The 5 Essential Oils for Allergies That Can Replace Your OTC Meds

Truth be told, my allergies basically ruin my life in the spring, and after over a decade of taking the same over-the-counter medication year-round, I noticed it stopped working and I had to switch to something else (not fun). I wish I had known about essential oils for allergies—yes, they apparently work—to ease my transition from one med to another, or maybe to treat my symptoms altogether. And I'm not the only person plagued by the pesky itching, sneezing, and clogged sinuses, since a reported 40 to 60 million Americans have allergic rhinitis (and that number is only continuing to grow). 

Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, tells us that allergens are substances like mold, dust, or pollen that trick our immune systems into thinking they're invading it. This causes our bodies to produce antibodies that release histamines and other types of chemicals responsible for triggering things like itching, sinus pressure, and sneezing. "When the body is already dealing with high inflammation, any allergen sets off an increased reaction," says Axe. "That means that when the body's immune system is overworked and stressed, introducing an allergen sends the body into overreaction." Basically, what essential oils do is reduce inflammation, which causes your body not to react when you come into contact with allergens. Keep reading to see the top five essential oils for allergies and exactly how to use each.