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As we are heading towards Spring season the air is delicately fragrant with the first blossoms of almond trees. The humming of busy bees flying out of their hive, eager to spread their wings, of birds chirping their enchanting melodies, this is definitely one of the nicest moments of the year. Everywhere Nature is bursting with renewed energy, and beauty!
As the days get longer, within ourselves we can tune in with this effervescence swelling up in Nature. Our whole being feels like stretching with more energy and enthusiasm, eagerly stepping out of the more introspective Winter time.
However, for more and more people, Spring is also coming back with a very annoying problem: Spring Allergies. For the last few years, hay fever or “allergic rhinitis”, has become a growing concern for our modern society. Indeed more than 33% of the population in industrialized countries is affected by this problem which, according to the WHO, may touch 50% of the world population by 2050.
Why and how?
Spring allergies are mostly triggered by pollens. Even though these tiny carriers of life are usually completely harmless, they can provoke a strong reaction of the immune system which, at times, considers pollen as an intruder. Common symptoms are:
Itchy, watery eyes
Runny, itchy and congested nose
Decrease or total loss of the sense of smell
And as a result one may feel totally helpless and drained from life energy.
Some decades ago our body would not have reacted the same way, because synthetic products, antibiotics, chemicals, and low quality food were not so commonly available. But today, with the presence of numerous additional “foreign” informations our immune system can easily be triggered into overreaction. Also, in today’s complexity of life with its manifold stimuli, our nervous system is increasingly challenged by stress. This is an additional factor for allergies.
Aromatherapy gives amazing natural solutions to get rid of allergic symptoms and help cure their underlying causes.
Are you ready to surrender with full enthusiasm to the inebriating breeze of this promising lush and colourful new season of Spring?
How to prevent and treat allergies with essential oils?
Some essential oils can be very effective to prevent and treat a Spring Rhinitis. They will soothe the symptoms of inflammation and itching of the mucous membranes, of skin and eyes, and help our immune system to release accumulated stress and nervous fatigue.
Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus): Here is the champion for allergies. Highly regarded by folk-medicine in many cultures the oil has also proven very beneficial for many kinds of allergies. Take directly 2 drops of Tarragon essential oil mixed in a teaspoon of honey three times a day to feel relieved. Tarragon has also strong anti-inflammatory properties that will diminish all the symptoms of rhinitis.
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile): in addition to being a strong anti-inflammatory, Roman Chamomile essential oil can help bring balance to the immune system and reduce or prevent allergic outbreaks. Traditionally used for numerous gastrointestinal conditions, this oil works wonders when the allergy arises from digestive disorders. Its gentle action makes it a choice oil against allergic skin inflammations (eczema, etc.).
True Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia): this beautifully fragrant and soothing essential oil will suppress allergic airway inflammations and decrease mucus secretion.
Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annum): Not to be confused with Tansy oil, also Blue Tansy oil has very strong anti-inflammatory properties. A drop diluted in some carrier oil and carefully applied under the eyes can almost immediately soothe redness and itchy nose.
The marvel of Aromatherapy is that, each essential oil, with its large variety of biochemical compounds, is not only having one targeted effect but at the same time offers healing on many other levels of our physiology, mind, and emotions. Tarragon, Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Blue Tansy are also very beneficial in helping release anxiety and stress, and improve quality of sleep. Moreover, they can assist for detoxifying the body and boosting the immune system.
Prevention: To avoid being affected by allergies, one can take internally these 4 oils two weeks before the risk period. Take one drop of each oil, diluted in honey or in a carrier oil, 2 to 3 times a week and all through the Spring season.
Along with this, one may like to consider a detoxification (see ‘Spring detox with aromatherapy’ article). This helps our whole body and immune system to handle the pollen that may come our way.
Curing the symptoms: when an allergy has started, one can take this same blend (as mentioned above) 3 times a day, 5 days a week and during three weeks maximum. Symptoms should fade away! Then go back to an intake of 2 to 3 times a week till the blooming season is over.
It can also be very helpful to complement this treatment with an external use. For that purpose, you can prepare a roll-on or a massage blend with the 4 oils and add some great expectorant ones, like Spike Lavender, Scots Pine, Ravintsara or Eucalyptus. These will improve the effects of the 4 other oils mentioned previously by relieving congestion and allowing clear breathing.
Returning to our connexion with Nature’s cycles
Nature’s rhythms are wonderful. They altogether reflect what is happening inside ourselves. In Summer, while sunlight is strong, life’s buzz is high, nature has unfolded its extreme complexity in the many flowers everywhere, and we are full of energy to move and explore the world around. With the return of Fall, Nature slowly prepares for its rest period, and we too are slowing down our rhythm, processing all the experiences from Summer. Wintertime is a natural invitation to go inward, take more time for rest, we are rejoicing in cocooning, while Nature is asleep. In Spring, as the sap moves upward in the trees, so does the energy in our body. The bees are coming out, and start to clean their hives from all the dust and toxins accumulated during Winter.
When reflecting on the natural cycles of life, we realize that we are part of Nature, even if sometimes we may be disconnected from it. Could it be that our allergies are here to help us remember this essential link? Are we like a bee, do we also need to do some internal cleaning?
Fortunately, essential oils, with their harmonizing effect, can assist us to find back the balance inherent in life. Tarragon, Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Blue Tansy are part of the many medicinal plants and essential oils that are here ready to support us in synchronizing ourselves back with Nature’s rhythms, feel the joy of welcoming Spring, and open ourselves to its magical expression!
“I suffer from seasonal allergies since years, I’ve tried everything like eye solutions and antihistamines without getting any results. This year, I decided to put an essential oil diffuser in my room and to diffuse Tarragon, Lavender and Ravintsara. I also bought in a pharmacy a nasal spray with essential oils. My eyes are no longer red and itchy! I can now enjoy Spring peacefully!” – Claire
“For my pollen allergies, I take Tarragon essential oil on a neutral tablet and I also use a little bit of homeopathy. It’s the first time since many years that my eyes are not red and watery, and that I don’t have asthma during Spring.” – Christelle
“I had a very strong allergic asthma (I almost died from it) and I also had eczema reactions in Spring. Doctors gave me cortisone, dozens of creams, sprays, etc…With dismal results! I always felt attracted by essential oils but the medical experts always advised me against it…. Now, I take care of my health myself and I decided to only use natural products on my skin and in my diet. I no longer have asthma and my chronic eczema is gone…All that in only one month! I find again the joy of going outside, I can now roll on the freshly cut grass…I wasn’t allergic to pollens, as I was told, I was simply allergic to chemical products!” – Sylvie
“I have pollen allergies. I’ve been to an aromatherapy course and I use now tarragon essential oil and it’s truly miraculous. I smell it at the beginning of the day, then I put a drop on my solar plexus and I have no signs of allergy along the entire day. I do it three days in a row and I am allergy free for the entire week! Nature offers us so many solutions!” – Dominique
“I have very bad allergies, when they flare up, I refuse to take any drugs. My friend was visiting. She gave me some Lavender oil in my hand to inhale and I had such a wonderful experience. My allergies cleared up in few minutes and I was able to breathe and my eyes were cleared. I had no idea how powerful these oils were.” – Linda S.
“As I reached my mid to late 30’s my allergies got worse and worse. I decided to try an allergist. I started allergy shots, was put on all kinds of allergy medicine, nose sprays, and an inhalation device. The cost for all of this was getting out of hand and the insurance company was covering less and less. I said there has got to be something better than pumping my body full of all this!
I was introduced to essential oils and decided to try the Lavender oil. I put a drop on the bottom of my feet and a drop on my temples, sinus area (avoiding the eyes), under my nose, forehead and the stem of my neck. I did this morning and night. After a few weeks I noticed my sneezing and sinus congestion diminishing. I had stopped taking all the other medications.
I then made a roll on with Eucalyptus, Ravintsara and Scots Pine essential oil. This added to the Lavender oil really helped. I have continued to use both. And I carry the roll on in my purse and use this in place of my inhaler when needed.” – Cheryl E.