Have you said good-bye to winter head colds only to be slapped in the face with springtime seasonal allergies? It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Here are a few natural remedies to help fight allergies and keep you breathing easy—crazy antics of your children notwithstanding.
If you’ve been trying the ol’ spoonful of local honey from your friendly neighborhood bees to combat your seasonal allergies, you can stop. A recent study has proven that it doesn’t work. But continue your support of local bees, and enjoy the sweetness of honey to ease a cough or make your tea that much yummier—just don’t ask those little guys to cure what ails you.
An ounce of prevention and all that will help as well. Clean up around the house to help ease symptoms. Too much of a good cleaning thing, however, isn’t good for your health. Don’t create super-germs with overdoses of anti-bacterials, and feel free to leave a little dust and dog hair about—it won’t hurt the kids.
Once the irritation has begun, start taking natural remedies like the herbs goldenseal or quercetin to help boost your body’s ability to fight off those free radicals. Both herbs also act as natural antioxidants. Citrus fruits, onions, apples, parsley, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce and wine are all high in quercetin (Wha-hoo– another excuse to have that glass of wine with dinner!) But those that suffer from allergies really need more than what food alone can offer (no, that doesn’t mean the whole bottle of wine—that will cause more health problems than it will solve) and are recommended to take a supplement of 1000 mg a day. Those with liver problems should stay away from quercetin, as well as nursing and pregnant mamas— baby doesn’t need to be taking lots of extra stuff.
Those nifty Omega-3 fatty acids are good for allergies, too, because they help ease the inflammation that can be a hallmark symptom of allergies. Take a supplement, or eat lots of cold-water fish, eggs and walnuts.
Keep pollen out of the house and off your clothes. If you’ve been working in the garden or rolling around in the park with your kids, take a shower to wash off the pollen, or at the very least, change your clothes. There’s also the option of cleaning your nose. No, not blowing it— which sends pollen, snot and dirt in all different directions, including further back into your sinuses—but cleaning it, using a neti pot. Sounds weird and uncomfortable, I know, but it’s worth it. At the worst, it just feels like getting water up your nose while swimming in the ocean. The more you do it, the more you’ll get used to it.
Use a few of these natural methods your grandma would approve of and feel better soon, Mama!
Lovely lavender photo by: coward lion
Bee and flower photo by: Arvind Balaraman
neti pot photo by: Kurt Yoder