Well, Spring is (kind of) here and for a lot of us this means something else is here, too. Allergies. Everything is beginning to look so beautiful around here. Trees are blossoming, tulips are blooming, butterflies are circling our heads, and I feel like I’ve been to hell and back. Same? I have some advice.
Today we are going to take a looksies at some alternatives to your over-the-counter drug options for alleviating seasonal allergy symptoms. These are things that can also be done in conjunction with popping meds, if you’ve found something that has somewhat worked for you, in order to lessen your need to take the meds. I personally very rarely take any sort of medication because A) I just don’t like putting stuff in my body that isn’t natural and B) when I take cold or allergy meds, regardless of if they are “non-drowsy” or not, I’m getting high as hell. And not in a good way. I once took some allergy medicine in high school at like 4 or 5 pm and literally had to stay home from school the next day, when I woke up and thought I was floating down the hallway.
Let’s get into this. Here’s my list of top picks for natural ways to defeat seasonal allergies.
Local Raw Honey
This is super cool to me. There is evidence that consuming raw honey from where you live will help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment there. It’s just like an allergy shot – except it’s not a shot. And you know what’s in it. And it’s actually quite good for you, regardless! Help yourself to a tablespoon or more a day. Word has it that starting this daily routine a month or so before you know allergy season is about to hit will yield the best results.
Neti Pot / Saline Rinse
The neti pot is a great thing to do on a regular basis, but can come in particularly handy during allergy season. Warm up some purified water and mix in around ¼ tsp of good quality salt per 8 oz. You can buy specialty saline solutions specifically made for neti pot use, too. Rinse at least one time per day, preferably 2-3 times, to soothe dry nasal passages, gently wash away dust, pollen & irritants, and remove excess mucus.
This is a natural compound that has more health benefits than we are ready to cover in this post – so it’ll probably get a whole post of its own in the future. What it can do for our allergies, is great. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. Histamines are those chemicals that are released when the immune system detects an allergy – and cause the heinous symptoms we face. Quercetin can help stabilize the release of the histamines from certain immune cells – lessening those symptoms. Studies have shown that this natural medicine and phytochemical is equivalent at fighting allergies as some prescription medications, with little to no side effects. Yahtzee.
Grab a Quercetin supplement from the vitamin department and/or add it into your diet through foods such as: apples, peppers, red wine, dark cherries & berries, tomatoes, cruciferous veggies like broccoli & cabbage, leafy green veggies like spinach & kale, citrus fruits, cocoa, cranberries, black & green tea, and herbs like sage & American elder.
Just like Quercetin, and actually everything on this list – here is another thing that is all-around good for us. Probiotics help us maintain a healthy gut. A healthy gut is the core of a healthy immune system. And since our immune system is working on helping us battle our obnoxious allergies – we need to make sure it’s taken care of. Studies have also shown that pregnant women who take probiotics during pregnancy may significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies! (Always consult with your physician/midwive/whatever before taking anything while pregnant.)
This essential oil has been ranked as some of the most potent when it comes to killing the highly allergic house mites. It’s also great for congestion and is an immune system stimulant. There are several things you can do with it. Allergens travel indoors with us after being outside, sticking to our clothes and hair. (Bonus tip: wear a hat when going out and promptly remove it when you get inside.) You can add around 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to your laundry detergent during allergy season to kill off any lingering subjects. To ease your symptoms, try mixing the eucalyptus oil with coconut oil and rubbing it on your chest and behind your ears. Also, pick up a diffuser and keep it flowing through the air in your home – during the day and while sleeping.
Apple Cider Vinegar
If it isn’t already a pantry staple – go get you some of this. Get it organic, GMO-free, unfiltered and RAW. This sounds nasty, but drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of ACV a few times a day can help relieve our allergy symptoms. Adding some fresh lemon juice is good, too. You can also add a teaspoon of ACV to your neti pot solution and give yourself a super sinus cleanse. Do this as soon as you feel symptoms coming on.
Alright, guys. You’re set. Go kick some allergy ass and enjoy beautiful Spring!
P.S. – Have a favorite remedy you use? Leave a comment and share!