Allergies, Sinuses and Aromatherapy
It's that time of year again. Spring is in the air which is nice, but the allergies it brings for many (like myself) are not so welcome. I suffer from what it termed hay fever or seasonal allergies, but the allergens that seem to affect me most are not the ones that they usually monitor.
The windows have been open for a few days, and while they say the tree pollen is moderately high, the grass, ragweed and mold pollens are low. The site I was at did say the dust and dander levels are extremely high, one would think that having the windows open would lower the poor quality if the indoor air. Not your typical seasonal allergy problems, but I have them several times a year and always in the spring.
Many years ago, I became interested in aromatherapy. The thought that certain scents could cause specific reactions was intriguing to me. And naturally something I wished to try for myself. I have learned that diluting essential oils in a carrier for a massage works better if you have someone who is willing to help massage it onto areas you can't reach. And that inhalation works well if your trying to assist your breathing, sinuses, headaches, and mood.
And since my breathing and sinuses are what are problematic this time of year, I have a nice little blend of 4 oils that work well. Since I use this blend often, I'll mix it in larger quantities then individual drops letting them blend together before use.
The recipe is simple enough, equal parts of: lavender essential oil, lime essential oil, pine essential oil, and spearmint essential oil. This will also work if you use lemon in place of the lime since they are very similar. You also have the option of exchanging the spearmint with peppermint, but I personally find peppermint to sharp and harsh.
By premixing the blend of oils, it is often easier to use and will last longer, because you don't need to use as many drops at a time. For example you could place just a drop or two, on the inside of your shirt collar, and the aroma will be near your nose ready to assist your breathing and sinuses. Or you could put a couple of drops on a cotton pad which you can place near your work space. (I would often put the cotton ball under the edge of my keyboard so it wasn't cluttering up my desk, but was were I needed it.)
I have also use a simmering potpourri pot with water and several drops of the blend. That works well depending on the size of the area and how many are suffering at the time.
While it's not recommended to use essential oils directly on the skin (except for perhaps tea tree oil, and lavender and even then opinions vary) I will admit I have tried it. I am not suggesting that you do either of these, but I will relate my experiences. I tried a drop of oil on my finger which I would dab my upper lip area, and found that irritated my skin. On the other hand if I put a drop of oil on the web area between my thumb and index finger, that didn't irritate my skin, and I could raise my hand near my nose if I wanted a quick sniff. This was especially good at night, when laying in bed since my hands are often near my face when I sleep.