If you're a seasonal allergy sufferer in the Northeast, there's a good chance that this spring has been a bit rough thus far. Both weather and medical specialists point fingers to seasonal weather patterns and climate change's impact on pollen, and forecast that this spring might be shorter than seasons past. Regardless, woes of stuffed noses, scratchy throats and throbbing headaches have been widespread amongst my family and friends, and my own sinuses have been suffering worse than they have in recent years.
In times like these, over-the-counter prescriptions tend to not be enough, and I have been doubling my typical water intake just to combat their drying side effect. I've started using my neti pot to soothe my nasal passages with a warm saline rinse, but was beyond thrilled this weekend when I remembered something my soon-to-be father-in-law taught me: peppermint oil is a fantastic nasal decongestant when inhaled externally. So when I found myself unable to inhale through my nose while on a hike in Upstate New York, I tried this little trick out and was able to clearly breathe in ten minutes flat.
I've brought my trick back home and built an essential oil blend to diffuse in our home. A combination of peppermint oil, and essential oils of lemon, lavender and marjoram (sweet oregano) can supplement your typical allergy remedies by soothing and encouraging clear airways. Lavender essential oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, while the lemon essential oil is a great antioxidant and has rejuvenating properties. Marjoram essential oil has been historically used to treat sinus and respiratory ailments as it has expectorant qualities. Our diffuser now sits by my work station, and I've been breathing easier ever since.
Allergy Soothing Essential Oil Blend
4 drops peppermint essential oil
3 drops marjoram essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops lemon essential oil
For each blend, mix together in a dark glass bottle, keeping these proportions constant even if increased. When ready to use, fill your diffuser to the fill line with water, and add in 3-7 drops of the essential oil blend.