Allergies are very common in all over the world, and the number of sufferers keeps on increasing with every passing day. Allergic diseases are caused due to hypersensitivity of the immune system to several allergens. There can be various contributing factors (but not limited to) like food, metals, or any substance, insect stings, medications, etc (1). Though you can try home remedies for such allergic reactions, there is a new trend of using essential oils for a few decades. An essential oil is a scented liquid that is extracted after distillation of certain plants. When it comes to providing natural relief, essential oils are the best option to try. Here, we have given a handpicked list of some of the best essential oils that you can use to treat allergies. Have a look!
1. Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) Essential Oil
Lavender oil is one of the most common and versatile oil that has been used in aromatherapy for several reasons. It has natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, carminative, sedative, antidepressive, and antimicrobial properties (2). As it can cure inflammation, Lavender essential oil is helpful to treat asthma (3). The oil helps soothe numerous allergies like respiratory allergies, hay fever, etc., along with skin rashes and irritations, sores, burns, cuts, etc. due to its antiseptic effects (4).
The methods to use this oil are also countless, they are:
- Rub a few drops of the oil on your palm and inhale it, if you notice the symptoms of hay fever.
- During an allergic season, spray the oil on a few cotton balls and keep them with you. This will keep the allergens away.
- Put a few drops in your diffuser and keep it by your bedside.
- If the allergy has caused rashes, itching, etc., directly apply the oil on the affected area.
- For respiratory allergies, you can mix this oil with any carrier oil and apply it near your nostrils.
- Lastly, you can also add it to your bath water or a cold compress.
1) Before applying it directly onto your skin, do a sensitivity test on a small area of your skin (5).
2) Oral consumption of the oil is not advisable (6).
3) For a very sensitive skin, dilute it with a carrier oil (7).
2. Lemon EO
Lemon essential oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and carminative properties (8). It is generally used for the treatment of respiratory allergies, sinus, asthma, but is equally effective for various other allergies also. This oil is effective against microorganisms (9). It reduces inflammation drastically, prevents congestion, and clears the respiratory tract as well. It also promotes blood circulation in the body.
- Use it in different kinds of tea or any other drink to heal internally.
- Prepare an anti-allergic mixture by combining it with peppermint and lavender oil, and you can either apply it on the affected portion, or you can use the solution to gargle.
- You can also use the oil as a disinfectant to keep the air clean and thereby, you can prevent allergies caused due to insects, pollutants, etc.
- Mix the oil with any carrier oil and apply it on your back, nostrils and neck.
3. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of a compound called citronellal. This oil also possesses antiseptic and antimicrobial properties (10) (11). It has shown promising results for treating respiratory allergies in several studies. It is able to break up mucus and therefore, is helpful in asthmatic conditions. You can use it in the following ways:
- Put a few drops in diffuser or steam inhaler to open up nostrils. Make sure to cover your eyes to avoid irritation. Also, drink a lot of warm water after inhaling as the excessive flow of mucus can cause dryness in the airways.
- Dilute it with any carrier oil like almond oil and apply it to your forehead or chest.
- You can also use the diluted oil to soothe skin irritation and rashes.
1) It must not be taken directly by mouth or applied in undiluted form(12).
2) There is insufficient evidence of its effectiveness for allergies. Therefore, you must be very careful while using this oil.
3) Consult your doctor before the ingestion of eucalyptus oil as it can be toxic (13).
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
This is another common oil that has been used for decades to treat various ailments. It is extracted from mentha piperita, a hybrid mint. The cooling effect of mint helps treat inflammation and irritation (14), and the scent may also help get rid of respiratory problems caused due to allergens. It is quite effective to cure spring allergy (15). You can also consume it internally to cure food allergies. For this, you can mix it in your tea and drink it regularly.
- Alternatively, mix it in a glass of warm or cold water.
- Dilute the oil with almond oil, jojoba oil, or any other carrier oil and apply it on your chest, forehead, nose, etc.
1) High dose of peppermint oil may be harmful (16).
2) People who are allergic to menthol must not use it.
5. Roman Chamomile EO
It is a popular and safe oil that can be applied topically and consumed internally (17). It is added to many food and beverages to enhance flavor. The oil is generally used to treat several kinds of nerve pain but is equally effective for allergies also. It can reduce swelling, stop the growth of various fungi and bacteria along with soothing insect bites, perineal pain, cuts, and hemorrhoids (18). Derived from Chamaemelum Nobile, the oil is known to have a calming effect and is safe for infants also. To treat rashes and itchy skin, add the oil to almond or coconut oil and apply it on the affected portion.
- For allergic reaction and their symptoms like pain caused by an insect sting, apply a drop of the undiluted oil on the spot directly.
6. Basil Essential Oil
Basil, a sacred plant of India, has lots of medicinal properties and has been used in Ayurveda for years. The essential oil of basil also possesses a lot of anti-fungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, (19) (20) (21)and insect repellent properties. It also detoxifies the body by driving harmful viruses and bacteria out from the system. To maintain and regulate the health of the immune system, add a drop of this oil to your food preparations, soups, salads, etc.
- Apply diluted basil oil on the neck, chest, and temples. For diluting, you can use coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or any other carrier oil.
- You can also use it in a diffuser or steam inhaler. For this add a few drops of the oil in hot water and inhale the steam for several minutes.
Frankincense oil is used to soothe skin conditions like inflammation, rashes, burns, etc. including allergies caused due to several reasons. It has several properties like anti-neurotic, expectorant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic properties (22). The bark of the tree is used for extracting the oil and is one of the best oils for allergies. Some of the studies show that it is capable of healing asthma (23). It has astringent properties, and it helps promote cell regeneration. Skin conditions like eczema can also be cured using frankincense essential oil (24). The oil can be used in undiluted form, but it is always a safe option to mix it with a carrier oil.
- Alternatively, pour a few drops of the oil in the diffuser.
This oil is antispasmodic (25) and possesses decongestant abilities. It, therefore, clears the nose from histamine reaction. The oil is also recommended for asthmatic patients. To use the oil, place a few drops of the oil in a steam inhaler and add hot water to it. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the inhaler and inhale the steam for few minutes to get relief.
Lemongrass oil has lots of antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties (26), and it can be used to get relief in skin reactions caused due to several reasons. It is useful for the people suffering from an allergy-related headache, and can be an alternative to peppermint oil for these kinds of headaches.
Note: It must always be diluted before applying to skin.
10. Ginger Oil
This is another common oil for treating allergies related to respiratory system. Ginger oil possesses properties like antinociceptive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory (27). It is also beneficial for upset stomach and digestive system related problems. Therefore, it might help with food-related allergies. Take a few drops of this oil and massage it on your abdomen to get rid of gas and diarrhea. It can also provide relief from sinusitis, sore throat, etc. Inhaling this oil via diffuser or vaporizer can work as a decongestant.
11. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil is another wonderful and versatile oil that has been used for decades to treat cuts, wounds, infections, etc., including allergies. It is antifungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial in nature (28). Along with that, this oil also fights effectively with viruses and mites due to being an antiseptic agent (29). The oil is capable of destroying airborne pathogens that cause allergies. Like many other oils such as lavender, lemon oil, this oil can also be used in various forms:
- To kill the pollutants, bacteria, germs, etc., in the environment, put the oil in the diffuser and place that in your home.
- Apply the oil directly to the rashes and other affected areas of the skin.
Note: If your skin is sensitive, dilute the oil with any other oil like olive or with water, before application.
12. Clove Oil
This is most widely used oil as it possesses antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, anesthetic properties (30) (31) (32). It is also an anthelmintic, antispasmodic, and antispasmodic qualities (33). Clove oil is also antioxidant in nature which helps suppress inflammation and clears up nasal passage thereby provides relief in allergic sinusitis. You can add the oil in a diffuser and place it in your home to clean the air.
- Apply the oil to your chest, neck, etc., after mixing it with a carrier oil like almond, olive or coconut oil.
13. Turmeric Essential Oil
Turmeric, an Indian spice, has been used for centuries for various ailments due to its anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, and antioxidant properties (34). It inhibits the growth of parasites, bacteria, and pathogenic fungi (35). The essential oil of turmeric is also very powerful as it is packed with rare components that help heal the disease. Like turmeric, the oil is also antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-allergic, antiviral, and antibacterial. It also reduces the symptoms of pain and burning sensation (36). For allergies mix it with ointments.
- You can also apply the oil after mixing it with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil.
1) The oil is very potent and must be diluted before application.
2) Do not consume the oil in excess. The daily use must be limited to 4-5 drops.
3) Pregnant women must consume it only after consulting a doctor.
14. Pine Oil
Pine oil’s health benefits are attributed to its antimicrobial (37), antibacterial (38), insecticide (39), antiseptic and diuretic properties. It is mostly used in the treatment of skin diseases and is found in many medicated lotions and creams. The oil works wonders in the treatment of itching, sores, eczema, and other ailments. Apart from these, it is used for the treatment of cough and cold also. For skin allergies, apply the oil on the affected area of the skin.
- You can also use it in a diffuser to purify the air, in cold seasons.
Note: Do not inhale it in excess as it may cause respiratory irritation to some people who are very sensitive.
15. Mandarin EO
This oil improves the circulation of blood and lymph and also helps regenerate new cells. The oil possesses antispasmodic, antiseptic, and depurative properties. Due to these properties, it protects wounds from becoming septic, treats congestion caused due to allergies (40), purifies blood and therefore, treats several kinds of allergies. Apply the oil after mixing it with coconut oil.
Note: Perform a skin test on small area before using it for any kind of allergy.
16. Geranium Oil
Geranium oil is another wonderful oil for treating several kinds of allergies like dermatitis, insect bites, etc. Known by the name “poor man’s rose oil,” the oil has anti-inflammatory properties (41) and has been used traditionally for skin conditions. It also possesses antibacterial and antimicrobial characteristics (42) (43). This oil prevents the infection in wounds and cuts being an antibacterial agent and promotes cell growth due to cytophylactic properties (44). The use of the oil depends on the disease or the medical condition for which a person is using it.
- For dermatitis, mix it with coconut oil and apply on the affected areas.
- If you are prone to allergy caused due to a mosquito bite, mix the oil with water and spray it on your body.
17. Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood oil is generally known and used for its sedative and tranquilizing effect, but it is also used to treat respiratory diseases like a cough and congestion caused due to allergies. You can use this oil in the diffuser to get relief from such conditions. It also destroys fungal infections and is useful for skin conditions including eczema, which is another common allergic condition.
- Another less important and less known use of the oil is that it works as a great insect repellent (45). Therefore, it may prevent seasonal allergies caused due to insect bites. You can place a few cotton balls dabbed with the oil, in your home to repel mosquitoes.
18. Balsam Fir Oil
Since needles of balsam fir contain important compounds, they are deemed as the most useful part of the plant. Balsam fir essential oil has lots of uses including treatment of acne, injuries, cuts, allergies, and insect bites. The oil is effective in the treatment of numerous ailments due to its antibacterial (46), antioxidant, antimicrobial (47), and astringent properties. Balsam fir oil can also be used as a rodent repellent (48) and for some food allergies. You can apply this oil on chest and for other allergies, you can apply it to affected areas, after diluting it.
19. Birch EO
There are two types of birch oil, i.e., white and black birch. White birch oil is derived from distillation process of leaf-bud (49) and is used for allergies. The oil has insecticide, analgesic, antiseptic, disinfectant, diuretic, astringent, and other therapeutic properties. It is generally non-irritant and non-toxic and is found in pharmaceutical preparations also. You can blend it with rosemary, jasmine, sandalwood, etc. Like any other essential oil, you can apply the oil on the affected area after mixing it with a carrier oil.
20. Carrot Seed
Carrot seed oil is one of the underrated oils, but it inhibits the growth of fungi as some studies suggest (50). The main component of the oil is carotol due to which it shows medicinal quality. The oil is also known for its antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, cytophylactic, depurative, and other properties. It is wonderful for all skin types and is used to treat allergic conditions like dermatitis.
1) Always dilute your oil with some carrier oil.
2) Carrot oil may cause bleeding during pregnancy. Therefore, it must be avoided.
Essential Oils Blends for Allergies
Apart from using these oils individually, you can also treat your allergies by mixing several essential oils. Although there are numerous options to create a mix, you must be very careful in choosing a particular combination as some of them may be fatal. Therefore, you should not mix them without proper research.
21. Bergamot, Juniper and Peppermint Blend
Bergamot oil is effectively used in aromatherapy for stress and anxiety (51). It also has antibacterial properties (52). For this blend, you will need 60 drops of bergamot oil, 40 drops of lavender oil & juniper oil, and 20 drops of peppermint oil. Mix all of them thoroughly and store them in a small container. You can use the mix in the following ways:
- Add 75 drops of the oil and 1 tsp of vodka in ½ cup distilled or filtered water and use it as an air spray.
- Add 4 to 6 drops of the blend and 1 tsp of milk in your bath and soak for 30 minutes.
- Massage on the affected area of the skin after mixing it with sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil.
22. German Chamomile and Tagetes Mix
German chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties (53). Therefore, this wonderful EO blend is for eczema, contact dermatitis, and other skin related allergies (54). On the other hand, tagetes oil shows various medicinal properties like antispasmodic, antibiotic, antiparasitic, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. This makes it heal problems like colitis, congestions, inwound burns, dermatitis, and other skin diseases. For this blend, in a non-reactive bowl, mix 10 drops of German chamomile, 5 drops of yarrow, 5 drops tagetes, 10 drops of primrose oil, 2 tbsp avocado oil, 30 drops jojoba oil, and 2 tbsp of avocado oil. Apply the mixture on the affected areas of your skin and store the remaining in a small container for future use.
23. Vetiver, Chamomile, and Lavender Blend
Vetiver oil has sedative and pain-relieving properties and also helps alleviate inflammations (57). Lavender oil is great to be used to soothe itching (). If you are suffering from hives, then this perfect blend will treat your problem in no time. For this solution, you have to mix 1 drop of lavender oil, 2 drops of grapeseed oil, 1 drop of vetiver oil, and 1 drop of chamomile oil. Apply it on the affected areas with your fingertips or cotton ball.
- Alternatively, omit grapeseed oil and add the blend to your bath and soak for 30 minutes.
24. Lavender, Myrtle and Chamomile blend
While myrtle oil possesses antibacterial and antioxidant properties (59) (60), chamomile oil acts as an antimicrobial agent (61). Hay Fever is another common seasonal allergy, which is very irritating at times. To treat this allergy with essential oils, prepare a blend by mixing 10 drops of Roman chamomile, 4 drops of lavender, and 2 drops of myrtle essential oil. Mix thoroughly and massage onto your chest and back to eliminate the problem.
25. Lemon and Eucalyptus Blend
Eucalyptus oil is antimicrobial in nature (62). This blend is used as an inhaler and is for the people who have sensitive skin and application of the oil is not possible for them. To prepare the blend for hay fever, mix 7 drops of Roman chamomile (or helichrysum), eucalyptus and lemon oil, each. Fill your inhaler with the mixture and inhale the fumes when required. You can use this until all the oil has evaporated.
26. Lavender, Geranium, and Lemon Mix
Another inhaler that you can prepare for treating hay fever is this. Geranium essential oil is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent (63) (64). Mix 7 drops of lavender oil, 7 drops of tea tree oil (or myrtle), 4 drops of geranium and 4 drops of lemon oil. Store the content in an inhaler tube and use whenever required.
27. Rosemary, Peppermint Blend
Rosemary essential oil has antimicrobial properties and is often, used to treat arthritis and muscle pain along with improving the circulation (65). Peppermint oil soothes the skin due its calming effects and heals irritation caused due to hives, poison oak or poison ivy (66). For this blend, mix 3 drops of rosemary oil, 1 drop of thyme essential oil, and 1 drop of peppermint oil in a bowl filled with boiled water. After applying sinus spray, take a towel and cover your head with it while inhaling steam from the bowl. Do this for 5-10 minutes and keep your eyes closed during the process. Repeat it 3-4 times a day to treat sinus caused due to allergies.
- Alternatively, add 3 drops of pine or rosemary oil, 3 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl filled with boiled water and inhale the steam in the same way.