Seasonal allergies seem to get worse each year. Researchers from Rutgers University blame warmer weather. Similarly, some studies suggest longer spring and fall seasons due to climate change attribute to prolonged allergy season and more pollens due to carbon dioxide in the air. (Read more here)
Regardless how and why seasonal allergies are getting worse and worse, those who are suffering just want relief. But taking antihistamine daily might be out of the question due to side effects. Even nasal sprays stop working after awhile due to 'rebound effect.' So how do you relieve these dreadful allergy symptoms naturally?
Here are my 10 tips on natural ways to relieve allergy symptoms.
Natural Allergy Relief Remedies
- Eliminate the cause - This is a no brainer but if you are allergic to pollens, how do you avoid them in the spring? We can't stop nature but we can control how we behave so we can live with it. When the pollen count is really high (you can check the pollen count in your area here), try staying indoors. Don't open the windows for 'fresh' air and cover the window type air conditioners so pollens don't get in through the vents. Run your HEPA air filter machine inside to filter any pollens that snuck in. Wash your bedding and vacuum at least once a week.
- Leave outdoors outside - if you have to go outside, leave the pollens outside as much as possible. Strip down your clothes as soon as you come in and put on 'indoor' clothes. Leave your shoes outside too. Why track outside dirt and pollens inside? If you can, take a shower to wash off pollens from your hair, skin, and orifices as soon as you come home. Use a sinu cleanse squeeze or neti pot to wash away all the pollens out of your nose so they don't end up deep inside your nasal passageway. Don't forget to wash your car often so you don't track them inside the car when you drive. Gardening - if you garden, wear a mask so you're not breathing in pollen during the planting season. And always wear protective clothing so you don't touch pollens and again, track them inside.
- Depollinate your pet - if your indoor pets go outside, they will bring pollens indoors when they come in. Bathe them when they come in or wash their feet and blow their coat with a hair dryer if you don't have time to give them baths. And make sure to give them a bath before going to bed if they sleep with you on your bed.
- Raw local honey - this might be too late for this year but to prevent future allergy season, take raw unpasteurized local honey. The only reservation I have about this method is that you can't control how much you need. And what types of flowers bees pollinated. So start with very little - like ⅛ teaspoon - and work up to about 1 teaspoon a day. My son had a big reaction when given ½ teaspoon so we had to cut back to about ⅛ tsp. So start small and increase gradually throughout the year to plan for next year's allergy season. Some people take actual bee pollens but I get a bit weary of that since you don't know how you are going to react, even with minute amounts.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - people swear by using ACV to control allergies. It's not surprising since ACV works to reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system. So it makes sense that it's effective for allergies. Mix about 1 tablespoon of unpasteurized raw organic ACV (I like Trader Joe's) to about 4 oz of room temperature water and drink after each meal. It helps with digestion too so you get double the benefit...among others. I won't get into other benefits of ACV for this post since. But there are many.
- Homeopathic Remedies - you can try this general homeopathic allergy remedy or this eye drops help alleviate the watery eyes and this nasal spray that alleviates nasal symptoms. The theory behind homeopathy is that your body will produce antibodies against minute amounts of allergens the homeopathic remedies contain so your body can fight allergies naturally.
- Probiotics - it's a common knowledge that majority of the immune system starts in the gut so if you are already taking probiotics, up the dose during the allergy season to help good bacteria more fighting chance. Get more fermented foods like kimchi, saurkraut, kvass and other foods that heal your gut in your system too. But for immediate inoculation of beneficial probiotics, I love these.
- Hypo allergenic herbs - if you have nettles in your garden, eat it like it's going out of style. If not, you can buy dried encapsulated nettle capsules. Or drink nettle tea . Nettles have been found to reduce allergic symptoms.
- Anti-Inflammatory Enzymes - quercetin and bromelain are enzymes that work to reduce inflammation in membranes and soft tissues. These are great for their general anti-inflammatory properties but they are especially great for reducing swelling after acute injuries. Seasonal allergies cause swelling in membranes in nasal passage and will make breathing difficult. These enzymes can help reduce swelling.
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet - eliminate inflammatory foods like sugar, processed foods, trans fats, and grains. You can eat fruits high in antioxidants like blueberries but limit sugary fruits. Add anti-inflammatory spices like ginger, garlic, and turmeric to your foods.
Consider eating GAPS Diet as it eliminates allergies completely or at least reduces the severity of the symptoms. This special diet helps to eliminate food allergies, improve mental disorders, restore gut health, and cure illnesses. Since my kids started GAPS diet last year, their seasonal allergy symptoms are dramatically reduced this year, even though the reports are saying this year has been the worst. So explore GAPS to cure allergies once and for all.
Also, if you use any alternative therapies like Chiropractic, Acupuncture or Naturopathy for your health care, this would be a great time to get adjusted, needled and get checked by your Naturopath. Preparing your body naturally to respond to allergens without going overboard will be the best preventive remedy.
You can listen to my tips on Green Divas' Health & Beauty segment below.
Disclaimer: Please read the medical disclaimer about the info given on this post.