The change from winter to spring isn’t quite so exciting for people who suffer from seasonal allergies, and pills like Claritin and Allegra lose their oomph after a while. Luckily, you can fight off runny noses and watery eyes with several natural products. From saline water to probiotic foods, you’ll be out enjoying the springtime air without springtime sinus despair.
1. Neti Pot
Watching YouTube videos on how to use these water-pot devices can definitely turn a person off, but doctors and natural healing experts alike recommend the product to clear out sinuses. A number of VN staffers swear by them, too. Gravity and some saline (salt and water) solution thin out mucus, thus cleaning the nasal cavity of allergens and irritants. Yes, it sounds gross, but you’ll be breathing easily within minutes.
Eating foods with plenty of probiotics isn’t just good for digestion, it also plays a key role in keeping your immune system healthy. Look for products with probiotics such as Lactobaccilus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus, all of which help keep allergies in check. Purchasing probiotic pills is an easy option as well.
3. Apples and Onions
Found in the skin of onions and apples, the flavanoid quercetin is a natural antihistamine. Several studies have shown that when taken in supplement form, quercetin can be extremely helpful in reducing a variety of allergy symptoms. Take it with vitamin C and it will work even better!
4. Stinging Nettle Leaf
Stinging nettle leaf is a popular ingredient in natural allergy-relief products. Drink some of the herb in tea form and you’ll also get the anti-inflammatory benefits that will ease allergies. The leaf is also used as a diuretic, and is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene.
5. Walnuts and Flaxseed
Similarly to stinging nettle, omega-3s help fight the inflammation that causes allergy symptoms. People who eat more omega-3 fatty acids, found in walnuts and flaxseed, have experienced less severe allergies than those who do not. Sprinkle some in your morning cereal or oatmeal to start the day off right.
6. Oily Steam
Steam from herbal oils can also help relieve congestion and is easy to do at home. Boil some water in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and add eucalyptus, rosemary, myrtle, or tea tree oil and take deep breaths of the oil-steam mixture for three to five minutes.
Lay down and relax as properly placed needles alleviate your itchy eyes and stuffed nose. Though studies have not shown exactly why or how it works, some experts believe that it stimulates the nervous system. Start treatments a month before peak allergy season for the best results.
If your house is particularly dry, a humidifier might be the answer to relieving allergies. Water droplets will bind to allergens, such as pollen, and make them fall to the floor. You’ll breathe in less of what causes seasonal sneezing, at least when you’re in the comfort of your home. Remember though that too much humidity can create additional allergen problems.
9. Air Purifier
To further prevent allergies from attacking at home, some doctors recommend installing an air purifier with a high efficiency particulate air filter. These purifiers pull air through the filter, removing pollen, dust, spores, and smoke from the air. They come in both portable and whole-house systems, so you can be covered from bedroom to living room.
Whether you use one or all, these natural allergy solutions will help keep seasonal sneezing to a minimum.
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