Our founders’ favorite essential oils for seasonal allergies
What causes seasonal allergies?
Before we discuss our founders' advice on using essential oils to reduce allergy symptoms, let's get a clear idea of what causes seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are caused by your immune system's reaction to certain substances in the environment, such as pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. When you come into contact with these allergens, your body releases chemicals called histamines, which cause symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and congestion. It can even trigger skin allergies and allergic rhinitis. These symptoms are your body's way of trying to get rid of the allergens. Seasonal allergies are most common in the spring and fall when plants are in bloom, but they can happen at any time of the year
How can essential oils help?
Essential oils can help alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation and calming the immune system response to allergens. Certain essential oils have natural antihistamine and strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease congestion, coughing, and sneezing. You can diffuse essential oils in your home, add a few drops to a warm bath or use them topically by diluting them in a carrier oil, like coconut oil, and applying them to your skin.
Our founders weigh in on essential oils for seasonal allergies
We talked to our founders, Karen Williams and Andrea Butje, to get their insights on the best essential oils and recipes to use to relieve allergy symptoms. They had a lot of wisdom to share!
Both Karen and Andrea have been working with essential oils for decades. They’re dedicated to science and research, and have vast experience blending essential oils for themselves and others. Here’s what they had to say about finding natural relief from seasonal allergies.
The first phase of Karen’s career was in healthcare, where she worked as a registered nurse. When she decided she wanted more natural ways to care for people, she began studying essential oil science, eventually becoming a certified aromatherapist.
Fast forward, and today Karen is our president and lead aromatherapist! She sources the purest aromatherapy products in the world for our customers.
Her thoughts on allergy season
“I live in the Rocky Mountains in Montana. It’s a gorgeous place, full of majestic conifer trees and mountain wildflowers. But many of the plants that make it so beautiful, also fill the air with allergens at certain times of the year. Sometimes the conifers release so much pollen that everything gets coated with a dusting of brilliant yellow! Allergy season would be very uncomfortable without essential oils. Oils can help support our breathing, and the more we use them, the more they help. There’s something poetic to me about the idea that plants give us the essential oils that can calm our reactions to them.”
Karen’s top 3 essential oils for allergy season
German Chamomile Oil (Matricaria recutita)
“German chamomile has a special ability to calm reactions that are caused by allergens (as opposed to issues caused by germs like bacteria). I especially love it for soothing irritated, itchy skin.”
Note from Karen: "If you'd like to try different Chamomiles, give both the Nepalese and English varieties a try. I like to mix & match depending on what I have available to me, and both are excellent for allergy symptom relief."
Saro Oil (Cinnamosma fragrans)
“Saro oil contains the component 1,8-cineole, which is incredibly powerful for helping us take deep, clear breaths. 1,8-cineole has been well researched, so we know it works.”
Thyme ct Linalool Oil (Thymus vulgaris ct linalool)
“Thyme oil is one of my favorites for boosting the body’s natural immune response. And the linalool chemotype is gentle, while still being powerful. Breathing in thyme ct linalool can offer seriously fast relief.”
Karen's favorite essential oil recipes for seasonal allergies
Here are some of Karen's favorite essential oil recipes for dealing with seasonal allergies. Along with the essential oils she shared above, these recipes also include other very effective oils such as peppermint essential oil and lemon essential oil, mixed with some of our favorite carrier oils like jojoba oil.
Andrea and Cindy Black co-founded the Aromahead Institute, a highly esteemed online aromatherapy school. In the school’s early days, she struggled to find pure essential oils for her students to work with. (There were a lot of impure essential oil products on the market, and no simple way to determine quality between brands.) As a result, she decided to source pure essential oils herself—and Aromatics International was born!
Andrea’s thoughts on using essential oils for allergies
“I used to suffer from allergies pretty badly, so this is a topic near and dear to my heart! Every allergy season, I was plagued with itchy, watery eyes, a runny and stuffy nose—all the classic symptoms. When I came up with a system for using essential oils during allergy season, I was honestly shocked at how well it worked. Not only did my symptoms calm down … I don’t experience allergies at all anymore! It’s incredible. One thing I’d like to emphasize is reducing our exposure to allergens, if at all possible. For example, a lot of harsh cleaning products are full of chemicals that cause allergies. So things like getting harsh products out of the house, and getting rid of dust mites as much as possible, can go a long way toward easing symptoms.”
Andrea’s top 3 essential oils for seasonal allergy relief
Siberian Fir Oil (Abies sibirica)
“Siberian fir is a rock-star conifer oil for supporting our immune response! As I mentioned, I’m not a fan of harsh cleaning products. With Siberian fir, I can make my own recipes. It’s effective, and supports my health rather than challenging it.”
Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
“Thanks to the components linalool and linalyl acetate, lavender is excellent for calming issues that block healthy breathing. I use it to get a good night’s sleep during allergy season.”
Ravintsara Oil (Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8-cineole)
“Ravintsara contains a lot of 1,8-cineole, which is great for clear breathing. Try adding a drop to a bowl of steamy water, and breathing in the steam. Steam offers such relief when you’re stuffed up!”
Andrea’s recipe recommendations for allergy relief
Andrea shared with us some of her favorite essential oil recipes to mitigate your allergic reactions to the season! Along with the oils above, these include quality essential oils like eucalyptus essential oil, peppermint oil, and tea tree oil.
There are many factors that effect seasonal allergies and many ways to help alleviate the symptoms with essential oils. Karen's 3-step approach to allergy relief is a great resource for diving deeper on using essential oils for seasonal allergies!