Not everyone is looking forward to summer. The number of people around the world who suffer from various allergic diseases and disorders has been growing over the years, and their severity is now higher than ever. More than 50 million Americans have experienced various types of allergies each year and allergies accounts for the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.
Scientists believe that one possible cause of unpleasant seasonal allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itching, and chest tightness, is our modern lifestyle. While we can’t all move closer to nature, we can all embrace nature’s healing powers in the form of essential oils.
How Do Essential Oils Fight Allergies?
You may not realize it, but your body is constantly protected by an invisible shield. This shield is your immune system, and its purpose is simple: protect against disease by detecting and destroying a wide variety of harmful agents, such as viruses and bacteria.
Sometimes, however, even normally benign substances trigger an immune system reaction, setting off an avalanche of unpleasant symptoms like sneezing, couching, and uncomfortable rashes.
Essential oils have the ability to help quell inflammation and thus put the immune system back into balance. (Please note that these oils are not meant to replace prescribed allergy medications, and anyone experiencing serious symptoms should contact their doctors right away.) That said, not all essential oils are equally effective. We’ve selected top five best essential oils for allergy relief to help you fully enjoy the summer.
Peppermint oil not only smells wonderful but it’s been shown to have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle—like your respiratory tract—helping to reduce the contractions that cause coughing. Apply peppermint oil topically or diffuse it in cool water and apply to a compress for instant relief.
Lavender is sometimes described as nature’s antihistamine. Lavender can be used topically to calm various skin irritations, including those caused by insect bites or hives. Some people also like to inhale diluted lavender oil before bedtime to fall asleep more quickly and get more rest.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil can reduce inflammation and soothe skin allergies. Be careful, though: The potency of the oil means it should usually be diluted before use. It's also recommended that tea tree and lavender oils not be used together, as this combination can lead to unwanted hormonal changes.
Eucalyptus oil is versatile and perfect for clearing mucus. Its antimicrobial properties are well known, and its smell is enchanting. To inhibit the growth of microorganisms and make your clothes smell wonderful, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your dryer.
Frankincense oil is an underrated essential oil that can relieve pain, inflammation, stress, and even chronic anxiety. It also promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes and increases urine production, making it indispensable for detox diets.
Essential oils are a powerful weapon for fighting allergies, one that comes from nature and is backed by rigorous scientific studies. To further strengthen your defenses against allergens, we also recommend you use a dehumidifier and air purifier at home to keep the air clean from pollen, dust, mold spores, and other harmful particles.