Aromatherapy is a fantastic treatment and can help to alleviate a variety of health issues. It isn’t just about the pleasant smell of the plant oils though. Aromatherapy works because we absorb about 60% of what we put on our skin.
The chemical compounds that give plant oils their wonderful smells can be absorbed into the skin. The particles in them are then small enough to make it into the blood stream. Once in the blood they can react with the body’s chemicals and alter the state of the body.
Aromatherapy and hay fever
The sun has started to shine – and that can only mean one thing: summer is on its way! After the long winter the warmth of the sun feels wonderful. For some this is a mixed blessing as it also means that the hay fever season is here! I One in five people suffer from hay fever and it can be a really unpleasant allergy causing running nose and eyes, sweating and fever like symptoms.
What is hay fever?
Hay Fever is actually ‘allergic rhinitis’ which is caused by pollen or dust that inflames the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose, causing runny noses, sneezing, and watery or itchy eyes.
It sends your immune system into chaos, reacting to plants and dust by trying to push them out of our bodies.
What Can You Do?
There are plenty of antihistamine products available over the counter or from you Doctor to help to treat the allergy. But it is also possible to treat the symptoms with plant essential oils – natural compounds that have few side effects.
Here are a few that you could try:
- Eucalyptus– this aromatherapy oil is wonderful for all things to do with lungs and breathing. It can ease the inflammation in the lungs caused by the allergy and make breathing easier
- Rosemary– has mucolytic properties, which means that it this helps to alleviate congestion
- Lavender– a natural antihistamine, this oil is soothing and can reduce irritation and relax breathing
- Lemon– this oil is anti-inflammatory for the respiratory system, improves immunity and is also antibacterial
- Chamomile– an anti-inflammatory relaxant which soothes and builds your pollen reaction (in some people, it can also be one of the oils that triggers hay fever, so test it first)
- Peppermint– this essential oil really helps open up the nose and also relieves headaches resulting from stuffed sinuses
- Tea Tree– a natural choice for anti-allergy and building immunity
How to use the essential oils
- Try putting a few drops in a bowl of hot water and inhale the vapours that they release
- Put a few drops on a tissue and pop it in your pillow case to give relief in the night and help you to sleep
- Have a massage –Massaging the oils into your skin will get them into your blood stream for maximum effectiveness. A word of caution though – make sure you book with a qualified aromatherapist.
To find out more about how complementary therapies can help with hay fever visit the FHT website
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