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Bust Allergies Naturally: GP’s Five Plant Hack Answers Borne Out Of Nature

by Dr Nisa Aslam(more info)

listed in allergies, originally published in issue 288 - August 2023

If you struggle with allergies, then you’re certainly not alone. The UK actually has some of the highest allergy rates. In fact, over 20% of the UK population are affected by one or more allergic disorders[1] AND rates of allergies are on the rise.

Allergies can cause a whole host of life-disrupting symptoms. Think breathing difficulties, hives, itchy skin and headaches. Plus, these symptoms can occur at any time of year.

 

Allergy-cold-disease-flu-girl

Picture Credit:   Public Domain Pictures displayed on Pixabay

 

Unfortunately, it seems like many of us are unaware of what could be causing the symptoms. Research from Puressentiel - uk.puressentiel.com – the brains behind the evidence-backed plant-based health products for everyday wellness needs, shows that 47% of us experience sneezes, coughs or an itchy throat or eyes for no apparent reason. However, these are all classic signs of an allergy or an infection. On top of that one in five (22%) report unexplained respiratory symptoms.

Hayfever – caused by pollen from trees, grass and flowers – is likely to be the first allergy we all think about. But, particles in the home – such as mould or house dust mites – can trigger  other allergies too as can our external environment. Pollution too is a key external allergy trigger.

GP, Dr Nisa Aslam and from the Puressentiel expert panel adds, “The cold winter months have provided a perfect environment for house-dust mite because we keep windows closed and heating on and this increases the warmth and humidity they love. Condensation around windows and humidity also promote the growth of mould.

“Plant extracts and essential oils with recognised benefits for respiration and symptom relief get my recommendation when it comes to warding off or soothing allergy-related symptoms. What’s more, combining different essential oils can often enhance their efficacy.

“Essential oils - lavender, eucalyptus, lemon and geranium (pelargonium) to name a few - reduce the risk of respiratory issues by tackling common triggers for symptoms. These triggers can include airborne bacteria and viruses, fungal spores and house-dust mites.”

Here’s a fast summary to the key essential oils, all borne out of plants to help tackle some of the common allergy challenges such as congestion and breathing issues:

Allergy aids:

Eucalyptus essential oil is an antiseptic and expectorant; it reduces mucus and helps open the airways and ease breathing. The European Commission has approved its use for respiratory tract infections[2,3]

Camphor was used as a fumigant during the Black Death. It’s still widely used in cold and decongestant solutions thanks to its antimicrobial and antiviral properties and it’s been proven to reduce coughing. Its ability to penetrate the skin makes it particularly useful in balms for the chest[4]

Clove essential oil has powerful antimicrobial properties and has long been used to help respiratory ailments such as sore throats, sinusitis and colds. A study with clove essential oil showed activity against bacteria that cause respiratory tract infections[5,6]

Menthol, another plant compound widely used because of its decongestant properties, has been proven to reduce nasal congestion and relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.[7] A study published in the European Respiratory Journal last year found it also improves breathlessness in people with COPD.[8]

Echinacea has long been used to treat cold symptoms common for those that suffer from allergies and the European Medicines Agency has even confirmed that it “can prevent and improve the symptoms of cold more rapidly than placebo when taken early”[9].

Puressentiel has wrapped these essential oils into a range of allergy buster products available from Holland & Barrett, Amazon and uk.puressentiel.com including:

  • Puressentiel Respiratory Decongestant Nasal Spray
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Protective Nasal Spray
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Air Spray
  • Puressentiel Resp OK inhaler
  • Puressentiel Resp OK Chest Rub
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Cough Syrup
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Soothing Syrup
  • Puressentiel Resp OK Massage Balm
  • Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray

Medical herbalist, plant health specialist and a member of the Puressentiel expert hub, Dr Chris Etheridge notes: “We know that plants produce some extraordinarily beneficial natural compounds and chemicals, and many pharmaceutical medicines are simply synthetic derivatives of phytochemicals, but there is also a lot of evidence to show that the synergy which comes from combining different essential oils will often enhance their efficacy. That’s why the clinically backed Puressentiel products like their respiratory and purifying air ranges get my recommendation.”

Dr Nisa Aslam adds, “Another big plus with plant-based products is that they are also very well tolerated and with many suitable for use in infants.”

What’s What with Allergies?

  • Hay Fever: Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is one of the most common allergies in the UK and is on the rise. It currently affects a staggering 13 million people. Climate change is to blame for the pollen season getting longer and more intense; warm air and higher temperatures increase pollen counts, according to a recent study by the University of Utah.[10]
  • Wondered why your hay fever was coming on so early? The study showed that the pollen season is starting 20 days earlier than it did three decades ago and lasts for ten days longer. To add to the misery of hay fever, there’s now 21 per cent MORE pollen around than there was 32 years ago in 1990.
  • House Dust Mites: House dust mites, or to be exact, their faeces and debris, are a common trigger for wheezing, congestion and other respiratory symptoms. It’s estimated that in industrialised countries like the UK, one in four people is affected by these microscopic irritants.[11]
  • Mould: Moulds are present in a staggering 10 to 50% of houses. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of their presence. Mould become dangerous as they emit spores which when touched can trigger allergies and respiratory problems like asthma and COPD.
  • Indoor Air Quality: It has been reported that at least 9,000 deaths every year are attributed to indoor air pollution in the UK and indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2 to 10 times higher than outdoor levels.[12]
  • However, research[13] from Puressentiel shows despite the seriousness of indoor air pollution only one in three (35%) take any measures to improve air quality in their homes, and in most cases (71%) they only go as far as to open a window.

Dr Nisa Aslam’s Top Alleviating Allergies Tips:

Ventilate: Ensure fresh air is circulating around your home. If you suffer from hay fever though, make sure to close the windows at night when pollen starts to fall.

  1. Hydrate: Keep your nose hydrated with an isotonic solution such as Puressentiel Respiratory Decongestant Nasal Spray;
  2. Check: Have a look around your home and check for possible mould. If it’s visible consider a mould solution to clear it away and use Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray. This combines 41 essential oils — including two species of lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and geranium (pelargonium) – to combat fungal spores and mould, plus airborne bacteria, viruses, and house-dust mites;[14]
  3. Shower at night: Our clothes and hair can collect potential allergens like pollen throughout the day. A shower before bed means you’re not taking them into bed with you;
  4. Help from nature: soothe your allergic rhinitis with essential oils such as Scots pine, Peppermint or Tea Tree oil.

Puressentiel: your new Allergy SOS

Puressentiel Respiratory

Decongestant Nasal Spray combines a 100% natural sterile saline solution which softens blocked nasal mucosa. This smart product also includes organic rosemary floral water plus the soothing and decongestant essential oils of eucalyptus radiata, rosat geranium, niaouli, ravintsara as well as propolis and Echinacea extracts.  

An intervention trial using Puressentiel Respiratory Decongestant Nasal Spray in 31 adults with a history of nasal congestion caused by allergic rhinitis confirmed benefits across five measures after eight days of use.

  • Why people swear by Puressentiel’s Respiratory Decongestant Nasal Spray:100% Natural & Organic relief for Colds, rhinitis (chronic or allergic), sinusitis, rhinopharyngitis;
  • A unique formula with a blend of: 4 Organic Essential Oils, Hypertonic Sea water, Organic Rosemary floral water, Propolis and Echinacea;
  • Fast, effective, clinically proven relief
  • Non-irritating and preservative-free
  • Suitable for people with high blood pressure - No corticosteroids or vasoconstrictors
  • Suitable from 3yrs plus

https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/puressentiel-respiratory-protective-nasal-spray-

  • Puressentiel Resp OK Chest Rub combines 19 essential oils including tea tree, two species of lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus to produce a clinically proven decongestant rub; 
  • A 20-day trial with 20 adults found 91% reported the scent allowed them to breathe freely and 77% confirmed the rub had a soothing and calming effect;
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Air Spray is a unique blend of essential oils which should be used at the first signs of seasonal sensitivities;
  • It contains 19 essential oils which help soothe the airways and ease congestion: anise, bay St Thomas, cajuput, Atlas cedarwood, lemon, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandin grosso, peppermint, niaouli, oregano, sylvestris pine, ravintsara, rosemary, Salvia officinalis, tea tree and thyme;
  • Puressentiel Resp OK Massage Balm combines 19 essential oils including two species of lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and clove to produce a clinically proven decongestant balm. A 20-day trial[15] in 25 children aged eight to 17 with rhinitis or bronchitis showed a 96% improvement in respiratory symptoms and sleep after 7 days;
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Cough Syrup soothes sore throats, coughs with allergies and supports the body’s natural defences with three aromatic honeys, propolis, marshmallow and elderberry;
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends the use of honey to treat coughs over antibiotics and other conventional medicines, elderberry has antiviral activity and marshmallow can ease dry cough.

Puressentiel’s Respiratory Cough Syrup: Tried and trusted core benefits include:

  • A 100% Natural & Effective Cough Relief which relieves coughs from the first day of use. Soothes irritated mucous membranes and provides lasting protection for the upper respiratory tract;
  • A unique, effective, natural formula with a blend of: 4 organic Essential Oils (Lemon, Eucalyptus radia, Rosemary cineole, Peppermint), 4 plants extracts, Honeys & Propolis
  • Suitable for all cough types including both dry and chesty;
  • Helps calm the mucous membrane cells that produce mucus and as a result acts as a natural decongestant in the upper respiratory tract;
  • Non-Drowsy, plus free from: Gluten, colouring & preservatives;
  • Formulated with sustainable honey. For every purchase made, Puressentiel makes a donation to the global beekeeper’s network;
  • Suitable from 7yrs plus.

https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/puressentiel-respiratory-cough-syrup-125-ml

Puressentiel Respiratory Soothing Syrup combines plant extracts including propolis, marshmallow root and Echinacea with seven essential oils and soothing ingredients such as honey and lemon, to deliver proven relief from day one.

  • What shoppers love about Puressentiel’s Respiratory Soothing Syrup include:100% Natural, Fast, Effective Relief:
    • Cough relief: soothes irritated mucous membranes that line our throats and cause us to cough. Plus, provides lasting protection for the upper respiratory tract;
    • Helps calm coughs: reduces irritation and provides lasting protection for the tiny hairs, known as cilia – technical name: mucous membranes;
  • A natural, effective, special formula with a blend of:  3 aromatic honeys (thyme, lemon tree and lavender), marshmallow extract, elderberry & propolis;
  • Pleasant honey taste;
  • Non-drowsy and free from: Gluten, colouring & preservatives;
  • Formulated with sustainable honey. For every purchase made, Puressentiel makes a donation to the global beekeeper’s network;
  • Suitable from 3yrs plus.

https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/puressentiel-respiratory-soothing-syrup-125-ml

Puressentiel Resp OK inhaler is the pocket solution for congestion containing 18 essential oils – including eucalyptus, peppermint and oregano – enriched with menthol and camphor to ease breathing.

References

  1. M. L. Levy, 2004
  2. Lis-Balchin M (2006) Aromatherapy Science. A guide for healthcare professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press.
  3. https://docplayer.net/46059171-Community-herbal-monograph-on-eucalyptus-globulus-labill-folium.html
  4. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6270224/
  5. Lis-Balchin M. Aromatherapy Science. A guide for healthcare professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2006. 2006.
  6. Mittal M, Gupta N, Parashar P, Mehra V, Khatri M. Phytochemical evaluation and pharmacological activity of Syzygium aromaticum: a comprehensive review. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2014;6(8):67-72. 2014.
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269793317_ Analysis_of_pathomechanisms_involved_in_side_  effects_of_menthol_treatment_in_respiratory_diseases
  8. https://openres.ersjournals.com/content/7/4/00450-2021
  9. www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/herbal/echinaceae-purpureae-herba
  10. Dr William Anderegg, of the University of Utah, https://www.studyfinds.org/climate-change-allergies-pollen-hay-fever/
  11. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560718/
  12. Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK.
  13. HOW TO ACHIEVE DEEP SLEEP AND BREATHE EASY - The latest science on sleep and respiration; Puressentiel, Winter 2022-2023
  14. Data on file General Practitioner’s Journal review (BAT PAO 1.12.2015_16h50_PURESSENTIEL_GB.PDF page 5)
  15. DATA ON FILE

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About Dr Nisa Aslam

Dr Nisa Aslam is an urgent care GP and a physician at digital health company, LiveSmart. She was awarded an MBBS with intercalated BSc degree from University College London and has over ten years’ experience working in NHS hospitals including UCLH, The Royal Free Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and The Royal London. As a General Practitioner she manages both acute illness and chronic disease, across a range of specialities which include dermatology, general medicine, surgery, paediatrics, women’s health, sexual health, care of the elderly, mental health and dementia. Dr Aslam is also a member of the expert panel set up by Aminoscience (www.nhco-nutrition.co.uk) to help communicate the importance of amino acids in health and wellness. She may be contacted via Aminoscience.

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