If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people suffering from seasonal allergies, you know firsthand how difficult it can be to manage them, especially when it feels like they’re year-round. Even though you may have only started suffering from allergy symptoms recently, Spring’s tree pollen can begin as early as February.
If you find yourself grabbing tissues just as often as you reach for your water bottle, you need relief fast so you can get back into your routine, stat. But before you head to your local drugstore for over-the-counter meds, or your doctor’s office for a heavy prescription, consider these natural methods of curing congestion, sneezing, runny nose and red, watery, itchy eyes brought on by seasonal allergies.
Apple cider vinegar
If you’re a baker or an amateur chef, you probably already have this ingredient in your kitchen cabinet. But little did you know that for centuries it’s been used for its antibiotic and antihistamine powers. In fact, some scientists even say that it’s just as effective in treating allergic reactions as the popular OTC med Zyrtec. Fascinating, right? Adding this ingredient to your diet can be as simple as taking a shot of it—a teaspoon is a recommended starter dose–or mixing one teaspoon of it with ½ liter of water three times a day.
Various essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and lemon have antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergen properties that work to counteract the effects of seasonal allergies. Eucalyptus, in particular, is known for supporting the respiratory system and even helping to alleviate symptoms of asthma. It also smells amazing, so while you’re passageways are experiencing clear, open relief, they’re also enjoying a nice, homey fragrance.
Showering or bathing
All sources of seasonal allergies come from the outdoors. So every time you walk into your home after being outside, you’re bringing in particles from the outdoors with you: a tiny leaf on the bottom of your shoe, some pollen from brushing up against a plant, even dirt or dust that was blowing in the air. Taking a quick shower or even changing your clothes can seriously help rid your body of these allergens.
If you’re also one of the many sufferers of stomach pains and aches, you’re probably already familiar with this handy supplement. This “good bacteria” is best known for its ability to aid your digestive system and, aside from being purchased in pill-form at your local drugstore, can be found naturally in foods you probably already eat like yogurt, milk, soft cheeses (oh, yes), miso soup and more. In addition to helping with those stomach aches, probiotics are also known to boost your immune system, therefore helping your body fight pesky allergies.
Eat a healthy diet
While you can’t eat to completely cure your seasonal allergies, what you put into your body has a lot to do with how your body reacts to environmental culprits. Maintaining a diet high in nuts, healthy oils (think EVOO), lots of fruits and veggies and even red wine can help control respiratory symptoms brought on by the changes in season. The Mediterranean diet is a great example to follow, though some foods should be avoided, including favorite spicy cuisines like Thai and Indian, as spice can trigger the release of histamines instead of hindering them.
Chances are you’ve never heard of this nasal irrigation tool that looks like a cross between a tea pot and Aladdin’s magical lamp. Though these creations have been around for centuries, we often neglect to utilize their allergy-fighting abilities. Essentially, neti pots are designed to rinse mucus or debris from your nasal passageways by means of a homemade saltwater solution. Simply pour the saline mix in your neti pot, tilt your head sideways over a sink or tub, and pour the water in your upper nostril. Sounds bizarre, but it just might work!
While there might not be a great deal of scientific evidence to back up this claim, most of us are familiar with honey’s relaxing and soothing properties, especially when poured into our cup of hot tea. But this centuries-old medicinal substance may also have some antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that help our body’s fight against seasonal allergies. Hey, it’s worth a try!