Aromatherapy for Spring Allergies
Aromatherapy for spring allergies may help to manage this common problem. Written by professional aromatherapist, author, herbalist, and gardener Sharon Falsetto.
After a long winter, many people look forward to the blooming of trees and flowers in the spring; however, spring also brings some unwanted side-effects for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are often highest in the spring. The use of aromatherapy may help to manage symptoms such as headaches, coughing, and sneezing, and provide relief for itchy eyes and congested sinuses.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies have common symptoms; many symptoms are also associated with other illnesses, such as winter colds, asthma, and sinusitis. Symptoms of spring allergies include:
- itchy eyes and nose
- runny nose
- congested head/nose
- pounding headache
- watery eyes
- pain around the sinuses.
Aromatherapy for Spring Allergies
Aromatherapy can be used in several ways to help ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Inhalation is one of the most effective ways of using aromatherapy. Use essential oils in an aromatherapy diffuser, add a couple of drops of an essential oil to tissue or add essential oils to bath water. Aromatherapy massage is also an effective way of helping to ease the symptoms of spring allergies.
If you find essential oils “too much” to use for spring allergies, turn to hydrosols. I have effectively used blue gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) hydrosol in a spray bottle and massaged gently under the nostrils to help with constant sneezing and a streaming nose.
Types of Essential Oils for Seasonal Allergies
Many types of essential oils are suitable for managing the symptoms of seasonal allergies. However, essential oils that are anti-viral, immuno-stimulant, anti-inflammatory, expectorant or bactericidal are most suitable for managing spring allergies, depending on the specific symptoms. Essential oils that are restorative, calming, and relaxing may also help.
Essential Oils in Aromatherapy for Spring Allergies
Specific symptoms of spring allergies will determine the type of essential oil to use for management; you may find the following essential oils helpful:
- Blue gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)* and tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) – for symptoms such as congestion, headaches, respiratory difficulties, and they are excellent for managing infection
- Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)* – helps to manage breathing difficulties, infection, and headaches, in addition to muscular pain
- Lemon (Citrus × limon) – helps to manage immunity and respiratory complaints
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – helps to manage catarrh, immunity, headaches, muscle pain and promotes relaxation
- Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) – helps to promote relaxation, manage headaches and inflammation
- Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) – helps to manage breathing difficulties and coughing.
As mentioned before, you can substitute the use of hydrosols in place of using essential oils for topical use and for inhalation.
Cautions for Using Essential Oils
Blend essential oils with a carrier lotion or oil before applying them to the skin. Use just a few drops of oil in aromatherapy diffusers (refer to the aromatherapy diffuser manufacturer’s instructions for use, as diffusers differ), in the bath (blend with a Solubol before use), or add to a tissue for inhalation.
Check for contra-indications for use of a particular essential oil, particularly if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, are elderly or are a child. Those essential oils marked with * in the above section, require extra cautions for use with these particular groups. Refer to individual essential oil profiles for further information.
Consult a certified and experienced aromatherapist for further information on the use of essential oils; consult your medical practitioner for advice relating to your specific health condition.
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- Davis, Patricia, 1999, Aromatherapy: An A – Z, UK: Vermilion
- Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons
- Penny Price Academy of Aromatherapy, UK
- Author’s personal experience and training
About the Author:
The author of this article has been working in the health care industry since the 1990’s and in the aromatherapy industry since the 2000’s. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist®. She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies and natural perfumery student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she gardens and distills plants from her own aromatic gardens, surrounded by natural fauna and flora on an original pioneer, semi off-grid, homestead property.