Aromatherapy for Hay Fever
Hello Spring! Most people, especially those of us in the cooler Southern states, breathe a sigh of relief as Spring heralds the end of winter and the anticipation of Summer. For many this pleasure is reduced due to the discomfort of allergies brought on during Spring. Finding your triggers can be useful, although not always so easy to prevent exposure. Dust is a big trigger for me, not just during Spring. Unfortunately, this doesn’t excuse me from cleaning the house!
There are lots of different approaches to treating hay fever and allergies. Diet, herbs and acupuncture are things many have found useful, including myself. This is a great article from Renee, naturopath at Westside Wellness, on prevention and management of hay fever. Adding some of the foods suggested into your daily diet can make a big difference. I go for ginger in my smoothies, turmeric in lattes or soups and lots of citrus.
Of course, I also turn to my aromatic remedies. Aromatherapy can give symptomatic relief from nasal congestion, headaches and itchy eyes whilst also improving immunity and reducing inflammation. Any essential oil or blend that helps with the common cold can be useful for sinusitis and hay fever.
Here are some aromatic remedies you might like to try:
🌸 Eucalyptus: there are loads of eucalyptus varieties. I prefer Eucalyptus radiata due it’s more balanced chemical composition. Great for clearing congestion and headaches associated with sinusitis.
*Not suitable for direct inhalation in children under 6 years old.
🌸 Rosalina (melaleuca ericifolia): A gentle decongestant and antimicrobial, whilst also soothing. I nearly always include Rosalina in hay fever blends. It’s also a milder option for children.
🌸 Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia): this variety of lavender contains chemical constituents of camphor and 1,8 cineole, making it suitable for nasal congestion and headache/pain relief. This is not suitable for young children or pregnancy, opt for True lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) instead.
🌸 Peppermint (Mentha piperita): a good strong remedy for sinus congestion and sinus-related pain. Only a small amount is needed and often best mixed with eucalyptus (for congestion) or lavender (for pain relief)*Not suitable for use in children under 3 years old.
🌸 Lemon (Citrus limon): as with all citrus essential oils, lemon is a great air antiseptic. It is also great for supporting our immune system and tonifying the body and mind. I like to blend lemon with any of the above essential oils.
🌸 German chamomile (Matricaria recutita): anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties make this oil useful for sinusitis related to allergies. A gentle, calming essential oil, making it a good option for young children and for use at night.
The best way to use essential oils for hay fever and sinusitis is via inhalation. This could be direct personal inhalation e.g. via a tissue, bowl of warm water or aroma inhaler, or diffusing into the environment. Another method I love to utilise is putting 2 to 3 drops in the corner of the shower recess, breathing in the vapours as they rise with the steam. Great first thing in the morning of you wake up feeling congested and foggy.
Some of the above essential oils are available in Mother Nurture’s range of first aid oils. Breathe and Breathe Easy essential oil blends are also a valuable choice. Breathe Easy is the best option for young children. It’s more calming so I love to use it in a diffuser beside my bed at night to help keep sinuses clear and promote sleep.
As I often say, aromatherapy is not just about essential oils. Hydrosols can be a great option too. Allergies can produce itchy eyes and noses; for me this is the most irritating symptom. Rose or Lavender hydrosol can be very soothing. Soak a cotton pad in the hydrosol and apply to eyes (or nose). You could store a few in the fridge for easy access. Hydrosols are also a great option for young children. Rosalina or Lavender hydrosol can be used in a compress over the forehead or a few capfuls in a bath.
One last piece of advice – drink lots of clean water!
Go forth and enjoy your spring 💐