As an allergy sufferer, I have tried everything under the sun to deal with the aggravation of itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose – all the annoying problems that manifest for those with allergies. It wasn’t until I found the natural antihistamine power of therapeutic grade lavender that I was able to finally win the battle with allergies.
It’s important to note that, as with most things in life, everything is not equal. What I mean by that is, not all essential oils are distilled in such a way as to preserve their therapeutic compounds. There are actually four different grades of essential oils produced today:
1. Synthetic or nature-identical oils (created in a laboratory)
2. Extended or altered oils (fragrance grade)
3. Natural oils (organic) and certified oils (pass oil-standard tests but may not contain any or just a few therapeutic compounds)
4. Therapeutic-grade essential oils (pure, medicinal, steam-distilled essential oils containing all desired therapeutic compounds).
So, if you desire a therapeutic result from an essential oil, it’s paramount that you carefully research to find an oil that meets the criteria necessary to get results. Once you have the right quality of lavender, you will find that it is a natural antihistamine and can help you tame your allergies without the side effects of traditional medicinal approaches.
When I had itchy, watery eyes, I would put a couple of drops of lavender in my hands and cup them over my eyes (with eyes wide open) and let the fumes of the oil penetrate the eye. Within minutes the symptoms were gone! If I was sneezing or experiences a stuffy nose from allergies – I would apply lavender under my nose (or inside) and breathe the lavender oil into my nose for quick results. I would do the same for an allergy headache.
A few words of caution for those who wish to try essential oils for combating allergies: Anyone can print “therapeutic grade” on the bottle, and it may not contain any of the compounds necessary for it to be therapeutic. Some of the questions a person should ask the manufacturer of the oil in question are:
1. Are the seeds selected for proper genus, species and chemotype? (you’d be amazed how many different types there are)
2. Are the plants grown on virgin land, uncontaminated by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides? Are they grown away from nuclear plants, factories, interstates & highways? Is the soil nourished with enzymes, minerals and organic mulch? Are they watered with deep-well reservoir or water-shed water, instead of municipally treated water or secondary run-off from residential and commercial areas?
3. Do they understand the importance, and implement the practice of harvesting the plants at the right time? (Changing harvest time, by even a few hours, can make a huge difference)
4. Is the distillation process overseen by a master distiller to ensure that the distillation is done at the proper temperature, pressure and time – which varies with different plant material?
5. Is testing done in-house, as well as third-party companies to validate the purity and potency of the oil?
6. Is the bottling and sealing of the product done in a clean-room facility?
If they can answer “yes” to each of these questions, you can feel safe using these oils for therapeutic purposes. If they don’t know the answer to these questions, keep looking. Once you have found a company that follows all these criteria in producing therapeutic grade essential oils, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of oils like lavender to keep those allergies in check – as well as other oils for many other therapeutic benefits.
Jacqueline McLaughlin has been using essential oils for well over 10 years and teaches classes in aromatherapy for health and healing. If you would like to learn more about using essential oils for health and healing, contact: Jacqueline McLaughlin at 828-452-2958, or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit http://www.jackie-mclaughlin.com