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Spring Is Upon Us

Spring is upon us, which means many fabulous things. The outdoor world comes alive with beautiful green foliage, blooming flowers are everywhere, and the days are warmer and full of sunshine. It is a time of goodness and expansion into a new season — unless you suffer from seasonal allergies.

It is called allergic rhinitis, technically. But we know it as hay fever (or as I have called it for years “what-did-I-ever-do-to-deserve-this?!”). There is simply nothing more frustrating than the unrelenting urge to sneeze, sniffle and wheeze through a nose plugged up with pollen. The whole thing is absurd, really. Our immune systems go haywire, and see harmless plants (or dust, or dander) as real threats, and works to push them out of our system, inflaming and irritating along the way and those conventional allergy meds; they can often leave you feeling worse. But you can find relief, naturally with essential oils.

Seasonal allergies are caused by the body's inability to adapt to changes in the environment. While some of us may thrive with the onset of the spring season, it is also known for bringing on sneezing, watery eyes, swollen sinuses, and discomfort for those who do not adapt easily. Essential oils with antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergen properties can help reduce uncomfortable symptoms so that you can enjoy the changing seasons!

Eucalyptus can open the respiratory system, reduce inflammation, and allow better breathing, so can Rosemary, which is slightly milder than eucalyptus, so may be more fitting for a child.

Fragonia is known to open the airways and promote free breathing; this oil is great for people with asthma that are suffering from allergies. This oil is also an anti-inflammatory.

Lavender is a natural antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and very calming. It can help reduce irritation and relax your breathing.

Lemon improves immunity, relieves respiratory issues, is antibacterial and relieves respiratory inflammation.

One of my favorite aromatherapies for allergy relief tricks is to make an inhaler.

If you have never used an aromatherapy inhaler, it is a little lip-balm sized tube with a piece of cotton in it. You soak the cotton in a blend of essential oils, and inhale it as needed throughout the day.

I use 15 drops of essential oil total in my aromatherapy inhalers. Some of my favorite oils for allergy relief to choose from are:

• Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)

• Fragonia (Agonis fragrans)

• Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)

• Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

• Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

• Lemon (Citrus limon)

When you are fighting allergy symptoms, you can also make linen sprays to help you get to sleep at night. I like to wash my sheets often (to reduce dust, mites, and other allergens that might collect on the fabric), and to use linen sprays that serve the multiple purposes of reducing dust mites, calming my respiratory system, and helping me get to sleep.

It is true that allergens are all around you . . . but you can use aromatherapy all around you, too!

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