Spring has sprung and allergy season is upon many of us. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, affecting approximately 50 million people. While there is no cure for allergies, there are several ways that allergy symptoms can be managed from prescriptions to over-the-counter medication to natural remedies. Essential oils are among the most popular natural remedies for allergies. These concentrated aromatic liquids are distilled from plants and have been used therapeutically for centuries. Here are four essential oils that may be helpful in relieving allergy symptoms.
- Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus oil is known as an anti-inflammatory and may help you with your congestion. One study found that using a blend of oils, including eucalyptus, for infections of the upper respiratory tract led to a significant and immediate improvement in symptoms. Participants reported a reduction in hoarseness, cough, and sore throat. These symptoms can appear with seasonal allergies.
- Peppermint – Peppermint essential oil is known to reduce inflammation. You’ll be able to breathe easier by diffusing the oil or even applying it on your skin after it’s diluted with a carrier oil. One study on animals found that peppermint oil has a relaxing effect on smooth muscle, which helps to reduce the contractions that cause coughing. According to other research, the oil may also help treat anxiety and mental fatigue, symptoms that are often experienced by allergy sufferers.
- Lavender – Lavender is a popular essential oil because of its many benefits. It may help soothe your allergy symptoms because of its ability to calm and reduce inflammation. One study concluded that lavender 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.
- Frankincense – Frankincense is another oil that reduces inflammatory activity in the body. 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. Frankincense may help with the symptoms of seasonal allergies.