The arrival of warmer weather and longer days announces spring. At the same time, spring ushers in a series of seasonal allergies. For many people, spring or fall consist of lots of sneezing, itching, and congestion. What can be done to make sure that you don’t experience these symptoms?
Around 50 million Americans suffer from some form of allergies. A lot of people have allergies that require medical care, but milder allergic reactions can be remedied with simple solutions. Even people with more severe allergies can also benefit from numerous home remedies. It’s possible to get rid of congestion, water eyes, itchy eyes, sinus irritation, or headaches with natural ingredients. You’ll learn more about how to do that in this article.
What Are Allergies?
Health experts define an allergy as a bodily reaction to an antigen in response to initial exposure. Pathological immunological reactions like sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, or skin rashes can also indicate an allergy. In simpler terms, an allergy indicates that the immune system is hypersensitive to an allergen. Many common allergens include dust, particular foods, pollen, animal fur, or mold.
An allergic reaction occurs when the body responds to allergens. The body produces histamine, which is its way of counteracting the allergen. That’s why you can experience allergy symptoms. Seasonal allergies, also called rhinitis or hay fever, typically worsen when pollen levels increase, i.e. during a change of seasons. This following home remedies should come to your aid when you experience those milder seasonal allergies.
The Neti Pot
If you have a runny nose or feel any sinus congestion, the neti pot can come to the rescue. Fill this pot with a saline solution that will help flush out the nasal cavity. Not only does it loosen mucus, but it also helps get rid of allergens or irritants. This is a classic practice in Ayurvedic medicine, so people have been doing it for hundreds of years. Create a saline solution with filtered water and salt (the exact recipe will vary). Tilt your head sideways so that your right ear is facing the ground. Pour the solution into your left nostril, breathe through your mouth, and allow it to drain out your right nostril. Once you are done, complete on the other side.
Keep Indoor Air Clean
Believe it or not, indoor air can be worse than outdoor air at times. It also happens to be the perfect place for allergens to irritate you. Consider purchasing indoor plants to help improve air quality in the home. Keep the air dry with a dehumidifier and use air conditioning, if you have it. Make sure to change your air conditioning filters so that you aren’t recycling dust particles. Lastly, vacuum carpets and keep floors clean to minimize dust accumulation.
To piggyback off of the aforementioned tip, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters help keep indoor air clean. They trap more pet dander, airborne irritants, dust, and allergens better than the average filter. There are portable air cleaners with HEPA filters that help purify the air in single rooms or confined spaces. Consider placing one in the room in your house where you spend most of your time. The bedroom is a great place for a portable air cleaner. It may even help you sleep better.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
If you experience sinus congestion and want to clear the nasal passageways, you need eucalyptus essential oil in your life. Research studies found that the antibacterial properties of eucalyptus essential oil help combat allergens or bacteria in the nostrils. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties and menthol-like sensation you get after inhalation can make breathing easier. You can drop a few drops in a warm bath, steamy shower, or in a diffuser to aid breathing.
If your immune system is functioning at a higher capacity, it’s easier to fight off foreign invaders or irritants that enter the body. One of the best ways to improve immune function is by promoting healthier gut flora. According to research, the more beneficial bacteria that exist in the gut, the better you are at defending against viruses, allergies, and infections. When choosing probiotics, it’s best to opt for soil-based organisms. Fermented foods are some of the best sources of probiotics!
Tea seems to nourish the soul, and your sinuses if you are experiencing allergies. The steam from the tea isn’t the only thing that’s beneficial. Peppermint tea, for example, contains menthol, which acts as a decongestant and expectorant. If your allergies cause mucus buildup or hardened mucus, peppermint can help clear it out. Green tea also contains powerful antioxidants that help prevent mild allergic reactions. A little tip: don’t drink chamomile tea if you have spring allergies because it can cause reactions if you are allergic to ragweed.