Allergy season is here and, there is more pollen than ever floating in the air due to last winters higher than normal temperatures. If you are one of millions of people who suffer from the nasal congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes associated with seasonal environmental allergies, you will be happy to know that there are a few very effective natural approaches that will give you some relief.
Instead of reaching for over-the-counter medications, which can be too drying, may make you feel sleepy or may deplete some of your nutrient stores, try using some of the following natural remedies to strengthen your immune system and ease your symptoms:
Drink more water
Consuming half of your body weight in ounces of water will thin mucous secretions and hydrate your mucous membrane tissues. This will help to alleviate the irritation that causes sneezing.
Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
Add more anti-inflammatory foods, such as ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds. These foods, along with fish oil supplements , are excellent sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid which can stomp out inflammation and therefore pain in your nasal passages.
Lower your consumption of mucus-forming foods
Mucus-forming foods are foods such as dairy products, red meat, fried and processed foods, wheat, eggs, and chocolate. Not only do these foods cause havoc for an overly taxed immune system but they also promote inflammation, the very thing you are trying to treat.
Irrigate your nasal passages using a neti pot
A neti pot is a mini-teapot, which can be found at most health food stores, allowing you to wash out pollen trapped in your nostrils. Using a solution of approximately one teaspoon of non iodized sea salt per pint of warm water, rinse your nasal passages at least twice daily. The neti pot will come with directions on how to perform the nasal irrigation, and while it may take a little getting used to, it is a highly effective way of relieving nasal and sinus inflammation.
Apply a pinch of non-petroleum jelly
Dab a small amount of non-petroleum jelly just inside your nostrils to catch and neutralize the harmful effects of pollen.
Change your clothes
Change clothes as soon as you enter the house. Pollen is easily trapped in clothing and in your hair. So you might need to wash both more often than usual. Also, use a HEPA filtering system to minimize pollen, dust, mold spores, and other particulate matter that may exacerbate your symptoms.
This bioflavonoid, naturally found in onions, grapefruit, and red wine, inhibits the body’s release of histamines, resulting in decreased runny noses and watery eyes.
Try Stinging Nettle
The leaves of this herb have been found to quiet allergy symptoms very effectively.
Very popular in Europe, this herb, which has recently entered the American market, contains Petasines, a chemical which quells inflammation and allergic response, just as effectively as Allegra and Zyrtec, according to two recent studies.
Explore homeopathic remedies
A number of products, blending variety of homeopathic anti-allergy agents, are available in pellet or tablet form.