Contributed by Heather Hemmer, Co-Founder
Sniffles, runny noses, water eyes… seasonal allergies are no fun! We hear a lot from folks who are looking for natural remedies for allergies.
According to a report by the WHO, 10-30% of the population worldwide suffers from allergic rhinitis, commonly called hay fever. While many people believe that allergies begin in childhood, the truth is you may develop allergies later in life due to an increase exposure to environmental toxins, increased physical and mental stress and a diet of inflammatory foods. These foreign invaders result in chronic systemic inflammation that put your immune system on high alert, creating a hypersensitivity to seasonal allergens.
Dr. Mark Hyman makes a good point regarding the common treatment of allergies. “Conventional medicine treats seasonal allergies with injections and pills, which unfortunately, create side effects and fail to address the root problem. If you don’t address the root cause, then the allergies will never go away.”
Many common ailments could be avoided if we were able to modify our nutrition and vary our routines to accommodate the ebb and flow of the changing environment around us every day. In my personal practice, I put every client that comes to see me on an initial anti-inflammatory diet to see what symptoms reverse on their own. Considering 80% of our immune system is located in our gut, the results are not surprising; major improvement or total reversal of chronic allergy symptoms just from diet alone!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates
Making dietary changes to manage and treat allergies is a really good place to start. However, to see the results from an elimination diet may take a few weeks. So, how do you cope in the interim? Do you take over the counter meds? No way! The good news is there are safe and effective natural remedies to treat your symptoms which don’t lead to side-effects or more severe symptoms later in the year.
Allergy symptoms can be very individualistic, and what works for one individual may not work for another. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms at very particular times of year, you may be experiencing hay fever:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy, congested nose
- Postnasal drip
- Sensation of plugged ear(s)
- Watery, bloodshot eyes
- Skin irritations
- Trouble sleeping
For those particularly sensitive to these seasonal changes you may experience:
- Bowel irregularity
- Circulatory dysfunction
- Headaches or migraines
- Frequent bouts of cold and flu
- Tree pollen – common in early spring
- Grass pollen – common in late spring and summer
- Ragweed pollen – common in fall
- Dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander
- Spores from indoor and outdoor fungi and molds
- Food allergies – increase susceptibility to seasonal allergies by creating increased inflammation
Natural Remedies For Allergies – Natural Relief!
Vitamin C – Particularly important for a strong immune system. Fill your diet with leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers (if you do well with nightshades) and citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and lemons.
Vitamin D – After winter we can lack vitamin D. Stress also weakens our immune system and our D levels. Most of the population needs to be supplementing with a quality D Vitamin.
Garlic – Contains Sulphur compounds that help to ease congestion and acts as an anti-inflammatory
Ginger – Decreases inflammation and helps to clear the nasal passage way
Quercetin – A natural plant flavonoid, natural antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, helps stabilize cells and prevents them from releasing histamine. Found naturally in onions and apples.
Stinging Nettle – This herb acts much like an antihistamine without the drowsiness. Nettle inhibits the body’s ability to produce histamine.
Local Honey – This natural sweetener has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-allergenic properties. Consuming LOCAL honey is the key to dealing with environmental induced allergies.
Essential Oils – Three top oils to diffuse or apply topically are peppermint, lemon and tea tree. Always use high grade, organic oils.
Neti Pot – Used in India for thousands of years to flush sinuses and keep them clear. Use a sea salt solution in the neti pot to rinse out allergens in the nasal cavity and soothe the sinuses.
XLEAR – Xylitol Nasal Spray (have been waiting for an email from the company to see if I could get a coupon code!
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Always consult with your personal healthcare practitioner when making changes to your healthcare regimen.