It's spring time which means many hay fever sufferers are turning to lots of over-the-counter antihistamines and other harmful drugs. It is a well known fact that drugs whether they are prescribed or over-the-counter cause side effects which may actually be worse than the presenting symptoms. Hay fever is a seasonal illness marked by sneezing, sniffling, runny nose and itchy watery eyes. It is a result of a hypersensitivity reaction involving the mucous membranes of the nose and upper air passages. Often, sinusitis develops. The body sets up an antigen-antibody reaction to the offending pollen which results in the release of histamine.
The traditional treatment of allergies and hay fever consistants of antihistamines and other drugs to provide temporary relief of symptoms. Some even opt for regular inoculation or exposure to the trigger-allergy shots. These methods are by no means a cure and over the long term, may even weakened the body. A more holistic approach involves:
- Avoidance or reducing exposure to the various triggers
- Rebuilding the mucosa and reducing the inflammatory response
- Strengthening the immune system's susceptibility to allergic reactions and symptomatic treatment
How Can Essential oils Help with the Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis (Allergy Nose)?
Let's look specifically at a few oils from down-under-Australia. There are other anti-inflammatory oils which may be helpful like German Chamomile but that is for another article.
Eucalyptus globulus commonly called Blue Gum is the strongest and the most common form of medicinal eucalyptus available. The oil is in the leaves-not the bark. The aborigines used to roll the leaves and smoke them to treat respiratory ailments. This oil is a good expectorant, helps to break up mucus, is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal antiviral and anti-aging.
Eucalyptus radiata commonly called black Peppermint . It is traditionally used like globulus and is extensively used for respiratory infections and particularly sinus infections and viral infections. Its main effect is expectorant and antiviral.
Melaleuca cajuputi – Cajuput. It may also go by the Latin name Melaleuca leucadendra . It is used for many purposes including respiratory congestion, asthma, coughs, hay fever, toothaches, bursitis, psoriasis, insect bites and sore muscles. Its main action is in fighting viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
Melaleuca quinquenervia – Niaouli . This is a very safe and gently oil that can be applied liberally and undiluted to the whole body. It possesses hormonal properties and is noted for its hormonal balancing properties. The pollen of niaouli trees is actually a powerful allergen and is considered responsible for the great increase in allergic conditions in Florida since many of these trees were transplanted in the everglades area. However niaouli is one of the most powerful anti-allergenics in aromatherapy acting in a homeopathic fashion-like cures like. It's main effect is expectorant.
Melaleuca ericifolia – Rosalina. This oil is high in linalool content making it very relaxing and there before should be used in the evening before going to bed. It is an excellent choice for children's infections especially infections of the ear, nose and throat.