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Allergies and aromatherapy

Posted on 24 April 2018

 

This week is an allergy awareness week so I thought it would be appropriate to talk about allergies and essential oils. I have always suffered from allergies myself ever sine I was a little girl so have a lot of personal experience. My father is allergic to many animals and tree pollens and I inherited this from him. My worst allergies are to horses and cats, but I also suffer from pollen and nut allergies as well as from mild dog allergy. I have come to realise that things are not always so clear and why we sometimes react to things and sometimes don’t is somewhat of a mystery to me. For example  I have never had a reaction to any essential oils or vegetable oils even though I do have a nut and tree pollen allergy. I can use nut oils on my skin even though I would not be able to eat them. Knowing your body and understanding your condition is important to be avoidance of allergens. 

 

Aromatherapy and allergies

 

What is allergy?

Allergy is your body’s immune reaction to a substance you are exposed to. Either internally or externally. Most common allergies are hay fever, allergy to tree or other plant pollens and animal allergies. Nowadays food intolerances and allergies are on the increase and it is said out lifestyles are to blame. It s important to note that intolerance  or sensitivity to something is not classified as an allergy. Most people are still able to consume some of the ingredient without life threatening reactions. Allergy is purely an immune system response to a substance. Allergies can cause a serious reactions and even result to death if not treated on time. 

What are common allergy symptoms?

Most common allergy symptoms are sneezing, blocked or runny nose and itchiness of the eyes, throat or skin. You may also suffer from rashes or hives on the skin and in the severe cases you may even suffer an anaphylactic shock, even though this is relatively rare.  

 

Essential oils and allergies

Treatments for allergies

There are many medications available and antihistamine is probably most commonly used and well known. It is always helpful to try to track down the causes of the allergies so you can reduce them or eliminate the substances completely. There are also some plant that are related to each other that may cause problems at some stage in your life as allergies can come and go. Some foods may also make the symptoms worse. There are some conflicting information out there as the official recommendations usually support the use of antiallergic and antibacterial products . There are however studies suggesting they are not good for the development of our natural immune system and we should expose ourselves to every day bacterias.  

Aromatherapy and allergies  

Aromatherapy can be helpful during allergies especially during pollen season to ease the stuffiness. Using fresh scents like lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, ravensara or tea tree in your treatment products may help with breathing and blocked nose. You can simply use few drops  on a cotton ball or tissue and breath in from that. You can also make some simple chest rubs you can apply for continues relief. Avoid using large quantities as you may be more sensitive during this time. Little goes a long way and gentle approach is always the best. Note that you can get an allergic reaction from the essential oils as well especially if you have an allergy to a specific plant or if you are exposed to other allergens at the same time. You can first do a patch test with just one drop and some base oil if in doubt. Make sure you use pure essential oils and not adulterated with synthetic materials to avoid any problems. You can also use essential oils in your room diffuser to reales the scent in the air. There has been some studies done with regards to the effects of use of essential oils inhalation which show significant improvement on test subjects so they are definitely worth a try.

Check out study: 

Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Oil on Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis

Read more about the safe use of essential oils here

 

As with everything the symptoms and treatments can vary from person to person. What works for some may not help others. Get to know your body and how it reacts to different things and you will find the best solutions to help yourself. You may find benefit from visiting a nutritional therapist  or herbalist who can assess your lifestyle and diet to pin point possible irritants. Some foods may make your symptoms to flair up and are best avoided during pollen season. If you are a smoker tis may as well increase your symptoms. 

 

Hope you enjoyed my post. Do you suffer from allergies? What are your top essential oils to use? Please leave your comments below


 

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