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Published on : Mar 14, 2014
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Slide 1 - Tuesday, 18 March 2014 1 Using aromatherapy to help allergies Penny Price Aromatherapy
Slide 2 - What is an allergy? An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. Allergic reactions happen because of excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). This reaction results in an inflammatory response which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous. Water is produced as a result of the reaction 2
Slide 3 - 3 For example – Eczema The by-product water (from the allergic response) is pushed into the basal layer of the epidermis. As the cells are pushed through the epidermis, they do not dehydrate in their given time span of 28 days The living cells full of water erupt when they come to the surface – this causes irritation as they are still alive This is eczema
Slide 4 - Cold urticaria and eczema 4
Slide 5 - 5 Why do some people have allergies? Host factors include heredity, gender, race, and age, with heredity being by far the most significant. Some incidences of allergic disorders cannot be explained. Four major environmental candidates are: alterations in exposure to infectious diseases during early childhood environmental pollution allergen levels dietary changes.
Slide 6 - Common allergic conditions Hay fever Rhinitis Asthma Eczema Urticarial rashes Anaphylaxis Caused by Proteins (most common cause) Washing power Food allergies Insect bites Medication Environment Pollen 6
Slide 7 - NHS approach Allergy testing can help confirm or rule out allergies. Two different methods can be used: a skin prick test or an allergy blood test. Testing is often the practice for determining whether allergy to milk, egg, soy, and wheat have been ‘outgrown’ Treatments for allergies include steroids that modify the immune system and antihistamines and decongestants Immunotherapy uses injected allergens to desensitize the body's response. 7
Slide 8 - Can an allergy be ‘outgrown’? Conventional medicine says YES! It tends to be suppressive and does not always address the underlying energetic imbalance When a person with eczema is given corticosteroid creams the rash may well disappear. Some months later a deeper problem may appear such as asthma. To a conventional doctor, trained to see people as a collection of separate parts, this is perceived as "cure" of the eczema and the appearance of asthma. More drugs are given which suppress the asthma and may lead to symptoms such as anxiety, apprehension or perhaps more serious pathology.   8
Slide 9 - Typical medical history 9 Table 1: Past medical history of a person revealing interconnections of levels (Gascoigne, S)
Slide 10 - Is aromatherapy any better? Treatment with alternative medicine such as aromatherapy, tends to move the pathology out of the body and so treatment of the asthma may lead to reappearance of the eczema. If the eczema is then treated correctly and disappears, this can truly be called cure. The internal levels are balanced and the symptoms have resolved. In other words, sometimes the client will get worse first! However, while some aromatherapy is very effective, some essential oils and carriers may cause sensitivities 10
Slide 11 - Sensitivities – just a reminder…… These are not true allergies Sensitivities can be caused through overuse of a single product on the skin, or dietary item For example, overuse of Tea Tree oil in Australia is responsible for thousands of cases of sensitivity a year Using the same washing powder and not rinsing properly can cause itching over time All that is required is a rest from use – sometimes abstention 11
Slide 12 - Named sensitisers – Must be listed in the product information file and signed off by a chartered chemist for EU regs Benzoin: Benzyl cinnamate, Farnesol, benzyl benzoate, benzyl alcohol, Cinnamic alcohol, Eugenol, benzyl salicylate, Coumarin Bergamot: Linalool, Citronellol, d-Limonene, Citral, Black Pepper: Geraniol, Linalool, d-Limonene Cajuput: Geraniol, Farnesol, Linalool, d-Limonene, Chamomile: Geraniol, Farnesol, Citronellol, Linalool, d-Limonene, Citral Clary Sage: Anisyl Alcohol, Farnesol, Linalool, citronellol, d-Limonene, Clove Bud: benzyl alcohol, Eugenol Cypress: Linalool, d-Limonene Elemi: d-Limonene Eucalyptus: Linalool, citronellol, d-Limonene, Citral Fennel: Linalool, d-Limonene Frankincense: Farnesol, d-Limonene Geranium: Geraniol, Citronellol, Linalool, d-Limonene, Citral, Eugenol Ginger: Geraniol, Linalool, d-Limonene, Citral Ho Wood: Geraniol, Linalool, d-Limonene, Citral Juniper Berry; Geraniol, d-Limonene Lavender: Geraniol, Linalool, d-Limonene, Citral, Coumarin Lavandin: Geraniol, Linalool, d-Limonene, Citral, Coumarin Lemon: Linalool, citronellol, d-Limonene, Citral Lime: Linalool, d-Limonene, Citral Litsea: Geraniol, Linalool, citronellol, d-Limonene, Citral Mandarin: Geraniol, Linalool, citronellol ,d-Limonene, benzyl alcohol, Citral Marjoram: Geraniol, Linalool, d-Limonene Palmarosa: Geraniol, Farnesol, Linalool, citronellol, d-Limonene Peppermint: Citral, Eugenol, Farnesol, Linalool, citronellol, d-Limonene Petitgrain: Geraniol, Citronellol, Linalool, Citral 12
Slide 13 - However… These are sensitising effects, not true allergens Some essential oil components are anti-allergic and can have startlingly good results In many cases, aromatherapy can work when nothing else does, and is much safer long-term for the client as there are no known side effects that could cause further harm 13
Slide 14 - Don’t worry – do a patch test Essential oils test quickly – no need for needles! Put one small drop of each oil on the forearm and label Cover with plastic film for 10 minutes and note reactions Aromatherapists can be more sensitive than the client because of overuse 14
Slide 15 - 15 Just 5 of many oils that can help German Chamomile Bergamot (expressed) Hyssop Caraway Melissa
Slide 16 - 16 German Chamomile Chamomilla recutita has anti-allergic properties that are almost entirely due to one molecule called chamazulene Chamazulene is made during the distillation process and is not present in the natural plant Chamazulene has many properties that help allergies Present up to 35% in Chamomilla recutita
Slide 17 - 17 Chamazulene The chamazulene and bisabolol are anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, reducing histamine induced reactions such as anaphylaxis, hay fever, allergic asthma and eczema (Mills 1991) No sensitisation at 4% dilution on humans (Opdyke 1974)
Slide 18 - 18 Bergamot The natural expressed oil of Citrus bergamia has photosensitising molecules called coumarins present in the oil These are the most important ingredient in the oil for treating allergies They are also photosensitising and should be used with care
Slide 19 - 19 Bergapten Anti-psoriasis Anti-inflammatory Anti-histaminic Spasmolytic
Slide 20 - 20 Hyssop Hyssop in aromatherapy has usually had a bad press with few schools teaching the benefits of the oil This is because of the ketone content, which many of you know is reduced in PPA distillations by waiting for late harvest The components work together to produce the anti-allergic effect
Slide 21 - 21 Germacrene D in hyssop All sesquiterpenes are anti-inflammatory and many can be used to help quench the allergic effect The Germacrene D molecule is a sesquiterpene that has an anti-inflammatory effect on allergic tissue and is present in hyssop 2% Hyssop also helps with angina, high blood pressure, stress, asthma (hyssop is also a mucolytic especially useful for asthma plugs) Use to inhale and for external use
Slide 22 - 22 Caraway and carvone Traditionally an oil for the digestive system, Carum carvi has an antihistaminic effect on the body, particularly in the case of asthma L-Carvone has a part to play in this role and is present up to 85% in Caraway
Slide 23 - Melissa and citral Melissa officinalis has sedative and calming properties that also excite a sluggish liver and immune system Citral (75% in melissa) is helpful to maintain health Not wholly responsible for the calming effect in allergic situations, but it is known that using a small amount of citral everyday can balance hormones Since hormone receptors in the skin can influence the allergic response, then it is thought that small amounts daily would help prevent frequent attacks 23
Slide 24 - Summary of components Sesquiterpenes – particularly chamazulene and germacrene D, but all will help quench skin allergies as they are anti-inflammatory and calming Carvone helpful for hayfever and asthma Citral in many oils will help to balance the hormonal system for hormonal-induced allergies There are also other components that you may want to investigate for yourself and your clients  24
Slide 25 - Other oils to use Lavender Helichrysum Niaouli Peppermint All are sedative, calming, anti-inflammatory, healing and analgesic 25 Eucalyptol (and other oils) suppositories are a good way of dealing with asthma. The blood vessels in the anus transport the eucalyptol directly to the pulmonary area and deliver through the alveoli.
Slide 26 - 26 How to treat skin conditions With allergies, the key to success is to use LESS - in other words, use half the amount of essential oils as usual. For example if you usually use 3%, I suggest you use 1.5% maximum To use more will aggravate the raw skin and make the condition appear worse Use little and often
Slide 27 - Eczema – choosing a blend Wet or dry? Inflamed? Red? Itchy? Scaly? Can we help with dietary advice? German Chamomile Lavender Calendula oil Sunflower oil or a natural base cream Apply little and often 27
Slide 28 - Asthma symptoms Coughing Breathlessness Allergen activated Inflammation Phlegm (plugs) Pain Distress Anxiety 28
Slide 29 - 29 How to treat asthma Inhalations of oils with sesquiterpenes to help control the inflammation Use ketones to gently break down the mucous (hyssop has sesquiterpenes and ketones) Use oils such as hyssop undiluted in the crook of the arms Make suppositories Traditionally aromatherapists use Eucalyptus but sometimes 1.8 cineole is too much and the gently approach should be taken for children STAY CALM
Slide 30 - Hay-fever symptoms Frequent sneezing Runny or blocked nose Itchy, red or watery eyes Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears 30
Slide 31 - 31 How to treat hay fever Inhale directly deeply Use undiluted oils as below Tissue, moustache, crook of arm, under nose, bridge of nose, chin etc.. Hyssop and caraway are particularly useful, as are oils with 1,8 cineole Suppositories Niaouli Lavender Peppermint German Chamomile
Slide 32 - 32 Hydrolats All hydrolats can help because they are made of much larger molecules – natural plant sterols. These can help balance hormones and also be anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory Drinking 20mls 3 times a day can make a difference Use them in conjunction with your oils
Slide 33 - Carrier oils and lotions Avoid nut oils (although there is low risk of the carrier oil promoting an allergy) Test first if in doubt – for 24 hours Use cold-pressed oils, use organic lotions Calendula and some other macerated oils are anti-inflammatory Sunflower oil has inulin present and is useful for asthma and hayfever 33
Slide 34 - 34 Conclusion Allergies are difficult to treat so ensure that your client has taken all the necessary dietary steps to ensure that their system is ready for your treatment Little and often is the key in conjunction with hydrolats and carrier oils Being confident is always helpful! If you don’t try, you don’t get results and you don’t grow as a therapist
Slide 35 - References Price L, Price, S. (2005). Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. USA, PA: Elsevier Ltd. p.225. ISBN9870443101342. Price L, (2008). Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage. 4th Edition. Stratford upon Avon, UK. PA: Riverhead p.194 . ISBN 1 874353 02 6 Battaglia, Salvatore. (2003) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Brisbane, Australia, PA: ICHA p.531. ISBN 0 646 42896 9 Price L, Price, S. (2004) Understanding Hydrolats. San Francisco, PA: Churchill Livingstone. p.197. ISBN 0443 07316 3. Hawkins, J. M. (ed.) (1986) The Oxford Reference Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. McGraw-Hill. Kay AB (2000). "Overview of 'allergy and allergic diseases: with a view to the future'". Br. Med. Bull. 56 (4): 843–64. doi:10.1258/0007142001903481. PMID 11359624. Bope, Edward T.; Rakel, Robert E. (2005). Conn's Current Therapy 2005. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company. p. 880. ISBN 0-7216-3864-3. Holgate ST (1998). "Asthma and allergy—disorders of civilization?". QJM 91 (3): 171–84. doi:10.1093/qjmed/91.3.171. PMID 9604069. Rusznak C, Davies RJ (1998). "ABC of allergies. Diagnosing allergy". BMJ 316 (7132): 686–9. doi:10.1136/bmj.316.7132.686. PMC 1112683. PMID 9522798. Schafer JA, Mateo N, Parlier GL, Rotschafer JC (2007). "Penicillin allergy skin testing: what do we do now?". Pharmacotherapy 27 (4): 542–5. doi:10.1592/phco.27.4.542. PMID 17381381. Tang AW (2003). "A practical guide to anaphylaxis". Am Fam Physician 68 (7): 1325–32. PMID 14567487. 35
Slide 36 - Finally, if you need advice…… Contact me for this presentation at Or phone 01455 251020 36