The 5 Best Essential Oils for Allergies

Ease your allergy symptoms the all-natural way.

Many individuals suffer from allergies. An allergy is the immune system's abnormal response to contact with a specific substance. This substance is called an allergen and the allergic reaction is also known as a histamine reaction.  There are many allergens in our environment, including food, grass, pollen, mold spores, insect bites, fabrics and much more. Allergy symptoms vary from person to person but can often include swelling, itching, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. Since more than 40 million people in the United States suffer from various allergies, it's important to have treatment options readily available. If you are looking for an all-natural alternative to popular medications, you've come to the right place. We spoke to Dr. Patrick Fratellone, an expert in naturopathic medicine and the founder of Fratellone Medical Associates, to find out which essential oils he prefers to use in his practice. Here are five of his favorite picks:

1. Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) - This is a commonly used essential oil from the botanical myrtle family. The leaves of the Melaleuca tree have been used for centuries for a variety of conditions including healing cuts, wounds, and skin infections. Dr. Fratellone frequently uses this oil for treating mold and fungi allergies.

2. Roman Chamomile - Coming from the botanical daisy family, this herb is more popularly known for its relaxing, sleep-inducing qualities. However, it's also an excellent choice for allergy treatment, especially if the patient is having problems breathing. Inhaling this oil is the most effective way to use it. 

3. Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) - This essential oil comes from the mint family and can be used in a bath or as a vaporizer to soothe symptoms and reduce the body's reaction to any allergen. The delightful and aromatic lemony fragrance is beneficial to the mind and body. Dr. Fratellone likes to use lemon balm nasal spray as an alternative to conventional medicinal treatments for perennial and seasonal allergies. 

4. Peppermint - Another herb from the mint family, peppermint can be applied directly to the skin or first diluted with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil. You can also vaporize peppermint to treat a reaction to pollen, trees, or grasses during the height of allergy season. The L-methol from peppermint inhibits the production of inflammation mediators in the body.

5. Lavender - Although used for a variety of conditions relating to sleep and relaxation, lavender has also been shown to inhibit allergic reactions. This can useful for any allergen that causes an immediate reaction, such as swelling and itching. Dr. Fratellone finds this essential oil particularly useful for children who need urgent relief from their allergy symptoms.


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4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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