5 TIPS TO EASE YOUR RAGWEED ALLERGY
RAGWEED OR AMBROSIA: NECTAR OF THE GODS?
Ambrosia is a common term in Greek mythology. It’s sometimes referred to as a drink, and sometimes as the food of the gods – supposedly bringing immortality to anyone who consumes it. It was a delicacy made from honey, water, fruit, cheese, olive oil and barley.
According to ancient stories, Tantalus, the son of Zeus, received great honour when he consumed ambrosia on Mount Olympus. After all, ambrosia is closely related to nectar, which the writer Homer describes in his epics as the food or drink of the gods. Ambrosia, but also nectar as it was sometimes called, was described as a fragrant substance, which the protagonists of the Odyssey used as perfume. Even clothes and shoes made of ambrosia were mentioned.
RAGWEED OR AMBROSIA: A MODERN EPIDEMIC?
Things are somewhat different today. Ambrosia took on a new meaning. Instead of the drink or nectar of the gods, we most often associate it with allergic rhinitis. In moderate climates, ragweed blooms at the end of summer, from the second half of August through the first half of September. People allergic to the pollen of this plant are more than familiar with it. It produces large amounts of pollen and is considered one of the strongest allergens in the world.
It's estimated that up to a quarter of the population of continental Europe suffers from ragweed allergy. An allergy is a disorder in the workings of the immune system, where the immune cells react strongly to substances that are completely common and usually harmless. At the time of an allergic reaction, histamine is released, which causes a series of unpleasant symptoms for allergic people.
Allergy symptoms can be extremely disruptive during the day, but also cause problems at night as they interfere with sleep. Sneezing, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, headaches... the list is long and unpleasant.
USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO ALLEVIATE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
Organic essential oils can provide great relief when it comes to pollen allergies, especially when respiratory problems are concerned. They will provide an anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effect. They’ll open extra space in your airways, allow you to take deep breaths, and generally make the allergy season much more bearable.
Here are some simple tips that will help you get through ragweed allergy season and the unpleasant symptoms that come with it.
Tip 1: Diffusing essential oils is a great way to help yourself
We understand that you can’t spend the whole day indoors, but when you’re at home and have the opportunity, use essential oils by diffusing them in your living space. Add a few drops of true lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils to your diffuser and turn it on for an hour.
True lavender essential oil is very effective in reducing allergy symptoms. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and balances the immune system. It will also relieve headaches that may occur due to blocked sinuses, swollen mucous membranes or constant sneezing and blowing of the nose.
On top of all that, it acts as a natural antihistamine agent – it reduces the secretion of histamine and thus reduces the severity of the allergic reaction. To clarify, in the process of an allergic reaction, our body starts with an excessive immune reaction and secretes excess histamine – a substance normally produced when we’re in contact with dangerous substances from the environment. The secretion of histamine causes the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) – our body seems to give a signal that something is wrong, while in fact there is no real danger.
True lavender essential oil has a very calming and relaxing effect. This is important because stress contributes to increased histamine secretion. Relaxation with the help of lavender will increase stress resilience and alleviate symptoms caused by ragweed allergy. Given that the problems associated with allergies do not stop at night, diffuse true lavender essential oil in your bedroom before going to bed and ensure a more peaceful and solid sleep.
Eucalyptus essential oil is great for clearing the airways as it stimulates circulation and reduces inflammation. It will help in the secretion of mucus that accumulates in the sinuses or lungs, and with its freshness will relieve you of headaches.
Peppermint essential oil can be very piercing and, like eucalyptus, will facilitate breathing and free up the sinuses. It will ease inflammatory processes and reduce pain in the head and muscles by stimulating circulation. It will also have a beneficial effect if you’re experiencing tension and stress. It will wake you up and refresh you when you feel fatigued, which can be a common symptom accompanying allergies.
Tip 2: Make a balm with peppermint essential oil
Among the most common complaints of people suffering from allergies are respiratory problems: a feeling of fullness in the sinuses, a runny nose and sometimes a dry cough. This is often followed by a headache, especially if you blow your nose many times a day, further irritating the nose and sinuses.
To ease your breathing problems and clear your airways, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your body lotion or carrier oil of your choice (coconut oil, argan oil or shea butter). Mix it well and rub it onto your chest and upper back area. This will give you instant relief and speed up the expectoration of mucus from your lungs.
In case you have a headache, massage this mixture on your forehead, temples, and the back of your neck. Make sure that it doesn’t come into contact with your eyes. The pungency of peppermint will very quickly soothe your headache, bring you relief and energise you. For more detailed instructions and advice, take a closer look at this blog.
Tip 3: Choose oils with antiviral and antibacterial properties
Antimicrobial essential oils diffused in your living space contribute to reducing the number of pathogenic bacteria and viruses that put an additional burden on the immune system, which is already fighting pollen. This is why their benefits are more than welcome because they provide additional protection to people who suffer from allergies and who are more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections during allergy season.
In addition to the already mentioned essential oils of true lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint, add a few drops of rosemary and lemon essential oils to your diffuser and purify the air and your living space. In addition to the refreshing and pleasant aroma, you’ll reduce the possibility of additional unwanted symptoms on top of allergy symptoms.
Tip 4: Minimize the possibility of pollen accumulation on the clothes
Try to dry your laundry indoors during allergy season. Pollen particles are very small and when drying your laundry in the open, they can very quickly and easily settle on the fabrics. That, of course, is not an ideal option for those allergic to ragweed pollen because it then comes into direct contact with you through your clothes. Although the laundry is clean, it will have a certain amount of pollen on it, which can cause allergy symptoms.
Also, to reduce possible hypersensitivity to certain laundry detergent and fabric softener ingredients, when you're under ragweed siege, you can try making your own. You can read more about how to make your own laundry detergent here, it's very simple.
Instead of store-bought fabric softener, you can use white (alcoholic) vinegar and 15 drops of true lavender essential oil. It couldn't be easier. Simply pour them into the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine and you're done.
Tip 5: Take a bottle of essential oil with you when you're outdoors
Although inhaling essential oils using a diffuser has become the standard nowadays, some aromatherapy methods have not changed over the years. Such is the situation with the "old-school" method of inhalation – straight from the bottle. This method can be an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t have the opportunity to stay indoors as much as possible during allergy season.
There’s not much philosophy about this way of using essential oils. Simply open the bottle and hold it under one nostril. Press and close the other nostril with your finger. Breathe in and out a few times, then switch sides. While doing this, try to make your inhalation and exhalation last the same length of time. See what suits you best – inhale and exhale through the nose, or inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
To reduce the intensity of an allergic reaction and to calm down, inhale true lavender essential oil. To clear the airways or reduce a headache, inhale eucalyptus or peppermint essential oils. Make sure that the bottle does not touch your nose, that is, that the pure essential oil does not come into direct contact with your skin.
ENJOY THE LAST MONTH OF SUMMER WITHOUT ITCHY EYES AND A RUNNY NOSE
Unfortunately, many do not get to enjoy all the beauties of late summer as much as they could. Ragweed allergy often leads to unpleasant symptoms and reduces our quality of life. To enjoy this period as much as possible, nature has a solution for our body's fight against pollen – nature comes to our aid so that we can enjoy it more easily and carefree. KAIAA and essential oils are here to help you alleviate allergy symptoms and make sure that you can enjoy the end of summer as much as possible.