I’ve struggled with allergies since I was little. First to animals. Then to pollen. Then to anything else that came along with stress.
But a few years ago I had a reaction to some meds I was prescribed. The meds caused my gut flora to be off and I had a bad rash on my neck. I went to an ENT who explained it was from the drugs. This all happened during allergy season. So the next time my body felt allergy season come along, it decided to break out in the rash again. My friend who loves oils AND is a nurse told me about mast cells. This helped me connect it all.
What is a mast cell?
A mast cell is a cell filled with basophil granules, found in numbers in connective tissue and releasing histamine and other substances during inflammatory and allergic reactions. They’re best known for their role in allergy and anaphylaxis, but they also protect us. They’re involved in wound healing, angiogenesis, immune tolerance, defense against pathogens, and blood-brain barrier function. So we would like to keep them happy.
Mast cells are part of your immune system. When something comes into your body that isn’t supposed to be there, your mast cells dump a bunch of histamines to alert you. The rest of the body then responds by rushing to the scene. This is an inflammation cascade. Your body is looking for something to attack. You have mast cells that destabilize easily and one major reason for mast cell degranulation is STRESS. And holy moly was I stressed when my mast cells overreacted.
Serenity Softgels from DoTERRA help stabilize mast cells. I’ve been using them daily for a year. This has definitely been my best and most allergy symptom-free Spring since moving to the South.
Here’s what I use daily during high pollen:
Lifelong Vitality Pack
PB Assist (You’ve GOT to use a good probiotic to keep that gut healthy!)
I also drink:
And lemon, lavender, and peppermint in my ice water ALL DAY LONG
Here is more information that will help you understand the role of mast cells:
Cora is my 13-year-old. She has an amazing brain. She was an intense baby in and out of the womb. I knew within the first days of conception that I was growing something fierce. When she was tiny I didn’t know how to make her okay. She wasn’t my first baby but she was so different. I just couldn’t calm her. I would strap her in her carrier next to my chest and vacuum to get her to calm down. Only her dad’s will and strength were a match for hers. There was so much intensity and frustration and we didn’t know how to help her feel comfortable in her body. Teachers would say they’d love to be in her brain to see what it feels like. Her first teacher told me she may need an alternative school. You could almost watch the cogs trying to turn and getting stuck. She was sweet as could be but the daily things of life were sometimes so overwhelming that she looked at us begging for help. And breaking down. When we first got oils she was the one who they resonated with the most. I applied Balance to her wrists and her entire demeanor changed. She was able to get through really hard things. Like doing homework or finishing her lunch on time or getting her shoes on. Over the past four years, we’ve grown our arsenal of oils and have been able to learn what makes her feel better. We’ve found what works best to support her body and brain. Life looks very different from what it seemed like it was going to be.
Consistency is key with any nutritional supplement. So it is with essential oils.
Here’s what we use DAILY to support her super amazing growing brain:
*doTERRA’s kid’s multivitamin
*a shot glass with juice and a tsp of IQOmegas and 3 drops of DDR Prime (this is one we NEVER want to skip)
*Peace and Cheer rolled over her heart
*InTune rolled on the back of her neck (brain stem)
*Balance on her wrists*Clarycalm on her throat (over thyroid to keep hormones balanced)
She’s now a straight-A student and is on the soccer team. She plays all day with her sisters and has good friends. She’s learned how to support herself. Her own brain. Her own emotions. She goes straight to the oil drawer as soon as she feels “off”. She’s empowered and the little details of life aren’t getting in the way of what she is here to do. I cannot wait to see what it is. These little oils make parenting so good.
Opinions abound on this issue. There are a lot of voices saying all kinds of things. I am going to tell you what I do and not what you should do. I am comfortable drinking doTerra oils. Here are some details.
The cautions on drinking essential oils are founded. These are the precautions I take for ingesting oils:
- I will only take doTerra oils internally. I know and trust the source. That is vital and it means I do not buy oils labeled doTerra from anyone but doTerra. When you buy doTerra oils on Amazon or eBay it is common to find that someone has refilled their empty bottles with an inferior oil. Just get them straight from the source.
- I take 1-3 drops at a time, not an entire bottle. One of the principals of using oils that I follow especially at the beginning of using a new oil or protocol is the idea that less is more. Say that with me, LESS IS MORE.
- Not every oil can be taken internally. You have to do your research here. A good rule is that if the oil comes from something you would eat, then it is probably safe to ingest. But be sure to look up every oil before deciding to take it internally, just to be safe.
- Use the appropriate container. I use glass glasses and water bottles because essential oils can degrade plastics over time.
All the ways to “drink” your oils
1-Add them to a beverage
This means adding a drop of a citrus oil to your water. Lemon is the most frequently used, but I like to switch it up with some lime and tangerine or wild orange. I add them to tea just as often as I add them to my water.
Here is my recipe for a really yummy cherry limeade tea:
16 oz of brewed tea sweetened to your taste
1/4 of a lime
1 drop of doTerra lime essential oil
a shot of cherry extract
(The amount of extract will vary based on the quality and flavor of your extract. I make my own so it’s delicious and does not taste fake.)
Stir and enjoy! Then play with some variations, lemon, orange, and mint are also delicious in tea.
I also add a drop of essential to my hot beverages. I crave a drop of ginger in my hot tea or cinnamon in my coffee when fall arrives. Be careful with the steam when using a “hot” like those two if the steam gets in your eyes it will hinder your coffee fix that morning.
I put a drop in my smoothies. I will bump up the flavor with a citrus oil or I will add a drop of frankincense, copaiba or turmeric to help my body fight inflammation.
Slim and sassy is a great oil to drink in your water to help you manage cravings.
2-Take them in a shot glass
My daily shot: one drop each copaiba, turmeric, and frankincense, DDR prime and ginger
This is my go-to method for helping my body fight environmental threats and systemic inflammation. I put one gulp of water in a shot glass and add my oils, then I take them all in one swallow.
Allergy season: one each of lemon, lavender, and peppermint
Immunity booster: 1-3 drops of on guard, gargle and then swallow
Inflammation: one drop each copaiba, turmeric, and frankincense
3-Take them in a veggie cap
The shot glass method takes some getting used to. I did not start there. I started with veggie caps. You can put a drop of all the oils mentioned in a little capsule and take your oils that way if the taste bothers you.
4- A drop right under the tongue
This is a great rescue method when timing is everything. Sometimes I have to swish with coconut oil and spit to calm the sensation of the oil but it is worth it for relief from a headache or stomach distress.
If I feel a serious headache coming on, I can put a drop of turmeric under my tongue at the first sign and the anti-inflammatory properties kick in and rescue my day from the grip of that tightening vice.
If my stomach is upset from something I ate this a great way to find quick relief. I use a drop of Digestzen if I ate too late, too spicy, too much and my system just needs support and calming. I use a drop of lemongrass if I had too much dairy. My system has trouble with certain dairy products like ice cream. Lemongrass has lots of detoxing power and it helps me so much.
5- Don’t forget your supplements
I can feel the difference when I neglect my daily supplements. When I take my supplements consistently my body is like a fine-tuned machine. I had to figure out when is the best time for me to take them and it is with lunch.
6- Add them in your food
Let me tell you, a drop of lime oil in your avocado is just amazing. If you use herbs in your cooking, you should think about ways to add a drop of essential oil to boost the flavors of your dishes.
Do you have trouble breathing sometimes? I do. DoTerra’s respiratory blend, Breathe was probably my first daily use oil. Just before I put my head on the pillow, I put a drop in the palm of my hand and then rub my hands together and cup them around my nose and inhale deeply. Let me warn you now, it’s addicting.
What makes Breathe so powerful?
It is a blend of oils that soothes the tissue of the respiratory system and has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties to help your body fight environmental threats. Several of these oils also have anti-inflammatory properties and act as an expectorant.
Oils found in doTerra’s respiratory blend and how they help your body:
Laurel Leaf: antiseptic, anti-fungal
Peppermint: antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, cooling, soothing, dilating
Eucalyptus: profound antiviral properties, reduces inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane
Melaleuca: antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, expectorant properties
Lemon: antiseptic, invigorating
Ravensara: antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, dilating
Cardamom: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, helps with congestion
Ways to use Breathe:
-Apply with a carrier oil to the bottom of feet and the chest or the back
-Apply with a warm compress and a carrier oil to the chest or back
-Put a drop on your pillow so that as you move in the night that smell is released into the air and you get another hit just when you need it
-Diffuse into the air with a diffuser (links to diffusers bellow)
I want to make this personal note about diffusing Breathe. I love this oil. I use it all the time, but I don’t diffuse it. The smell of oils can change when they are diffused and this one changes for the worst in my opinion. When I need to diffuse something that will open me up and soothe my nasal passages, I use peppermint. You can add a drop of eucalyptus or wintergreen to bump it up a little like I do when someone at my house is fighting congestion. I have a friend who has been struggling with her sinuses for years and she always sleeps with a diffuser beside her pumping out peppermint. It really helps her breathe while she sleeps.
A photo tutorial on Breathing:
- drop in hand
- rub hands together
The amount you put in the diffuser will be up to you but start with the premise that less is more. Between 3-10 drops is all you need. But you will need to experiment to find what is exactly right for you.
Large room diffuser
small room diffuser
This information was compiled from personal experience and research. My favorite go-to for oil research is Modern Essentials. Please see our disclosure statement on how to use this information. We are not doctors. We are moms who like to help people make life nicer with oils.
More information and resources to learn more about Breathe
This is a great article from doTerra about Breathe. Click here to read it.
There are lots of products in the Breathe line:
Don’t go another winter without Breath drops in your cupboard. They are the best cough drops you can have on hand when you feel that post nasal drip irritating the back of your throat. They are so soothing and the vapor action opens up your sinuses like no other cough drop on the market. I always have some of these in my purse and in the medicine cabinet.
Do you use a menthol vapor rub? Well, the Breathe Stick will be your new favorite. It is in a push up stick so it is easy to apply to the chest and under your nose. I love to have this on hand when my people are suffering from a stuffy nose or a cough. This is a great rescue that soothes and opens airways.
There is also a Breathe Touch rollerball. I love the touch oils for lots of reasons. They come diluted with coconut oils which makes it easier to grab quickly when my kids need them. They are easy to carry around in my purse. This rollerball can be applied on the chest or under the nose, or on the balls of your feet. It is so quick and simple and makes my life easier!
Breathing is essential for life. I know that is not breaking news, but we do take breathing for granted until we get a stuffy nose. There are tons of reasons for stuffy nose, this protocol will support your sinuses and immune system as your body fights all kinds of environmental threats.
Step 1: Saline wash
This is the first thing I do at the first sign of a runny stuffy nose long before any complications or infections can set in and you have to run to the doctor for an antibiotic. I used to get a sinus infection a few times a year, but supporting my body early and often has kept me healthy, out of the doctor’s office and off antibiotics.
This is a great way to keep your sinuses clear during allergy season or fighting a bug. I do this first so that as I sniff the steam infused with oil in the next step my airways are clear.
Never, Ever, Ever put oils in a saline wash. Just don’t do it. You won’t die, but you will be sorry you did it.
Step 2: Sniff the steam
Get a mug of steaming hot water
Put 1-2 drops of each oil in the water:
Oregano (Do not overdo this one. Start with one drop)
Cup your hands over the steam and bring your nose close to your hands. Release the steam under your cupped hands and inhale the steam. It is strong, guys. It will burn and you will cough, but keep doing that as often as you can over the next few minutes. When you have sniffed all you can sniff you can throw this concoction down the drain. Don’t try to ingest it or reheat and reuse it.
Depending on the issue you are trying to solve you can add these oils too:
I love the Modern Essentials book for looking up the issue I am addressing with oils. I highly recommend it.
Step 3: Repeat throughout the day and add breath, using this tutorial. Be sure to give your immune system a boost with Onguard.
None of this is as easy as popping a pill. The saline wash is weird and uncomfortable. The sniffer is pretty powerful and gets all that mucus running and that is not so fun. But I find that when I support my body and help it fight the environmental threats to stay healthy, I feel better consistently and have to take these measures less and less.