Hay fever season is upon us. Get out the tissues, and expect an influx of miserable guests with itchy eyes, runny noses, non stop sneezes, and feelings of general awfulness.
On top of immunotherapy, corticosteroid nasal sprays, and over-the-counter medications, there are myriad, endless lists of natural remedies that may help those who suffer from allergic rhinitis.
If you’re looking to help some of these poor sufferers in your spa, you’ve got methods already at your fingertips.
Here’s a look at a few of the common spa treatments that can provide significant relief for seasonal sufferers
Saunas feel great. They might also ease hay fever symptoms. A 2013 study found that six weeks of sauna treatment had significant impact on markers of allergic rhinitis. Twenty-six allergic rhinitis patients, 12 male and 14 female, with comparable baseline characteristics, were divided into two groups, treatment and control. After six weeks the researchers found significant changes in Heart Rate Variability, Peak Nasal Inspiratory Flow, and lung function in the sauna users compared with non users.
You probably use essential oils in your spa. And some of those may help ease symptoms of seasonal allergies. Used in steam rooms, saunas, diffused into the air, and of course for massages, certain aromatherapy oils show promise.
A 2016 study found that inhaling aromatherapy oil significantly improved nasal symptoms, quality of life, and sleep quality. Fifty-four men and women with perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) inhaled either aromatherapy oil containing essential oil from Sandalwood, Geranium, and Ravensara for five minutes twice daily for seven days, or almond oil (the control). Researchers found that compared with the placebo, the experimental group showed significant improvement in all of the above markers.
“In conclusion,” they wrote, “inhalation of aromatherapy essential oil may have potential as an effective intervention to alleviate PAR.”
A separate study also found that lavender essential oil inhibits allergic inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oils are also commonly used to soothe respiratory issues.
Check the safety of using essential oils in any particular method, and consult an expert before use – as some, such as Eucalyptus have toxic properties.
Hot baths can ease hay fever symptoms, according to a 2014 study. A single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted on 64 subjects divided into two groups. One group took herbal steam baths and the control group regular steam baths without herbs, each for 30 minutes three times a week for four consecutive weeks. No significant differences were found between the groups, and both groups showed improvements in allergic rhinitis symptoms.
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