5 Natural Ways to Fight Spring Allergies
We all love spring! Or do we? The trees are in bloom, and so are the flowers, but all that airborne pollen can leave you feeling stuffy, sneezing, headachy, and run-down, with watery eyes and swollen sinuses. You are in luck. There is no need to resort to pharmaceutical drugs for your allergies; you can simply tap into some of nature’s best remedies, and feel better right away. Here are 5 natural methods of relieving the springtime allergy woes.
1. Acupressure – Harry Hong, Ph.D., L.Ac sys that the practice of acupressure can help to relieve a runny nose and red, itchy eyes by brining more blood flow to the face. You can find facial acupressure points here. Press the points indicated for at least 30 seconds, several times a day.
2. Probiotics – You may already be taking probiotics to boost your healthy gut flora, but if you aren’t, you should be, according to Sezelle Gereau Haddon, M.D. of The Continuum Center for Health & Healing in New York City. She says that probiotics help the body to break down allergens like pollen.
3. Nasal Irrigation – This technique has been practiced for centuries in different cultures, but yoga practitioners know it as Jala neti. It can be used for everything from clearing mucus, allergens, and pollen from nasal passages to stimulating subtle energy pathways in the left and right nostrils. People who practice it regularly report feeling more clear-headed while suffering less from allergies, headaches, and other upper respiratory issues. Using slightly salty water produces the best results, but warm water alone will also do the trick.
4. Clean Your Indoor Air – Many people think they are suffering from outdoor pollens when really their sinuses are under a constant barrage of contaminants inside their own homes or office buildings. Using a HEPA or other high-quality air filter in your home can help rid the air of biological pollutants, keeping the area more clear and less likely to irritate your eyes, nose, ears, and throat.
5. Use Herbs – Paul Bergner, director of the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism says that many herbs can be used as home remedies for allergies. Try these:
- Goldenseal, peppermint, and echinacea decongest sinuses, improve circulation, and support the immune and lymphatic systems.
- Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory properties offer relief to dry, itchy eyes. Just place cool, wet chamomile tea bags over your eyes for several minutes.
- Stinging Nettle is an antihistamine, targeting the immune system’s response to an allergen, helping to reduce allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and sneezing. Consume 300 to 500 mg of stinging nettle capsules daily, or drink tea made from fresh or freeze-dried leaves.
- Thyme is both antimicrobial and an expectorant, which means that it can treat coughs and soothe a sore throat. You can use this herb in 1 to 2 teaspoon doses to ease the pain of spring pollen.
- Honey is one of the world’s wonder-foods. Not only does it clean cuts and wounds, and boost the immune system, it is also a wonderful treatment for a sore throat or cough. You can also combine honey and thyme in a tea to double the efficacy of these great natural remedies.
- Ginger is another awesome herb to put into a soothing tea. It can also be combined with honey. Just mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried ginger, or minced if fresh, into hot water and let it steep. Drink up and enjoy a clear throat and open sinuses. This herb will also help prevent diabetes while you are soothing your seasonal allergies.
- Cayenne Pepper is rich in quercetin, an important bioflavanoid that eases a sore throat and prevents the release of histamines and other inflammatory agents which make your nose look like a bright red tomato. You can also try this Fiery Gargle remedy for sore throat relief.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.