Allergy and Hay Fever: Natural Treatments
Spring is here! It brings with it good weather, warmth, flowers… so many things that may seem pleasant, but for some, they are signs of the beginning of problems.
Many people suffer during this period from hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis or pollen allergies, which can prevent them from fully enjoying this beautiful season.
Most often, hay fever is an allergic reaction caused by the bloom of flowers that releases pollen into the air. It is almost impossible to escape the pollen, which is present in the air and moves very easily.
We are not all equally sensitive to pollen. This is because, depending on the plants and flowering periods, we are not all allergic at the same time or in the same way.
Flowering takes place from February to April for tree pollens (cypress, birch), from May to July for grass pollens (hay) and from August to October for herbaceous plants (ditch grasses, flowers, etc.). In other words, for people with allergies, these 9 months are not pleasant. Between sneezing, runny nose, and stinging eyes, spring (for allergy sufferers) often rhymes with bad timing!
In addition, all these symptoms can be accompanied by other more embarrassing symptoms:
- conjunctivitis: swollen, red, watery eyes,
- asthma attack,
- Quincke’s edema causing swelling of certain parts of the body (often face and lips),
- anaphylactic shock producing discomfort and requiring emergency treatment.
Basically: a hay fever is a mixture of a virus-related cold (minus the fever) and an allergy! In some (much rarer) cases, hay fever can be accompanied by breathing difficulties.
Allergy: How does it work?
It can happen that the body confuses certain normally harmless substances with substances that are dangerous for our organism. This substance is then described as an allergen.
When the allergenic substance comes into contact with the mucous membranes, the cells produce a signal that is released into the bloodstream. This signal is composed of histamine molecules that deliver a message to the whole body that a foreign body has been invaded and needs to be removed. These histamine molecules therefore play a major role in triggering allergic reactions. The immune system then sets up means of defence that cause the symptoms we have mentioned above.
Some people have opted to take medication (antihistamines) to treat the symptoms of hay fever. Taking antihistamines, like any medication, is not without risk.
Indeed, some doctors wonder about the dangers of taking antihistamines regularly, particularly the risk of addiction. Taking antihistamines on a regular basis can cause the body to become accustomed to the drug molecule, resulting in the development of resistance to the drug. The drug therefore becomes less effective over time and the patient must switch to another, often stronger and more aggressive molecule.
Hay fever and aromatherapy
Essential oil of Ravintsara
Essential oil essential in the treatment of bronchopulmonary disorders, it also strengthens the immune system, which makes it very effective against allergies. It unclogs congested noses and stops nasal discharge.
Super Lavandin essential oil
Known for its relaxing and anti-spasmodic virtues, lavandin essential oil is very effective in relieving pollen-related allergies.
Eucalyptus radiata essential oil
Eucalyptus radiation is often used to treat sinusitis and bronchitis. However, it is also very effective against allergic rhinitis (hay fever) thanks to its immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory and decongestant virtues.
Tarragon Essential Oil
Tarragon essential oil is known for its stimulating virtues, being very rich in vitamin C. It also has digestive and anti-allergic properties.
German Chamomile essential oil
German chamomile essential oil is often recommended in the case of allergies. Indeed, it has anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and calming properties.
Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil has the property of blocking histamine secretion. It will therefore inhibit the allergic response and thus relieve the symptoms of hay fever.
Scots Pine essential oil
More commonly known as mountain pine, Scots pine has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties, which are useful during an allergic reaction such as hay fever.
All these essential oils can be ingested, if you can tolerate the taste of course. All you have to do is put a few drops on a neutral tablet or sugar cube and melt it in your mouth. To renew 2 to 3 times a day.
You can also use these essential oils in diffusion, thanks to an ultrasonic diffuser or nebulizer for example. Always in inhalation you can put a few drops of essential oils on a handkerchief or in a bowl of hot water that you will breathe with deep breaths. You can renew the inhalation several times a day.
You can also use these essential oils by making a homemade massage oil. To do this, you just need to dilute a few drops of essential oil in a vegetable oil (coconut, borage or avocado for example). You can massage your sinuses, torso and upper back 2 to 3 times a day with this mixture. As usual, you can mix the essential oils together to increase their effectiveness.