If the pollen outlook from your local weather station dictates how you spend your days, you may need some help with allergy relief. While there are several different over-the-counter drugstore solutions that seem to do the trick, you are probably the type of person who would rather ingest herbs or use aromatherapy than take a pill with unknown ingredients and a laundry list of side effects. Though it’s not likely any solution will take away all of your allergy symptoms, there are some natural health allergy relievers that can certainly ease your pain.
So what happens when your allergies flare up?
Pollen from nearby plants enter through your nose and latch on to mucous membranes, like the soft and moist passages inside your nose and throat. The pollen triggers immune cells called mast cells which, in turn, release histamines and other chemicals. These histamines attempt to rid the body of the allergen with sneezing or expelling it through liquids (think snot and watery eyes). In some people, this reaction is far worse than in others.
Most over-the-counter remedies treat the symptoms created by the histamines. Natural solutions, on the other hand, often seek to prevent a reaction before it happens.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Perhaps the simplest method of reducing your allergic symptoms is to reduce your allergen exposure. These are no brainers, but can go a long way in soothing your reactions. Keep windows closed, both in your home and in the car. Limit your time outdoors when pollen counts are high. Also, avoid using window fans as they tend to pull pollen into the home.
2. Stinging Nettle
A relatively easy plant to find, stinging nettle has a long history of healing applications. It actually inhibits the body’s ability to produce histamine, the chemical that triggers your allergic symptoms. You may find it growing in your backyard, but you can also find it dried and in capsules. Dried, it can go in teas and tinctures. As a capsule, about 300 mg is recommended to soothe allergy symptoms.
Check out our home remedies for allergies post after reading this.
It’s found naturally in onions, citrus fruits, parsley, apples, tea, and broccoli. Quercetin is a bioflavanoid that helps prevent the release of histamine as well. In addition to eating a diet rich in these foods, you can find quercetin supplements. Mother Earth News says the recommended dosage is about 1,000 mg per day. The best results occur when quercetin is taken before allergy season even starts.
4. Neti Pots
Neti pots are a simple way of rinsing the pollen from inside your nose and sinuses. A little bit of saltwater put into the pot helps wash out the allergens that are triggering your reaction while simultaneously clearing sinus congestion. A study published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology affirmed that using neti pots was an effective method of allergy control in children.
Dealing with allergies can be uncomfortable and nearly unbearable. Finding natural treatments that work to relieve your symptoms without side effects can seem like a blessing.