Spring is here (finally!), and so is everything that goes with it. The trees are budding, flowers are blooming, the pollen count is rising, and allergies are flaring up. While I absolutely love springtime, I don’t love allergy season.
As I’ve gotten older, I have unfortunately become more prone to allergies. And here’s the thing with allergies: Everybody experiences their symptoms differently. I personally tend to get more headaches and vertigo. But I know others who regularly experience sneezing, coughing, and sore throats.
Some of the most common seasonal allergy symptoms include:
—Runny nose and post-nasal drip
—Itchy, watery eyes
—Coughing or clearing throat
—Rash or hives
Seasonal allergies are pretty common in the United States. In fact, more than 50 million Americans experience allergies each year [source]. Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to substances that it views as harmful [source]. But those reactions can create combinations of symptoms that look different with each individual.
Because everybody experiences allergies differently, effective treatments will vary from person to person as well. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. You just have to try a few to figure out which remedies work best for you.
Hopefully, I’m going to make that task a little easier for you. Today, I’m going to be sharing some of the best essential oils for allergies and how to use them.
The Best Essential Oils for Allergies
Below, I’ve listed seven essential oils that alleviate a wide range of symptoms associated with allergies.
Peppermint is a great place to start when dealing with allergies. It can be beneficial for congestion, headaches [source], and vertigo. While it doesn’t actually clear the airways, because of its crisp menthol-rich aroma, it promotes the sensation of clearer breathing [source].
And because it is cooling [source], it can help ease the feeling of sinus pressure as well. Remember, peppermint should not be used on or near the face of young children. For a more child-friendly option, try spearmint.
Eucalyptus is a great choice when dealing with allergies. It contains the compound eucalyptol, also known as 1,8-cineole, which has many beneficial effects on the respiratory tract [source]. Not only can it help promote clear breathing, but it can also boost the immune system and help with headaches, inflammation, mucus production, and coughs as well [source].
However, because it is rich in 1,8-cineole, it shouldn’t be used on or near the face of children under the age of 10. Instead, you could opt for a gentler eucalyptus variety, such as eucalyptus radiata.
It should come as no surprise that lavender is one of the best essential oils to use for allergies. It is a very relaxing and balancing essential oil [source] and is even useful for inflammatory issues [source]. It is beneficial to use when dealing with hives or rashes, headaches [source], and is said to help with vertigo, congestion, and even cough. In fact, most allergy symptoms would benefit from the use of lavender! Its properties are enhanced when combined with other essential oils, so it is ideal to use it in an allergy-fighting blend.
Not only does lemon smell absolutely delightful, but it has beneficial effects when dealing with allergies as well. Its fresh, happy scent will no doubt de-stress you, brighten your day, and stimulate your mind [source]. It can also help with congestion and stuffiness that can accompany seasonal allergies. And because it is antimicrobial, it is an effective germ-fighter [source].
Rosemary is another essential oil that is beneficial when dealing with the unwanted symptoms of allergies. Like eucalyptus, it contains a high amount of 1,8-cineole, making it useful when dealing with headaches, congestion, cough, and vertigo.
As with many essential oils, it’s a powerful antimicrobial, making it an effective germ fighter as well [source]. Because it contains a high percentage of 1,8-cineole, it should not be used on or near the face of young children.
Tea tree oil is a must-have for any essential oil user. It has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been shown to have antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial effects [source].
Pertaining to allergies, tea tree oil is effective when dealing with cough, congestion, rashes, hives, and inflammation. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, diffusing it throughout your home can be especially beneficial when all of your windows are closed during allergy season.
Basil essential oil, specifically sweet basil, is another beneficial oil for allergies. It has traditionally been used for migraines, congestion, cough, and vertigo. It has been shown in animal studies to stabilize inflammatory cells that normally respond to allergens, keeping them from signaling the body to produce allergy symptoms [source]
Keep in mind that basil essential oil should not be used during pregnancy.
How to Use Essential Oils for Allergies
So, now that we’ve discussed some of the best essential oils for allergies, you may be wondering how best to use them. Below, I’ve listed three of the most common ways to utilize their therapeutic properties.
All of the above essential oils we’ve discussed today can be diffused throughout your home. In fact, it would be especially beneficial for you to choose a combination of oils and create your own personal blend based on your needs. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific diffuser, and diffuse throughout your home as needed during allergy season.
Just like with diffusion, all seven of the above essential oils can be used in a personal inhaler. Personal inhalers are a great option to consider if you want to utilize the benefits of essential oils without the aroma being offensive to anyone else. It’s incredibly simple to create your own travel-friendly personal inhaler so you can have allergy relief on the go.
A topical oil would be beneficial if you’re prone to rashes, hives, headaches, or even congestion and sinus pressure. To make a topical oil, simply mix 1 tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil with 10 drops of essential oils and rub on the skin where needed, taking care to avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth. Remember, make sure to keep safety precautions for each of the above essential oils in mind.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Holly Smith, a board-certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine with a background in nutrition. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.185