Last week I had a few rough days of it with allergies. Essential oils helped relieve the symptoms, though a smart woman would probably have taken some over-the-counter meds as well. :)
1) Ingestion. the "Allergy trio" consists of 3 drops each of lavender, lemon, and peppermint with carrier oil in a capsule. I have previously used this with great results for more mild allergies than I had this time.. This time, I left out the peppermint since I'm breastfeeding and it can reduce supply. It didn't work as well without the peppermint, though it helped.
I had read that Digize (normally used for digestive troubles) can help with allergies too, so I started adding 2 drops of Digize to my capsule. It improved the effect!
Upon further reading, I read that Fennel can help with allergies (and it actually increases milk supply as well). I don't have fennel alone, but it is in Digize and perhaps that is what helped. I am adding Fennel to my Essential Rewards autoship for next month. (As an added benefit of using Digize, my digestive system was gently cleaned out... hope that's not TMI!)
The oils taken internally plus using the diffuser helped the most when I was falling asleep.
I have read that a drop of lavender in raw, local honey can be helpful as well.
2) Diffused: I diffused the Allergy trio, including the peppermint, with good effect. It worked best when I was nearby the diffuser. It probably would have helped more if I had been more diligent about using the diffuser.
3) Topical: I sometimes applied Lavender to my nose, and diluted even inside my nose. Lavender applied around the eye (avoiding getting it in the eye) also helped a friend whose eyes were swollen from her allergies.
Nasal rinsing using the neti pot also helped. I added 3 drops of lavender to 1/4 cup of iodine-free salt and mixed well. Then used 1/2 teaspoon in the neti pot.
4) A non-oily help was something new I learned -lymphatic massage (click for link). I had a plugged Eustachian tube from the allergies and this is what cleared it up. I could really feel the drainage from my head down into my body. I am sure this will be especially helpful next time I'm clogged up from a cold.