If you have itched, sneezed and streamed your way through the summer so far, you are not alone. Up to 1 in 3 people are thought to suffer from hay fever, with numbers continuing to grow.
Hay fever occurs when an allergen – commonly grass or tree pollen – sends the body's immune system into overdrive, triggering an explosive release of histamine. This activates an inflammatory response, and the miserable tell-tale symptoms of sneezing, a runny nose and sore, streaming eyes.
Recent research suggests that the climate crisis is going to make the hay fever season last a whole lot longer, potentially stretching into the autumn.
Symptoms are also likely to intensify, with up to three times as much pollen floating around between March – October by the end of the century.
There is currently no cure for it, but there are some effective ways to manage it.
Over-the-counter antihistamines work to prevent or control the symptoms, and the use of nature’s own essential oils – or aromatherapy – is scientifically proven to provide much some needed relief.
COOLING HAY FEVER BLEND
Ireland’s only Essential Oil Master Distiller, Karl Murray, who is owner of premium essential oil company Kotanical, has recommended a cooling hay fever blend that will soothe inflamed sinuses, help with breathing and even reduce the body’s histamine response to pollen.
It consists of 2 drops Peppermint essential oil, 2 drops Lavender essential oil, 2 drops Eucalyptus essential oil and 2 drops Lemon essential oil.
Diffuse the blend if you’re at home – or if you’re on the go, drop the oils straight onto a good old-fashioned handkerchief. Place it over your nose and mouth and breathe in deeply whenever you need some relief.
The uplifting scent of lemon helps to banish brain fog, whilst the peppermint and eucalyptus oils open the airways and facilitate easier breathing.
Lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine, helping to prevent and calm blocked, irritated sinuses.