Although I personally don't have to deal with allergies, more than half of my inner circle does. Almost like clockwork, once spring and fall (especially) roll around, I can bet on them complaining about sore throats, sinus headaches, mucus draining, inflammation and having trouble falling asleep. They absolutely hate it. In fact, the only thing they seem to hate more is loading up on all of the meds that their doctor prescribes them.
If, like 40-60 million other people, you can totally relate to where they are coming from, there are a couple of things to consider. One, don't just assume that with the change of seasons, you're allergic to your outside environment. It's a good idea to take an allergy test because it can reveal what your true triggers are. While it could be dander or pollen, it could also be how your body is reacting to a particular kind of food or the dust that's in your home.
Second, if you do indeed suffer from some form of allergic rhinitis, there are some all-natural remedies that are just as potent and effective as prescribed medication. As a bonus, they are less expensive and have less side effects than certain types of drugs do.
I'd be hard-pressed to find something that honey isn't good for. Despite how delicious it tastes, honey is an awesome hair conditioner, blemish-treater, weight loss manager, sleep agent, energy booster, wound healer and diabetes aid. If you have a cold and take a teaspoon of it at night, it can even suppress your cough so that you can sleep soundly.
Honey is also a natural antibiotic when it comes to treating allergies. Part of the reason is because of all of the antioxidants that are in it. But even more than that, honey contains bee pollen. If you make sure to consume local honey, your body will partake in something called immunotherapy. Long story short, when you eat the same kind of pollen that the bees in your area leave in flowers, it desensitizes you to the pollen itself. The result is bye-bye to allergy-related drugs.
In a nutshell, probiotics are living microorganisms that you can consume through fermented foods (like pickles or sauerkraut) or supplements. The reason why they are so good for us is because when the balance of bacteria in our system is off, it can cause all sorts of diseases and infections. It's believed that probiotics can do everything from strengthen our heart and boost our immune system to reduce body fat and heal yeast infections.
When you feel allergy symptoms coming on, it's smart to load up on probiotics. The reason why is because many of the symptoms are the direct result of your system being imbalanced. Probiotics can give your body the good bacteria that it needs in order to get your system back on track.
Nettle leaf is an herb that contains vitamins A, B, C and K. It also has calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, amino acids and antioxidants in it. If you take nettle leaf on a regular basis, it can control your blood sugar, detoxify your liver and lower your blood pressure (just make sure to run it by your doctor first if you are currently taking blood pressure or diabetes medication).
If hay fever is your biggest seasonal allergy-related Achilles heel, nettle leaf is great at reducing the inflammation in the lining of your nose. Research reveals that it's the kind of herb that can even inhibit seasonal allergy inflammation before your stuffy nose starts.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A few days ago, I read an article that literally listed 100 ways to use apple cider vinegar. On the list, there was everything from using it to clarify hair and clean tubs to clean jewelry and kill weeds. However, it's what it does health and beauty-wise that causes it to reign supreme in my book. Some of apple cider vinegar's benefits in those categories include it helps to clear up acne, remove skin tags, tone skin, lower blood sugar levels and decrease PMS symptoms.
As far as allergies go, if it's the amount of mucous that's driving your body crazy, apple cider vinegar has a remarkable way of removing mucus while cleansing your lymphatic system in the process. The best way to get immediate relief is to swallow a teaspoon of the vinegar and immediately chase it down with a full glass of water.
By the way, not all apple cider vinegars are created equal. Get the kind that has "the mother" in it if you can. Brand-wise, Bragg is best.
If you're looking for a new bottle of essential oil to add to your collection, basil oil is a great one. It's an herb that contains the kind of medicinal properties that can relieve indigestion and constipation. It also helps to increase blood circulation, relieve pain, heal bruises and insect bites as well as reduce stress.
Due to the powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that this particular oil contains, basil oil is also able to effectively treat asthma, bronchitis and, yes, sinus infections. One reason is because it has the ability to detoxify the bacteria and viruses that may be causing the infection. The other reason is because it fights inflammation, yeast and mold.
Get the most out of basil oil by putting a drop into your juice or salad dressing once a day until your symptoms clear up. Or, you can add 2-4 drops of it into two tablespoons of organic oil and rub it directly onto your chest before turning in at night.
Remember how I mentioned at the beginning that it's best to not self-diagnose your allergies? That you should get tested by a professional so that you can know exactly what you are allergic too? If money or time is tight and you'd prefer to take the process of elimination route, you might want to start with the following foods: pineapples, cucumbers, melons, shellfish, soy, sugar and wheat; they are all known to trigger allergens.
At the same time, foods that help to combat allergies are ones that are super high in beta carotene; specifically carotenoids. Because our bodies naturally convert beta carotene into Vitamin A and that's a vitamin that builds our immune system and keeps our mucus membranes healthy, it makes total sense that eating carotenoids is a natural allergy relief solution. Foods that are orange in color tend to contain quite a bit of them. Some that top the list are carrots, apricots, butternut squash, orange bell peppers and sweet potatoes.
Yorkshire Flower Essences
Butterbur is the kind of herb that you may have never heard of before, but if you suffer from seasonal allergies, I'm pretty sure you'll keep a supply of it from here on out. The backstory on butterbur is it's a flowering plant with strong medicinal properties. Although it's known to combat obesity and lower blood pressure while helping to prevent blood clots, butterbur has got the best reputation for how it treats sinus issues.
Thanks to all of the antioxidants that are found in butterbur, it can decrease migraines, relieve hay fever, treat asthma and reduce allergy-related symptoms. So much so, that one study revealed that when almost 600 people took it for two weeks straight, 90 percent stated that their allergy symptoms were significantly reduced.
Over half of your body is made up of water and a part of water's job is to flush toxins out of your system. So yep, water is one of the best remedies for seasonal allergies. The best kind of water to drink? Distilled. Distilled water is the state water is in once all of the impurities and minerals are removed from it. Since in its purest form, it's one of the best ways to detox your system while improving digestion.
Just keep in mind that, even with water, you can get too much of a good thing. Since distilled water is void of minerals, drink it when your allergy symptoms are at their peak and then resort to sparkling, mineral, etc. once they have subsided.
Hopefully this keeps you both allergy and pharmacy free, y'all. Good luck!
Featured image by Getty Images.
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