antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, many essential oils also possess anti-inflammatory qualities. By decreasing inflammation, this can relieve congestion and other nasal symptoms. The study above outlined the improvement in nasal symptoms from inhalation of certain essential oils. This specific study looked at a blend of Ravensara, Frankincense and Sandalwood essential oils. However, there are many others that also have anti-inflammatory qualities. Imagine inhaling essential oils to clear up your congestion instead of using a nasal spray that tastes disgusting…I’m all about it!
Essential Oils to Decrease Mucus Production
This study even found that the component, 1,8-cineole, (which is in high quantities in essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Helichrysum, and Ravintsara) decreased mucus production in human subjects. In the study, human cells were treated directly with 1,8-cineole. But this is very promising research for using essential oils high in this compound to help with overproduction of mucus in allergies. How amazing is that? The details of the study from 2015 can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4514714/.
Which Ones Do I Use?
We’ve just discussed how we can use essential oils to wage a 3 way assault on allergy symptoms, 1) kill bacteria, 2) lessen inflammation, and 3) decrease mucus production. Now you’re probably wondering which essential oils I use for allergies right? Essential oils I have used for allergies include: Lemon, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Ravensara, Peppermint, Lavender, Cedarwood, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Tea Tree, Cypress, Sandalwood and Orange. These can be used in various topical and inhalation recipes. If I’m getting serious about knocking out congestion and cough, I try to use as many ways as possible to get my symptoms under control. This will probably take some experimenting for you to get to know which essential oils work best for you. For some recipes to get you started, check out our Recipes for Inhalation Use and Recipes for Topical Use in the Subscriber Library.