Spring is right around the corner, and for many people, the beginning of warmer weather can only mean one thing: allergies.
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year. It’s the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. It can cause sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and congestion.
In mild cases, allergies can be nothing more than an annoyance. For some, symptoms are so severe that it’s hard to enjoy life.
While there are many ways to treat seasonal allergies, many people are looking for natural alternatives to OTC medications to ease their symptoms. Essential oils are a great option that can help alleviate these symptoms.
6 Essential Oils for Allergies
Many essential oils contain compounds that can help soothe allergy symptoms. One of the major contributors to allergy symptoms is inflammation. Certain essential oils can help reduce inflammation and even open up airways to make it easier to breathe.
Lavender is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects, and that’s exactly why this can help with seasonal allergies. In fact, one study found that lavender essential oil helped prevent allergic inflammation and mucous cell enlargement.
Try adding a few drops of lavender oil to a diffuser to help soothe inflammation in your airways.
If you’re dealing with itching, hives or rashes from allergies, you can dilute the oil with a carrier oil (such as jojoba or sweet almond oil), and apply it to the affected area. Some people prefer to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to their pillow for nighttime allergy relief.
Lavender can also help you enjoy a better night’s rest and ease anxiety, both of which can help you get over your allergies more quickly.
Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect that can help open up your airways and make it easier to breathe.
One 2010 animal study found that peppermint essential oil can help reduce contractions that lead to coughing.
Peppermint pairs well with lavender for soothing inflammation and helping you breathe easier. You can use peppermint oil alone or as part of a blend in a diffuser or applied topically with a carrier oil.
For congestion and sinus issues, steam inhalation can help. Heat up a pot of water until it starts steaming. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to the water, and inhale the steam. Be careful when inhaling the steam and keep your distance to avoid burning your face.
Eucalyptus is one of the most popular essential oils for colds and congestion. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory and cooling effects, which can help with discomfort from seasonal allergies.
One study found that a blend of essential oils including eucalyptus may help improve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, including coughing, sore throat and hoarseness. These symptoms are also common with seasonal allergies.
Eucalyptus can be used in many ways to help with allergies.
- Diffuse the oil into the air.
- Place a few drops onto a tissue and very gently inhale.
- Try steam inhalation.
Although eucalyptus is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it can actually trigger allergies in some people.
Most people find that diffusing eucalyptus is the best way to find relief, but you can also use it for steam inhalation. Topical application can be helpful if diluted. Try applying a small amount under your nose or to your chest to help open up your airways.
Like eucalyptus and peppermint, frankincense oil also has anti-inflammatory effects that can help with seasonal allergies. This ancient oil also has an earthy scent that many people find pleasant and soothing.
One study found that frankincense helped reduce inflammation caused by sinus infections and bronchitis.
The oil also contains alpha-pinene, which is a compound that can help open up airways.
To use frankincense for allergies, you can inhale the oil by diffusing into the air, adding a few drops to a tissue or pillow, or using steam inhalation. You can also apply diluted frankincense to your temples, neck or just under your nose to help with congestion.
Chamomile acts as a relaxant and an anti-inflammatory, which can help make it easier to breathe when you’re feeling congested or stuffed up from allergies. If your allergies are causing skin issues, diluted chamomile oil may bring you some relief by combating and soothing inflammation.
Inhalation is one of the most effective ways to use this essential oil for seasonal allergies, but you can also apply it topically (as long as it’s diluted) to help with skin allergies.
One 2010 study found that German chamomile helped alleviate atopic dermatitis in mice. Researchers found that the markers associated with allergies were lower in mice that received the oil.
Like lavender, chamomile can also help you relax and sleep more deeply, which may help you recover from your allergies more quickly.
Like frankincense, rosemary contains alpha-pinene. Research shows that this compound has antihistamine and antispasmodic properties, which can help open up airways.
One 2018 study found that rosemary reduced asthma symptoms in participants that didn’t see improvement from conventional treatments. Another study found that rosemary extract relaxed the trachea’s smooth muscles, which can help make it easier to breathe.
Rosemary has an earthy scent that blends well with other essential oils. Using it as part of a blend may help boost its effectiveness. Use it in a diffuser, inhale it or apply it topically after diluting it with a carrier oil.
These six essential oils may help ease your seasonal allergy symptoms by easing inflammation and opening up your airways. Diffusing the oil into the air, inhalation and topical application can help. Just remember to dilute essential oils before applying them to your skin to prevent irritation and other side effects.
Did you know? Our My Relief roll-on includes lavender, chamomile and peppermint essential oils. Along with fighting migraines, our roll-on may also help in the fight against seasonal allergies. Simply roll onto your neck, temples or chest throughout the day to help keep allergies at bay.