Common allergic symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, hives, watery or itchy eyes, stuffy or a runny nose, and sneezing. Some people suffer from more serious allergies that can cause inflammation, difficulty breathing, impaired vision, light-headedness, or even seizures. Allergies are a hypersensitivity to foreign substances called allergens. Allergens may be various things ranging from animal fur to pollen and food. An immune response is triggered by allergens that may cause a variety of symptoms ranging from mild symptoms like a runny nose to serious difficulties breathing. These symptoms develop when the immune system overreacts to a given trigger from the environment because it believes it is a foreign invader.1 Individuals suffering from allergies frequently are told to avoid the allergens that trigger their allergic reactions. However, this can be almost impossible.
Essential Oils and Allergy Relief
Essential oils offer many benefits and have been used for thousands of years to alleviate the symptoms of a range of health conditions, including allergies. These oils are obtained by extracting a plant's aromatic compounds, which have specific chemical characteristics. The oil is distilled or pressed from certain plant matter such as stems, leaves, roots, and seeds and may involve certain physical treatment, such as a cold press. Many essential oils contain immune-boosting, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties, which all help reduce respiratory distress and kill bacteria. Essential oils work to relieve allergies by reducing the pain that comes with your body's immune system response. They also reduce the inflammation that causes most allergic reactions. Essential oils are ideal for alleviating a range of allergy symptoms including sneezing, itchy eyes, runny and stuffy nose, sinus inflammation, and hay fever. These oils also provide relief for skin conditions such as eczema, hives, or itchy, red skin.2
Why Are Essential Oils Effective at Treating Allergies?
Lavender essential oil is known to inhibit the release of histamine—which is naturally released when the body responds to allergens—and inhibits cell proliferation. Essential oils derived from other plants such as turmeric and peppermint also act as effective antihistamines.3 Peppermint is a popular essential oil that provides relief from nasal congestion. It alleviates pain and discomfort as well as improves airflow. In addition to anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, many essential oils contain bronchodilating properties which provide relief from conditions such as hay fever. Rather than attacking allergy symptoms, an alternative way of alleviating allergic reactions is through reducing stress. This, in turn, can reduce cell sensitivity. Many essential oils can be used to achieve this, including patchouli, neroli, Roman chamomile, and lavender essential oils. These oils have anxiolytic properties and work to decrease norepinephrine release. There are many essential oils that contain antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Among the most powerful antioxidants for achieving relief from allergic reactions include cinnamon, thyme, oregano, holy basil, clove, and peppermint. When it comes to strong anti-inflammatory activity, some of the best options include wintergreen, Roman chamomile, and German chamomile. They also have the added benefits of acting as relaxants and analgesics. Another way that essential oils combat allergy symptoms is through maintaining regular metabolism via the adrenal gland. The anti-inflammatory response in the body is controlled by the adrenal gland through the secretion of cortisol. Constant exposure to allergens can cause the gland to work at less than optimal conditions which can result in a poor anti-inflammatory response and lower cortisol production. Holy basil is the essential oil that best supports the body's adrenal gland.
Best Essential Oils for Overall Allergy Relief
Peppermint Essential OilAs one of the leading essential oils for allergy relief, peppermint essential oil is an effective expectorant that helps soothe inflammation and clear airways. It relieves nasal congestion and clears out blocked sinuses caused by allergies. When peppermint oil is used aromatically, it can reduce phlegm build-up to allow for easier breathing. Studies have confirmed that peppermint essential oil has anti-allergy effects.4 The anti-inflammatory benefits of the oil reduce respiratory inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of chronic inflammatory conditions such as bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis. Peppermint oil is also anti-congestive and helps relieve bronchitis symptoms, clear sinuses, and soothe coughs. Additionally, it is also effective at providing pain relief. For use, add a couple of drops to a diffuser to experience benefits, ranging from headache relief to improvement of allergy symptoms. Peppermint oil can also be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil and then rubbed on the chest in order to relieve bronchial asthma symptoms.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is a natural antihistamine that works to reduce any inflammatory allergic reactions in the body. It can be used to naturally alleviate headache pain and for treating skin allergic reactions like hives, bed bug rashes, and insect bites. Research has shown that lavender essential oil is an effective treatment for allergic skin reactions due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its ability to reduce pain and skin irritation helps speed up the healing process.5 Lavender contains anti-inflammatory properties that also make it effective for treating asthma. The lavender essential oil contains medicinal compounds that work to inhibit histamine from being produced and also suppresses inflammatory response within your airways, which makes it an effective treatment for bronchial asthma. Lavender is the ideal essential oil to use if you are suffering from wheezing, sneezing, or coughing throughout the night. Use some lavender oil in a diffuser or place a couple of drops of the oil on your pillow before you go to bed to get a peaceful and restful sleep.
Chamomile Essential Oil
This essential oil is a highly effective allergy treatment for a range of allergic reactions. Chamomile has relaxing properties and has been shown to provide quick relief from hives or red, itchy rashes from allergic reactions. A blend of a carrier oil and chamomile essential oil can be topically applied to help alleviate eczema (atopic dermatitis) because chamomile provides an antihistamine effect that soothes symptoms of dermatitis. If you suffer from excess phlegm, blocked sinuses or sneezing, chamomile essential oil can be used to calm the respiratory system. If you are experiencing vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, or an upset stomach due to an allergic reaction, you can drink some chamomile tea to help soothe the discomfort.
Tea Tree Essential OilTea tree essential oil is also a very effective remedy for allergic skin reactions. It works to prevent infections and reduce inflammation. Tea tree oil also has antibacterial properties that help destroy bacterial, fungal, and mold particles in the air to reduce allergy symptoms. Coconut oil can be mixed with tea tree essential oil to help reduce and ease allergic skin reactions.
Lemon Essential Oil
This essential oil can be used for many purposes, with one of the most important ones being treating respiratory problems that are the result of allergic reactions. Lemon has antioxidant properties that help cleanse toxins from the body and reduce responses to allergens. Additionally, lemon essential oil can be added to water and used as an antiseptic spray for disinfecting surfaces and removing allergy-causing pathogens. Research has shown that lemon essential oil can be used to fight bacterial infections and relieve allergic rhinitis symptoms. A nasal preparation using lemon essential oil has been shown to reduce nasal mucus as well as treat mouth and throat inflammation.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass essential oil works to eliminate various allergy symptoms, including a runny or stuffy nose, wheezing, and sneezing. Breathing an infusion of lemongrass works to reduce respiratory inflammation.6
Bergamot Essential OilThis essential oil may be used for asthma relief and for treating other allergy symptoms. Bergamot essential oil has been found to effectively relieve asthmatic symptoms and cough, particularly when used aromatically. In bronchial asthma, it works to reduce phlegm.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is an expectorant that effectively treats many respiratory conditions. This essential oil helps clear airways and relieve nasal congestion, making for easier breathing. Steam inhalation of eucalyptus essential oil can provide relief to those suffering from asthma attacks, seasonal allergies, or blocked noses from pet dander. When it comes to allergy relief, eucalyptus oil offers a number of important benefits. The oil can be used for reducing swelling in the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract, clearing respiratory infections, easing sinus pain, reducing asthma symptoms, and treating coughs.
Sandalwood Essential OilThis essential oil contains properties that help relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis, dust allergies, or pet allergies. Sandalwood essential oil works to reduce the reaction of antibodies and the effects of allergens within the body.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil contains allergy-fighting properties that help to inhibit the body's inflammatory responses, in addition to killing bacteria and fungus. This essential oil can be effectively used for treating respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma due to thyme's antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antispasmodic properties.7
Oregano Essential OilThis essential oil provides an immune boost, potentially resulting in less frequent allergic reactions. The oil contains strong antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that help clear the respiratory tract. Traditionally oregano essential oil has been used for treating respiratory conditions such as the flu, colds, and bronchitis. Studies have shown that oregano oil contains antibacterial properties that effectively combat many strains of bacteria.
Frankincense Essential Oil
This essential oil may be used for reducing inflammatory responses to allergens within the body. Studies have shown that frankincense essential oil can help reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms. A compound contained in Frankincense called alpha-pinene also helps reduce allergic symptoms.
Clove Essential OilClove essential oil works to kill fungus and inhibits allergic responses within the body. It contains compounds that work to inhibit the body's inflammatory responses, as well as a compound called eugenol, which can help in the treatment of psoriasis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma.
Rosemary Essential Oil
This essential oil contains antihistamine properties that work to reduce the allergic response. Rosemary essential oil has also been shown to provide an antispasmodic effect, which helps reduce coughing.
Basil Essential Oil
Basil essential oil works to help fight infections and reduce inflammation. It also works as an antihistamine to reduce the allergic response within the body. Traditionally, basil oil has been used for alleviating gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and coughs. The compound eugenol in basil oil effectively eliminates fungal and bacterial infections. That can help prevent mold or yeast from causing an asthma attack.8
Hives and Skin Allergies
Skin allergies can be painful or itchy, and cause unpleasant symptoms like redness and swelling. Allergic skin reactions can be caused by many different things, including some foods, chemical products, bug bites and poison ivy. Some common symptoms include swelling, a burning sensation, redness, and itching. The two most common types of skin rashes associated with allergies are hives and eczema. Usually, the reaction subsides within a few weeks without treatment if you can identify what the allergen is and avoid it. However, the symptoms of skin allergies can be quite uncomfortable. If you need relief, there are several things that you can use to help ease an allergic reaction on the skin. Anti-inflammatory and cooling essential oils can help to relieve skin allergy reaction symptoms. Some recommend essential oils that you can dilute in a carrier oil include lavender, peppermint, and Roman chamomile essential oils. It is recommended that you use a strong anti-inflammatory carrier oil such as coconut oil. The following are some of the best essential oils to use on skin allergies.9
Tea Tree Essential OilTea tree essential oil is an effective treatment for hives and skin rashes. When diluted with a carrier oil and then applied to the skin, tea tree essential oil calms allergic eczema and atopic dermatitis. Use a carrier oil such as coconut oil to dilute a few drops of tea tree oil. Take a cotton ball and soak it in the solution, and apply to the affected area.
Peppermint Essential Oil
This is the best essential oil for treating skin rashes because it has cooling, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Mix together one teaspoon of a carrier oil with two drops of peppermint essential oil. Apply this mixture to the affected area of skin. A couple of drops of peppermint essential oil can also be added to your bath to provide skin relief.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil can help soothe itchy skin caused by an allergic reaction, particularly from bug bites. Add a few drops of geranium essential oil to a carrier oil. Then use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to the affected area 2–3 times daily for relief from itching.
Some of the major seasonal allergy symptoms include a stuffy or a runny nose, sneezing, and congestion. The most common types of allergies are respiratory and nasal allergies, and they often cause seasonal attacks. This type of respiratory reaction occurs when something that has been inhaled—such as pet dander or pollen—is targeted by the body the way a virus is. This can result in cold-like symptoms when an actual virus is being attacked by the body. For respiratory allergies, the best way to use essential oils for allergy relief is to use them aromatically. This helps to clear out your airways so that you can breathe easier. Try diffusing lavender essential oil to alleviate the allergy symptoms and clear the airways. Alternatively, Use a blend of tea tree and lemon essential oils to disinfect your home from certain seasonal allergens such as dander, dust, and pollen. These essential oils have antibacterial and disinfectant properties. To make this disinfectant, fill a 16-ounce spray bottle with 20 drops of tea tree essential oil, 40 drops of lemon essential oil, and then add water and some white vinegar.
Dust AllergiesIndividuals with respiratory problems and asthma, especially whose major trigger is dust, can benefit from certain essential oils that work to combat dust allergies.
Ginger Essential OilGinger is an analgesic and expectorant, as well as a natural stimulant. The oil alleviates the symptoms of dust allergies by reducing respiratory symptoms such as restricted breathing, wheezing, and coughing. Ginger oil can be used aromatically or massaged behind the ears or around the neck for soothing relief.
Frankincense Essential OilThis essential oil helps to relieve respiratory issues that might be caused by dust. Apply Frankincense essential oil topically to your skin, around your neck or on your temples after diluting it with a carrier oil.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass essential oil is a natural painkiller and combats dust allergies. Due to its antifungal and antiseptic properties, lemongrass essential oils also fights against a majority of viral infections. Mix Lemongrass essential oil with sweet almond or jojoba oil and massage onto the body.
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)Some of the major symptoms of allergic rhinitis include a stuffy or a runny nose, persistent sneezing, and itchy nose, mouth or eyes. There are two different types of allergic rhinitis:10 Seasonal: Symptoms may occur in early fall, summer and spring. Usually allergic sensitivities to pollen are from weeds, trees, and grass, or to airborne mold spores. Perennial: Symptoms occur year-round. They are usually caused by mold, cockroaches, dander, pet hair, or dust mites. The following are some of the best essential oils for alleviating the symptoms of allergic rhinitis:
Helichrysum Essential OilHelichrysum essential oil works to alleviate pain caused by blocked airways and works to clear them. It also works to treat and prevent bronchitis, asthma, and other types of respiratory infections. Mix a few drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil and then diffuse it into a room to fight asthma, bronchitis, and allergies.
Caraway Essential OilCaraway essential oil is a natural antihistamine as well as an antispasmodic, expectorant, disinfectant, and diuretic that alleviates a range of respiratory conditions and allergies. Diffuse the oil in a burner or vaporizer to soothe your nerves and respiratory tract. Alternatively, blend the essential oil with a mild carrier oil and then massage onto the skin.
Yarrow Essential Oil
This is one of the most therapeutic of all essential oils because it clears the airways and also relieves inflammation. For use, diffuse the oil throughout the room, dilute with a carrier oil and massage on your temples, back, and neck, or use it in a vaporizer or through steam distillation.
Mold AllergiesThese types of allergies not only make it very difficult to breathe but also can often cause flu, colds, coughs, and asthma. The major symptoms of mold allergies include watery eyes, itchy nose and throat, and persistent coughing and post nasal drips. The following are some of the best essential oils for relieving mold allergy symptoms.
Mandarin Orange Essential Oil
This is a refreshing and zesty essential oil that has been used since ancient times for preventing allergies and treating various kinds of medical conditions, including hiccups, coughs, phlegm, chest pain, gastrointestinal disorders, and liver cirrhosis. The essential oil works to protects you against viral infections due to its anti-spasmodic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. To use this essential oil, dilute with a carrier oil and apply topically to the skin, add to your bathwater, or use it in a vaporizer or room diffuser.
Lime Essential OilLime essential oil is very effective against skin infections and allergies. It is also among the most versatile of essential oils, working to relieve respiratory diseases in addition to flu, colds, coughs, and other types of viral infections. Diffuse a few drops of this oil throughout the room via a room diffuser or add a couple of drops to a cotton ball and apply the skin.
Grapefruit Essential Oil
This essential oil helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, which allows it to fight respiratory infections and allergies. Grapefruit essential oil can be mixed into a massage oil, diffused throughout the room when combined with patchouli oil, or inhaled by steam inhalation.