Relieve seasonal allergies with these tried-and-tested remedies.
According to the Natural Allergy Treatment website, ‘Australia and New Zealand have some of the highest hay fever rates in the world, making them two of the worst places to live with allergies.’
When the change of seasons begins, those of us who are prone to allergies may find ourselves overcome with these sinus-clogging, eye-watering, itchy-throat causing symptoms.
Other than placing a tablespoon of coconut oil into some tea to help provide relief from allergies, there are a few other natural remedies.
Please note that these remedies are not for emergency allergic reactions, like anaphylaxis.
Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
We’re all individual, so what works for one person may not work for another. Different people may benefit from different remedies depending on which allergens they’re reacting to and also certain genetic factors.
According to Healthline, the biggest causes for allergic reactions include ‘pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mould spores, insect stings, food, and medications.’
Because these remedies are natural, they may not be as immediate in affect as medications can be, but over the long-term these remedies have helped many with their seasonal allergies.
According to a Wellness Mama article, ‘diet, strong gut health, and health overall can make a big difference when it comes to seasonal allergies because allergic response has everything to do with the immune system.’
Allergy testing may be helpful to determine the triggers for certain allergies, but often the prescribed treatment is to routinely take an antihistamine or corticosteroid, which can have unpleasant side effects. There are two main methods for stopping allergies naturally:
- Exposure to possible allergens must be limited
- Improving the health of the immune system
Some simple remedies for relieving seasonal allergies include:
Rinsing Your Sinuses
The idea of this remedy is to flush out mucus and allergens from your nose.
To do this, Mayo Clinic recommend to ‘look for a squeeze bottle or a Neti Pot — a small container with a spout designed for nasal rinsing — at your pharmacy or health food store. Use water that’s distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller to make up the saline irrigation solution. Also be sure to rinse the irrigation device after each use with similarly distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water and leave open to air-dry.’
You can either use a pre-made saline solution or make your own by dissolving one teaspoon of Himalayan or plain sea salt in four cups of boiled (then cooled), filtered or distilled water. Pour the solution into the Neti Pot and pour it through one nostril, letting it drain out the other. See full instructions here.
This wonderful herb is a natural antihistamine that can be very effective at naturally blocking the body’s ability to produce histamine.
According to Champagne Nutrition, ‘compounds have been found in nettles that help combat the inflammation and reactivity of allergy sufferers. For example, composites in nettles appear to inhibit inflammatory pathways and also act against the histamine receptors.’
Nettle leaf can made into a tea that provides some relief from allergy symptoms. It can also be combined with other herbs like peppermint leaf and red raspberry leaf to make a soothing herbal tea. By heating the nettle, it removes the stinging part of the leaf, so it becomes safe to consume.
It’s believed that by consuming local honey from the area where you live, it may help your body adapt to the allergens in that environment. According to Healthline, ‘when a person eats local honey, they are thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms.’
Having a teaspoon or more of raw, unprocessed local honey, sourced as close to your area as possible, one or more times a day may help provide relief, thought it’s recommended to start taking it a month or so before allergy season.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It’s believed that apple cider vinegar may help reduce mucus production and assist in cleansing the lymphatic system.
To use it for allergy relief, Wellness Mama recommends ‘when allergies hit, I mixed a teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “The Mother” (that part is important) into a glass of water and drink this three times a day. “The Mother” is simply a colony of beneficial bacteria present in some organic and unfiltered ACV brands. Check the label, it should list if it contains it.’
Having an imbalanced immune system can cause the body to overreact to a certain stimuli. Balancing gut bacteria and ingesting more beneficial bacteria may help to counteract allergy symptoms.
According to Vitagene, ‘probiotics can help balance your good bacteria and produce a stronger immune response to common allergens.’
This natural bioflavonoid found in plants may help stabilise mast cells and keep them from releasing histamine. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce inflammation. As stated by Centre Spring MD, ‘quercetin is a flavonoid, which is a type of compound naturally found in plants and plant foods, that inhibits the release of histamine from your immune system, thereby reducing side effects such as itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and sinus congestion.’
As with any herb, it’s advised that you check with your doctor before using, particularly if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, are taking hormonal contraceptives, or have a liver problem.
Quercetin can be found naturally in foods like broccoli, citrus, onions, green tea, apples and berries, but generally not in the amounts needed for allergy relief. Taking a quality quercetin supplement may be helpful in relieving acute symptoms and preventing allergies.
Research shows that vitamin D can activate certain regulatory immune system cells that prevent the release of chemicals that cause and worsen Allergic diseases. So a deficiency in vitamin D may inhibit this regulatory mechanism, which may worsen or trigger allergic disease.
While Vitamin D2 is plant-based, whereas D3 is sourced from animals, it’s been found that vitamin D3 is more effective than D2. According to Healthline, ‘most studies show that vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising blood levels of calcifediol. For example, one study in 32 older women found that a single dose of vitamin D3 was nearly twice as effective as vitamin D2 at raising calcifediol levels.’
Changes to Diet
Consuming plenty of homemade bone broth can help ease respiratory problems, assist in expelling excess nasal mucus, help reduce inflammation, and boost immunity. Conducting an elimination diet can help as well, as it may identify possible intolerances to food.
Following the GAPS diet for several months may help improve seasonal allergy symptoms.
Using a blend of specific essential oils can help expel mucus and unblock sinuses, thanks to their ability to calm and reduce inflammation. According to Healthline, ‘one study concluded that the essential oil prevents allergic inflammation as well as the enlargement of mucous cells.’
I use inhalations when I have allergy symptoms such as hay fever, itchy/irritated eyes, or a sneezy/runny nose, and I find they really help in relieving symptoms. I do these inhalations four times a day, and find them to be really helpful in relieving congestion and headaches brought on from congested sinuses.
Allergic responses have everything to do with the immune system. Any time something enters the body, whether it be food, water, air, etc. the body reacts. This is completely natural and very important as it helps keep the body in a state of balance.
However, if too many foreign invaders are entering the body, causing toxic-overload, the body becomes overburdened and overstimulated which can result in the immune system responding to otherwise would-be harmless substances the same way it would to that of a harmful foreign invader.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.
What are some natural remedies you use for allergies? Have you tried any of the ones above? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,
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