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Don’t wait any longer, don’t let life pass you by.
by Kymberly Keniston-Pond, CFR/CIR/CCMA
“Achoo, Achoo…ooooh my itchy, watery eyes and stuffy nose!” Does this sound familiar? Springtime comes with two faces…. One being the fresh, beautiful earth that yields new life, and the other that produces allergens in the air that can put a strain on the immune system.
Allergies are the result of an over-sensitive immune system where the body is trying to defend itself from disease and infection. Thus, they will attack allergens in a similar way as in fighting viruses or bacteria. When exposed to allergy-inducing grasses or pollen, the body will respond by producing histamines, which leads to a whole range of allergy symptoms. These symptoms include itching, swelling, runny nose, sneezing and asthma. The histamines being released cause the cells in the nose and throat to swell and produce fluid resulting in the above mentioned symptoms and discomfort.
Many people live on anti-histamines and decongestants or prescription medication through allergy season. Others choose to receive allergy shots several times during the year for relief. However, many people are now looking for a more natural solution.
One option that can help allergy symptoms is Aromatherapy. In fact, they offer a great alternative for allergy sufferers. To keep it simple, we will discuss only two types of aromatherapy treatments: Lavender and Peppermint.
Lavender- (Lavandula angustifolia ) is a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. Here are some suggestions for using Lavender for allergy relief:
Not only do allergies elevate histamines, but so does chronic stress. By using Lavender Essential Oil, you will be calming and relaxing your body to reduce and manage this stress. And it smells good!
Peppermint – (Mentha x piperita) has analgesic (pain relief) and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for centuries to relieve nasal congestion. For some, this oil has eliminated the need for allergy shots!
A word of caution: Only choose quality oils! Many companies have misled customers, claiming they offer “pure”, “therapeutic grade” or “aromatherapy grade” essential oils. Currently, there are no government regulations that grade or certify essential oils as such. You can, however, find organic essential oils. When you are looking for quality oils, the following should be on the label:
Name of essential oil
Latin name of essential oil (i.e. Lavendula angustifolia)
Country of origin
How oil was extracted (i.e. steam distilled)