This time of year, everyone seems to be complaining about their seasonal allergies. I just got back from 5 days in Minneapolis, where the pollen count was a daily subject of conversation.
Being married to a man that takes allergy medicine year round, lest he become a sneezing menace, and occasionally having suffered from seasonal allergies myself, I know how big of a nuisance they are. But thankfully, nature has our back here, as it usually does. There are 5 super potent natural remedies for seasonal allergies that actually work.
Follow them to a tee, and rid yourself of all that dreaded sneezing, sniffling, and crying (the allergic kind of crying). Do the opposite, and be a menace to those around you (and feel like crap). The choice is clear!
The Top 5 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
1. Follow a seasonal spring diet.
Spring’s natural bounty provides us with tons of foods that combat this naturally mucous-ridden, pollen saturated time of the year. Eating seasonally this time of year means two things: increase seasonal goodies (baby greens, berries, seasonal roots), and decrease mucous-producing foods (dairy, gluten, meat).
When my allergies suddenly kicked up earlier this month, I followed my own advice and went gluten and dairy free — my allergies were gone in 3 days. And when I went to Minnesota and succumbed to peer pressure, abandoning my seasonal diet, I started sneezing again in those same 2 days.
2. Use a neti every day.
Pollen and other allergens that float through the air this time of year get stuck in the nasal hair and cilia, which can trigger a histamine response and mucous. When mucous is allowed to build up in your sinuses, you get congested. So an obvious solution to both of these problems is nasal irrigation with a neti pot! Irrigating your sinuses with a neti pot flushes out allergens, clears congestion, and improves the function of your nasal cilia, which work to naturally keep those allergens out of your system.
The neti pot works much better than a nasal irrigation spray because it pours a steady stream of saline water through your sinuses, in one nostril and out the other, instead of just inhaling a spray and blowing your nose (which doesn’t actually do much at all).
If you’re a neti newbie (or claim that it doesn’t work for you), here’s a video of how to use a neti pot correctly.
I love this Neti Pot Kit by Himalayan Chandra, which comes with everything you need to start!
3. Drink apple cider vinegar.
Raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar is one of those magical substances that can be used as a tonic for everything from breakouts and dull hair, to heartburn and weight loss. But I think it really shines in treating and preventing seasonal allergies. ACV thins out mucous, cleanses the lymphatic system, and balances the gut (which is a crucial part of treating allergies).
Drink 1 tsp of raw apple cider vinegar (with the “mother” — the probiotic, floaty stuff) mixed with a glass of warm water three times a day. Drinking it before meals helps with weight loss and heartburn, but if those aren’t issues for you, you can drink your 3 glasses anytime spread out through your day. For an added boost of allergy fighting goodness (and an improvement in taste), add some raw honey (see below).
For even more uses for this amazing substance, check out my article on The Magic of Apple Cider Vinegar.
4. Eat raw, local honey.
Local honey is loaded with the very pollen particles that you are allergic to, but consuming them in honey form, after they’ve been broken down and naturally “processed” by bees allows your body to build up immunity to those allergens in your area. It’s basically nature’s allergy shot!
But for this to work, it has to be local (like as close to where you live as possible), and is has to be raw. Processed honey loses all of it’s medicinal and health benefits, and it basically no different from eating corn syrup. (Ew.)
Add a teaspoon (or a bit less if you’re watching your weight) of raw, local honey to your raw apple cider vinegar and water, and drink three times a day. This works best if you start it a month or two before allergy season begins in earnest, but it will still do a lot of good regardless of when you start.
To find super local honey, check out your farmer’s market!
5. Take allergy-fighting supplements.
The last big piece to the allergy-fighting puzzle is taking the right supplements that decrease inflammation, promote gut health, and act as natural antihistamines. I recommend taking 1000 mg of vitamin c (antihistamine), 2 g of fish oil (anti-inflammatory), and a good quality probiotic (gut balancing) daily.
If your allergies are super bad, you may want to consider adding up to 150 mg of zinc (antihistamine) and up to 800 mg of vitamin B5 (decongestant) every day as well. Both of these have had several clinical trials showing insanely good results for people with persistent allergic rhinitis.
Keep in mind, a lot of these are high doses recommended just for allergy season.
For my year round supplement recommendations, check out my Basic Supplement Guide.
As with everything, the closer you adhere to these remedies, the more success you’ll have. Although it can feel like a lot to do, you only have to stick to these steps during allergy season, after which point you can safely go back to your dairy-eating, supplement-eschewing, heathen ways ; )
May your allergy season be short and sneeze-free!
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