It turns out that Ragweed is responsible for 75% of seasonal discomfort (aka hay fever) and up to 30 million people in the United States suffer from it each year (The Green Pharmacy). I’m one of those people who suffers from “seasonal discomfort” and I don’t want to say “allergies” buuuut–I get scratchy eyes, nose, and throat right around the middle of May when grasses start releasing their pollen. And living in the country in Missouri, we have a lot of grass pollen. It’s the prairie so….makes sense. I don’t like taking over-the-counter medicines because they make me sleepy–and like, what is even in those things? I tend to try a million natural solutions first. Be sure to read the disclaimer here if you haven’t already!
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Oils and Herbs for Seasonal Discomfort
Lemon is cleansing and helps support the respiratory system by helping to loosen up all the gunk that comes along with the changing seasons. It also helps to reduce sniffles.
Peppermint helps by giving a cooling and opening effect–I’ve found it to be so helpful when I have difficulty breathing.
Lavender naturally soothes issues associated with seasonal discomfort; scratchy throat and eyes, etc. When my eyes start to feel puffy I will dilute a drop of lavender essential oil in sweet almond oil and put it around my eyes and this seems to add some relief. You can also apply it to your nose to help with a watery nose.
Garlic is high in quercetin which helps to reduce the swelling and puffiness associated with seasonal discomfort. So adding garlic or a garlic supplement to your diet can help to decrease the seasonal effects that you feel. A folk remedy cited in Everywoman’s Guide to Natural Remedies is to simply saute garlic in oil and eat it. I also infuse honey (also good to help with seasonal discomfort–see below) with garlic every year–the process is super simple–just peel and chop up a bunch of garlic, put it in a glass jar, cover with honey, and place in a sunny window for six weeks. You can watch how I did this with goldenrod here. I’ll be honest, the taste is not awesome, but I have found it to be very effective!
To help with my discomfort I take a tablespoon of garlic infused honey, and two drops each of peppermint, lavender, and lemon then take it internally. And again, DoTerra is the only brand I recommend taking internally–you can read more about that here.
Eucalyptus is an amazing oil for supporting the respiratory system. It helps by reducing stuffiness and loosening up gunk. You can easily dilute 2 drops in a carrier oil (like sweet almond), and apply to your chest a few times a day. Remember that DoTerra’s eucalyptus essential oil is not meant for internal use.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes even touching grass causes redness and bumps on my skin; nothing major, just kind of itchy and annoying. Turns out that chamomile can reduce redness and irritation. German Chamomile is on my list of essential oils to buy from DoTerra (if you need oils, you can shop my website here or message me for info on how to get wholesale prices). However, if you are one of those 30 million people who have sensitivities to ragweed, then have caution when using chamomile because I guess they’re related.
I am still learning about the benefits of this herb–because all I know is that it stings, but some people use it to make pesto every year. However, the roots can be used to help reduce respiratory discomfort caused by seasonal factors; issues with breathing, sniffles, etc.
A couple of other things you can do
- Take a probiotic: DoTerra has an awesome probiotic that I take and love, but read this article to understand WHY you SHOULD. I’m not going to get into it here, because then we would need a completely separate blog post.
- Drink Water. This helps flush out things that trigger our scratchy eyes, etc.
- Take Vitamin C-in his book, The Green Pharmacy, Dr. Duke talks about using up to 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin C to help fight seasonal discomfort and suggests eating more foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin C.
- Drink Apple Cider vinegar-just add a 1-2 tablespoons a day to your water (I buy this one). I’ve found this to be SO helpful. You can try this detox drink or make your own combo with some of the oils and herbs listed here–just make sure to read your essential oil bottles to make sure your oils are safe for ingestion!
- Eat unfiltered, raw, local honey: you’re thought to be ingesting some of the pollen which in turn helps you to become less sensitive to the pollen in your area
- Eat Apples; like garlic, they are high in quercetin
- Try Lymphatic massage-to help get things moving in your body. I do this watching this video here, and also use my breast balm for breast massage (to also help with the lymph system)
Do your friends a favor and share this post with them then pin it for later:
- The Essential Life
- The Green Pharmacy. James A. Duke, Ph.D.
- The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines
- Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine