You may experience seasonal allergies in late winter or spring or even in late summer and fall. Allergies may occur occasionally as a plant you are allergic to blooms, or you may experience around-the-clock allergies during specific seasonal months. Essential oils may be used as an alternative or complementary treatment for allergy symptoms.
Essential oils are derived from plants and can be used in a variety of ways. Popular ways to use them include:
- diffusing them into the air
- using them in bath and spa products
- applying them to the skin when diluted
- spraying them into the air
- breathing them in directly from the container
Breathing in the oils’ scents is known as aromatherapy. This practice stimulates your body through your sense of smell. What you smell can affect other parts of your body.
Just like with aromatherapy, applying the oils to your body results in them entering your blood stream. You should always dilute the essential oils before using them on your skin. A carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or olive oil can work well for this purpose. You usually mix about 5 drops of the essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil.
If you’d like to incorporate essential oils into your life to relieve allergy symptoms, here are a few you might want to try.
Lavender is a popular essential oil because of its many benefits. It may help soothe your symptoms during allergy season thanks to its ability to calm and reduce inflammation. One study concluded that the essential oil prevents allergic inflammation as well as the enlargement of mucous cells.
Try using lavender in a diffuser for aromatherapy, or dilute it in a carrier oil and soak in a bath with a bit added.
Blend of oils
One study used a blend of sandalwood, frankincense, and ravensara oils to treat perennial allergic rhinitis. Study participants reported improvement with their blocked nasal passages, runny and itchy noses, and sneezing. This suggests that this blend of essential oils can help with perceived symptoms, quality of life related to allergies, and better sleep.
To use these blended oils, mix with an almond carrier oil to dilute their strength and diffuse into the air.
Eucalyptus oil is known as an anti-inflammatory and may help you with your congestion. The cooling sensation you experience while breathing it in may also help you feel relief as you combat seasonal allergies.
Try diffusing it into the air or breathing it in from the bottle to provide you with comfort.
Tea tree oil
There is still significant research to be done on the connection between essential oils and allergy relief, but tea tree oil may help with allergy symptoms. This is because the oil is recognized as an anti-inflammatory.
Only use tea tree oil topically. It should not be ingested.
Peppermint essential oil is known to reduce inflammation. You will be able to breathe easier by diffusing the oil or even applying it on your skin after it is diluted with a carrier oil. Combining peppermint with lavender and lemon oils creates an effective and soothing allergy relief combination as well.
Citrus-scented essential oils are often used in aromatherapy to boost alertness and energy. Lemon essential oil can also help clear your sinuses and reduce congestion, common symptoms of seasonal allergies. Be careful exposing your skin to sun or tanning beds if using lemon or any citrus-scented oils. Try diffusing the oil to lift your mood or applying it to your skin to help with allergy symptoms.
Risks and complications
Trying essential oils is not without risk. The purity, quality, and packaging of essential oils are not overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, it’s important to use essential oils as directed and make sure you are using quality products.
Here are some other tips when using essential oils:
- You may experience allergic reactions to oils, so make sure you use them for the first time cautiously. Test the essential oil mixed in carrier oil on unbroken skin such as your forearm. If you don’t have a reaction in 24 hours, it should be safe to use. Test each new essential oil, especially if you have a lot of allergies.
- Never apply the concentrated oil directly to your skin without diluting it in a carrier oil.
- Do not ingest essential oils.
- Use caution when using oils around pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, and especially young children.