Did you know that more than 40 million Americans suffer from allergies! My denial days are over, I am just one of many snotty itchy weepy sufferers. It is officially out there now, I am a seasonal allergy victim. See how I still say seasonal... apparently I still believe there is a way out of this, and so far my allergies actually have decreased by 80%!
I give you three golden words, say them with me: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint. These three essential oils are a powerful all-natural antihistamine which work to cool inflammation caused by allergies. Essential oils have the ability to fight inflammation and boost the immune system. They can help detoxify the body and fight infections, bacteria, parasites, micro-orgranisms and harmful toxins. They reduce the bodies susceptibility to outside sources and reduce the over reaction to the immune system which is faced with a harmless intruder.
Calming, cleansing and anti-inflammatory. It can reduce swelling in the airways, relieve headaches and calm the nervous system.
Cleansing, immunity enhancer and anti-inflammatory. Incredibly helpful for asthmatics, especially when pollen hits the airways and causes inflammation. Citrus is known for its uplifting scent which can help with the fatigue which follows an allergic reaction. Being an immunity booster this will help build your immune system to fight off allergens. (remember lemon increases photosensitivity so apply appropriately when going into direct sun)
Headache reliever, airway clearer. Helps boost energy. Inhaling can have immediate effects on scratchy throats and blocked sinuses. It is in expectorant which provides relief as it aids in ridding phlegm and reduces inflammation.
I will explain how to use these essential oils in a minute but first I wanted to break it down to you why allergies occur. I think it is vital we understand our bodies and why we are effected, this helps us find natural tools for correction. I was fascinated by what is behind the allergy, for example, why as this point in my life have I developed allergies. Is it living in the Los Angeles dust bowl? Was I always destined to get them because my sisters have them? Am I just getting old?? Ready for the mini science class...
What are allergies?
'An allergic reaction begins in the immune system. An allergen is a foreign substance that tricks the immune system into thinking that the allergen is an invader. The immune system then over reacts to the allergen, which is a pretty harmless substance. The body then produces Immunoglobulin E antibodies, which travel to the cells who release histamine and other chemicals, causing the allergic reaction. Most common causes of allergic reactions include: Pollen, dust, mold, insect stings, animal dander, food, medications, latex. These will trigger symptoms in the nose, throat, lungs, ears, sinuses and lining of the stomach or on the skin. ' Dr. Axe
Now here is the part that I never knew. We are very aware of the effect our immune system has on our general health, well what if I told you this was a huge indicator of why you may have allergies. Your body responds a certain way to allergies when your immune system is overdrive. When your body is dealing with high inflammation, an allergen sets off an increased reaction. Which means the immune system is overworked and stressed, so by introducing an allergen sit sends your body into over reaction! If your body is in good working order, your allergy reaction should be low because your immune system and inflammation within the body are balanced.
This makes so much sense to me. My immune system has never quite been the same after postpartum. I have been on this journey for 5 years trying to get the old me back; not feeling tired anymore, not being able to loose the last 10lbs, the brain fog, oh my the memory issues.. I basically have adrenal fatigue. However, I have cleansed, I have juiced, I have meditated. Over all I am in really good health shape now but I still get every bug that comes in this revolving door from preschool. I was so perplexed. I decided to start going to acupuncture weekly because I realized that no matter what I am doing my immune system is not responding. Even my acupuncturist informed I was doing everything right and already taking every supplement she would have suggested for me. Acupuncture has really helped be the one defining treatment to make me strong again. Ofcourse, something I have know all along to do but kept refusing to drive to the west side! Back to my point of allergies. My allergies started about 4 years ago, this very time when my body was most depleted from birth, breastfeeding and sleep deprivation. I really believe there is a correlation between my sensitivity to dust and pollen during this tough season and my immune system being low. So with the help of acupuncture and immune boosting essential oils, I feel strongly about ridding these allergens. So far it has been working!!!
How to apply?
You can use these three oils as a blend or singularly. I tend to diffuse them in the home as this is where my allergies are the worst. Diffusing will also help build you immune system if you are not suffering within the home ( it's not pointless). Lemon oil for example can kill bacteria in the air and eliminate allergy triggers. You can also use it in natural cleaners to help ward off my in home allergens. You can also apply with a roller ball, this is where the blend comes in really handy when on the go. Especially when going into environments you know will be a trigger. See my recipes below.
Diffuse: 2-3 drops of each essential oil (Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint) 3 times a day
Rollerball: blend 20 drops of each of the three oils, and fill with a carrier oil in a 10ml roller bottle For little kids 1 drop of each oil is enough and fill with carrier oil. (if your kid is sensitive to peppermint replace with cedarwood, always test on the soles of the feet first and this is for 3yr+) Apply to soles of feet, behind ears, back of neck and across the nose.
I hope this has offered some insight on how allergies work and an alternative option for you to try before reaching for another dose of claritin. Acupuncture is another great method to help the immune system and find relief from allergies. I believe it is finding the route of the problem rather than making the symptoms with medications. I would love to hear any other forms of natural medicine which are helping you combat these issues. There are other oils such as Basil, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca which can support all of the above, everyones body is different so try something else before giving up. Always patch test essential oils before covering large areas. If you have allergies to ragweed stay away from essential oils such as Chamomile.
Happy allergy season.