spring field

It’s called allergic rhinitis, technically. But we know it as hay fever (or as I’ve called it for years “what-did-I-ever-do-to-deserve-this?!”). There’s simply nothing more frustrating than the unrelenting urge to sneeze, sniffle and wheeze through a nose plugged up with pollen. The whole thing is absurd, really. Our immune systems go haywire, and see harmless plants (or dust, or dander) as real threats, and works to push them out of our system, inflaming and irritating along the way. And those conventional allergy meds? They can often leave you feeling worse. But you can find relief, naturally with essential oils.

Eucalyptus can open the respiratory system, reduce inflammation and allow better breathing, so can Rosemary, which is slightly more mild than eucalyptus, so may be more fitting for a child.

Clove oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, and can help to reduce allergy symptoms.

Peppermint will help to open those stuffed nasal passages and can reduce headaches. (Tip: Soothing Touch makes an incredible analgesic for sore muscles called Narayan oil. It contains a blend of eucalyptus, clove and mint oils, and also works wonders in opening up air passages. Can also be used as a chest rub like Vick’s!)

Lavender is a natural antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and very calming. It can help reduce irritation and relax your breathing.

Lemon improves immunity, relieves respiratory issues, is antibacterial and relieves respiratory inflammation.

Roman Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, relaxing, relieves headaches and eases inflammation. For sufferers of the dreaded ragweed allergy, chamomile is in the same family and can make your reaction worse. But, the thing about allergies is that they result from our immune systems essentially going a little wonky. So one of the best remedies is prevention—getting your immune response strong so that it is less susceptible to irritation. Working with chamomile essential oil months before your hay fever sets in can boost your immune response to it and actually decrease your reaction.

All oils can be used in a diffuser, as a steam or made into a balm. Regular use of a neti pot is also recommended, along with extra vitamin C and MSM intake along with lots of water. Gesundheidt!

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: inoc