Ah, Spring. Most think of incredible weather, camping and spending time outdoors with family. But for some allergy sufferers, spring can be just as tormenting thanks to invisible particles called allergens. Allergens cause symptoms such sneezing, watery eyes and congestion.
Before you head to the drugstore to treat your allergy symptoms, avoid the chemicals and side effects of over the counter drugs by going the natural route.
Check out these 10 natural ways to treat and prevent allergies this season. They’re low cost, easy and some are even shown more effective than what you’ll find at the pharmacy.
Neti Pot. Although the treatment process is a little messy, this little pot (think tea pot) will very likely help you with stuffed-up sinuses. By tilting your head sideways and pouring the saline solution up your nose, it flushes out the entire naval cavity of allergens and annoying mucus for high level allergy relief. You can find the netti pots online with a pre-made solution or you can make your own.
Saline Spray. Similar to the Neti pot (but some say not as effective), prepackaged saline spray delivers saline solution a bit more gently and evenly throughout the sinuses. Saline spray should feel comfortable and offer some relief to the average allergy sufferer.
Local Honey. Eating honey from bees in your region can build up your natural resistance to pollen and help ease allergy symptoms. This is because bees transfer pollen from flower blossoms to the honeycomb making it a natural remedy this allergy season.
HEPA Filters. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters purify air by trapping allergens and other airborne irritants. You can purchase portable HEPA filters or incorporate them into your homes heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.
Herbs and supplements. The plant extract butternut is perhaps the most effective natural remedy according to studies. In a couple of Swiss clinical trials, butterbur tablets eased symptoms just as much as over-the-counter antihistamines. Also, consuming pineapple is known to curb inflammation in the sinuses, reducing swelling and improving breathing. Other herbs such as spirulina, eyebright and goldenseal have also shown to help with allergy relief.
Showering after spending time outdoors removes allergens from your skin and hair, thus preventing them from further spreading around your house and bugging you later. Showering also does the obvious job of soothing sinuses, clearing nasal passages, and relaxing the body.
Steam. If showering isn’t convenient or an option but your sinuses are still acting up, find a way to add steam into your space. Try store-bout vaporizers or simply pour boiling water into a bowl and drape a bowl over your head to form a tent. Inhale deeply through your nose for 5 to 10 minutes.
Eucalyptus Oil. Try adding a few drops to a bowl of steaming water and inhale the steam for 5 to 10 minutes. Besides it’s fragrant, menthol-like aroma which makes breathing seem easier, research suggests eucalyptus oil also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to relieve allergy symptoms.
Spicy Foods. It’s obvious to anyone who enjoys spicy foods like chili peppers, wasabi, Dijon mustard and garlic that these things make your eyes water and clear out your sinuses. But did you know that some of the active ingredients in these foods appear to have a decongestant effect as well?
Tea. Inhale the steam from a cup of peppermint tea and enjoy its decongestant and expectorant effects, which means it helps breaks up mucus from the nose and throat. Also, the antioxidants in green tea have shown to inhibit allergic reactions.