As much as we are all glad that Spring has finally arrived here in North Carolina, it has brought with it an abundance of pollen! Within a week our world went from grey and bleak to green and covered in a dusty yellow powder.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. With pollen comes, leaves on the trees, beautiful flowers, and healthy plants. However, sore throats, runny noses, itchy eyes, and headaches also tend to appear as well. I am not a person with terribly bad seasonal allergies, but within the past few weeks I have started to notice a sore throat and some itchy eyes by the end of the day.
Before you reach for some over the counter allergy medicines though, think twice. These types of medications can cause a number of issues. I could link hundred of sources here on this topic but to demonstrate that I only write about things that I have personally experienced, here are two instances of problems I have encountered from taking allergy and asthma medications.
In the 6th grade I was diagnosed with year round allergies and put on zyrtec. I took it every day without a second thought for many years. However, after diet changes, environmental changes, and time, I decided to go off of the medication. After three days with no medication I began having relentless and severe itching all over my entire body. There was no rash or visible sign of an allergy just terrible mind numbing itching. I waited three days, suffering through this terrible irritation before I couldn’t take it any longer and I went back on the Zyrtec. The itching was gone in less than an hour. I tried multiple times over the course of a few years to get off of the medication to the same effect. Finally, I decided to wean myself off over the course of a month and I was able withdrawal from it without excessive symptoms. I have not had any severe allergy symptoms since then. I had a second, very similar situation when trying to withdrawal from the prescription allergy/asthma medicine singulair. At the same time that I was diagnosed with allergies I was diagnosed with allergy-induced asthma and put on singulair and a daily inhaler. After diet changes, lifestyle changes and time, I had not had an asthma attack in years and decided to go off of this medication. Within a week I suddenly developed a reaction in my eyes that mimicked pink eye. Goopy, red painful eyes day in and day out. Seeing as how I was a daycare teacher at the time, pink eye seemed likely. I took a few days off of work, went on a topical antibiotic and expected it to clear up. It got slightly better, I finished up the antibiotic and went back to work. Within a couple of days it was back. My doctor, believing it was viral, put me on anti-viral drops and I took a few more days off of work, still no improvement. I was then put on an antibiotic gel that required me to lay with my eyes closed for 30 minutes 3 times a day! Still no improvement. Finally, after over a month of missed work, missed school, and miserable eyes I connected the dots. Within one day of going back on the singulair my eyes were perfect. A few years later, I took a month to wean off of that medication as well, I was able to withdrawal without further eye problems. This process demonstrated to me the addictive nature of these medicines. We assume that because they are easily available in stores they must be safe but our bodies can easily become dependant on them and our natural supply of cortisol and our bodies natural reactions to irritants become so suppressed that we cannot function without medication.
Therapeutic grade essential oils on the other hand, provide safe, temporary, non-habit forming relief from occasional allergy symptoms. It is important to note that I said therapeutic grade. Not all essential oils are created equally. Some brands are only meant for aromatherapy, some can be used topically or diffused in the air, but the only brand I trust to take internally is DoTerra. DoTerra is the only brand of essential oils that is tested by a third party for purity and potency and approved for internal use.
About the Oils:
Lavender is a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory which makes it effective as an allergy relief agent.
Peppermint has pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties and is great for clearing nasal congestion.
Lemon is a cleansing oil and helps rid your body of allergens and toxins like that pesky pollen.
To Relieve Seasonal Allergy Symptoms:
Simply take 2-4 drops of lavender, peppermint, and lemon essential oils with water or in a spoonful of honey as needed. Generally, I notice relief within an hour and I only need to do this once a day for a couple of days.
What are your go-to seasonal allergy remedies?