This site is intended for health professionals only

Essential oil containing nasal spray reduces allergic rhinitis symptoms

An essential oil mixture used as a nasal spray gave rise to significant improvements in those with allergic sino-nasal symptoms

An essential oil nasal spray gave rise to a 40% reduction in total sino-nasal symptoms according to data presented in an abstract presented at the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI) at San Antonio and published in a supplement to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Allergic rhinitis leads to nasal congestion, nasal itch, rhinorrhoea and sneezing and is estimated to affect 18.1% of the global population, leading to impairment of both sleep and quality of life. While the condition is typically managed with the use of oral antihistamines and/or intranasal corticosteroids, a recent and randomised trial, demonstrated that aromatherapy oils provided symptomatic relief in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. Furthermore, the use of a lavender oil inhalation was also found to be of benefit in bronchial asthma.

Given the value of essential oils for perennial allergic rhinitis, in the current study presented at AAAAI, the role of an essential oil nasal spray, which contained menthol, eucalyptol, thymol, camphor, birch oil, pine oil, cinnamon and mint, was evaluated over a period of 7 days by patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Symptom severity was assessed using the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22), a patient-reported outcome measure which assesses 22 symptoms, each of which were assessed at baseline and after one week, using a 0 to 5 scale, where 0 = no problem and 5 = ‘problem as bad as can be’

Essential oil nasal spray and SNOT-22 score

A total of 18 subjects (14 women) aged between 16 and 80 were included. The baseline SNOT-22 score was 37.1 and this was significantly reduced to 20.1 (p = 0.003) after one week. In fact, improvements were seen for 20 of the 22 self-reported symptoms, of which statistically significant improvements were documented for 12, with the greatest impact seen for runny nose, cough, postnasal discharge and quality of life features.

The author concluded that the essential oil spray alleviated physical and functional impairment in those with allergic seasonal related diseases.

Bielory L. Essential oil (EO) nasal spray use in seasonal allergic rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2023

Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine