While most of us are pretty happy to see the days getting longer, the weather getting warmer, and more flowers appearing in gardens and nature, the change from winter to spring isn’t always quite so exciting for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. Pills like Claritin and Allegra are helpful, but for some, they lose their oomph after a while. Luckily, you may be able to fight off runny noses and watery eyes with several natural products. From saline water to probiotic foods, you’ll soon be out enjoying the springtime air without springtime sinus despair.
What causes seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies (also called hay fever) are common in the US. In fact, in 2021, around 81 million people were diagnosed with them. In short, they are a reaction to airborne substances, like pollen, for example, that are more common in the springtime. Symptoms can be very uncomfortable and often include sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, and postnasal drainage. But whether you use one or all, these natural allergy solutions may just help keep seasonal sniffles to a minimum.
9 vegan tips for natural allergy relief
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. And remember, always use saline, never tap water as it presents a fatal risk of amoeba contamination.
Eating foods with plenty of probiotics isn’t just good for digestion. Some research suggests it also plays a key role in keeping your immune system healthy. Look for products with probiotics such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus, all of which may help to keep allergies in check. Purchasing probiotic pills is an option as well.
3 Apples and onions
Found in the skin of onions and apples, quercetin, a flavonoid, 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 may work even better!
4 Stinging nettle leaf
Stinging nettle leaf is a popular ingredient in natural allergy-relief products. Drink some of the herbs in tea form and you’ll also get the anti-inflammatory benefits that may help 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. Research suggests that 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. First, boil some water in a saucepan. Next, 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. Preliminary research conducted by the University Medical Center in Berlin suggests acupuncture may be an effective form of treating seasonal allergies. 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. This may also help to reduce inflammation in mucus membranes, allowing them to more easily blow out allergens in the air. 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.