Happy Spring! Yes, I know Spring officially began on March 20th, but it seems Mother Nature was not given that memo. We’ve had a whirlwind of different temperatures and seasons in the last month. But it seems we’re finally getting some consistent Spring weather. This is the weather I’ve been waiting for all winter so that I can have the sun out shining down on me while I take a walk or sit at the beach. Many cultures celebrate New Year’s at the beginning of Spring, as Spring reminds us of new beginnings. It also reminds us to keep our kleenex tissues close by and maybe not to go out so often even though the weather is finally warming up because Spring is also the beginning of allergy season! According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, allergic rhinitis affects 10 percent and 30 percent worldwide. In 2010, allergic rhinitis was diagnosed during 11.1 million doctor visits. In America alone, 26 million Americans suffer from season allergies. Unfortunately, many people unnecessarily suffer from season allergies. As allergy season is upon us, I will be sharing natural allergy remedies that are the most effective for seasonal allergies.
What is an allergy?
An allergy occurs when you have a hypersensitive immune response to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be caused by something you inhale into your lungs, in your food, drinks or something you inject into your body or touch. The most common are usually pet dander, pollen or bee venom. The allergen can cause an allergic reaction from sneezing, itchy eyes, couching, runny nose, scratchy throat, fatigue and congestion. In addition, it can cause hives, rashes, anaphylaxis, low blood pressure, asthma attaches, and even death in some severe cases.
Although it is among the most common diseases in the country, it is often overlooked, and there is no cure for allergies; it can only be managed with prevention and treatment. Conventional prevention and therapy are typically reliant on pharmaceutical intervention, such as sprays or drugs, which are usually not as effective as you would like. Pharmaceutical interventions only manage to relieve some symptoms, such as sneezing and itching, but cannot treat congestion and vice versa. They also come with many unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness, fatigue and nasal irritation.
Annual bouts with pollen aren’t just uncomfortable; they also affect mental well-being. Studies have shown that during ragweed season, allergy sufferers often experience a general sense of fatigue — especially mental fatigue — and are more prone to feelings of sadness. I know when I sneeze 20 times in a row, I get so light-headed and tired I just want to take a nap and not do anything. People who suffer from allergies also are up to 14 times more likely to experience migraine headaches than those who don’t have allergies.
These statistics are not very encouraging and may compel you to just stay locked up at home and wait until ragweed blooming is over. But that just doesn’t seem fair; after enduring winter, you want to be able to go out and enjoy the sun and good weather. So fear not, you can step outside without all those allergy medications and breath easy and enjoy yourself during pollen season with these natural allergy remedies! So what are we waiting for? Let’s get to it!
Natural Allergy Remedies
1. Neti Potting & Saline
This is my best friend’s go-to Allergy remedy for clearing up congestion. The basic tenet is that you use a Neti Pot (which kind of looks like a conch) filled with a sterile saline solution to flush out the sinuses of allergens and irritations. This is one of the natural allergy remedies recommended by alternative and conventional doctors alike and doesn’t really have a downside.
To use: To flush your sinuses, mix a quarter to a half teaspoon of non-iodized table salt into a cup of lukewarm water and pour it into the pot. Lean over a sink with your head slightly cocked to one side, then put the spout of the Neti Pot into one nostril and allow the water to drain out the other nostril. Use about half of the solution, then repeat on the other side, tilting your head the opposite way. Gently blow out each nostril to clear them completely. Although Neti Pots are inexpensive and widely available at most health stores, if you don’t have one at your disposal, you can just cup your hand and do this process just as quickly for relief.
Quercetin is a natural plant-derived bioflavonoid; Quercetin helps stabilize mast cells and stops them from releasing histamine, which makes it a natural allergy remedy. Quercetin is also a potent natural antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation by mopping up molecules of free radicals that cause cell damage, leading to cancer. It is a long-term remedy and should be taken a few weeks before allergy season begins to help prevent and alleviate allergy symptoms. Please consult your doctor before using this and any herb, especially if you have liver problems or are pregnant or nursing.
To Use: Although Quercetin is naturally found in foods like citrus, tomatoes, apples, onions and broccoli, it is tough to get the amount needed to relive allergies from food alone. However, a supplemental dose can be helpful to build up enough of the compound to prevent allergies or help acute symptoms.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a wonder food and is an age-old remedy that is often recommended for various health conditions. For example, Apple Cider Vinegar can reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system, which is helpful for allergies. It is also said to help digestion, weight loss, and more, so it is worth trying! I told you, it’s a wonder food!
To Use: When allergies hit, mix a teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink this three times a day. This helps with the relief of acute allergy symptoms and helps avoid allergy attacks when done daily.
4. Add Omega-3 Fats to Your Diet
Research suggests that high consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a decreased risk of allergic rhinitis. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids alleviate allergic rhinitis symptoms.
To use: Simply increasing intake of foods rich in omega-3 fats, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, and cold-water fish like salmon, cod, and halibut, can ease symptoms associated with seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. In addition, a great natural supplement for vegans who do not like fish is Amerifit Nutrition Ovega-3 Vegetarian Softgels.
Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) and Bifidobacterium Bifidum (B. Bifidum) are probiotic (beneficial) bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract, where they aid digestion and control the growth of harmful bacteria. As mentioned above, allergies result from an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to react too strongly to stimuli. Several studies suggest that the presence of these bacteria in the gut is effective at alleviating allergic rhinitis symptoms.
To Use: Make diet is varied, has sources of probiotic bacteria, which can be found in yogurt, fermented foods, Kefir, Miso and Tempeh, which can all boost gut bacteria. It is highly advisable to take a high-quality probiotic capsule, such as Kyolic Kyo-Dophilus.
Whether you suffer from seasonal or ongoing allergies, these natural allergy remedies should let you get out there and bask in the SUNSHINE!!!
Do you have allergies? What has helped you the most? Share below! Connect with us on Social Media!