Essential Oils: Reducing Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

In the beginning
If you’re like me, and like a good deal of people, you suffer from seasonal allergies. Truthfully, I didn’t have any noticeable allergies until nearly eight years ago. But it seemed like, by the time our son was two, they were bothering me more and more. About three years ago, I even went so far as to get allergy testing done. I did not have a major reaction to anything, but a mild reaction to a lot of things. I started allergy shots and after five or six months of them, saw no results. I know that you’re supposed to take them longer than that, but we then moved and I would have had to start all over again anyway. 
By the time we changed locations almost two years ago, I was miserable. In the fall and winter, I had sinus infection after sinus infection. I remember having to take three rounds of antibiotics between the beginning of November 2011 and February 2012. 
Enough is enough!
After trying allergy shots with no relief, I decided I had to do something. I really didn’t want to start back up with allergy shots again once we moved and I wasn’t convinced they would help me anyway. I was feeling desperate. I started doing some research into essential oils and figured that it certainly couldn’t hurt to try. 
That next winter, every time I started getting sinus pain or a sinus infection, I would put peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus oil (just a drop each) into a bowl of water and breathe in the steam for 30 seconds. I did this several times a day until I didn’t feel like I was on the verge of a sinus infection anymore. I was amazed. I did not have a single sinus infection all winter and when I had a cold and did this, I was so much more comfortable. 
Expanding essential oil use
I was still having bad allergy symptoms that at least twice a week would develop into a headache that only a Coke and migraine medicine could ease – and even that didn’t always work. I also took an over-the-counter allergy medication every day. Impressed with my experience using essential oils when I was on the verge of a sinus infection or sick, I began to look into it to see what could be done to lessen seasonal allergies in general. This is what ultimately led to my obsession with essential oils. 
Recipe for success
I found a lot of suggestions for different oils that could help ease allergy symptoms. At some point in my search, I ran into a blog post by Baldwin’s Girl that contained an actual recipe to try to relieve allergy symptoms. This was exactly what I was looking for! 
10 drops eucalyptus
10 drops lavender
5 drops cedarwood
5 drops peppermint
3 drops helichrysum
I did not have helichrysum for quite some time, but I did mix up this recipe without it and began to use it. I first bought a necklace made of clay that could absorb the oils into it so that I could wear it around my neck and breathe those oils in all day long. 
Later, I upgraded to a locket-style necklace that has a cotton pad in it that I can add a couple drops of the oil blend. I found that this worked so much better and the smell lasted much longer as well. I also added helichrysum to the mix. 
My experience
I have been using this recipe for almost a year now and I have had great results. Am I absolutely allergy symptom free? Of course not. For example, we’ve had rain off and on the last five days and my allergies have kicked up a lot. I’m stuffy and uncomfortable. But I know I would be feeling much, much worse if I weren’t using the oils. I can also say that, in the last year, I have to take migraine medication once or twice a month as opposed to consistently needing it 2-3 times a week before. A huge improvement in my book. I did have one sinus infection this last winter, but one in two years is a whole lot better than 2-4 every winter.
When I do get bad sinus headaches, I roll some Relieve Me (50% oil, 50% carrier oil) on my temple or the back of my neck. I also have used an unscented, all natural lotion and added some peppermint, lavender and spearmint oils to it and will rub that in as well. They definitely help. 
I wish I could get rid of my allergy symptoms completely, but compared to where I was a year ago, I feel like essential oils have been a miracle in my life. 
Conclusion
If you’ve tried just about everything to lessen your allergy symptoms and you’re still feeling miserable all the time, you might want to give essential oils a try! 
Disclaimer
Remember, do your research on all essential oils before you start using them. Most essential oils must be diluted (I do not dilute the allergy relief recipe, but it also doesn’t touch my skin) and some oils that might be okay for adults are not okay for kids, etc. Definitely educate yourself about oils before you just jump in and use them! There are a lot of great resources online and people you can ask for help or advice as well. 
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