What essential oil is good for spring allergies

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Asteraceae family—characteristic and representatives

The Asteraceae family (Compositae) is one of the major group of flowering plants, comprising approximately 1000 genera and 23,000 species widespread worldwide (Heywood 1993; Tutin et al. 1980; Czarnecka and Denisow 2014). The Asteraceae species are distributed from the polar zone to the subtropical and tropical zones, except Antarctica (Stevens 2001). The Asteraceae species happen in various habitats and represent 8–20% of native floras (Tutin et al. 1980). The characteristic feature is flower reduction and organizing in the capitulum-type inflorescence.

The members are mainly herbaceous species; however, trees and shrubs are also found. Numerous of these species are economically significant and are cultivated as crops (Heywood 1993).

What essential oil is excellent for spring allergies

The plants are grown as vegetables: lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), endive (Cichorium endivia L.), cardoon (Cynara cardunulus L. var. sylvestris), globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus), common salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius L.), black salsify (Scorzonera hispanica L.), the garden ornamentals useful in flowering arrangements (e.g., Ageratum, Aster, Dahlia, Tagetes—marigold, Zinnia); several species are favorite as indoor plants (Chrysanthemum, Gerbera, Senecio) (Tutin et al.

1980). A large number of species are recognized as weeds, e.g., Cirsium sp., Carduus sp., coltsfoot (Tussilago farfafa L.), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale L.), yarrow (A. millefolium L.), tansy (T. vulgare L.), and are characteristic for areas with diverse levels of anthropopressure (Denisow 2011; Wrzesień et al. 2016a, b; Jachuła et al. 2018a, b). Some species are favorite as medical herbs, i.e., arnica (A.

montana L.), German chamomile (Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauch.) or marigold (Calendula officinalis L.) (Reider et al. 2001). Invasive plant species are also common among Asteraceae species (Denisow et al. 2017). Some anemophilous Asteraceae species are responsible for severe pollinosis, e.g., common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia L.), mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris L.), marsh elder (Iva xanthifolia Nutt.), or cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.) (D’Amato et al.


Edible Asteraceae species

Lettuce (L. sativa L.) is an significant leaf vegetable with numerous varieties commonly cultivated worldwide and increasing production in European countries (Paulsen et al. 2001). Among SLs are the guaianolides, of which lactucin, lactucopicrin, and 8-deoxylactucopicrin are the most representative (Salapovic et al. 2013). However, a 9-kDa lipid transfer protein (Lac s 1) is considered the major allergen in lettuce (Hartz et al. 2007). Two Lac s 1 isoforms were recognized, with an amino-acid showing the high sequence identity to Pru p 3 from peach, apple allergen Mal d 3, and to the London plane tree pollen (LTPs pla a 3) (Franck et al.

2000). The allergic patients’ sera showed specific IgE binding to an nLac s protein from the lettuce extract (Hartz et al. 2007). Lettuce protein (Lac s 1) may result in cross-reactivity with other lipid transfer protein-containing foods (LTPs), e.g., from Rosaceae family (peach, apple, apricot); other plant sources (mugwort, peanut, hazelnut, chestnut, grapes, maize, beans, orange, onion, tomatoes, strawberry); pollen; or animal food (milk, fish, sea food, chicken) (Avila Castanon et al. 2002; Diaz et al. 2013; Díaz-Perales et al. 2000; Pastorello et al. 2000; Vila et al. 1998).

In central and northern Europe, the allergy to lettuce is not frequently noted (de Jongh et al.

2007). However, allergy symptoms of a lettuce allergy reaction can invoke after ingestion and can range from mild to severe (Diaz et al. 2013; Vila et al. 1998). In some regions, the species is included among major Asteraceae skin irritants (Alexander et al. 2013). In specific, the allergic response to lettuce is associated with birch pollinosis, and the symptoms are generally limited to the oropharyngeal system (Díaz-Perales et al. 2000). In the Mediterranean countries, the allergic reactions are independent on pollinosis, and the individuals manifest systemic reactions associated with nonspecific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTP) (San Miguel-Moncín et al.

2003). Considering common lettuce consumption, the contact allergy is relatively rarely reported; however, several occupational cases own been documented, therefore, the lettuce-related allergy may be underdiagnosed (Paulsen and Andersen 2016; Vila et al. 1998). In clinical practice, diverse symptoms associated with allergy to lettuce protein own been described, i.e., urticaria, gastrointestinal symptoms, OAS, and angioedema (Hartz et al. 2007).

Occupational contact dermatitis has been revealed in employees working with green trade (greenhouse workers, gardeners, cookers) (Helander 1984; Krook 1977).

Lettuce has been reported to encounter for lip and facial swelling. In isolated cases, an aggravation of pre-existing dermatitis has been recorded (Oliwiecki et al. 1991). Several patients own been described to own anaphylaxis that occurs in response to lettuce (Morita et al. 2007; Olive-Perez and Pineda 2003; San Miguel-Moncín et al. 2003).

Endivie (C. endivia L.), a bitter-leafed vegetable, is particularly common in the Mediterranean region. In this region, the endivie is responsible for 20–30% of skin allergies (Alexander et al. 2013). Occupational hand dermatitis has been reported in SL-sensitive patients (Rozas-Muñoz et al.

2012). The patients with severe chronic skin irritation to lettuce (L. sativa) can own cross-sensitivity to endivie (Krook 1977).

Chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sativum L., succory, coffee weed, cornflower, wild chicory) is a species common in the wild in Europe and North America (Heywood 1993; Tutin et al. 1980). It is of substantial economic, culinary, and medicinal potential. The plant is grown for its roots, which are known for the high concentration of inulin, the polysaccharide that is reported to own diverse advantages to the human body, i.e., enhance the immune system and stabilize blood sugars and lipids level (Figueira et al.

2003). IgE-mediated allergy with skin irritant reactions, facial erythema, dyspnea, chronic eczema, as well as severe bronchospastic reactions has been reported after contact with chicory root or leaves (Das et al. 2016). The skin reaction to chicory allergens may be delayed, and the symptoms may happen even 2 years after the first contact to cultivating chicory plants (Morita et al. 2007). The plant can cross-react with birch pollen, and in some individuals with birch pollen allergies, it causes the oral allergy syndrome (Cadot et al.

2003; Willi et al. 2009). In rare cases, the anaphylactic type I allergy to chicory was also reported (Morita et al. 2007; Olive-Perez and Pineda 2003; Willi et al. 2009).

Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus L., syn.; C. cardunculus var. scolymus L.) is a perennial herb, native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa, used as a vegetable plant with edible head inflorescence (Heywood 1993). The plant is used in phytomedicine to enhance the kidneys and stimulate bile acid excretion and flow (Ben Salem et al. 2015). The development of occupational rhinitis and bronchial asthma has been reported in vegetable warehouse workers after sensitization to artichoke (Miralles et al.


Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L., common sunflower) is an annual plant, native to Central America (Heywood 1993). It is widely cultivated as an oilseed crop and livestock forage in semi-arid regions (Tutin et al. 1980). The protein allergens with high cross-reactivity (32, 24, 55, and 55 kDa albumins, LTPs Hel a 1, Hel a 2) own been found in sunflower pollen (de la Hoz et al. 1994; International Union of Immunological Societies Allergen Nomenclature). Pollen allergens differ from seed allergens Hel a 3 (Macias et al.

2014). In patients allergic to sunflower proteins, generalized urticaria, angioedema, oral allergy syndrome, and other symptoms were reported (Vandenplas et al. 1998). Although the sunflower seed dust can result in allergic symptoms with serious anaphylaxis, the incidents are extremely rare (Vandenplas et al. 1998). The safety of sunflower oil ingestion in patients with IgE-mediated hypersensitivity to sunflower seed was reported by Halsey et al.


Contact and systemic contact (allergic) dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition accounting for 70–90% of every occupational skin diseases (Adisesh et al. 2013). Contact dermatitis is induced by exposure to an external irritant or allergen and therefore, two types of contact dermatitis: irritant and allergic are distinguished (Rashid and Shim 2016). Approximately 80% of contact dermatitis are irritant contact dermatitis (ICD), which is a non-immunologic response to the direct damage of the skin, by chemical or physical agents (Fonacier and Sher 2014; Pigatto 2015; Tan et al.

2014). The clinical appearances differ between the acute and chronic ICD. The acute ICD includes macules and papules, erythematous, erythemoto-edematous or erytemato-squamous plaques. In the chronic ICD, dry skin, erytemato-squamous dermatitis, hyperkeratosis, and disappearance of fingerprints are found (Nosbaum et al. 2009). The rate of reactions and the severity of changes in skin depend on (i) nature and concentration of the responsible factor; (ii) duration, area, and frequency of contact with an agent; (iii) environment; (iv) skin type; and condition (Slodownik et al.

2008). The mechanism of skin irritation starts with skin damage and is followed by the release of numerous proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines (de Jongh et al. 2007). The primary source of ICD mediators are keratinocytes; however, new insight is given to the mast cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, and natural killers cells (Norman et al. 2008; Vocanson et al. 2005). The cytokines secreted in the ICD are IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α (Nosbaum et al. 2009; Vocanson et al. 2007).

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) compromises 20% of cases of contact dermatitis and includes two phases: (i) sensitization— maturation of potential to develop a cutaneous allergic reaction to allergen and (ii) elicitation—skin inflammation developed as a result of repeated exposure to the allergen in a sensitized person (Fonacier and Sher 2014).

ACD is a type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction to an external allergen with the circulating memory T cells involved as the main players. T cells home into the skin during r-exposure to an allergen and activate immunologic reaction causing skin inflammation, generally within 48 h (Burkemper 2015). The activated T cells produce cytokines, e.g., IL-2, IL-17, and INF-α, which further activate and damage skin cells (McFadden et al.

2013). The cellular apoptosis induces inflammation, recruitment, and mobilization of new cells in the skin resulting in eczema (Cavani 2008; Vocanson et al. 2007). The clinical symptoms and signs of ACD consists of erythema, edema, and oozing in the acute phase, while the chronic phase is characterized by lichenified, fissured, and pigmented skin. The location of clinical signs in the ACD is generally limited to the site of contact; however, in contrary to the ICD skin lesions might spread locally or at a distance (Asano et al.

2009; Nicolas et al. 2008). Summary and differential diagnosis between ICD and ACD are presented in Table 1.Table 1

Summary and differential diagnosis between ICD and ACD

Systemic contact (allergic) dermatitis (SCD) is an inflammatory skin disease and occurs in sensitized person after oral, inhalation, intravesical, intravenous, or transcutaneous exposure to the haptens (Nicolas et al. 2008; Veien 2011). Systemic reactions are induced by both humoral and cell-mediated mechanism including T cells and cytokine secretion (Paulsen 2017).

Clinical symptoms include local allergic manifestations; however, in a person exposed to allergen, systematically noncutaneous symptoms might develop such as fever, chest pain, and urticarial (Andrews and Scheinman 2011).

Skin severe reactions caused by bioactive chemicals from the representatives of the Asteraceae family own been described worldwide (in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia); however, patient sensitivity varied between geographical regions or seasons and is associated with both sex and age (Gordon 1999; Thomson and Wilkinson 2000). In Europe, Asteraceae-related allergy is among the top ten contact sensitivities, in most cases noted in Central and South Europe (Alexander et al.

2013; Paulsen and Andersen 2016). The allergic reactions after contact with Asteraceae SLs differ between countries, ranging from 0.1% to 2.7%, with a mean prevalence of 1.5% (Paulsen 2017).

Some authors even indicate that the detection for Asteraceae-related skin dermatitis is insufficient due to the low awareness of the problem among patients and their doctors (Spiewak 2001). Typical routes of accidental exposure are skin or eye contact or ingestion (Gordon 1999; Jovanović and Poljacki 2003; Neerman 2003). Positive reactions to Asteraceae allergens (SLs, flavonoids, proteins) may be caused not only by plant allergy, but also by cross-reactivity with, for instance, perfume terpenes (Paulsen 2017; Paulsen and Andersen 2016).

Diverse reactions own been documented after transcutaneous absorption of toxins from Asteraceae (Paulsen and Andersen 2016; Zidorn 2008).

Generalized eczema (20–30%), eczema of exposed body surfaces, i.e., hands and face (24%), facial eczema (11–28%), eczema of V of the neck, and forearms are found among clinical manifestations of Asteraceae-derivative symptoms (Jovanović and Poljacki 2003). In addition, areas protected from the sunlight exposure such as retroauricular regions (Wilkinson triangle), eyelids, and nasolabial folds are also at risk, allowing its differentiation from a true photo-related dermatitis (Gordon 1999). Among Asteraceae-sensitive individuals, 78.8% exhibit diverse contact skin inflammations, e.g., to nickel in 33.3% of patients or photosensitivity in 22–75% of persons (Jovanović and Poljacki 2003).

Asteraceae allergy screening panel developed by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group comprises of two standard Asteraceae allergens responsible for contact skin inflammation (1) sesquiterpene lactones stir (SL mix; stir of three common SLs (alantolactone, dehydrocostus lactone, and costunolide) and (2) Compositae stir (CM) comprises the biological substances from five Asteraceae species, i.e., Arnica montana, Matriacaria recutica, Tanacetum parthenium, Tanacetum vulgare, and Achillea millefolium (Alexander et al.

2013). Both the SL stir and the Compositae stir are considered as efficient screening for Asteraceae-related allergy (Green and Ferguson 1994; Paulsen et al. 2001). Potential allergens derivative from Asteraceae species are displayed in Table 2 and structures of several common SLs compounds are shown in Fig. 1.Table 2

Species of the Asteraceae (Compositae) family with potential allergens

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The PubMed/Medline databases were searched, from inception to February 2018, using various combination of the following keywords: Asteraceae, Compositae, the names of plant species, sesquiterpene lactones, SLs, and contact dermatitis and related terms: irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, and systemic contact dermatitis.

Each reference retrieved was screened independently by two reviewers (MDP and ŁP), following predefined criteria to determine eligibility for the review.

Ornamental Asteraceae species

Chrysanths (Chrysanthemum sp.) are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. In Japan, the chrysanthemum is an imperial and national flower (Tutin et al. 1980). In numerous European countries (Italy, Poland), the ornamental chrysanthemum is restricted to use mainly in cemetery arrangements (Heywood 1993). The first description of a severe skin irritation after contact with the Chrysanthemum plants was made by Howe JS in 1887.

Currently, the Chrysanthemum species and varieties are considered to be a primary sensitizer and principle agent of contact occupational dermatitis in Western Europe (60%) (Alexander et al. 2013). The allergens in chrysanths (mainly SLs) are found in the flowers and leaves, as well as in the hairs (trichomes) developed on every plant parts (Salapovic et al. 2013). The trichomes easily become airborne and can contact nose and eyes mucosa (Menz and Winkelmann 1987). The symptoms and complaints due to the direct contact with the Chrysanthemum plant parts can vary from urticaria to allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma (de Jong et al.

1998). The contact dermatitis often begins with fingerstrips and extend to the face and forearms and can happen minutes after contact (Alexander et al. 2013). Cross-sensitization allergy symptoms after contact with several Asteraceae members (e.g., Matricaria, Solidago) own also been reported (de Jong et al. 1998).

Dahlia (Dahlia sp.) is a perennial ornamental plant (Heywood 1993).

The causes of dahlia dermatitis own been described in Asian countries (Nandakishore and Pasricha 1994). Sensitization occurs through direct and airborne skin contact. Allergic symptoms are noted mainly in face and hands (Alexander et al. 2013).

Asteraceae herbaceous plants

Dandelion (T. officinale L.) is a herbaceous perennial weed native to Europe and Asia; however, it is naturalized and found on every continents (Heywood 1993; Tutin et al. 1980). The plant is found in abundance in meadows, roadsides, and ruderal places. In several countries, it is recognized as a severe weed in agriculture and gardening; in others, as a beneficial apicultural plant (Denisow 2011).

Dandelion contains numerous pharmacologically athletic compounds and is used as herbal medicine in Europe, North America, and China (Schutz et al. 2006). Among potential allergens, an 18-kDa Bet v 1 related-protein with high expression in roots and stems has been extracted from dandelion (Xu et al. 2000). The dandelion sensitivity is expected in patient allergic to the pollen of wind-pollinated Asteraceae (e.g., Ambrosia, Artemisia, Iva) as the cross-reactive epitopes own been shown in several Asteraceae members (Paulsen and Andersen 2016; Syhaieva 2006). For example, the ingestion of bee pollen recommended as food supplementation can result in acute allergic reactions (Cohen et al.

1979; Denisow and Denisow-Pietrzyk 2016; Helander 1984). Several studies described a seasonal cutaneous allergy after contact with dandelion (Cohen et al. 1979; Hausen and Schulz 1978; Ingber 2000; Jovanovic et al. 2004; Lovell and Rowan 1991; Poljacki et al. 2005; Thomson and Wilkinson 2000). In the Korean study, the sensitization to dandelion occurred in 8.5% of patients with respiratory allergy (Lee et al. 2007). In an atopic patient with hay fever, even an anaphylactic reaction has been observed after intake of mixed pollen with 15% of dandelion participation (Chivato et al. 1996).

Arnica (A. montana L.) is a herbaceous perennial plant widespread in the nutrient-poor siliceous meadows of Central Europe (Tutin et al.

1980). The plant extracts are used in alternative medicine and cosmetic products. The arnica-related allergy is not often and own been detected in approximately 1.13% patients; however, the contact allergy with skin irritation to arnica own been described (Reider et al. 2001; Rudzki and Grzywa 1977). Given that sensitization to arnica cannot be assessed by testing with the Compositae or sesquiterpene stir alone, the authors propose that these allergies are more common and contribute considerably to the contact dermatitis, and presumably are recognized as general plant/Asteraceae allergy (Neerman 2003; Reider et al.


Marigold (C. officinalis L., pot marigold, ruddles, common marigold, garden marigold, English marigold, or Scottish marigold) is an herbaceous, extremely aromatic perennial known in folk medicine (Heywood 1993). The species is native to southern Europe; currently, it is naturalized in temperate regions (Tutin et al. 1980). Calendula extract contains triterpenoids, flavonoids, coumarins, quinones, volatile oil, carotenoids, and amino acids, with multiple medical activities, i.e., anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, hepatoprotective, spasmolytic, and spasmogenic (Muley et al.

2009; Silva et al. 2007). Marigold extracts are common in diverse creams, which shows the protective action in humans with irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) (Fuchs et al. 2011; Fuchs et al. 2005). Although adverse reactions to marigolds are rare, approximately 2.0% of allergic patients reacted to allergens in marigold, contact skin allergies, and severe anaphylaxis own been noted (D’Amato et al. 2007; Wintzen et al. 2003).

Yarrow (A. millefolium L.) is an herbaceous perennial native to temperate areas in Europe, Asia, and North America (Heywood 1993).

It is commonly found in grasslands, ruderal areas, and open forests and is also frequently cultivated as an ornamental plant. The plant is an ingredient in herbal teas. One patient had a flare-up of dermatitis after drinking tea made from A. millefolium (Wrangsö et al. 1990).

Chamomile is a common name of several plant species spread over Europe, North Africa, and Asia (Matricaria chamomilla L.—wild chamomile, German chamomile in Poland, Germany, France; Anthemis nobilis L.—common chamomile in England, Spanish, Germany; Anthemis arvensis—common chamomile in Asores, Iran, Denmark, Ukraine; and Anthemis cotula L.—dog’s fennel, May weed, stinking chamomile) (Heywood 1993; Tutin et al.


What essential oil is excellent for spring allergies

Chamomile is considered as a medicinal plant containing diverse bio-active molecules, e.g., terpenoids, flavonoids, and volatile oils, contributing to its medicinal usage and is listed on the FDA’s GRAS, commonly recommended as a safe list (Srivastava et al. 2010). Chamomile plays an significant role in phytomedicine and is known from its antispasmodic and sedative usefulness. Therapeutic effects of chamomile herbs or flowers own been established against hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, disorders in a menstrual cycle, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids (Zidorn 2008).

However, in a low percentage of individuals, chamomile can be dangerous and initiate allergic reactions, including contact dermatitis reactions (Budzinski et al. 2000; Pereira et al. 1997; Rodríguez-Serna et al. 1998). The tests conducted by Budzinski et al.

What essential oil is excellent for spring allergies

(2000) revealed that 3.1% of the patients develop an Asteraceae-related allergic reaction, and of these individuals, 56.5% demonstrated allergy to chamomile. As another example, in hay fever patients with an inflammation of meibomian glands, the chamomile employed as fluid extract exacerbates the inflammation syndromes (Subiza et al. 1990). It is presumable that reported allergic effects may result from contamination of common chamomile herb by A. cotula, the species extremely similar to the other chamomiles, hard to distinguish, and known for its allergenic properties (Budzinski et al.

2000). The plant is even classified as poison (Toxic plants ASPCA 2014). The cases of severe anaphylactic reaction own been reported in a 38-year-old Caucasian man and in an 8-year-old boy, who ingested chamomile as a herbal tea (Andres et al. 2009; Subiza et al. 1989). The allergen protein, a homolog of Bet v 1 has been identified in chamomile (Reider et al. 2000). These high-weight molecules (23–50 kDa) may presumably induce the cross-reactivity with foods and pollen allergens. However, the subjects sensitive to mugwort seldom reveal allergenic reaction to chamomile. On the contrary, the patients sensitive to chamomile are generally allergic to mugwort (Barrett et al.

2010). Furthermore, the authors propose that evidence of cross-reactivity with food and pollen allergens is highly probable in subjects sensitized to chamomile (de la Torre Morín et al. 2001; Reider et al. 2000). In specific, establishing general recognition of safety of chamomile products is needed before usage in children; pregnant women; or patients with allergy, kidney and liver diseases.

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench.)—purple coneflower) is a herbaceous, perennial plant, native to North America commonly used to enhance the immunology system and prevent against freezing infections (Barrett et al.

2010; Stevens 2001). Adverse reactions to Echinacea own been documented in Australian patients (Mullins and Heddle 2002). The Echinacea-related symptoms included severe urticaria (hives), swelling, acute asthma attacks, and anaphylaxis.

Tansy (T. vulgare L., syn. C. vulgare (L.) Bernh.) is a perennial, herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia, and is naturalized in North America and Canada. Yellow flower heads are flattened. Unused tansy herb yields between 0.2% and 0.6% volatile oil of highly variable geographically dependent composition with high participation of monoterpene camphor (Keskitalo et al.

2001). The β-thujone, a compound reported to be highly toxic to brain, liver, and kidney tissues is also a well-known ingredient in tansy (Chiasson et al. 2001). The irritant contact dermatitis has been documented after prolonged exposure to tansy (Paulsen and Andersen 2016). Sesquiterpene lactones (SLs) present in Asteraceae species, e.g., pathenolides, are presumably responsible for severe cross-sensitivity between tansy and chrysanthemum (Paulsen et al. 2001). The allergy for tansy herb own been evidenced in 60.6–77.0% of individuals sensitive to Asteraceae (Paulsen 2017).

Clinical symptoms cover the face, hands, and/or forearms, and generally happen after irritant contact with the herb in the wild or through the use of cosmetics (Salapovic et al. 2013; Zidorn 2008).

Feverfew (T. parthenium (L.) Sch. Bip., syn. C. parthenium (L.) Bernch.) is a perennial plant which grows in most of Europe, North America, and Canada (Tutin et al. 1980; Stevens 2001). It has been used in herbal remedies for centuries (Neerman 2003; Zidorn 2008). The skin irritation symptoms (in eyes, face, neck, and scalp) own been documented in a 45- and 25-year-old lady after usage of moisturizers containing feverfew extracts (Neerman 2003). The patch test with the NACDG revealed positive reaction of both patients to sesquiterpene lactone and to Compositae stir.

It is thought that both of these eruptions are a result of contact dermatitis from the Asteraceae family (Killoran et al. 2007).

Mugwort (A. vulgaris L. felon herb, chrysanthemum weed, or St. John’s herb, common wormwood). This perennial herb is native to Europe, Asia, Northern Africa, and is naturalized to North America (Heywood 1993; Tutin et al. 1980). The genus Artemisia includes 57 species in Europe (Stevens 2001). Mugwort is present in urban, suburban, and rural areas. In tradition folk medicine, the herb is used to release abdominal and menstrual pain and rheumatic arthritis, as an antimalarial drug (Liu et al. 2006). Mugwort (Artemisia) and ragweed (Ambrosia) are indicated among the most involved in pollinosis among Asteraceae species (D’Amato et al.

2007). In the final decade, the pollen of Artemisia campestris own been also identified in airborne pollen in Europe (Grewling et al. 2015). As reported by Park (2005), 42.7% of subjects who experienced the allergic rhinitis and asthma develop positive reactions to mugwort on skin prick testing. Mugwort pollen is known to cross-react with some fruits (peach, apple) and vegetables foods belonging to the Brassicaceae family, such as cauliflower, cabbage, or broccoli (Sugita et al.

2016). The allergic irritation dermatitis revealed after contact with the herbal patch with mugwort ingredient has been reported in a 43-year-old atopic Korean man (Haw et al. 2010). However, the exact Artemisia species used for the herbal patch was not identified; therefore, the authors propose the need for further studies to explain whether there are any differences in skin reaction according to divers Artemisia species.

Ragweed (A.

artemisifolia L.) is an annual herb, native to North America and Canada (Heywood 1993). The species became naturalized in Europe, and currently, it is widespread as an invasive species (Stevens 2001). The sensitization rate against ragweed pollen is high among humans and is compared to that of grass pollen and is expected to increase due to plant migration across Europe (Rodinkova et al. 2018; Buters et al. 2015). The major allergen of ragweed is Amb a 1, a member of the pectatelyases that catalyzes the breakdown of pectin (the major plant cellular wall component).

Ragweed cross-reacts with mugwort (A. vulgaris). Clinical symptoms of ragweed-related allergy involve allergic dermatitis, oral allergy syndromes, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and asthma (Buters et al. 2015; Möller et al. 2002). According to these authors, contact with vegetative parts (leaves) of ragweed may induce hands, underarms, and face eczema with papulo-vesicles or chronic hyperkeratotic eczema.

Severe cross-reactivity symptoms between Asteraceae allergens and food allergens, e.g., celery-mugwort-spice syndromes, and mugwort-peach, mugwort-chamomile, mugwort-mustard, ragweed-melon-banana own been also reported (Popescu 2015). Pollen from other Asteraceae species recorded in the atmosphere (i.e., Iva, Xanthium) are also known to cause allergy (Sikoparija et al. 2017; Rysiak and Czarnecka 2018).

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  2. Rosmarinus Officinalis
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History: Rosemary was a favorite of the ancient Greeks and Romans ceremonial and culinary uses. Distilled from its fragrant leaves, Rosemary Oil is highly valued in aromatherapy because of its unused, rejuvenating fragrance.

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  2. Rosmarinus Officinalis
  3. 100% Pure
  4. Caring For You.

    Caring For The Earth


Ingredients: Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oil.

Top 5 Essential Oils for Allergies

5. Tea Tree Oil

This powerful oil can destroy airborne pathogens that cause allergies. Diffusing tea tree oilin the home will kill mold, bacteria and fungi. It is an antiseptic agent and it has anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil can be applied to the skin to kill bacteria and microorganisms; it can also be used as a household cleaner to disinfect the home and eliminate allergens.


A 2000 study conducted in Germany found that tea tree oil exhibits antimicrobial activity against a wide range of bacteria, yeasts and fungi. These microbes lead to inflammation and force our immune system to work on overdrive. (10)

Remedy: Use tea tree oil on skin rashes and hives or as a household cleaner. When using tea tree topically, add 2–3 drops to a clean cotton ball and gently apply to the area of concern. For people with sensitive skin, dilute tea tree with a carrier oil first, love coconut or jojoba oil.

Possible Side Effects

When using these special essential oil for allergies, I don’t recommend that you take tea tree oil internally; it’s best to use tea tree aromatically or topically.

When using any of these oils topically, dilute with a carrier oil, especially when using on sensitive skin or one sensitive areas, love under the eyes or on the neck.

When using essential oils internally, a little goes a endless way. Only consume 1–2 drops a day for one month. Then take a two-week break and start the treatment again.

Read Next:9 Natural Ways to Treat Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

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Lavandula angustifolia is a plant of Lamiaceae family, with numerous therapeutic properties and biological activities, such as anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities.

The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. essential oil (LEO) on acute inflammatory response. LEO was analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) methods and showed predominance of 1,8-cineole (39.83%), borneol (22.63%), and camphor (22.12%). LEO at concentrations of 0.5, 1, 3, and 10 μg/ml did not present in vitro cytotoxicity.

Additionally, LEO did not stimulate the leukocyte chemotaxis in vitro. The LEO topical application at concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, and 1 mg/ear reduced edema formation, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, and nitric oxide (NO) production in croton oil-induced ear edema model. In carrageenan-induced paw edema model, LEO treatment at doses of 75, 100, and 250 mg/kg reduced edema formation, MPO activity, and NO production. In dextran-induced paw edema model, LEO at doses of 75 and 100 mg/kg reduced paw edema and MPO activity. In conclusion, LEO presented anti-inflammatory activity, and the mechanism proposed of LEO seems to be, at least in part, involving the participation of prostanoids, NO, proinflammatory cytokines, and histamine.


Lemon Oil

Lemon oil supports lymphatic system drainage and helps with overcoming respiratory conditions. Studies own shown that lemon essential oil inhibits the growth of bacteria and boosts the immune system. When diffused at home, lemon oil can kill bacteria and eliminate allergy triggers in the air. (7,8)

Adding 1–2 drops of lemon essential oil to water also helps with pH balance. Lemon waterimproves immune function and detoxifies the body. It stimulates the liver and flushes out toxins that can lead to inflammation and an overreactive immune system.

Lemon water also stimulates white blood cell production, which is vital for immune system function because it helps to protect the body.

Lemon essential oil can also be used to disinfect your home, without depending on alcohol or bleach. It will remove bacteria and pollutants from your kitchen, bedroom and bathroom — reducing the triggers inside of your home and keeping the air clean for you and your family. This can be especially helpful as the seasons change and allergens from exterior are being brought into your home on shoes and clothes.

Remedy: Add lemon oil to your laundry detergent, stir a couple of drops with water and spray it on your couches, sheets, curtains and carpets.


Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil opens up the lungs and sinuses, thereby improving circulation and reducing symptoms of allergies. Studies own shown that it produces a freezing sensation in the nose that helps to improve airflow. (5)

Eucalyptus contains citronellal, which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects; it also works as an expectorant, helping to cleanse the body of toxins and harmful microorganisms that are acting as allergens.

A 2011 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that eucalyptus essential oil was an effective treatment for upper respiratory tract infections.

Patients who were treated with eucalyptus spray reported an improvement in the severity of their most debilitating respiratory tract infection symptoms compared to participants in the placebo group. Improvement was defined as a reduction of sore throat, hoarseness or cough. (6)

Remedy: To treat respiratory issues associated with allergies, diffuse five drops of eucalyptus at home or apply it topically to the chest and temples.

To clear the nasal passages and relieve congestion, pour a cup of boiling water into a bowl and add 1–2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Then put a towel over your head and inhale deeply for 5–10 minutes.

1. Peppermint Oil

Inhaling diffusedpeppermint oilcan oftentimes immediately unclog the sinuses and offer relief to scratchy throats. Peppermint acts as an expectorant and provides relief for allergies, as well as colds, coughs, sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis. It has the power to discharge phlegm and reduce inflammation — a leading cause of allergic reactions.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology investigated the effects of peppermint oil in the tracheal rings of rats.

The results propose that peppermint oil is a relaxant and exhibits antispasmodic activity, inhibiting contractions that causes you to cough. (1)

Another study published in the European Journal of Medical Research suggests that peppermint oil treatment has anti-inflammatory effects — reducing the symptoms of chronic inflammatory disorders such as allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma. (2)

Remedy: Diffuse five drops of peppermint essential oil at home to unclog sinuses and treat a scratchy throat. This will also assist to relax the nasal muscles, enabling the body to clear out mucus and allergens love pollen.

To reduce inflammation, take 1–2 drops of pure peppermint essential oil internally once a day.

It can be added to a glass of water, cup of tea or smoothie. Peppermint oil can also be applied topically to the chest, back of neck and temples. For people with sensitive skin, it is best to dilute peppermint with coconut or jojoba oil before topical application.

Materials and Methods

Evaluation of Systemic Anti-Inflammatory Effect

To provide additional evidence supporting the potential anti-inflammatory effects produced by LEO, we also carried out a carrageenan or dextran-induced mice paw edema in mice (n = 5–7 animals/group).

The negative control group received only subplantar injection of sterile saline. The positive control group received subplantar injection of carrageenan or dextran (500 μg/paw) and only treatment orally with LEO (50, 75, 100, and 250 mg/kg). The paw volume was measured by digital plethysmometer (Ugo Basile®, Italy) prior, 1, 2, and 4 hours after carrageenan injection, or 30, 60, 120, and 240 minutes after dextran injection. Indomethacin (5 mg/kg, p.o.) and celecoxib (10 mg/kg, p.o.) were used as the reference drug in carrageenan-induced foot paw edema, and promethazine (10 mg/kg, p.o.) was used as the reference drug in dextran-induced paw edema. The paw edema, in μL, was calculated by the difference in the paw volume prior and after carrageenan or dextran injection.

After the final measurement, the animals were euthanized and the inflamed hind paws tissues were collected.

Evaluation of Topical Anti-Inflammatory Effect

Ear edema was induced by topical application of croton oil (200 μg 20/ear) diluted in 20 μl of acetone/water solution (vehicle) in the inner surface of the mouse correct ear. The left ear received an equal volume of vehicle (n = 5–7 animals/group). LEO (0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2.5 mg/ear), dexamethasone (reference drug, 0.1 mg/ear), or vehicle was applied topically to the correct ear 1 h before croton oil application. Six hours after application of the inflammatory stimulus, the mice were euthanized, and a 6 mm diameter plug was removed from both the treated and untreated ears.

Edema was measured as the weight difference between the two plugs. The data are expressed as the mean ± SEM weight of the ears.

Cell Viability Analysis (MTT Assay)

Leukocytes were obtained from the peritoneal cavity of mice 4 hours after injection of zymosan solutions (1 mg/cavity, i.p.). Briefly, the cells (5 × 105 cells/well) were exposed to LEO at concentrations of 0.5, 1, 3, 10, 30, or 90 μg/mL for 90 min (37°C/CO2 5%).

A volume of 10 μL of MTT (5 mg/mL, Sigma) was added to each well. After 2 h, 150 μL of supernatant was removed, and 100 μl of dimethyl sulfoxide was added to each well, and absorbance was measured using a Biochrom Asys Expert plus microplate reader (Asys®) at a wavelength of 540 nm, as previously described [22]. The percentage of viability was sure by the following formula:

Plant Material and Extraction of Essential Oil

The leaves and stem of the Lavandula angustifolia were commercially purchased from Cercopa Guarapuava, PR, Brazil.

The essential oil was extracted by conventional steam distillation using a Clevenger-type apparatus for 3 h.

11. Statistical Analysis

Data are expressed as the mean ± SEM for each experimental group. The results were statistically analyzed by using one-way variance analysis (ANOVA) followed by Tukey’s test. Differences were considered significant when p < 0.05.


Analysis of LEO

The obtained pale yellow essential oil was dried over sodium sulfate and stored at 4°C in dark vials until tested. The yield of LEO was 0,14% v/w.

What essential oil is excellent for spring allergies

The chemical composition of LEO was investigated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results of the GC-MS analysis (Figure 1) showed a predominance of 1,8-cineole (39,8%), endo-borneol (22,6%), and camphor (22,1%). A finish list of the components and their relative abundances are presented in Table 1.


Zymosan, MTT 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide], croton oil, dextran, celecoxib, promethazine, indomethacin, and λ-carrageenan were purchased from Sigma-Aldrich (St.

Louis, MO, USA).


Male Swiss mice (weighing 20–30 g) were provided by the Central Animal Home of the State University of Maringá, Paraná, Brazil. The animals were housed at 22 ± 2°C under a 12/12 h light/dark cycle with free access to food and water. Every of the protocols were approved by the Ethical Committee in Animal Experimentation of the State University of Maringá (CEEA/UEM number 3024210315).

10. Determination of Nitric Oxide (NO) Production

The NO production was sure by measuring the nitrite level by Griess reaction.

Nitrite level was sure in ears and paws sections, obtained as above described. The samples were centrifuged at 1000 rpm for 10 min at 4°C. The supernatant was separated (50 μL) and incubated with equal volumes of Griess reagent mixtures (1% sulfanilamide in 5% phosphoric acid and 0,1%  N-1-naphthylethylenediamine dihydrochloride in water) at room temperature for 10 min. The absorbance was measured in a microplate reader at 550 nm.

NO concentrations were calculated from a sodium nitrite standard curve. Data were presented as the μM concentration of NO2-.

In Vitro Chemotactic Effect of LEO

The present study evaluated the chemotactic effects of LEO at diverse concentrations (2, 15, and 150 μg/ml) on leukocyte chemotaxis in vitro. However, LEO did not increase leukocytes chemotaxis in any concentrations when compared to the vehicle (RPMI-1640).

The fMLP (10-6 M) (positive control) induced a significant leukocyte migration (data not shown).

In Vitro Leukocytes Chemotaxis

Leukocytes were obtained by the method described above. The chemotaxis assay was performed using a 48-well microchemotaxis plate (Neuro Probe), in which the chambers were separated by a polyvinylpyrrolidone-free polycarbonate membrane (5 μm pore size). LEO (used as chemoattractant) at concentrations of 2, 15, or 150 μg/mL or RPMI 1640 medium (control) was placed in the lower chamber. A leukocyte suspension (1 × 106 cells/mL, in RPMI 1640 medium) was placed in the upper chamber.

The chambers were incubated (37°C/CO2 5%) for 1 h and the membrane was stained with Instant Prov. Cells present in the membrane were counted in five random fields from each well, using light microscopy, as previously described [22]. The results are expressed as the mean number of leukocytes per field.

Determination of Myeloperoxidase (MPO) Activity

The plugs obtained from the correct and left ears and paw sections were used to analyze myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. The ear and paws sections were placed in 50 mM potassium phosphate buffer (pH 6.0) that contained 0.5% hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (Sigma, St.

Louis, MO, USA) in a Potter homogenizer. The homogenate was shaken and centrifuged for 5 min. A 10 μL aliquot of the supernatant was added in triplicate to each well of microplate, in triplicate. The supernatant solution was then mixed with 200 μL of the buffer solution that contained O-dianisidine dihydrochloride (16.7 mg, Sigma), double distilled water (90 mL), potassium phosphate buffer (10 mL), and 1% H2O2 (50 μL). The enzyme reaction was stopped by addition of sodium acetate. MPO activity was sure by the absorbance measured at 460 nm using a microplate spectrophotometer (Spectra Max Plus).

Analysis of the Essential Oil and Compound Identification

The LEO was analyzed using gas chromatography- (GC-) mass spectrometry (MS).

GC was performed with a Thermo Electron Corporation Focus GC model under the following conditions: DB-5 capillary column (30 m × 0.32 mm, 0.25 mm); column temperature, 60°C (1 min) to 180°C at 3°C/min; injector temperature, 220°C; detector temperature, 220°C; divide ratio, 1 : 10; carrier gas, He; flow rate, 1.0 mL/min. An injection volume of 1 μL was diluted in acetone (1 : 10). The retention index (RI) was calculated relative to a series of the n-alkanes (C8–C40, Sigma-Aldrich, St.

Louis, MO, USA) on DB-5 column, using the Van den Dool and Kratz equation [20, 21].

Cell Viability

In the cell viability assay, LEO at concentrations of 0.5, 1, 3, 10, 30, and 90 μg/ml presented cell viability of 79, 77, 76, 76, 68, and 60%, respectively. Our data indicate that LEO has low cytotoxicity in vitro at low concentrations, with cell viability greater than 75% up to a concentration of 10 μg/mL.

Effects of LEO on the Topical Inflammation Induced by Croton Oil

The topical effect of LEO on ear edema induced by croton oil was demonstrated. Topical pretreatment with LEO (0.25, 0.5, and 1,0 mg/ear) reduced ear edema induced by croton oil by 59.6, 36.3, and 30.6%, respectively.

Topical pretreatment with dexamethasone (0.1 mg/ear) (reference drug) reduced ear edema by 78.7% (Figure 2(a)).

Compounds % R Identification method

922 α-Thujene 0.15 (MS, RI
932 α-Pinene 1.26 MS, RI
948 Camphene 1.50 MS, RI
971 Sabinense 0.23 MS, RI
977 β-Pinene 1.44 MS, RI
988 α-Phellandrene 0.17 MS, RI
1008 δ-3-Carene 0.17 (MS, RI
1019 p-Cymene 0.37 MS, RI
1024 o-Cymene 1.45 (MS, RI
1028 Limonene 1.62 MS, RI
1031 1,8-Cineole 39.83 MS, RI
1069 cis-Sabinene hydrate 0.31 (MS, RI
1126 α-Camphonelal 0.15 (MS, RI
1140 trans-Pinocarveol 0.22 (MS, RI
1147 Camphor 22.12 MS, RI
1163 Pinocarvone 0.42 (MS, RI
1172 Borneol 22.63 MS, RI
1180 Terpinen-4-ol 0.31 MS, RI
1186 Cryptone 0.72 (MS, RI
1195 Dihydrocarveol 0.56 (MS, RI
1227 cis-Sabinene hydrate acetate 1.12 (MS, RI
1242 Cuminaldeyde 0.60 MS, RI
1283 Bornyl acetate 0.31 (MS, RI
1416 β-Caryophyllene 0.23 MS, RI
1452 E-β-Farnesene 0.21 MS, RI
1510 γ-Cadinene 0.27 (MS, RI
1578 Caryophyllene oxide 0.17 MS, RI
Other minor compounds 1.06 MS, RI

: retention index, obtained with reference to n-alkane series C8H18–C20H42 on DB-5 column, using the van Den Dool and Kratz equation [20].

area (peak area relative to the entire peak area). based on retention index (RI) and mass spectra (MS) of authentic compounds. based on the literature.



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Electrode, Comp-283873769, DC-prod-dfw6, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.1.2, SHA-51cdf6c9f1827b35c526b849e0bc5a4b2a005c69, CID-da9c6fd3-316-16ff1ee00a4f7e, Generated: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 15:31:44 GMT

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2. Basil Oil

Basil essential oilreduces the inflammatory response of allergens.

It also supports the adrenal glands, which are involved in producing over 50 hormones that drive almost every bodily function. Essentially, basil essential oil is helping your body to react appropriately to a threat by rushing blood to your brain, heart and muscles.

Basil oil also helps to detoxify the body of bacteria and viruses, while fighting inflammation, pain and fatigue. Studies prove that basil oil shows antimicrobial activity and can kill bacteria, yeast and mold that can lead to asthma and respiratory damage. (3,4)

Remedy: To fight inflammation and regulate the overreaction of the immune system when faced with an allergen, take one drop of basil oil internally by adding it to soup, salad dressing or any other dish.

To support the respiratory system, dilute 2–3 drops of basil oil with equal parts coconut oil and apply topically to the chest, back of neck and temples.


The Lamiaceae family of plants is a major source of polyphenols and pharmacological properties described in the literature. Belonging to the Lamiaceae family, Lavandula angustifolia is indigenous to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean, with numerous therapeutic properties and biological activities [1].

Phytochemical studies revealed that the major constituents of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil (LEO) are 1,8-cineole, camphor, and endo-borneol.

Other components can also be found in minor quantities, such as α-pinene, camphene, α-pinene, β-pinene, p-cymene, limonene, terpinen-4-ol, and cryptone [2, 3]. However, the LEO composition may vary depending on the geographical origin of the plant material and environmental factors, such as geographical conditions, climate and seasonal variations, and the stage of the plant growth, and the extraction and detection methods also influence the LEO composition [4].

The extracts and Lavandula angustifolia essential oil own various pharmacological effects described in the literature, such as anticonvulsant [5], anxiolytic [6], antioxidant, anticholinesterase [7, 8], antimicrobial [9], and antifungal activities [10].

Additionally, various constituents in the oil also own valuable pharmacological properties, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial [11–14].

Inflammation is a complicated biological process involving vascular, cellular components and a variety of soluble substances, presenting as characteristic clinical signs: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and function loss [15]. The purpose of the inflammatory process is the elimination of the aggressive agent and consequences of tissue injury [16].

The leukocytes recruitment is essential in the acute inflammatory response, where cells act as the first line of defense in the initiation of the inflammatory process, and involves the participation of several inflammatory mediators [17], produced by inflammatory cells that frolic an significant role in maintaining the inflammatory response [18].

Natural products and their essential oils own been popularly used for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases and the development of new therapeutic strategies. Studies propose that the use of natural products may be safer and more effective since they own low toxicity and few side effects [19].

What essential oil is excellent for spring allergies

Thus, the objective of this research was to investigate the LEO activity in acute inflammation, using diverse experimental models.

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How to Use Essential Oils for Allergies

Food Allergies — Take 1–2 drops of lemon or peppermint oil internally to relieve the symptoms of a food allergy. This will assist to detoxify the body and eliminate the allergens through sweat or urination.

Skin Rash & Hives — Use tea tree or basil oil topically to treat skin rashes and hives.

Add 2–3 drops to a cotton ball and apply to the affected area. Layering oils over the liver area is another way to treat skin irritations because it helps the liver to flush out toxins that burden the skin. Dilute 3–4 drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil and rub it into the liver area.

Seasonal Allergies — Disinfect your home with lemon and tea tree oil; this will eliminate triggers and cleanse the air and your furniture.

Add 40 drops of lemon oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil to a 16-ounce spray bottle. Fill the bottle with pure water and a little bit of white vinegar and spray the mixture on any area in your home.

To reduce respiratory issues associated with seasonal allergies, attempt my Homemade Vapor Rub; it delivers a soothing feeling that will open up the airways and make it easier to breathe.

Allergy Blend — Combine 2–3 drops of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil and massage the mixture into the temples, behind the ears and into the bottoms of the feet.



1 fl oz (30 ml)


Earth's Care

Manufacturer Part Number


Assembled Product Weight

0.175 oz

Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)

1.00 x 1.00 x 1.00 Inches