Seasonal Allergy Relief


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Here it comes … it’s that time of year again. Seasonal allergies are notorious for turning a beautiful time of year – a time of rebirth – into the dreaded time filled with the misery of itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and dripping noses. For some folks seasonal allergies can be grueling – even causing missed days of work. For these folks, and many others, they wish for discovery of a truly effective seasonal allergy relief product.

In medicine, allergies are defined as atopic (‘immediate’) hypersensitivity to foreign antigens (proteins – pollens, mites in pillow feathers, animal dander, etc.).

Interestingly, and generally speaking, seasonal allergies begin to show signs when we become adults. However, there are known childhood atopic hypersensitivities such as childhood asthma, eczema, and food allergies.

Science claims that “atopic hypersensitivity” runs in families. However, at this time, no single genetic factor has been identified to prove this claim. Some folks are speculating that atopic hypersensitivity involves a combination of genes. Clearly more research will be necessary to either confirm or disprove either of the genetic claims.

Understanding what and how the body reacts to the foreign antigen is quite amazing.

At the onset of an antigen entering the body, the body’s immune system kicks in by creating inflammation around the foreign antigen. This is the body’s initial effort to isolate and remove the antigen.

Histamine is one of the agents released by the body’s immune system at the onset of an antigen entering the body. Histamine, as part of the inflammation process, has a role in facilitating itching.

Basically, the function of itching allows our natural immune system to engage more directly with the foreign antigen. Through the itching sensation, thus promoting scratching, our capillaries (those teeny-tiny blood vessels that are a part of our super highway circulatory system) become dilated – bigger – (vasodilation) making the capillaries more permeable (penetrable) – thus making our immune system’s white cells (flowing through the blood vessels) better able to engage in their attack on the foreign antigen.

As the body launches its histamine defense response on the foreign antigen, the body also produces more fluid or mucus.

In basic terms, the body’s function of producing fluid/mucus is to trap and flush out the antigen. The flushing process involves very fine hairs that line the windpipe (hairs called cilia). These fine hairs move and flush out the mucus – with the trapped foreign antigens – thus protecting the lungs.

Some call the immune system’s response to seasonal allergens, this wave or flow of response, as the “cascading response.”

One little foreign antigen triggers the initial immune system response … followed by another triggered response and then another … and another until the foreign antigen is flushed out. All responses function to protect the lungs. All responses function to maintain survival of the body.

So the next time you experience the undesirable, and sometimes miserable, seasonal allergy symptoms – the itchy, watery eyes, the sneezing, coughing, and dripping nose – understand these symptoms are actually your clue of how your body is working, functioning properly, and functioning naturally. All those symptoms are part of the body’s amazing immune system.

These unwanted seasonal allergy symptoms are signs of your body’s natural defense mechanisms working hard to protect your body for its survival.

At this point you are likely thinking … “Great to know, but I don’t want to suffer while my body is doing its thing.”

Here’s the catch – the twist – the climax to this story …

The allergen or antigen is not the problem.

Say what?

Again, the allergen or antigen is not the problem. The real problem to seasonal allergies is how the body responds future exposures to the allergen.

This means the problem is the body and its reactive immune system response.

How can this be? I thought the immune system was doing its thing to protect the body for survival.

Well it is … however, there’s a catch to how the immune system functions in relation to seasonal allergens.

After the first launch of the immune system’s response to the allergen, the body becomes conditioned to respond, in the exact same manner, the next time it is exposed to the allergen. The immune system has been programmed – the immune system learns very quickly.

Once the body learned how to respond, future exposures cause the body to respond to the allergen quickly and often more aggressively.

The immune system’s response, as a defense mechanism intended to protect the body …  that’s a good thing, right?

Well … yes and no.

Subsequent exposures cause the body to kick its response into high gear. Not just high gear, but super-high-gear.

The next time the body is exposed to the allergen, and all subsequent exposures to the allergen, become more and more intense. That is the real problem. That’s why the body’s immune system response is the problem and not the allergen.

The body mounts its attack on the allergen with increasing, over-amplified response every time it is re-exposed to the allergen.

Let’s take a moment to understand pollen.

Plants release pollen as a primary survival mechanism. The pollen is basically male particles used to fertilize the female counterpart of either the same plant or neighboring plants of the same species.

Weather plays a very important role in the release amounts and timing of pollen. The amount of precipitation, both in the winter and in the spring, is a factor. The temperatures, within both the winter and spring seasons, factor in on the release of pollen as well. The humidity in the air and the amount of wind play their parts in the release of pollen too.

Complicating matters further, science is suggesting that ours trees increase the amount of pollen released as ozone levels rise. Remember the pollen release is part of the plant’s survival mechanism – it’s their reproduction system.

We’ve all been hearing a lot about global warming and the speculation of the terminal outcome. Well, some scientists are suggesting that plants and trees, as part of their self- defense, are increasing the amount of pollen released for their own survival. This speculation is being researched today.

Perhaps we humans, as the ozone levels rise, are also morphing our self-defense mechanisms for our survival. Is anyone researching this notion?

Hmmm … as the saying goes, there are two sides to every coin. Perhaps science can take a gander at identifying how “all life forms” are adjusting to the climate change. After all, somehow what we have on this planet today survived the ice age and the globe has been warming ever since.

Often the first time, or the first year, that the body’s immune system responds to an allergen, is the easy year.

The next year seasonal allergy symptoms become more intense and problematic. As the years mount, the undesirable symptoms become more and more pronounced.

Remember when the over-the-counter medication worked just fine?

The next year you had to switch to another brand.

Then, the year after that, when none of the medications worked to make your symptoms go away, you sought medical advice.

From there you began taking a prescription form of medication.

We’ve been there … done that … we’ve experienced it all and still had the dreaded seasonal allergies – until now!

There is a simple solution that may help many folks. This solution may not work for everyone. You have a choice, take more medications that claim to relieve symptoms – this year, but will they work next year?

Or …

How about trying a safe, simple, and natural solution? It’s a blend of essential oils that actually reprogram your body’s immune system response to the allergen.

This blend could work to reprogram the body’s response this year, minimizing the seasonal allergy symptoms, and will likely minimize the response next year (if any seasonal allergy symptoms are experienced at all) – without needing to take any medications. Medications that often challenge the body in all sorts of other manners as the body tries to process the medication.

Are you ready to try a potential game changer – allowing you to welcome the spring season with joy (versus dread)?

In our household we call this solution “Blue Seasonal Allergy Relief” – often we just call it “Blue” for short.

The year before we tried Blue, we experienced both a miserable spring and a miserable fall. Seasonal allergies were on attack mode.

We assumed the allergens were more abundant. At that time, we did not know the details of or understand the physical response to allergens. All we knew or cared about was that we were suffering and we wanted relief.

The entire household was sneezing, coughing, and rubbing our eyes until they felt raw.

Unfortunately one member had to seek medical care. His sinuses became infected – the mucus showed signs of the infection when it became that nasty green color. Usually when this happens, the patient needs to either ride it out or, if caught in time, take medications to assist the body to heal the infection. (We will discuss what to do if you do find the nasty green stuff in the future)

How Blue Works

The ingredients of Blue are simple and can obtained online. With proper oversight from a professional aromatherapist, one who is qualified to identify problematic contraindications with medications, Blue can become the effective seasonal allergy relief product that many have wanted to have for years.

Blue works for many folks suffering from seasonal allergies. Blue works because the essential oils within the blend have a synergistic chemical composition that reprograms the body’s response to allergens.

The essential oil blend adjusts the body’s cascading response – slowing or decreasing the release of histamine thus overriding the inflammation process and decreasing the body’s response of forming fluid and mucus.

Blue is a blend of carrier oils and essential oils intended for topical application. The carrier oils selected meet all the preferred functions:

  • dilute the concentrated essential oils blend
  • enhance penetration
  • non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • non-greasy feel

The essential oils selected for Blue have been researched and validated through in vivo science (science studied in living organisms – the opposite of in vitro), and most importantly, through hands-on experience.

Applied as instructed, Blue’s essential oil synergistic properties will penetrate quickly – deep into tissue and at the same time, the synergistic properties will be inhaled – traveling directly to the olfactory receptors that communicate to the brain. Through the dual method of application (topical and aromatic) the body will begin to transform its response to the allergen.

If you suffer from anosmia (partial or complete loss of sense of smell), don’t worry, the topical application will carry the signals via cellular communication through the skin, deep into the tissues, and then through the bloodstream.

Christine Wildwood in her book Aromatherapy: Massage with Essential Oils, states that “Among many experiments carried out at Warwick University, there is one of particular note: the discovery that skin can respond to odours – even those we cannot smell.”

Wildwood goes on to note, “It was also discovered at Warwick that, if we dislike an aroma, we are able to block its effect on the central nervous system. This supports the case for using the oils we like best, especially for stress related problems.”

Blue contains carrier oils that are absorbed into the skin quickly without leaving a greasy feel and will not clog pores. The carrier oils provide healing and hydrating properties and help balance the skin’s acid mantle.

The synergy of the chemical constituents found within Blue’s essential oil blend have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and cooling benefits. The essential oil blend also contains skin penetration enhancing qualities.

Blue’s ingredients function to reprogram the body’s response; reprogram the body’s super-high gear, increasing, over-amplified attack on allergens.

While Blue may not cure sensitivity to allergens, the essential oil blend of Blue can contribute undoing conditioned response and reprogram the body’s reaction to pollen.

As a professional certified aromatherapist, it is the author’s personal mission to help people feel better in a safe manner – educating through understanding. It is important to the author that you review a few basic rules about using essential oils.

Everyone needs to be aware of and understands these rules.  It’s Aromatherapy 101 for the lay person – the person who is not qualified, trained or experienced with essential oil safety.

 4 Essential Oil Rules to Follow:

  • Always Dilute
  • Less is More
  • Identify & Understand EO’s with Latin Botanical Name
  • Follow the Money

 

Always Dilute

Essential oils are highly concentrated organic plant material. Essential oils are extracted from plant material through an intense distillation process. The yield of essential oil from plant material is between 0.005% and 10% – resulting in a highly concentrated essential oil.

There are a number of other factors to understand that justify the practice of always diluting essential oils.

  • Never use essential oils directly on the skin. Some oils can cause adverse results, such as burning or rash. Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil, not water. Oil and water do not mix.  When undiluted essential oils touches the skin (this includes essential oils diluted in water, because oil and water do not mix), the contact is as though the concentrated essential oil is being applied directly to the skin – thus a potential for an adverse, irritating experience.
  • Never ingest essential oils without supervised direction by a qualified practitioner. The same adverse effects, of when essential oils are applied directly to the skin, can occur to delicate internal tissue when ingested. The unfortunate difference being that any internal damage may not be reversible.

Having a more complete understanding of the essential oil is necessary before use. For example Cinnamon Bark, Cinnamomum verum essential oil is created by removing the bark from the tree. The chemistry of the removed bark changes as it ages. So the newly dried bark has a better and more complicated aroma. The main chemical compound found in Cinnamon Bark, cinnamaldehyde, increases as it ages and dries.  Cinnamaldehyde is the chemical responsible for most allergic and irritating reactions to Cinnamon Bark essential oil. Knowing who processes the Cinnamon Bark, how they harvest the bark and how they distill the bark is important information to know. Purchasing from a highly reputable source who is upfront with providing this information is extremely beneficial.

Knowing about Cinnamon Bark and its chemical constituent, cinnamaldehyde, does not mean that you should not use Cinnamon Bark essential oil. It simply means that being properly informed, enables the consumer to be observant and use the essential oil safely.

Properly diluted, Cinnamon Bark essential oil should not cause a problem. A patch test is recommended to avoid problems.

As with all essential oils, having a more complete understanding of the essential oil is necessary before use.

Less is More

Always keep the “less is more” rule in mind. The body only needs to inhale a small amount of essential oils to stimulate olfactory cell communication. Essential oils are volatile – meaning they are very light and evaporate quickly. Inhaling a tiny minuscule amount of essential oil will be received by the olfactory receptors in the nose and then travel to receptors in the brain where the brain cells then communicate to the necessary nervous system receptors.

Breathing too much of any essential oil may reverse the beneficial effect or may numb the receptors – therefore, having no beneficial effect.

Identify & Understand EO’s with Latin Botanical Name

The safest manner to research and understand the essential oil in question is to always research the botanical name which is the essential oil’s Latin name, not the common name.

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) concerning ingredient labeling states the ingredient list must list the “common or usual name.” For example Lavender is the common name for Lavendula angustifolia.

The FPLA was signed into law in 1966. While the regulations may seem logical and easy to understand, there are inherent complications that may be cause for unidentified contraindications or complications. Identifying essential oils with the common name is cause for concern.

Simply stating the common name of an oil does not identify which plant or plant part used for extracting the oil. Is the oil from the leaf, flower, root, bark, or fruit? Knowledge of the plant, and plant part used, helps to determine the actual physical and emotional therapeutic properties of the essential oil. Knowledge of the plant and plant part used also helps to identify potential contraindications (cautions). 

Identifying essential oils through their Latin botanical name is the best way to understand the essential oil. The Latin botanical name will help identify the part of the plant used to make the essential oil, the therapeutic properties of the essential oil, and identify contraindications to avoid potential problems -like skin irritations or potential interactions with medical drugs.

Case in point: Cinnamon essential oil can come from either the bark or from the leaves. When distilled from the bark, the Latin botanical name is Cinnamomum verum. The main chemical compound within the oil from the bark is cinnamaldehyde (40-50 percent). Of special note the amount of cinnamaldehyde within the bark increases with age. Eugenol is also found in the oil from the bark (4-10 percent).

When Cinnamon Oil is distilled from the leaves, the Latin botanical name is Cinnamomum zeylanicum. Distilled from the leaf, Cinnamon oil is very potent, should be avoided if pregnant, and if used – used with great care. Leaf distillation contains the same chemical compounds, but in reverse amounts: cinnamaldehyde (3 percent) and eugenol (70-90 percent).

Essential oils containing eugenol (a phenol chemical compound) need to be handled with great care. Essential oils containing phenols can be toxic to the liver and be an irritant to the skin and mucous membranes.

Chamomile is a very common essential oil often used in topical applications as well as in blends for diffusion. While Chamomile is the common name, knowing which form of Chamomile is extremely important. The best way to identify which Chamomile is used is by knowing the Latin botanical name.

Types of Chamomile essential oils are listed below. Each has its own chemical make-up, its own unique aroma, physical and emotional therapeutic properties, and contraindications (cautions). Forms of Chamomile are:

  • Chamomile Roman, Matricaria recutica (yellow in color – distilled from white daisy-like flowers)
  • Chamomile German, Chamaemelum nobile – also referred to as German Blue Chamomile (blue in color – distilled from white daisy-like flowers with yellow centers)
  • Chamomile Moroccan or Chamomile Maroc, Ormenis multicaulis (greenish-yellow in color – distilled from daisy-like yellow flowers)
  • Blue Tansy, Tanacetum annuum – often incorrectly noted as Moroccan Blue Chamomile, Moroccan Tansy, or Blue Chamomile (blue in color – distilled from leaves and tops) (Special note of caution: Tanacetum vulgare is toxic and should not be used – for this reason it is rarely made available.)

So as you can see through these few examples, knowing the Latin botanical name for each essential oil is extremely beneficial.

Follow-the Money

Always purchase essential oils from a reputable source. In today’s commercialized world, many if not most essential oils found at big-box retail are adulterated.

The rule to practice is, “follow the money.” Basically, if the essential oil is priced inexpensively, it’s not real – even though it may state on the packaging that it is “pure”, that doesn’t mean the contents are 100% pure.

Many large companies will bottle either poor quality essential oils, dilute the essential oils with carrier oils to extend their production, bottle synthetic essential oils mimicking the aroma of the organic essential oil, or will substitute less expensive essential oils that smell very similar (for the average inexperienced person) to the labeled oil. In these instances, poor quality essential oils, dilution, or substitution with synthetic or alternate essential oils will result in completely different therapeutic benefits and may cause physical complications.

Follow-the-money – Understand that essential oils are not cheap to make. For example, it takes up to sixty roses to create one drop of rose essential oil. Think of the time it takes the plant to produce just one rose blossom … a long time. Time is money. Then add to that the process of distillation just to get one drop. Rose (absolute) essential oil, Rosa damascena from Morocco can cost $60-$80 for a 10ml bottle. Rose (hydro-distilled) essential oil, Rosa x damascena Mill. from Bulgaria can cost nearly $340 for 10 ml.

It takes time to grow the plant, harvest, distill the plant material, bottle, label, package, warehouse, and ship – all that happens before the essential oil arrives to the retailer’s warehouse and/or store shelf.

There are several threatened or endangered species of plants that have been over-harvested.  For example: Sandalwood, Santalum spicatum essential oil – it takes thirty years for the sandalwood tree to reach maturity and be harvested for its essential oil. Once the trees are cut, that’s it … the tree is not self-sustaining as are other plants harvested for their essential oils. Sandalwood essential oil from Australia costs $53-$56 for a 10 ml. bottle.

These identified species are now protected with laws regulating limited production as well as enforced sustainable management – replanting requirements to ensure plant rejuvenation.

Up next: Blue Seasonal Allergy Relief Treatment and many more helpful recipes to help you Be the Master of Your Health.

If you are in a panic to have Blue Allergy Relief to use this season, please contact us.