Top 7 Essential Oils for Allergies
You might be one of the millions who is suffering from allergy, especially during that time of the year. According to the statistics, the prevalence of allergic disorders continues to increase in the industrialized countries.
Allergy is the sixth most common cause of chronic diseases in United States, affecting more than 50 million people.
What Causes The Allergy?
Allergy happens as a body response to certain environmental elements called "Allergen".
Those allergens include pollen's, dust, insect bites, mold, food allergy, medication, and latex.
They stimulate the release of an inflammatory product called "Histamine", which subsequently increase the white blood cell count to fight those pathogens.
The histamine release is responsible for the allergy symptoms. Those allergens might affect the nose and cause allergic rhinitis (Hay fever), irritate the skin and cause allergic dermatitis, or affect the respiratory system and cause bronchial asthma, especially the seasonal one.
Those environmental factors along with the host genetic susceptibility contribute to causing the allergy.
How Does The Allergy Happens?
The body has a defense mechanism to combat the pathogens called "Immune System".
Once the body faces an allergen, the immune system starts to react by producing antibodies called "Immunoglobulin E" from cells called mast cells.
Those immunoglobulins stimulate the release of histamine, which leads to vasodilation, recruitment of white blood cells, and other cells to protect the body against the inflammation and allergen.
This reaction called type I hypersensitivity reaction and is responsible for all the allergy symptoms.
Here are some common health problems & symptoms that are usually associated with allergy:
Sneezing and nose congestion
Itchy and watery eye
Inability to smell
Pain in the affected area
Shortness of breath
Tightening of the chest
Medical Treatment of The Allergies
Over the counter drugs are the most commonly used medication to treat allergy.
As per those standard drugs for acute and chronic allergies, they provide short-term relief from allergy symptoms.
Those medications usually target the release of histamine or stabilize the degranulation of mast cells to suppress the release of IgE.
Those medications include anti-histamine drugs, decongestant drugs, and corticosteroids.
Anti-histamine Drugs (eg; Diphenhydramine)
They work by suppressing the release of histamine and preventing the attachment of histamine to human cells and causing the allergy symptoms.
Decongestant Drugs(eg; Pseudoephedrine)
They cause vasoconstriction for blood vessels in the nose. This help to alleviate the redness, the nasal watery discharge, congestion, and in turn, provides a symptomatic relief for allergy, especially allergic rhinitis.
Corticosteroids are usually used for allergic dermatitis and asthma by suppressing the immune system and decreasing the allergic symptoms.
Despite the short-term symptomatic relief of those chemical drugs, They come with list of side effects and must be only after the physician instructions.
For instance, anti-histamines cause dry mouth, dry eye, impaired thinking, sleeping side effects, dizziness, and blurred vision.
Decongestant drugs cause headache, dry mouth, irritability, and allergy rebound.
Corticosteroids cause many serious side effects such as diabetes, hypertension, muscle weakness, glaucoma, especially if used without following the instructions of the doctor.
Natural Treatment of The Allergy
Thankfully, There are all natural essential oils with little to no potential side effects to treat the allergy symptoms and to enhance the immune system to combat the hypersensitivity, fight inflammation, and speed up the recovery time.
The essential oils provide anti-inflammatory effect along with an anti-bacterial, antiseptic, expectorant, and calming effects that will make them a potential alternative to chemical drugs to treat different types of allergy.
According to medical research, inhalation of essential oils treat allergic rhinitis and other common symptoms of allergy.
Best Essential Oils for Allergy
- Lavender Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Roman Chamomile Oil
- Lemon Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Frankincense Oil
Those are the seven most recommended essential oils to combat the symptoms of different allergies.
Lavender Oil for Allergy
The lavender oil provides natural anti-histamine, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties for those who suffer from allergy.
It has shown that Lavender oil can soothe the inflamed skin in case of insect bite and help speed up the healing process. It is also considered as an excellent choice for those with a headache and migraine.
Studies showed that the aroma scent of lavender oil can provide a relief for the sufferers from a headache and migraines. Because of its beautiful aroma, it is very popular in perfume manufactures.It also helps you fall asleep, especially for asthmatics.
A study, published in the Journal of Life Sciences, showed that lavender essential oil suppress the production of histamines, reduce the bronchial airways inflammation and the scientists consider it as a potentially promising alternative for the treatment of bronchial asthma.
It also helps to reduce the mucus secretions, soothe the inflammation, and subsequently treat those with allergic rhinitis and alleviate the nasal congestion.
This is the best option for treating nasal congestion and headache.
This oil is very famous to treat respiratory problems due to its anti-inflammatory features.
Its calm, fresh, and soothing scent of peppermint can bring fresh air to clear the nose, lungs, and sinuses simultaneously.
It is a very powerful expectorant—It helps to clear the mucus secretions in the bronchi. It also contains a medicinal component- Methanol, which helps to get past even the stuffed sinuses because of the minty refreshing feelings in the nasal passages.
It is the best for those with allergy, sinusitis, bronchial asthma, and cough. According to the published data, this oil may also help to boost the mood in the allergy sufferer by reducing anxiety and treating the mental fatigue.
A 2010 study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, noted that the peppermint oil has anti-spasmodic effects and inhibit the tracheal contractions that cause scratchy coughing.
Other studies show that peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory features—which makes it great for chronic conditions such as bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis by reducing the inflammation in the airways.
This oil is the best choice for those with bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis.This oil is the best choice for those with bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis.
Eucalyptus oil is also called "Cool Oil" due to the cold sensations it gives in the nose which enhances the blood flow.
It contains Cineole—which acts as a great expectorant, helping to clear phlegm and open up the lungs and a powerful decongestant to reduce the allergic symptoms, clear the clogged or runny nose, and improve the nasal circulation.
It also has anti-inflammatory features that are very effective to reduce mucus secretion, inflammation, and soothe the irritated air passages. It also works as a vasodilator, helping increase the blood flow, oxygenated blood, and reduce the foreign allergens from the inflamed nose.
In 2011, medical research suggested that eucalyptus essential oil is very good to treat respiratory infections. Patients who were treated with eucalyptus spray had better outcomes to improve sore throat, cough, and alleviate hoarseness of the voice.
In Sum, Eucalyptus is very powerful to treat nasal congestion. It has decongestant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and deodorant properties which makes it a great option for asthma and allergic rhinitis
Roman Chamomile Oil
Another powerful essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps relieve the skin itching, dermatitis, eczema, and allergic rhinitis.
Roman Chamomile oil contains polyphenolic compounds - that boost the immune system and reduce the number of recurrent attacks for allergy.
Roman chamomile is known for its diverse health benefits. It is also a natural expectorant and anti-bacterial agent.
If you are suffering from sneezing, itchy skin, or blocked sinuses, this one should be top on your list. It will also make your house smell fresh and free of allergens.
Lemon oil is the one of most popular and versatile to treat allergies worldwide.
It is known for its cough suppressant, decongestant, soothing, and sedative effect in the body. It acts as a natural anti-oxidant that helps cleanse the toxins and allergens from the body.
It also can serve as a natural antiseptic spray in the home to disinfect your house from any air-borne allergens in the air or the surfaces.
Medical studies showed that lemon is proven to treat the respiratory infections by inhibiting the bacterial growth, enhancing the immune system, improving the lymphatic drainage to wash out the toxins.
Moreover, Lemon-based nasal spray helps to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis by suppressing the bacterial growth and tissue inflammation, which is attributed to the terpene ketones in the oil.
In addition to its rule in the allergy, It had been working as anti-depressant because it was proven that lemon oil increases the dopamine levels which reduce the stress, help you relax which in turn will boost your mood to combat the allergies.
So, Be sure to have a lemon-based spray if you want to remove the bacteria and pollutants from anywhere in your house.
Tea Tree Oil
Similar to Eucalyptus Oil, Tea Tree Essential oil is a potent anti-microbial oil that guards against a wide range of pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi).
It helps reduce the inflammation and boost your immune system. When applied topically, it might reduce the swelling from histamine-induced inflammation.
When diffused in the air, it acts as a powerful antiseptic and disinfectant to remove allergens from your house.
Multiple research studies in Germany and Switzerland confirmed that tea tree oil is effective anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory agent that will soother your allergy
Frankincense oil is a potent expectorant, decongestant, anti-inflammatory and can help to unblock stuffed sinuses and clear bronchial secretions.
Because of its powerful aroma, It serves to relieve the pain, calm your brain, boost your immunity, and clear your nasal passages.
Clinical studies reported that anti-inflammatory effects of frankincense oil help to treat bronchitis and open the airways. Best used for people with asthma, runny nose, sneezing.
Furthermore, Frankincense contains a beneficial compound-- alpha-pinene which decreases the allergic symptoms, especially in allergic rhinitis.
How to use Essential Oils for Allergies?
Essential oils can be used in a many ways to treat allergies. Some of the frequently used methods include:
Mix few drops of essential oils to a carrier oil (Sweet almond, coconut oil, jojoba oil) with a ratio "2:1" and apply that blend to the inflamed area to soothe the itching, rashes, and reduce allergy.
Be careful when applying the lemon oil to skin because it makes the skin more sensitive to the sun and increases the risk of blistering, burning, and skin discoloration.
Add 4-5 drops of your favorite essential oil on your pillow to help you to alleviate allergy during the night time.
You can also inhale the essential oils directly from the bottle. For people with seasonal allergies, They can add few drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale.
This method works the best for people with seasonal allergy and to clear the nose, lung, and all the airway for better breathing.
Add 3-5 drops of one essential oil or mix of many of them to a diffuser or oil burner.
Best essential oils to be used in a diffuser are Lavender oil, peppermint oil, and lemon oil for their refreshing aroma in the house.
This will work as a disinfectant in your house to clear the pathogens from the air.
All these method works the best to treat continuous sneezing to seasonal allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions
Some oils, such as tea tree, eucalyptus, and oil, works as a disinfectant and antisepctic agent when applied to the surfaces in the house to kill molds, fungi, and dust mites.
Simply, add 20 drops of essential oil and one tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of water. Then, use that as a spray on the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere in your house to kill dust mites and protect against air-borne respiratory diseases.
Add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to a warm bath and enjoy the relaxing features of the essential oils to calm your brain and get rejuvenated. This will help greatly to reduce the stress and cure the allergy symptoms.
Allergy Blend and massage
Combine 2-3 drops of essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and gently massage that mixture when applied to the temples, bottom of feet, and behind the ear.
Potential Side Effects
Please bear in mind those instructions before using the essential oils.
- Always choose the pure and high-quality oils from a certified source.
- Best to dilute them with a carrier oil, especially when applying on sensitive areas of skin.
- Do not take them internally, especially tea tree oil. Tea tree oil was also reported to cause allergic dermatitis in some cases due to its potency.
- Always do a skin test before using them on larger areas of the skin.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should only use them after consulting their physician.
Allergies are part of daily life for millions of people worldwide. Essential oils provide a great natural alternative to treat allergic symptoms and improve the quality of life with no to little side effects.
Although the side effects of essential oils are rare, It is very advisable to use safe practice and follow the instructions when applying them. Best to ask for medical advice before using them as well.