Best Essential Oils for Allergies, Runny Nose & Seasonal Allergies
People who suffer through various symptoms of allergies know just how discomforting and irritating they can be. Allergic rhinitis (allergies) and seasonal allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies) are diagnosable through a wide variety of symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, itching, and nasal congestion. An assortment of agents are known to trigger these effects, including pollen, molds, dust mites, and animal dander. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is distinguished apart from allergic rhinitis when the symptoms are brought on primarily through exposure to pollen.1
An allergic response to any of these triggers is characterized by two phases: early and late phase responses. Any reaction that occurs within minutes of exposure to a certain allergen is known as an early phase response. Symptoms of this phase are sneezing, itching, and a runny nose. The late phase response is characterized by congestion, fatigue, and general discomfort. Late phase response generally occurs 4-8 hours after initial exposure to the allergen. It is important to be aware of these symptoms in order to effectively treat any and all allergies.1
Essential Oils for Allergies
One of the most effective ways to utilize essential oils for allergies is through aromatherapy. In a 2016 study, patients who were diagnosed with perennial allergic rhinitis (allergies occurring for approximately 9 months of the year), were to inhale an aromatherapy oil twice a day over a period of 7 days. The essential oils for allergies used in this study were sandalwood and frankincense. Results of the study suggest a reduction in a number of perennial allergic rhinitis symptoms determined by different tests. Patients treated with the essential oil aromatherapy showed an improvement on the Total Nasal Symptom Score which monitored the severity of allergic symptoms on a scale of 0-4. The other primary outcome showed an improvement in the quality of life for patients, measured by the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire. Secondary results indicated that the essential oil aromatherapy may improve sleep quality and decrease general fatigue.2 To use essential oils for aromatherapy, simply add a few drops of essential oil in a diffuser. Diffusing essential oils for allergies throughout the day and/or at night can help alleviate your symptoms.
Essential oils may also provide relief for any allergic skin reactions like hives, rashes, or itchiness. It is important to understand how to use essential oil for allergies. Adding 3-5 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil is a great way to harness the medicinal effects of essential oil for topical application. Adding 5-10 drops of essential oil to a warm bath is another way to help soothe any allergic skin reactions. People with sensitive skin may react poorly to essential oil, so it’s important to do a small patch test before use. When using essential oils for allergies, the oil should always be diluted before applied directly on the skin.
What Essential Oils are Good for Allergies?
Determining which essential oil is best for allergies may be a daunting task when faced with a full list of all essential oils. Below is a list of the top 5 antihistamine essential oils. Use these essential oils for seasonal allergies, or for any other allergy relief.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender (Lavandula) is a long stemmed plant with purple flowers, native to the mountainous areas of the Mediterranean. The research conducted into the health benefits of lavender essential oil suggest lavender may be an effective agent in reducing allergy symptoms. Lavender has been known to demonstrate anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain relieving properties. Lavender essential oil has also been shown to help improve one’s quality of sleep, help reduce anxiety, and provide relief from migraine headaches. These beneficial properties give significant weight to using lavender essential oil for allergies.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil comes from the evergreen lemon bush, and is extracted by cold pressing the peel of a lemon. One valuable benefit of lemon essential oil is that it has been shown to contain powerful antimicrobial benefits which could help reduce symptoms brought on by allergic rhinitis. Another way in which lemon essential oil could provide relief to those suffering from allergies, is in the essential oil’s ability to relieve symptoms of both stress and depression.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense (Olibanum) essential oil is taken from gum resins of Boswellia trees. Herbalists suggest that frankincense essential oil has many beneficial qualities, such as having the ability to alleviate certain respiratory conditions and skin diseases. These benefits would imply that frankincense essential oil would be effective in reducing allergy symptoms. Frankincense essential oil is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties which may help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system of those experiencing allergic reactions. Clinical data shows that frankincense essential oil is able to alleviate a wide array of allergy symptoms, making it one of the best essential oils for runny nose, and one of the best essential oils for sneezing.2
Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood (Santalum) essential oil is extracted from the heartwood of the East Indian sandalwood tree through steam distillation. Sandalwood essential oil may be used to decrease symptoms of allergic rhinitis, making it one of the best essential oils for allergies.2 Research into sandalwood essential oil has shown the oil to be both a remedy for insomnia, and a potent sleep aid. Proven benefits of sandalwood essential oil include being able to elevate heart rate, and promote mental alertness. Sandalwood essential oil also contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. These therapeutic benefits point to sandalwood essential oil as having the ability to help alleviate allergy symptoms.
Peppermint Essential Oil
The peppermint plant (Mentha piperita) is native to Asia and Europe. Peppermint essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of this plant. While there is an abundance of peppermint benefits, the essential oil is primarily known for its cooling effects. Peppermint essential oil can be used to help soothe any chest or throat tension associated with allergies. This cooling property makes peppermint oil one of the best essential oils for seasonal allergies. The cooling sensation of peppermint essential oil has been shown to improve headaches and alleviate nausea. Using peppermint essential oil for allergies is an effective way to help soothe the body and relieve some of the excess discomfort brought on by allergy symptoms.
Essential Oil Recipe for Allergies
Creating a homemade essential oil blend for allergies is simple. Blending together the essential oils lavender, lemon, and peppermint will offer an effective remedy in helping to relieve any symptoms brought on by an allergic reaction. These three are successful essential oils to diffuse for allergies. When combined, this essential oil allergy blend will work to ease any general discomfort your body is feeling due to allergic rhinitis. You can use these essential oils for pollen allergies, sneezing, and seasonal allergies.
Allergy essential oil blend ingredients:
- Lavender essential oil
- Lemon essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Carrier oil
How to use essential oils for allergies:
1. Add 2 drops each of lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oil into a diffuser filled with water.
2. Let the aroma fill the room, and inhale the essential oils for allergy relief.
1. Add 1 drop each of lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oil into a carrier oil of your choice (sweet almond, coconut, or jojoba).
2. Blend the oils together and massage the mixture over the skin to help soothe any rashes or itchiness brought on by an allergic reaction.
Essential Oils for Pet Allergies
While there are many essential oils good for allergies, further research needs to be conducted on them before we fully understand the side effects of essential oils on cats and dogs.
Although some believe it is safe to use essential oil for allergy relief of pets, consult your local veterinarian before using essential oils for dogs, cats or other pets.
Essential Oils for Allergies Children
It is recommended to practice caution when using essential oils on or around children, because many of the side effects of essential oils have yet to be clearly defined. Essential oil allergies may include skin rashes for those with sensitive skin. Consult a trusted healthcare provider before using essential oils for kids’ allergies.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Skoner, D. (2001, July). Allergic rhinitis: definition, epidemiology, pathophysiology, detection, and diagnosis. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 108. PMID:11449200
- Choi, S. Y., & Park, K. (2016, March). Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Oil on Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. doi:10.1155/2016/7896081