Allergic rhinitis, the medical term for hay fever and what’s behind the unpleasant seasonal allergy symptoms, develops when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to something in the environment.
When left untreated, allergies can cause blocked and runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches and an impaired sense of smell.
People who suffer from allergies are often told to avoid triggers, but that is nearly impossible when the seasons are changing and our immune systems are impaired by modern food and environmental toxins.
Thankfully, some powerful essential oils serve as a natural and safe way to treat the symptoms of allergies and boost our immune systems. These essential oils for allergies have the ability to chemically support the body.
How Do Essential Oils Fight Allergies?
An allergic reaction begins in the immune system. An allergen is a substance that tricks the immune system — making it think that the allergen is an invader. The immune system then overreacts to the allergen, which is really a harmless substance, and produces Immunoglobulin E antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals, causing the allergic reaction.
The most common causes of an allergic reaction include:
- Insect stings
- Animal dander
These allergens will trigger symptoms in the nose, throat, lungs, ears, sinuses and lining of the stomach or on the skin.
One of the theories behind explaining the increase in allergies has to do with inflammation, the root of most diseases. The body responds in a certain way to an allergen because the immune system is in overdrive. When the body is already dealing with high inflammation, any allergen sets off an increased reaction. That means that when the body’s immune system is overworked and stressed, introducing an allergen sends the body into overreaction.
If the immune system and inflammation within the body was balanced, the reaction to the allergen would be normal.
One of the most amazing benefits of essential oils are their ability to fight inflammation and boost the immune system. Essential oils for allergies will help to detoxify the body and fight infections, bacteria, parasites, microorganisms and harmful toxins. They reduce the bodies susceptibility to outside sources and reduce the overreaction of the immune system when it is faced with a harmless intruder.
Some exceptional essential oils even work to relieve respiratory conditions and increase sweat and urination — helping with the elimination of toxins.
Top 5 Essential Oils for Allergies
- Peppermint Oil
Inhaling diffused peppermint oil can oftentimes immediately unclog the sinuses and offer relief to scratchy throats. Peppermint acts as an expectorant and provides relief for allergies, as well as colds, coughs, sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis. It has the power to discharge phlegm and reduce inflammation — a leading cause of allergic reactions.
Peppermint oil is a relaxant and exhibits antispasmodic activity, inhibiting contractions that causes you to cough. It has anti-inflammatory effects — reducing the symptoms of chronic inflammatory disorders such as allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma.
- Basil Oil
Basil essential oil reduces the inflammatory response of allergens. It also supports the adrenal glands, which are involved in producing over 50 hormones that drive almost every bodily function. Essentially, basil essential oil is helping your body to react appropriately to a threat by rushing blood to your brain, heart and muscles.
Basil oil also helps to detoxify the body of bacteria and viruses, while fighting inflammation, pain and fatigue. Studies prove that basil oil shows antimicrobial activity and can kill bacteria, yeast and mold that can lead to asthma and respiratory damage.
- Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil opens up the lungs and sinuses, thereby improving circulation and reducing symptoms of allergies. Studies have shown that it produces a cold sensation in the nose that helps to improve airflow. Eucalyptus contains citronellal, which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects; it also works as an expectorant, helping to cleanse the body of toxins and harmful microorganisms that are acting as allergens.
Eucalyptus essential oil is an effective treatment for upper respiratory tract infections.
- Lemon Oil
Lemon oil supports lymphatic system drainage and helps with overcoming respiratory conditions. Studies have shown that lemon essential oil inhibits the growth of bacteria and boosts the immune system. When diffused at home, lemon oil can kill bacteria and eliminate allergy triggers in the air. Adding 1–2 drops of lemon essential oil to water also helps with pH balance. Lemon water improves immune function and detoxifies the body. It stimulates the liver and flushes out toxins that can lead to inflammation and an over-reactive immune system. Lemon water also stimulates white blood cell production, which is vital for immune system function because it helps to protect the body.
- Tea Tree Oil
This powerful oil can destroy airborne pathogens that cause allergies. Diffusing tea tree oil in the home will kill mold, bacteria and fungi. It is an antiseptic agent and it has anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil can be applied to the skin to kill bacteria and microorganisms.