Watery eyes, sneezing, rashes, itches, shortness of breath, headaches, nausea or bumps on the skin resulting from allergies can put you in discomfort and uneasiness.
Seasonal allergies with sudden changes in weather conditions are quite commonly suffered by many.
Most of the seasonal allergies like the Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) are developed when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and produces sudden reactions to changes in environmental conditions.
Food allergies are also quite often suffered by many. According to one of the EMBO reports, ‘the number of people with food allergies is rising, as is the number of foods to which they are allergic’ (1).
Food allergies happen when the immune system of the body overreacts to some of the substances in the food you have had, triggering an allergic reaction (2).
Most cases of allergic reactions can be managed and contained with prescription medicines or home remedies. But some people may suffer severe allergy attacks which are life threatening, resulting in shortness of breath and severe inflammation.
Among the natural remedies for hypersensitivity of the immune system, essential oils are great for easing allergic reactions and symptoms. Essential oils for allergies are potent enough to improve the immune system of your body and help reduce hypersensitivity.
How Do Essential Oils Relieve And Prevent Allergies?
An allergic reaction happens when the immune system attacks substance called allergen. The immune system of the patient become hypersensitive to the allergens and uses a protective substance called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to fight the allergen. An allergic reaction is caused when these antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals to protect the body (3,4,5).
Some of the common factors that trigger an allergic reaction are:
- Animal dander
- Insect stings
Allergic reactions are actually symbolizing the weakness or hypersensitivity of your immune system.
People who are suffering from any inflammatory disease are highly prone to experience allergic reactions. It is because the immune system of the body is already overworked and stressed in dealing with inflammation; in such a situation, the immune system overreacts even to a harmless allergen entering the body (6,7).
Strengthening the immune system and preventing inflammation in your body is important to ward off the occurrence of allergic reactions.
Some of the essential oils contain potential anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent or heal the inflammatory issues.
Essential oils for allergies work by assisting your body in fighting harmful toxins, infections, parasites and other allergens entering the body. They fortify the immune system and reduce its hypersensitivity to allergens.
EOs are beneficial for relieving and reducing the impact of allergic reactions by expelling allergens or toxins via increased urination and sweating. Oils also help in boosting the respiratory functions which contribute to dispelling the allergens (9).
9 Essential Oils You Can Use For Allergies
There are several essential oils that are beneficial for boosting immunity and fighting inflammation. However, we have handpicked 9 best essential oils that work great for managing allergic reactions. Here are they:
1. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil contains citronellal which has potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities. The citronellal compound is also a wonderful expectorant that aids in expelling allergens such as toxins and harmful microorganisms.
Eucalyptus oil is especially beneficial for fighting allergic reactions affecting the respiratory system. This oil clears the lungs and sinuses of inflammatory infections, dust, and toxins that may cause allergy.
According to some the recent studies eucalyptus oil produces a cold sensation in the nose that helps to improve airflow (10).
Another study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine it was noted that eucalyptus essential oil is useful in treating upper respiratory tract infections (11).
Diffusing a few drops of eucalyptus oil in your bedroom and also applying a few drops of this oil on your chest and temples are going to benefit in relieving allergies affecting the respiratory system.
2. Lemon Oil
Lemon oil is a proven traditional remedy for overcoming respiratory issues. This oil can support the lymphatic system drainage.
One of the research reports published by the World Journal Of Microbiology & Biotechnology suggests that lemon essential oil inhibits the growth of bacteria and boosts the immune system.
Diffusing lemon oil at home may effectively ward off allergy triggers like bacteria and viruses in the air (12).
Daily drinking a glass of water diluted with 2 drops lemon essential oil helps with pH balance.
Like the oil, lemon water is also beneficial for fighting allergies. Regularly drinking lemon water is useful for boosting your immune system, detoxifying the body, stimulating the liver and flushing the toxins out of the body (13).
You may diffuse lemon oil in your home for removing pollutants and harmful bacteria which can trigger an allergy. Also, add lemon oil to your laundry detergent and use in water sprays on your carpets, couches, sheets and curtains.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is great for managing common allergic reactions, especially those affecting the respiratory system of the body.
Inhaling peppermint oil is a time-tested natural remedy to unclog the sinuses and sore throat.
In traditional natural therapies peppermint oil is popularly used as an expectorant that can provide relief from allergies, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, coughs, headaches, cold, and coughing up thick mucus.
This oil is useful in fighting inflammation that may cause allergic reactions.
A research report published in the European Journal of Medical Research elucidated the anti-inflammatory power of peppermint oil in dealing with bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis (14).
A study on peppermint oil conducted on rats tested the effects of this oil in the tracheal rings of rats. The result of this study indicated that peppermint oil is a relaxant and exhibits antispasmodic activity and inhibit the contractions that cause cough.
Diffuse a few drops of peppermint oil at your home or office to ward off an impending threat of allergens. Breathing in peppermint oil vapor is useful for relieving cold, cough, nasal irritation and for clearing out mucus and allergens.
Consuming 2 drops of peppermint oil diluted in water, tea or smoothie can help your body to inflammation. Peppermint oil can also be applied topically on chest, temple, throat, and back of the neck.
4. Tea Tree Oil
A recent study conducted in Germany has verified that Tea Tree oil contains potential antimicrobial qualities that can fight against a variety of yeasts, fungi, and bacteria (15).
This oil can quite effectively be used for preventing or destroying the airborne pathogens that trigger allergies.
You may be able to protect your home from fungal or bacterial invasion by diffusing a few drops TTO in your home. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties in this oil can help in preventing and healing allergies.
You may use this oil on skin rashes, infections and wounds for healing the inflammation. While using TTO topically on skin make sure to dilute it in any one of the good carrier oils like jojoba, almond or coconut. This oil may also work as a disinfectant in house cleaning.
5. Basil Oil
Basil oil is well known for its therapeutic power in dealing with many of the common microbial infections.
Research reports on Basil oil testify that the antimicrobial properties of this oil can eliminate molds, yeast, bacteria that may cause respiratory issues and asthma. This oil is useful in expelling the viruses and bacteria and manage inflammation (16,17).
Basil oil minimizes the allergic reactions by reducing the inflammatory response to allergens. This oil helps to boost the function of adrenal glands which are responsible for the production and utilization of several hormones in the body. In the case of allergic reactions, basil oil can aid in the emergency rushing of blood to muscles, heart, and brain to react appropriately to the allergens.
You can consume 2 drops of basil oil added to a glass of water, tea, soup, or dishes to check allergic reactions. Applying a few drops of basil oil on chest, temples, back of the neck, and throat can effectively reduce the allergens invading the respiratory system.
6. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is rich in anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Some of the folklore medicines extensively make use of lavender oil for fending off allergic reactions, especially those affecting the respiratory system.
Lavender essential oil has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects. One of the recent study reports suggests “Lavender oil inhibits allergic inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia with suppression of T-helper-2 cell cytokines and Muc5b expression in a murine model of asthma” (18).
This oil is also popularly used for soothing the skin irritations caused by skin bites or hives.
Diffusing lavender oil in your home may help in managing allergic inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Applying lavender water on irritated skin area can deliver fast relief from irritation, itching, and bumps.
7. Frankincense Oil
According to one of the recent study reports, this oil has proven to work as an alternative intravesical agent for bladder cancer treatment (19).
The antiseptic properties in Frankincense oil help in eliminating allergenic bacteria and viruses from home and clean indoor spaces.
Burning of Frankincense resin and diffusing its oil reduces indoor pollution and disinfect your home.
Diffusing or topical application of this oil helps to reduce respiratory infections (cold, flu, bronchitis, etc.) that may give rise to allergic inflammation.
This natural oil also aids in loosening and removal of mucus in the lungs. Most importantly, the anti-inflammatory properties of this oil clear the nasal passages, making breathing easier for people suffering from allergies or asthma.
This oil can be ingested, inhaled or applied topically. For quick relief from respiratory benefits add a few drops of this oil to cotton ball or handkerchief and inhale it.
8. Clove Oil
Clove oil is akin to the Eucalyptus oil in dealing inflammation and allergic reactions.
This oil is well known for its anesthetic and numbing effect in pain relief; a popularly used remedy for pain relief from a toothache or bruise.
The powerful antioxidants contained in this oil help in boosting the immune system. A strong immune system can easily protect the body from allergens without becoming hypersensitive to them.
You can add clove to deodorant, toothpaste, and face or body wash. Diffusing, topical application or inhaling of this oil is effective for resisting the bacteria or viruses that may trigger allergic reactions.
9. Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil is useful for muscle and tendon relaxation, and thus it works well for relieving allergic reactions that cause muscle spasm and cramps.
Topical application of this oil on temples can help in relieving headache and sinus infection caused by the allergens.
Lemongrass oil is a fantastic disinfectant. Using this oil for sanitary cleaning, diffusing, spraying in your home will help keep away the ticks, insects, mosquitoes, and bugs that may cause allergic reactions in you.
How To Use Essential Oils For Allergies
Let us now look some of the effective ways you can make use of essential oils for dealing with different types of allergies:
Seasonal Allergies: Lemongrass, Tea Tree, and Lemon oils are effective disinfectants that can be used to cleanse your home of the seasonal allergy triggers. Take 20 drops of each of these oils and blend them in a ½ liter spray bottle. Then fill the bottle with water and one tablespoon vinegar; spray this mixture in your house. Diffusing any of the essential oils (Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Basil Or Tea Tree Oil) in your home is beneficial for seasonal allergies that mostly disturb the respiratory system.
Skin Rash & Hives: Topical application of basil or lavender oil effective in soothing skin rashes or hives resulting from allergic reactions. Topical application of Tea tree oil (diluted in coconut oil) in the liver area can help activate the liver to flush out toxins that cause skin irritation.
Food Allergies: Lemon and Peppermint oils work best for food allergies. You can ingest two drops of this oil diluted in water, tea, juice or soup. Essential oils can help eliminate the allergens through urination or sweat in the process of detoxifying the body.
Allergy Blend: Oils blends are more productive and powerful than using any single oil. A combination of eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint oil diluted in coconut oil is a powerful allergy blend. Oil blends are best for topical application and diffusing; do not ingest them.
The Bottom Line
Essential oils are excellent alternative remedies for getting rid of allergic reactions caused by hypersensitivity of your immune system.
As we have already discussed, the best essential oils for allergy are:
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lemon Oil
- Basil Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Frankincense Oil
- Clove Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
Other essential oils with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties also work well for remedying allergic reactions.
Some of the essential oils like tea tree oil or lemongrass oil are not fit for ingesting. It is best to use these oils aromatically or topically.
Essential oils for allergies work if you use the therapeutic grade oils from reliable suppliers.