Seasonal Allergies – Tips, Tricks, and Natural Remedies
by Daniela Rozman
36 million people suffer with seasonal allergies. Why do we have allergies? Where do they come from? They exist because of the hypersensitivity of the immune system that causes the release of damaging histamines. Histamines are normal and occur naturally– except when your body over-reacts to non-harmful substances. Allergies can affect the whole body, especially the skin, eyes, nasal passageways and lungs. You can end up with itchy, watery eyes; sinus drainage, runny nose; sore or scratchy throat; and chest tightness, difficulty breathing, coughing. If you’re faced with real toxic substances, this reaction helps keep them out of your body.
Most people who are struggling with an allergy go to the doctor to be treated and are routinely given pharmaceuticals from acetaminophens to antihistamines, both of which may actually further aggravate the allergy symptoms they were given for. Some of the most common causes of allergies include pollen, animal fur, dust, mold, insect bites, medications or particular foods.
Let’s talk about a few simple tips and tricks that will help you to reduce your allergy symptoms including home remedies-herbs and supplements, and some foods you may be eating that actually make your allergies worse!
- Hi, Honey!
Local, raw honey can be and AMAZING allergy fighter. Have a tablespoon a day or even eat honeycomb! A bee pollen supplement is also commonly recommended.
- Reishi Mushrooms
Studies show reishi mushrooms are not only effective against allergic reactions, but other health concerns, too!
- Spice it up!
Turmeric helps to relieve inflammation, along with onions, ginger, garlic, horseradish, hot mustard, hot peppers- all contain compounds such as quercetin, sulfur, and other anti-inflammatories. To ease breathing, try tea with: cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, licorice root. These herbs help to clear your airways.
- The Neti Pot
Try a Neti pot or saline rinse bottle to rinse irritants out of your sinuses. While several methods of nasal irrigation exist, one of the most popular is the Neti pot — a ceramic or plastic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and Aladdin’s magic lamp. Note: Make sure to use only purified water in your Neti pot or saline rinse.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, antioxidant and antitoxin. The best sources of Vitamin C through foods include: lemons, oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, sauerkraut, papaya, strawberries, pineapples, cantaloupe and kiwi.
Omega-3s are a natural anti-inflammatory. A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help to protect you from allergic reactions. The best food sources of Omega-3s include salmon, sardines, walnuts, and flax seeds. It is difficult to get the proper intakes of daily Omega-3s through food alone, therefore, it is recommended to add in Omega supplementation to your diet.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
The best home remedy for basically everything. At least once a day, combine 2 tablespoons of each: Apple Cider Vinegar, lemon juice, raw-unfiltered honey, along with a dash of cinnamon in a cup of hot water to build up your immune system and fight those allergies.
- Stay Away!
A few foods known to worsen allergy symptoms and contribute to excess mucus production:
-Dairy products- including yogurt and goat’s milk
-Deep fried foods
-Grains- prominently those rich in gluten
- Consider adding these foods to your diet
Here are a few foods to lessen your irritating symptoms
-Nuts – high in magnesium and vitamin E
-Fish, preferably wild Alaskan salmon
-Red Grapes – high in antioxidants and resveratrol
-Apples– high in quercetin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties
-Tomatoes – high in Vitamin C a natural antihistamine
- Bye-Bye Pollen
Aim to keep the pollen out of your house! If you limit your exposure all-together, that will help decrease your systems as well!
-Get rid of carpet if possible
-Vacuum and mop often-be sure that the vacuum you have does not recirculate the dust
-Bathe your pets- their fur is a trap for pollen
-After being outside, wash your hair and body- even your eyes with cold water
-Get an air filter and make sure to change it regularly
- Up Your intake of Flavonoids
Most do not even know they exist. They are the groups of organic compounds that give fruits and flowers their colors. They help enhance the effects of Vitamin C. The best sources include: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, pears, black beans, onions, cabbage, apricots, onions, pinto beans, parsley, and tomatoes.
- Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
Inhaling mint steam, mint oils and heat from mint tea all can relax your airways to make breathing much easier. It is recommended to use lavender, rose, peppermint, or eucalyptus essential oils for symptoms of hay fever. Frankincense and quercetin tend to help as well.