Spring Allergy Alert!
Spring Allergy Alert!
by Penny Keay
Yep, Spring has arrived in most of the USA and soon I will be getting my “Daily Allergy alert” for our area for pollen counts.
When I start getting these alerts I know it is time to get serious about using the essential oils that help me to stay ahead of those allergy symptoms.
Scratching throat, itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, post nasal drip and runny water eyes and nose, etc are the most common symptoms. But simply inhaling a few essential oils and synergy blends daily will help me stay ahead of the ‘game’ and avoid a majority of these.
The correct term for allergies caused by pollen is Seasonal Rhinitis. Indicating that it occurs ‘seasonally’ and second involves namely the nasal passages and upper respiratory tract. There are many different allergens that cause any number or allergies or allergic reactions. Some are year round and yet others are chronic.
Although the list of essential oils to help with Seasonal Allergies may help with chronic year round allergies you are certainly dealing with different conditions and suggestions for either may be similar and will need to be individualized.
What is a great first line of defense? Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile help many folks. So starting when the first signs of spring you may want to start using a Personal inhaler with several drops of either (or both) of these and inhale 4 times a day. Just inhale 2 or three whiffs near each nostril each time your use your Personal inhaler. The suggested times are first thing in the morning, then mid morning or around noon, then mid afternoon and of course at bedtime.
When I was growing up, I always thought I was getting a ‘spring’ or ‘fall’ cold but now realize it was that I had allergies and no one ever realized it. Spring time is not as bad for me as the fall season.
This is the so called ‘Seasonal’ allergies or in the fall commonly called ‘Hay fever’ even though hay may not be the causing factor. For me ‘hay’ and any fall pollen can give me the worse allergy problems.
There are other forms of allergies too. Food and contact allergies will act differently and the body will have a different response. Some folks develop hives or swelling of the areas affected.
Some reactions can be life threatening as in the case of allergic reactions to seafood – where the throat swells immediately or like my mother who was allergic to bee stings (contact with the bee’s venom) the area stung would swell and in the worse case she could have difficulty breathing.
Both these types of allergic reactions are very serious and most of the time will require medical intervention in an emergency room.
Yet others will develop eczema (see some of our past newsletters for more information about this) or psoriasis as a more chronic allergic form. Still others may develop mild forms of hives or other skin rashes. For these types of allergic reactions you can use a Personal inhaler but making a blend with a carrier oil such as Rosehip seed oil and add German Chamomile or Allergy Tamer blend in a 1/2% dilution (1/2% = 3 drops of essential oils to 1 tablespon of carrier) would benefit the skin as it not only will calm down the allergic reaction but help to heal the skin more quickly. Apply to the skin every 3-4 hours as needed to help speed the healing process.
The good news is that allergic reactions means your body is paying attention to foreign substances that it thinks are attacking it. Your immune system goes into hyper-mode and over reacts. Unfortunately, it is not good news either as it actually is bringing your bodies defenses down. If and when a ‘real’ invader attacks your bodies reserves may be too depleted to put up a real fight!
So, we need to get things under control so the body gets on the right track. Essential oils are wonderful in their ability to help the body balance itself at the cellular level. So not only can the essential oils give you a wonderful enjoyment of smelling all those beautiful scents but they get your chemical makeup back into alignment. Then your bodies immune system can fight where and when it needs to fight.
The best way of course is try to avoid the allergens. If it could only be that easy. The other is to help build up your immune system so when the pollen is flying your immune system is ready.
Start using essential oils to lessen the reaction. Others find that a blend of Roman Chamomile, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Lavender help give relief once you have a reaction. Simply add a couple drops of Roman Chamomile, Lemon and Lavender to your bath, and relax. (You can diffuse in the air too.)
If you prefer to use a rub such as a massage blend, just mix some of the above essential oils with a tablespoon of a carrier oil and apply to your neck and chest.
You'll need to experiment with different essential oils to find which one(s) will work better for you. Try each one or blend for about 1 week before changing to another. Keep a journal and record what works. You'll want to remember for next year!
Here is a list of a few essential oils known to help with inhalant or airborne allergens in varying degrees.
Some of the best known ones are the Chamomiles – Roman and German both have antihistaminic properties and are typically the first choice. Other essential oils include Helichrysum, Lavender, Blue Tansy, Tarragon, Yarrow, Geranium, Patchouli, Clove bud, and Niaouli.
Then there are others that may work just for you but no one else. These essential oils may give you some relief too and include: Bergamot, Juniper berry , Lemon, Lavandin, Orange, Palmarosa, Rosemary, Sage, Spikenard, Hyssop, Rose, Ravensara and Peppermint .
This list may help with the symptoms caused or related to the allergic reactions instead of actually stopping the reaction.
Try a few oils in a Personal inhaler and inhale several times a day.
Simple Allergy blend:
Roman Chamomile – 4 drops (you may want to try German Chamomile or Helichrysum in place of the Roman Chamomile )
Lemon – 3 drops
Lavender -3 drops
Blend these in an glass bottle and then place a drop or two on a tissue or place several drops in an Personal inhaler.
If you have nasal congestion that is causing you grief add one drop of peppermint to the above recipe.
Once you are afflicted you can try treating with essential oils for symptomatic relief. Peppermint will help to open stuffy noses, as will Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus radiata is preferred over Eucalyptus globulus for upper respiratory concerns in children and the elderly. Rosemary can be used if either of the Eucalyptus are too strong.
Placing a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a cool bowl of water, wringing a cool cloth and placing it on your fore head or over the bridge of your nose, and relaxing is very comforting also.
One of the best things that may help this time of year is to start using some of the anti-histaminic essential oils prior to the season actually starting. If you know what you are allergic to watch the daily pollen counts that are offered in many newspapers and there are also several websites that can notify you what plants are bothersome in different areas of the country. That is how I am alerted so I know when to get started.
For me, I have found that in the spring before the conifer type trees start to pollinate I simply need to use just a little Lavender and if my sinuses start to hurt – sniff a little peppermint. This is the easiest for me. A special note: although peppermint will help to open up airways and sinuses you don't want to continual inhale peppermint. The nasal passages will often times open with an inhale or two, but continued inhalation are seen as an irritant and could cause congestion as the the body tries to avoid the irritating constituents.
April Showers are a welcoming site for me. Although if we don’t get enough spring rains then I may need to use a little Roman Chamomile – it works great for me since I'm allergic to the mold that breaks down dead decaying plant foliage.
Just a little inhale in the morning and night of Roman Chamomile for a few days and I’m not bothered.
For those of you that have more severe reactions you might want to try a blend of a few of those listed above or we also have a wonderful synergy blend - our Allergy Tamer blend that is made of 5 of the best known allergy relief essential oils.
Allergy symptoms can make you miserable and if not controlled you can end up with sinusitis and other problems.
To relieve your congestion make sure you drink plenty of fluids. When your body is reacting to an inhalant allergen your body will naturally increase the flow of fluids in your nasal passages. In turn your body will need more water. It is very important for you to increase the amount of fluids you consume. Water is best but soothing teas may help relieve the itch and scratch in your throat. Keeping the fluid thin and running helps your body rid itself of the allergen.
If your allergies have gotten the upper hand, then you may need to try some of the symptomatic relief essential oils.
Please use our Search Box for a quick find to search our Past newsletters, Recipe Index or Health and Beauty index to help find relief for common allergy symptoms such as congestion, headaches, sinusitis, and the list continues.
Start now and be prepared before the pollen starts to fly. Oh and beware – Hay fever season is later in the summer so you need to mark your calendars now to start your essential oil regime about 2 weeks before that season starts too! For me here in Northeastern Minnesota I start in Mid July for the Fall allergy season and continue until – well ‘snow’ once again is on the ground.
BLENDS TO TRY
Get me some Allergy Relief Blend
Lavender– 5 drops
Bergamot– 2 drops
Lemon – 1 drop
Juniper berry – 1 drop
Peppermint – 1 drop
Blend these together in a glass bottle . Then put these drops in a Personal inhaler. Use when you feel congested or need relief to breathe more easily.
Oh My, my Sinuses are giving me Grief Blend
Eucalyptus globulus – 10 drops
Helichrysum – 5 drops
Peppermint – 3 drops
Blend these essential oils together in a glass bottle. Then place several drops (3-5) in a bowl of hot water (not boiling). Hot water from the faucet usually is warm enough. You can cover your head with a towel if desired and ‘Steam’ yourself for about 10 minutes. Repeat every 4-8 hours as needed for sinus congestion. You can also use in a Personal inhaler
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You should not use this information to replace medical advice given by a licensed medical practitioner. Anyone considering alternative therapies should remember to consult with their licensed medical professional before using any alternative or complementary method. We do not give nor is any opinion on our web site medical advice, they are merely suggested uses.
© 2011, 2014 (updated) Penny Keay - All Rights Reserved World wide.