Winter is cold and flu season, but people with allergies don’t get a break from congestion as spring arrives. Those who look forward to the classic “April showers, May flowers” sentiment clearly do not have allergies. About 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, and many of them head to the doctor to obtain prescribed pharmaceuticals like antihistamines or acetaminophens, which can actually aggravate allergy symptoms. Fortunately, there are many natural remedies to help you beat spring allergies this season.
You don’t want to be the person with itchy eyes and congested sinuses during spring. After all, you just made it through winter, which is filled with sniffling and sore throats. There’s no reason to relive that, but these symptoms can be difficult to avoid when you have to deal with pollen. In addition to dust and mold, pollen is one of the most common seasonal allergens. While pollen is technically harmless, a hypersensitive immune system can often mistake it for a foreign invader and release histamine as a response. As people with allergies know, this can cause hives or itchy skin, or sinus congestion and itchy eyes.
There’s no two ways about it: allergies are no fun, but you may not need medications to control your symptoms. Many natural remedies can help control symptoms and keep your allergies under control. Experiment with the following natural remedies and see which ones work best at managing your symptoms.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
We constantly advocate how beneficial apple cider vinegar is for overall health. Not only does it help to balance pH levels in the body, but it can also provide a little energy boost, especially when you drink it in water mixed with lemon juice. When you notice the first sign of an allergy attack, put one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in your Neti Pot solution and perform a sinus flush to help ward off congestion.
Stinging nettle has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. Europeans in medieval times used stinging nettle as a diuretic to help relieve fluid retention (edema) and occasional joint pain. Many studies have concluded that stinging nettle can effectively improve joint pain, urinary problems, hay fever, and insect bites, but new research has shown it controls histamines. More and more medical professionals recommend that people with allergies take stinging nettle before hay fever season.
Clear Those Sinuses
If you don’t want to have a case of the sniffles throughout the spring months, it’s time to clear those sinuses with some nasal irrigation. We know that sounds utterly enchanting (wink wink), but nasal rinsing helps to flush out allergens and built up mucus. The use of a Neti Pot originated in the Ayurvedic tradition hundreds of years ago, and people have been benefiting from sinus rinses ever since. Neti Pots have now become more mainstream for preventing upper respiratory conditions and seasonal allergies. When you make a Neti Pot solution, do not use tap water because the chlorine and fluoride can aggravate the sinuses. Opt for distilled water and mix it with sea salt. Exact solution ratios will vary, but the common ratio is 8 ounces of distilled water with ½ teaspoon of sea salt.
Eat An Alkaline And Anti-Inflammatory Diet
When you supply the body with nutrient-dense foods, your systems and organs can function optimally. Since allergies create inflammatory responses, it is beneficial for you to consume anti-inflammatory and alkaline foods. Some of the best foods to help you beat allergies include:
Spinach, kale, arugula, romaine lettuce, watercress, and chard all contain a diverse mix of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that assist with reducing inflammation and promoting natural detoxification.
If the bad bacteria in your gut microbiome outnumber the good bacteria, you most likely have decreased immune response. Strengthen the immune system by consuming probiotic foods like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, miso, and natto.
Did you know that garlic is considered a natural antibiotic? Well, it is, and it has the ability to ward off infections, viruses, and allergies. For garlic to have the best effect, consume it raw by blending one clove into your smoothie or juicing it with other fruits and vegetables. A clove a day may keep the allergy medication away because it offers immense immune support.
While some people like to deny it, lemons and limes help to establish an alkaline body. They do contain citric acid, but they have an alkalizing effect after ingestion. Lemons are extremely rich in immune-boosting antioxidants like vitamin C, which has been known to ward off infections and detox impurities from the body. Add lemons to your water throughout the day, freshly squeeze them in your salad dressings, drink lemon tea, and find other ways to consume lemons every day.