If you dread the arrival of spring—with all the trees in bloom, the deep yellow petals of ragweed, and all the other pollen-drenched blossoms that make you think of sneezes yet to come, you may have chronic sinusitis.
You’re not alone. More than three million cases of chronic sinusitis are reported in the U.S. each year, and many more fail to report the itchy, watery eyes, sinus headaches, sneezing, and over-production of mucus—which are among the unpleasant symptoms.
Many people reach for antihistamines when they feel those first sneezes coming on. However, antihistamines come with certain unwelcome side effects, including dizziness, dry mouth, sleepiness, restlessness, nausea, and blurred vision among them, making the over-the-counter drugs an unpleasant choice for some people.1
On the bright side, there are many essential oils that can relieve allergy symptoms with little or no side effects. These essential oils can be used individually or combined into an allergy-busting blend like Relieve.
What Causes Chronic Sinusitis?
One thing to note is that not all cases of chronic sinusitis are ragweed-related.
The condition is diagnosed after sinuses are inflamed for 12 weeks or more, and it can be the result of an upper respiratory infection, nasal problems such as a deviated septum, or nasal polyps, as well as allergies to dust mites, pet dander, or other known allergens.
Essential oils are a wonderful way to keep sinusitis in check because there are many that control histamine, a chemical produced by the body that WedMD.com describes as bouncers in a nightclub, ready to take on any risks to the body’s immune system that are triggering allergy-related symptoms.2
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As soon as an allergen such as ragweed pollen is detected, the immune system sends a signal to the mast cells of the body, which are found not only in the gut with the majority of the rest of the immune system but also the nose, mouth, lungs, skin, and blood, to release the histamines those cells store.
Histamines send extra blood to the area where allergens have been detected, triggering inflammation, which calls on other immune system chemicals to continue battling against the perceived enemy.
Histamines see the elements that trigger allergy symptoms as threats to the body’s immune system, triggering a range of unwelcome symptoms as a way to expel the perceived threat from the body.
Essential Oils Can Keep Histamines in Check
If antihistamines cause unwelcome side effects or you would rather use products from nature to help control chronic sinusitis essential oils that keep histamines in check are an excellent option.
Ravensara Essential Oil
Similar to eucalyptus in aroma, this plant native to Madagascar works over time to help control allergies and strengthen the respiratory system so sinusitis can be kept in check. A 2016 study from researchers in Korea in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that Ravensara essential oil helped ease the inflammation associated with allergies that causes stuffy nasal passages to feel impenetrable.3
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman chamomile contains quercetin, a compound that acts as a natural antihistamine.
Ginger Essential Oil
In 2008, French researchers found that this versatile essential oil helps relieve the inflammation associated with sinusitis, opening airways and improving the ability to breathe.4
Copaiba Essential Oil
This ancient oil has a long history of medicinal use and has been used to help treat the symptoms of bronchitis, including inflammation that triggers stuffiness.5
In addition to ginger, Roman chamomile, copaiba, and Ravensara essential oils, Relieve also includes ginger, spikenard, helichrysum, bergamot, black pepper, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, lavender, and nerolina. All of these work in synergy to help alleviate pain and keep other symptoms of sinusitis in check, without the unpleasant side effects of antihistamines.
If you suspect that you have chronic sinusitis and are looking for a natural way to keep your symptoms in check, then it’s worth trying out some of the essential oils mentioned above.
Photo credits: LarsZ/shutterstock.com, kazmulka/shutterstock.com