Taking an alternate route to help with allergies

I grew up with many unpleasant allergies – pollen, grass, animals, detergents, soaps. I’ve stressed over each of my children suffering from at least one allergy at some point in their short lives. All of this stressing and suffering has led me to leading a more “natural” lifestyle over the last 4 years. It has helped with the allergies more than any of the prescription or over-the-counter meds I have tried. The soaps, shampoos, detergents, cleaning supplies that are more natural, all have helped to improve my girls’ skin problems. Lilly gets hives and rashes from artificial food colorings and additives, so eating more “real” food has been the cure for that. For seasonal allergies, did you know that eating a teaspoon of raw, local honey, each day can help?  Lilly’s skin gets very irritated from pollen landing on it and the honey has really helped to lessen that. Recently, I’ve added another natural tool to help combat the allergies – essential oils.

I’m not completely new to essential oils. For a long time, I was very skeptical of them, but I have used them successfully for a few things in the past couple years. When we had a lice epidemic in the house with the girls a couple years ago, I used some tea tree oil along with coconut oil to finally put an end to it. I couldn’t stand to fry their hair and scalp more than once with the chemicals I had picked up at Walgreen’s. I know now that the oils worked much better than the chemicals. (My multiple lectures to the girls about not hugging their friends, not sharing jackets, hats, etc. and keeping their hair up seemed to help too.) This year, I doused cotton balls with some cheap peppermint oil and put them in our storage rooms in the basement to deter mice. That also has worked well. What I haven’t done, is have a set of high-quality oils on hand to help with common ailments – until last week.

Seth has been having a runny nose, cough, and watering eyes quite a bit lately. After we visit the farm, I’ve noticed it gets worse. I’ve been giving him honey occasionally, but need to be a bit more diligent about it. It had gotten to the point that I felt I needed to help him out with some of his symptoms. He was extra miserable and sometimes crabby and that just isn’t fun. So, I started my research for a natural solution and determined that essential oils may work, but needed a closer look.

What I found online led to more questions than answers. There are articles about lavender and tea tree oil causing breast growth in young boys, there are stories of oils causing more problems than cures, and, quite honestly, some of the things I read made me really nervous. How the heck was I going to know what oils do what and which ones I should stay away from?!? The internet can be such a scary place and give you so much misinformation!

I have some friends/resources that are closer to the medical field than I am, so I started asking for opinions. A little to my surprise, I didn’t find anyone with a negative opinion. I did have a friend say that it has been something she’s been meaning to research, but hasn’t yet. So, I kept digging and my questions got answered and my fears went away. (Here’s a link to the article that calmed my fears with using certain oils on my son: http://roberttisserand.com/articles/TeaTreeAndLavenderNotLinkedToGynecomastia.pdf)

The conclusion I came to was that essential oils can be very beneficial when used properly and when you work with high quality oils that don’t have added fillers and ingredients. I’m a firm believer in finding the “root cause” of the problem and from what I have read is that some oils will actually help with the cause and some will just help with the symptoms. I decided then to give oils a try and to be extra aware of what I am using the oils for. I want to ensure that I’m not only treating symptoms, but also moving down a path that will help eliminate the cause. For example, Seth needs his immune system built up to not react to the allergens at the farm. I’ll keep giving him local honey to help his body get accustomed to the local pollens so that his immune system gets stronger. The oils I use will help with the symptoms and only be used when he is having symptoms.

Note: I am also someone who knows not to hesitate to seek medical advice when it comes to my health and the health of my children. I have a lot of respect and trust in the doctors and nurses at the local clinic. I hope that you do not use anything that I share as medical advice or a substitution for seeing a clinician. I have had all of my children in to see our family provider and some have also seen an allergist in regards to their issues. I do have a belief that allergy shots, creams, and pills may not be the best solution, especially for young children, and the providers I have talked with seem to agree for the most part.

It just so happened that the next day, a blogger that I follow, offered a special deal for people who purchased a kit from one of the top oil companies in th U.S. That kit included the 3 oils that I needed to work with Seth’s allergies and then additional oils that I had read about in my research and knew I could put to use, plus I was able to get another $40 in oils free. I was very excited to give it a try. I also ordered The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy off of Amazon to help ensure I was using the oils properly.

The night my kit arrived, I had just returned from a walk in which I had mosquitoes attacking me. My arms were so itchy! I opened the book and read that I should put lavender oil on the bites. To my amazement, the itching went away, I had a peaceful night’s rest, and the bites weren’t itchy or swollen at all in the morning! The kids have now been coming to me with “itchies” asking for lavender oil and it has been helping them too!

I then mixed up my researched allergy remedy for Seth: 4 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil with 2 drops each of lemon, lavender, and peppermint essential oils (the recommendation for children is to dilute the oils much more than you would for an adult, so these oils are highly diluted.) For the last few days, I’ve rubbed a bit of this salve on the bottoms of his feet in the morning and before bed. His symptoms lessened within a day. The true test was spending a few hours at the farm. We did that yesterday and when we got home, I rubbed some salve on his feet right away. He never did get the thick runny nose like in that past!

I’ve also used the Frankincense oil from my kit on a very bad scratch that Anne has been picking at for the last few weeks. After one day, we both noticed a significant change. I couldn’t be more happy with the results with everything I have tried so far. I’m so excited and can’t wait to try more remedies, start using the oils for cleaning, and try to help our poor dog, Charlie, with his seasonal allergies.

If you would like more information on essential oils or are interested in getting started with a kit of your own, please let me know.

I would also love to hear if you have had any experiences with essential oils – positive or negative. Please share any remedies or cleaning solutions if you have them! If you would like to know more about what I researched before I tried the oils, just ask!


9 thoughts on “Taking an alternate route to help with allergies

  1. Jodi Sorenson

    Hmmm…lots of interesting information. I’ve used peppermints with peppermint oil for stomach aches and nausea on car rides with huge success! I tried candied ginger for nausea and nearly got sick from the taste, let alone the “hotness” of the ginger! I may be interested in learning more.

    1. Katie Post author

      Peppermint is supposed to be great for stomach aches. Anne complains of stomach aches all of the time – I’ve read that rubbing peppermint oil on the stomach or bottom of feet can help too. DoTERRA also has an oil blend called DigestZen that is supposed to be great for tummy troubles. It cam in my kit, so I can’t wait for the next stomach ache to try it out on. ;)

  2. Leana

    I have tried the lavender for bites and have been happy with the results. But it seems to be bothering my asthma :( I’m hoping that a higher quality oil will not have that effect or that this is more a coincidence than a cause and effect. I’ll keep you posted.

    1. Katie Post author

      Oh no! Yes, please keep me posted as I was going to share with you that I have been rubbing the salve I made for Seth on my chest and the back of my neck and my “over-night” allergies have improved. If I sleep with the window open, I have a horrible sore throat in the morning and feel stuffy. Since I’ve been using the oils, my throat hasn’t been sore at all and I feel much less groggy.

  3. Jess

    We use tea tree for a number of uses…. Migraine relief, bug bites, and my favorite… My aweful eczema on my hand and foot. I used an assortment of steroid creams from the doc until my foot had red fiery hot fleshy skin left (long term used causes thinning of the skin)
    My sister-in-law had me try melaleuca tea tree oil and mel-gel. I started on a Saturday and by the time we left the cabin Monday after noon it was a 50% improvement and by 1 week it was 100% symptom free. I use it now religiously at first sign of an break out and don’t suffer at all. I can’t live with out my tea tree! I loved reading your post . I will be doing some more research about oils for other uses.

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks for sharing, Jess! Glad you had such great success – eczema sure can be tricky to deal with.

  4. Sarah

    Thanks for that summary, Katie! I’ve used essential oils for mosquito repellent, itchy solution, cleaning, skin problems, etc and been pleased. Whenever we are around a lot of people or have a busy weekend out and about, I put tea tree and lavender in the bath with the kids to help with “germs” and help relax them for a good night’s sleep. In the summer, I put a drop of lavender oil on their heads to help them sleep. We’ve used eucalyptis and tea tree in the shower for colds and croup as well. I’m sure I’m forgetting something… I may be interested in a kit to widen my repertoire!

    1. Katie Post author

      That’s awesome, Sarah! I love the tea tree and lavender in the bath idea – we’ll have to try it tonight. Thanks for sharing.


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