Spring is almost here! Flowers will soon be in bloom; the hills will be green, and allergies will have a front-row seat! There are several medicinal herbs and essential oils that can help the body get rid of allergies through the detoxification process. These herbs and oils stimulate the liver, support kidney function, promote digestion, and provide antioxidants that are needed to combat oxidative stress. They can alleviate allergy symptoms by acting as antihistamines, decongestants, expectorants, and anti-inflammatory agents. A few of my favorite herbs are stinging nettle, licorice root and dandelion root.
Stinging nettle is a natural antihistamine that can reduce allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and itching. One of the most studied compounds in nettle is quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonoid that inhibits the release of histamine from cells and reduces inflammation and allergy symptoms. Stinging nettle is also a diuretic that can help flush toxins from the body and support kidney function. Licorice root has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Studies show that licorice extract reduced nasal congestion and improved airflow in people with allergic rhinitis and asthma. Licorice root supports the liver and other organs involved in detoxification. Dandelion root also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate allergy symptoms related to the respiratory system. Dandelion is a natural diuretic and assists the body with fluid retention and swelling. In one study published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, they found dandelion root reduced allergy symptoms in participants with seasonal allergies.
Essential oils are concentrated medicinal extracts of the plants essence and when used appropriately they can be extremely powerful. Many oils have anti-inflammatory properties, are natural antihistamines and decongestants, which can relieve nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and skin irritations. In the same breath, these oils also support the liver, kidney function and the body’s natural detoxification process. My go-to oils for allergies and detox are lemon, peppermint and roman chamomile.
Lemon essential oil is packed with compounds that both reduce allergy symptoms and assist the body in detox. Limonene is one such component and it has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This component stimulates the production of enzymes in the liver that help metabolize and eliminate toxins from the body. Peppermint essential oil is a natural antihistamine, decongestant, and circulatory stimulant. It opens airways by alleviating inflammation, slows down the release of histamine, and has a cooling and refreshing sensation, which reduces itching and watery eyes. Roman chamomile is another natural antihistamine, relaxes the nervous system and is an analgesic, which provides pain relief from allergy symptoms. It also boosts the immune system allowing the body to handle allergens by reducing the severity of symptoms. Roman chamomile acts as a diuretic, filtering toxins, and increases the production of bile aiding in digestion and waste elimination. When you combine all three of these oils together you have an incredible combination that can squash allergies before they consume you. When using essential oils always make sure you dilute them in a carrier oil prior to putting them on your skin.
I hope these herbs and oils will help you enjoy the beauty of spring instead of dreading it!