Every day we encounter environmental irritants and while many of us can continue through our lives without being affected by them, others spend a lot of time and money attempting to prevent and relieve the symptoms that arise with exposure to these elements.
The allergic reaction that occurs when we are exposed to an environmental irritant is our body’s way communicating that our immune system has experienced sensitization. Sensitization is the body’s response to interacting with a source in the environment. Read more about what it means to have an allergy here.
Environmental irritants that bring on allergy symptoms include: grasses, trees, pollen, molds, smoke, chlorine, stings and bites from insects, dust, and dust mites.
While environmental irritants can cause an immune response year-round, many people only experience symptoms during certain times of the year; these cases are known as seasonal allergies and are directly related to the pollen being released by various trees and grasses.
Symptoms related to environmental irritants include: cough, itchy eyes or skin, sneezing, wheezing, sore/swollen throat, runny nose, post nasal drip, head congestion, fatigue, inability to think clearly or concentrate
Management of Symptoms
There are several options are available to help relieve the symptoms brought on by exposure to environmental irritants. Depending on the severity and type of symptoms you experience, you may find that you are able to find relief with taking a more natural approach, taking an allopathic approach or integrating the two systems.
Allopathic options include:
- Antihistamines (Over-the-Counter/Prescription)
- Decongestants (Over-the-Counter/Prescription)
- Steroids (Prescription only)
The pros to using allopathic remedies are their availability, ease of use and cost. Unfortunately, many allopathic remedies come with a list of possible negative side effects.
Essential Oils To Consider When Blending For Allergy Relief:
When choosing to use essential oils for symptom relief there are a lot of options in both oils and administration methods.
- Agonis fragrans (Fragonia™)*
- Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka)
- Melaleuca quinquenervia ct 1,8 cineole (Niaouli ct 1,8 cineole)*
- Melaleuca ericifolia (Rosalina) Known as the gentle Tea Tree, great for kids.
* Use in low dilution with asthmatics, pregnant or nursing Mothers, elderly, or children under 6.
- Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir)
- Dipterocarpus turbinatus (Balsam Gurjun)
- Populus balsamifera (Balsam Poplar)
- Grindelia squarrosa (Grindelia)
- Helichrysum italicum (Helichrysum)
- Inula graveolens (Inula)
- Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile)
- Ammi visnaga (Khella)
- Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile)
- Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender)
- Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8 cineole (Ravintsara/Ho leaf)*
- Laurus nobilis (Laurel Leaf)*
- Ravensara aromatic (Ravensara)*
* Do not use with asthmatics, pregnant, elderly, infirmed, or children under 6.
- Boswellia sacra (Frankincense sacra)
- Boswellia serrata (Frankincense serrata)
- Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh)
- Copaifera officinalis (Balsam Copaiba)
- Abies alba (Silver Fir)
- Abies sibirica (Siberian Fir)
- Cedrus deodara (Indian Cedarwood)
Choosing and custom safe combination of the above age appropriate essential oils. Blended in 1 oz carrier oil for topical applications. At a dilution that is age appropriate. OR choose an application method below.
Essential Oil Administration Methods:
- Diffusers – A great option when multiple family members are experiencing similar symptoms.
- Aromasticks – Light weight, easy to carry, great for personal use and for on the go relief.
- Himalayan Salt Inhalers – Light weight, easy to carry, great for personal use and for on the go relief.
- Chest Balms – Great for personal use, especially for children and those who may find it difficult to use other available options.
- Neti Pot – Using Hydrosols in a Neti Pot are the perfect solution. The use of essential oils in a Neti Pot requires advanced formulation techniques.
- Nasal Sprays – Great for personal use. Using Hydrosols for nasal sprays is another perfect solution. The use of essential oil as a nasal spray requires advanced formulation techniques.
Essential oils are hard working multi-taskers. They have the ability to calm inflammation AND support the immune system. Using Essential oils for allergy relief will help your body to calm and balance the unwanted effects and symptoms from environmental irritants and achieve homeostasis.
To learn more about effective blending techniques and advanced techniques for formulating for environmental allergies. Visit the Institute's courses page and view our upcoming Professional & Advanced Clinical Aromatherapy Courses.