You stay inside with the doors and windows closed during peak pollen hours (8:00 pm until 9:00 am). You wash pollen off of your hair and skin after being outside. But, you still experience seasonal allergy symptoms. Now, what?! What are simple home remedies that you can use today to help with your seasonal allergy symptoms? Fortunately, there are several methods that you can try. First, it is important to see your doctor to diagnose allergies and get professional medical advice before trying herbal or other home remedies, to make sure that your current medication(s) won’t interact with anything you take for allergies. Also, drinking plenty of water, eating a well-balanced, healthy diet, and getting plenty of sleep and exercise can help the body to stay stronger with any medical condition.
Have you ever tried using organic, local, raw honey to help with pollen allergies? This is an easy to find remedy that helps many people each spring and summer. Typically, the darker the color of the honey, the later in the season it was gathered, and the more nutritious it also is. So, if you suffer from ragweed or other weed allergies, it is better to look for a darker amber color of honey, gathered when that type of pollen is prevalent. If, on the other hand, you have spring hay fever issues and tree pollen allergies, look for the honey that was gathered earlier in the season, as again, this will contain more of the pollen from that time of the year. Either way, using local, organic, raw honey can help you to build up more of a natural tolerance to whichever pollen(s) you are allergic. Ideally, this type of home remedy should be started BEFORE allergy season begins, as a preventative measure, typically at least one month prior to the official start of allergy season for you. Continue this throughout the entire allergy season for yourself.
The dose of honey required each day depends on the person…and please use caution: Children under the age of one or two years old should NEVER have raw honey, due to the bacteria that can be present in it. It is, however, perfectly safe for older children and adults. Diabetic people should check with their doctors before using honey as a remedy for seasonal allergies and should monitor their blood sugar carefully as usual while using it. A starting dose of local honey for an adult could be as little as one teaspoon per day if the allergies were really serious, up to one tablespoon per day or more. It is better to start with a little and work your way up to more over the course of a few weeks or a month, again, beginning this prior to the onset of allergy season for you. Honey is so easy to use. You just don’t want to cook it or heat it up too much, as that can make it less effective. Using it in yogurt, added to oatmeal or even to sweeten a cup of tea can be great ways to get your daily dose of honey during allergy season.
Another fantastic and easy to obtain remedy is nettle. Nettle has naturally occurring antihistamines in it, which can reduce allergic inflammation in the body and help to reduce allergy symptoms associated with seasonal (or other) allergies. It is easy to find in dried form to use as a tea or in capsule form at most health food stores. You can also obtain it from local herbalists and naturopathic doctors in many cases. If using it as a tea, it is important to keep sipping it every few hours regularly throughout the day. You can use about a teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make this herbal infusion. Let it steep for at least ten minutes. Then, feel free to add local honey to your taste. If you are taking it in capsule form, please follow the instructions on the bottle or those of your local herbalist or naturopath. Other herbs that can be used with nettle are oatstraw, elderflower, elderberry, and mullein, among others, depending upon your own specific situation and needs. Again, consult an herbalist or naturopath for assistance if necessary. There are many other herbal remedies, too, such as echinacea and goldenseal, that can be taken via tincture or capsule. I recommend getting professional advice from an herbalist before trying these.
One more great tea that can help to reduce nasal and bronchial congestion and is even easier to find is peppermint. Peppermint’s cool, refreshing flavor and smell can clear the sinuses and bring temporary relief when we have a stuffy nose. Eating spicy foods, such as hot mustard or foods with cayenne pepper, is another effective way to temporarily help to clear up congestion.
Nutritionally, are you getting enough magnesium, B-vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet? These can all help to support the immune system tremendously, which often help allergy and asthma symptoms to be lessened. Ask your doctor about taking a multivitamin or other supplement if you do not get enough of any of these vitamins in your everyday diet. This is especially important for anyone with other ongoing health issues, those on special or more restrictive diets, and for those who get a lot of exercise, such as with training for a special event. There are simple blood tests that your doctor can use to check your vitamin and mineral levels in the body, letting you know if you might need a supplement. Also, Omega-3s, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, and which many people do not get enough of, can also easily be found in some delicious foods, such as chia seeds, flax seed and oil, and salmon.
Additionally, it is a terrific idea during allergy season to eliminate as many processed foods and sugars from your diet as possible. These can increase inflammation in the body and irritate the immune system, which can consequently increase allergy symptoms. Some people also choose to reduce or eliminate their dairy intake during allergy season if they have serious issues with congestion, asthma or inner ear problems from allergies, as removing dairy products from the diet can help to reduce these symptoms in some cases. Also, getting tested for food allergies and then avoiding any allergic foods can help to reduce overall allergy suffering in general.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do for yourself to help control your allergies is to manage stress during allergy season. When we are stressed out, our bodies can become more easily irritated, inflamed, and hormonally out of balance. We may lose sleep, feel generally lower in energy, and can experience more symptoms of allergies as a result of stress. Learning to meditate, attending gentle yoga classes, getting regular exercise, going for massages or having Reiki sessions can all assist with stress management. Getting outside into nature for a quick walk/hike or just to sit outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature (if it isn’t too high of a pollen count for you to manage being outdoors) can also help to greatly lessen stress.
Remember, if you need help during allergy season, you are not alone! There are thousands, even millions of people across our hemisphere experiencing similar symptoms at this time of year. Reach out for support from family, friends or local professionals if and when you need it when you don’t feel well or have too much stress. Also, don’t hesitate to get medical help for serious allergies, such as with an allergist or primary care physician. There are many drugs and other therapies used in modern, allopathic medicine that can help, if you choose to go the route of using antihistamines, nasal sprays, inhalers or leukotriene inhibitors, etc. to help reduce your symptoms. Whatever you do, please make sure to take extra good care of yourself during allergy season and be well.
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