Spring has sprung — and I can’t breathe! The sprouting grass, flowering yards, and blooming trees tickle you pink! Then paint your eyes red. It’s hard to feel refreshed and renewed when you’re struggling for air through your clogged nose or, if your allergies are more severe, battling itchy rashes all over your body.
There are so many products on the market for allergy treatment, for example an entire wall in your local grocery store or pharmacy. As anyone who has taken these medications knows that they can provide relief but the chemicals can come with some uncomfortable side effects of their own: drowsiness, headaches, dry mouth, and constipation. Feeling refreshed yet?
A safe, natural way to relieve your watery eyes and tight chest is through essential oils. Essential oils fight inflammation — thought to be the source of your body’s overreaction to allergens — while boosting your immune system and balancing your body’s pH.
The next time you're sniffling and looking for some relief, try reaching for these five oils before reaching for your go-to antihistamine:
Even if you use essential oils occasionally, odds are this one is in your medicine cabinet. Its relaxing scent invokes a spa-like atmosphere and the citronellal in the oil has an analgesic effect, making it the oil we reach for when we’ve got a cold and need to detox. Whether you drop it in the tub or throw a dash in your humidifier, it's bound to have you breathing easier. Citronellal is also anti-inflammatory, so in addition to increasing circulation and opening up your lungs, it has been known to greatly reduce allergy symptoms.
Another go-to when we’re sick and firing up the humidifier, tea tree oil actually has the power to destroy airborne pathogens. The oil is well-known for its ability to kill mold. If you live in a humid climate where mold and mold allergies are a near constant problem in the spring, you can diffuse tea tree essential oil to kill the airborne spores. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties are best utilized by applying a few drops topically to any allergy-induced rash you may get during the season. Fun fact: it also reduces swelling if you get a zit!
Much like eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil packs the double-punch of analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It's been used to treat relieve the symptoms of more serious respiratory illnesses like sinusitis, asthma, and even bronchitis!
Lemons are known for their ability to balance our body’s pH, making it anti-inflammatory. The oil supports the lymphatic system drainage which helps people overcome respiratory illnesses. Studies have shown that lemon oil inhibits the growth of bacteria and boosts the immune system for a double punch. So keep squeezing it into your tea and, for an added bonus, diffuse it at home. Diffusing the oil can kill bacteria and eliminate airborne allergy triggers helping stop your allergy symptoms before they start.
Basil oil is a powerhouse. Like the last four oils, it also reduces the inflammatory response of allergens. But it does so much more. Basil essential oil helps to detoxify the body of bacteria and viruses, while fighting inflammation, pain, and fatigue. For an extra boost this allergy season, add 1 drop to soup, salad dressing, or any other dish.
Be sure to have a few of these on hand before your allergies hit this season, and try a change from the over-drying effects of harsh antihistamines. You’ll be feeling renewed and refreshed before summer.