Hay Fever (Allergic rhinitis)

hay feverHay fever, (Allergic Rhinitis) is a seasonal allergy where the allergic reaction to pollen causes an inflammation of the nose and conjunctiva.

Individuals, who are genetically predisposed, react to certain antigens such as pollen, fungal spores etc by producing large amounts of immunoglobulins (antibodies). It is the antigen-antibody reaction that is responsible for the symptoms experienced by the individual. While hay fever can occur in all age groups, it is more common in children and adolescents and there is generally a genetic predisposition present. In spite of this hay fever can develop at any time of life.

While the symptoms experienced can vary from one individual to the next, the most common symptoms and signs include recurrent sneezing, watery nasal discharge, itching, congestion and swelling of the eyes and nose, itching n the throat and headaches. These symptoms are very similar to the ones that occur in other allergies caused by inhaling the allergen such as allergies to mould, animal dander, dust etc.

It appears that the pollens most likely to cause this sort of an allergic reaction are the smaller pollens that are wind borne. The larger pollens carried by bees from plant to plant generally have a waxy coating and seldom appear to be responsible for causing hay fever.

There are a wide variety of plants that have been found to cause hay fever in sensitive individuals including trees, grasses, flowers and ragweed. The plants causing hay fever can vary not only on the individual’s sensitivity but also on the geographical area in which the plants are found. Another factor that seems to influence the triggering of hay fever appears to be the amount of pollen to be found in the air. Hot, dry, windy days are more likely to have increased amounts of pollen in the air than cool, damp, rainy days where pollen is washed to the ground and therefore the risk of hay fever symptoms can be higher on those days.

It is good to keep in mind that individuals who suffer from hay fever may also have other forms of allergies so it is important for them to keep their environment as free from dust as possible as well as to minimize or avoid flowering plants as much as possible.

The use of essential oils can be helpful at this time. These can be used in a number of different ways including baths, massage (chest and back), vaporisers or my personal favourite the personal inhaler. See more details at Methods of Use and Applications.

Essential oils which have been recommended for use with hay fever include, both Roman and German Chamomile (although if the allergy is caused by ragweed I would avoid using either of these oils as they come from the same family), Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus citriodora, rose, lavender, peppermint, myrtle, basil, marjoram, ravintsara, clary sage and cajeput. Also keep in mind that one can blend for the individual symptoms as they present themselves in the individual. An oil which I have found to be particularly effective in dealing with the symptoms of hay fever is Tanacetum annum commonly called Blue Tansy. Not to be confused with regular tansy which is Tanacetum vulgare which is NOT used in aromatherapy at all.

Consider the symptoms that are being experienced with the hay fever and then tweak your blends accordingly for instance oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, spike lavender, ravintsara and myrtle can be useful for sneezing and runny noses. German chamomile is helpful because of its anti-allergenic properties. Niaouli and ravintsara have excellent immunostimulant and restorative properties.

Blends for Hay Fever

Blend 1 Blend 2 Blend 3 Blend 4
2 drops of Niaouli 1 drop of G. Chamomile 2 drops of E. radiata 1 drop of G.Chamomile
1 drop of G.Chamomile 2 drops of Melissa 2 drops of Myrtle 2 drops of Ravintsara
3 drops of Lavender 3 drops of Spike Lavender 4 drops of Lemon 2 drops of Ginger

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