AROMATHERAPY FOR ALLERGIES
By Cindy Sheppard
All articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.
Spring has sprung and so have seasonal allergies. From the pollen of spring flowers and trees blooming to summer grass, many people are suffering. Seasonal allergies and other allergens affect 40 million Americans and cost more than $1 billion in annual treatment costs. Reactions can greatly disrupt our daily life and include sneezing, itchy watery eyes, itchy throat, headache, runny nose, inflamed nasal passages and sinuses, fatigue, infection of the sinus cavities and even a toothache. Normal drainage is blocked and breathing is impaired. What can one do naturally to nip this suffering in the bud?
One can take anti-histamines for temporary relief but drowsiness is an unpleasant side effect. Decongestants may help but may also cause electrolyte imbalances and a sore throat. Allergy shots from an allergy doctor will desensitize to specific allergens but it is costly and takes months or years to see results. A more holistic approach the sufferer would stay indoors, declare outside off limits especially during high pollen count but that is the best time to enjoy the great outdoors, to plant flowers. Also, one can limit exposure to the allergen and remove dust, dander and mucous producing foods such as milk, cheese, wheat, gluten during an acute attack. Ingesting local HONEY helps to build the body’s immunity to local pollen producing plants, reducing histamine attacks. Take honey by the spoonful every day or mix in a drink recipe of: 1 Tbsp Honey, 1 Tbsp Lemon, 1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar, 8 oz Water.
What about AROMATHERAPHY as a natural alternative? Aromatherapy can help to clear sinusitis by reducing nasal inflammation, clearing sinuses, reducing congestion and alleviating pain. Look for essential oils with expectorant, anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic and immune stimulating properties.
The best essential oils for allergies and sinusitis include: Basil, benzoin, cedarwood, eucalyptus, ginger, helichrysum, lavender, marjoram, niauli, organo, peppermint, pine, rosemary, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme.
Here are some ways and recipes to benefit from Essential Oil Aromatherapy.
1) Sinus Inhaler (like a Vicks Inhaler but one for essential oil use): 4 great reasons to use an Inhaler. 1) Easy. 2) Inexpensive 3) Effortless – can carry it in your pocket. 4) Exceptional results.
Recipe: total 15 drops of any 3-6 essential oils listed above. The ones my husband most likes and helps with his sinus headaches, drainage and inflammation include: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Tea Tree Oils
2) Sinus Salve: Massage along side of nose, over eyes, behind ears and back of neck. But do not get near your eyes for it will burn. If it does get into your eyes, flush with olive oil then water.
Recipe: At a 3% dilution, mix 15-18 drops of essential oils into 1 ounce of carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, almond oil). Essential oils I use: Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus.
3) Sinus Steam Inhalation: In a 2 qt glass bowl or pot of 1 quart warm or boiling water, add 1 drop each of eucalyptus, ginger, tea tree, thyme essential oils. Hold head over the bowl and drape a towel over both your head and bowl to capture the steam. Breathe in the vapors for 5-10 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
4) Sinus Foot Bath: Add the oils to a shallow tub or foot bath filled with warm water. Soak feet for 15-30 minutes. 1 drop each of ginger, pine and rosemary essential oils.
My whole life I have suffered from acute and chronic seasonal allergies with acute sinusitis year round. At one time pre-essential oil use, I was taking 5 different OTC medicines to the maximum dose yet my sinusitis was getting worse still. On the verge of making an appointment to get allergy shots again, I discovered what essential oils can do. From infected sinuses to normal, my- what a change in my life was made with a few specific plant based essential oils. Look to Aromatherapy for your Allergy Relief.
Accredited Sources: The Aromatherapy Book by Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy by Roberta Wilson http://www.pdrhealth.com/diseases/seasonal-allergies http://allergies.about.com/od/allergies101/a/seasonalallergy.htm
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Articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.
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