Essential Oils and Spring Allergies: Connecting the Dots
Runny nose, sneezing, lots of congestion and just feeling yourself? Seasonal allergies take a tole on a lot of people this time of year, myself included. I’ve asked my friends their holistic remedies and along with a few that I’ve picked up along the way I’ve used all the “tricks” during the past few allergy seasons. Living life holistically can be hard when you don’t have creditable resources to use when you need them. For that reason, I think it’s important to house all the remedies I’ve found for treating a cold/allergies holistically and why I choose to incorporate these into my family’s lives. I’m including the ones that I have personally tried but if you find any that I haven’t listed that you use and love please feel free to share them in the comments.
1. local honey – Honey can inhibit the growth of microbes that can cause infection, may also contain antiviral properties that could inhibit viral activity from colds and a growing number of studies have found honey to be an effective cough suppressant and sleep aid during a cold, especially in children. Some research supports the theory that local honey– obtained as close as possible to where you live–may help build an immunity to some seasonal allergies. We also love manuka honey for it’s medicinal benefits. I buy manuka from Wedderspoon Honey and local honey from our farmers market.
2. essential oils – diffusing and applying essential oils is my go-to for any occassion. It’s honestly the first thing I do when I wake up and the last thing I do before I go to bed. We use oils for pretty much everything and they have proven very helpful for colds and allergies. Thankfully, some powerful essential oils serve as a natural and safe way to treat the symptoms of allergies and boost our immune systems. These essential oils for allergies have the ability to chemically support the body and help it to overcome hypersensitivity. Inhaling diffused peppermint oil can oftentimes immediately unclog the sinuses and offer relief to scratchy throats. Peppermint acts as an expectorant and provides relief for allergies, as well as colds, coughs, sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis. It has the power to discharge phlegm and reduce inflammation — a leading cause of allergic reactions. Lemon oil supports lymphatic system drainage and helps with overcoming respiratory conditions. Studies have shown that lemon essential oil inhibits the growth of bacteria and boosts the immune system. When diffused at home, lemon oil can kill bacteria and eliminate allergy triggers in the air. Lavender is a popular essential oil because of its many benefits. It may help soothe your symptoms during allergy season thanks to its ability to calm and reduce inflammation. One study concluded that the essential oil prevents allergic inflammation as well as the enlargement of mucous cells. I diffuse and apply all three of these together for the perfect trifecta of help.
3. elderberry syrup – My love for holistic remedies runs deep y’all and I am always researching what I can add into the mix to help strengthen our immune systems. Elderberry syrup is something that I started hearing about two years ago. I purchased a big mason jar premade from a local lady in Myrtle Beach and fell in love. It tastes delicious and the health benefits are unreal! It was almost $50 for that big quart but it lasted us all winter and it proved to be worth every penny. I have actually found a better price point with premade kits from my friend Ashley who owns The Farm Life. She is a wealth of knowledge and I have enjoyed following her social media accounts because they are chalk full of nutritional information. Elderberries are packed full of nutrients like iron, potassium, phosphorus, copper, vitamins A, B and C, and proteins. Not only does it help with heart health, respiratory health, diabetic issues, and bone health, it boosts your immune system enough to fight off colds and the flu! There are certain antibacterial and anti-infectious qualities in elderberry syrup (not juice) that make it very potent and helpful when fighting a cold or flu. We each take a spoonful a day and up that to two spoonfuls when sick.
4. apple cider vinegar – Adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice, to a glass of water helps to alkalinize the body. Creating an alkaline environment helps kill bacteria and viruses. Start drinking it at the first sign of illness and repeat several times a day until the symptoms subside. The high concentration of vitamin C, fiber, and acids are believed by some to boost immunity while breaking up the congestion that comes with a cold.
5. colloidal silver – Silver is one of those age-old remedies that ought to be in every home’s medicine cabinet. Its uses are varied, medically documented, and proven to be highly effective for supporting the body’s immune system. But, also, some experts consider colloidal silver one of our most effective defenses against emerging strains of pathogens, because of its effectiveness against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Whether used topically, for immune support during acute flu or cold, or for preventive purposes, colloidal silver is a versatile natural remedy.
These are my top go-to items (and a few from my friends) to treat colds/allergies holistically. I am so excited to share these with ya’ll so you can use them in your own lives.
Let’s circle back to essential oils:
I am very picky about the quality of essential oils and believe that you really do get what you pay for when you buy them. I’ve found that a higher quality 100% pure bottle of oil can last you several months when I cheap bottle filled with different synthetics can last you less than a month and also cause health issues. For this reason, I strongly urge you to research the quality of essential oils, email the company, ask around for testimonies and really dig deep into what you’re using in your home. This is my rule of thumb with all products as there is no regulation in our beauty industry that makes companies tell the truth. We personally use DoTerra and we buy from a friend that is local.
I love that essential oils can boost immune system function. They really focus on working on the other systems in your body that results in immune boosting. Many essential oils are antiviral, antibacterial and anti fungal. Each of those properties helps the immune system function properly by helping eradicate harmful pathogens that can make people sick. You can learn more about specific oils by researching in depth but I want to share a few of our favorites so you can see how we use them. You can use oils by sniffing directly from the bottle, diffusing them in a diffuser, adding them a bath or to your epsom salt, mixing into a massage oil, the list goes on and on.
For us, we love diffusing and applying as the two main forms of immune boosting this time of year. I have essential oil diffusers/humidifers in each room of the house and that is what we use daily. We haven’t burned candles in several years and haven’t missed them because you can make your own candle scents with oils instead. This is the diffuser that I have in every room. It’s actually a great one for all ages and needs because it is also a humidifier and has a light that can be changed to different colors and used as a night light. (Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for a few of my favorite immune boosting diffuser blends.)
When applying essential oils it’s always been my personal preference to dilute them, especially when applying to children. I have always done this because a carrier oil helps the essential oil spread easier and some oils are “hot” and can burn. When I apply to my children, I use the ratio one drop of essential oil to one tablespoon of coconut oil. Before school started, I made everyone in our house their own roller ball blend of On Guard oil to apply before we go out in public. They rub down their spines, on the bottoms of their feet and also on their necks. This really does help keep the germs away and smells good as well.
If you have any more questions about oils, I would love to help answer them. Please feel free to reach out to me and let me help you!