Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How Aromatherapy can Help Alleviate Hay Fever

What is Hay Fever?

Hay Fever is an allergic reaction to airborne pollens and spores that are released into the air during spring and summer, typically from tree or grass pollen.

When the body’s immune system is over-sensitive, it can react to allergens such as pollen as if it were a threat to the body, similar to how the body would react to attack a virus or infection.  Your immune system tries to defend the body by releasing chemicals to prevent the spread of what it sees as an infection.  It is these chemicals that cause the symptoms of Hay Fever.

The eyes, throat and mucous membrane lining of the nose are most commonly affected.


Who can be Affected by Hay Fever

Hay Fever often begins in childhood, but it is also known to affect people later on in life who may not have suffered from it before.

Being stressed or feeling run down could be a contributing factor later on in life.

You could be more at risk of suffering from Hay Fever if you suffer from asthma, have a family history of Hay Fever, or are exposed to tobacco smoke.


Symptoms of Hay Fever

Hay Fever can bring misery to many people with symptoms being similar to those of the common cold:

·         Sore, itchy or watery eyes.
·         Sneezing.
·         Blocked or runny nose.
·         Headaches.
·         Dry, itchy or sore throat.
·         Coughing.


Dietary Considerations

Dietary factors to take into consideration that may have an impact on helping to alleviate Hay Fever include:

·         Cutting down on milk and dairy products.
·         Eating more foods rich in Vitamin C (helps to increase the body’s resistance to infection).
·         Eating more garlic (helps to strengthen the immune system).
·         Eating local honey (helps the body become accustomed to local pollens in small amounts).


Aromatherapy and Hay Fever

The best aromatherapy oils to use to help alleviate Hay Fever are oils which combine anti-allergenic action or anti-histaminic action with anti-inflammatory properties.   The most useful oils include:

·         Rose
·         Chamomile
·         Lemon Eucalyptus
·         Lavender
·         Thyme
·         Basil
·         Marjoram
·         Sage
·         Hyssop
·         Pine
·         Peppermint


Rose is particularly useful for inflamed mucous membranes and headaches.
Thyme is particularly useful for treating respiratory infections.

How to Use Aromatherapy Oils to Help Alleviate Hay Fever

You may need to experiment to find the right oils that work for you from the list above.  Try using a single oil, or alternate or combine 2 or 3 different oils to find what gives you the greatest benefits.  You can use the oils in the following ways:


ROOM VAPORIZERS

Add a drop of oil to a room vaporizer.

Alternatively add a drop of oil to a handkerchief and inhale throughout the day.

BATHING

Add a drop of oil to your bath water.


MASSAGE

Add a drop of Chamomile, Lavender and/or Rose to a light base oil and use it to massage your back, neck and chest.
OILS & PETROLEUM JELLY

For inflamed mucous membranes of the nose:

·         Mix 1 drop each of the following oils with 1 teaspoon (5ml) of petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline):  Rose, Chamomile, and/or Lavender.
·         Apply a very small amount to the nostrils, 2 or 3 times a day.

Other Alternatives that May Help:


COOL COMPRESS

For sore eyes, apply a cool compress of ROSE WATER (not oil).

HERBAL TEAS

Chamomile or elderflower tea are said to be particularly helpful when it comes to Hay Fever, thanks to their anti-catarrh properties.



N.B.:  It’s advisable to consult your doctor or health care professional if you have any concerns regarding your health.  Always consult your doctor before using oils/herbs if you are pregnant, taking any other medication or have any other health issues.  Some oils/herbs are not suitable for pregnant women, people with high blood pressure, epilepsy, babies and young children, or people with sensitive skin.  Most essential oils should not be applied neat to the skin.  Always do a patch test before using any new oil.  Some people may need to increase the dilution of oils.  Essential oils should not be taken internally.  Alternative therapists seek to work in conjunction with the medical profession.  Always consult a registered/licensed alternative therapist before using oils/herbs.


Prices/discounts indicated correct at time of writing/publishing. E&OE.





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