The best part about the warmer weather and the springtime air is the ability to get outside after a long winter hibernating indoors. Surrounded by birds chirping and flowers budding, it’s tempting to spend absolutely as much time as possible frolicking in the cool breeze.
Yet, if you’re like many people out there, that breeze also brings pollen – right into your nose and mouth where it wreaks havoc on your happiness. Sniffly, sneezy, and itchy definitely don’t add up to a wonderful, smile-filled spring. Because of this, you might find yourself forced back indoors while others revel in the springtime sunshine.
Popping an antihistamine or other allergy pill may help you feel better, but are there natural remedies to kick up the healing process? After all, these seasonal allergies are caused by nature – doesn’t it make sense that there must be some natural remedy out there to combat their effects?
As it turns out, there is. These include:
- Incorporate the right flavors into your diet, like onions, apples, cayenne and chili pepper, or citrus. These foods might not have a ton in common from the outset, but it turns out each has its own healing properties. Onions and apples contain quercetin, a chemical that may reduce the amount of histamine produced by the body, reducing allergy symptoms. Vitamin C from citrus fruits helps boost your immune system and reduce inflammation (which occurs in your swollen eyes and nose). Spices like cayenne and chili pepper can also help reduce stuffiness.
- Ingest raw, local honey made from bees that live in your region. Bees carry pollen naturally, and studies show that ingesting their honey may in fact help you combat the allergies you have to that pollen. Look for local honey to truly reap the benefits.
- Shower each night. When you walk in the house after a day of commuting, walking and running outside, or even just stepping out to get the mail, so does the pollen that attached to your skin, hair, and clothing. When you get home (and definitely before you go to bed), wash your body and hair thoroughly and remove your clothes and shoes to rid your body of unwanted pollen right away. If you’re a contacts-wearer, remove those and clean them, too – pollen can get stuck there just like it can elsewhere.
- Sip apple cider vinegar mixed with lemon or water. This stuff, while typically not for plain drinking, has potassium that can help break up mucus and aid easy breathing. Sniffing lemon, lavender, or peppermint oils can also have the same effect.
- Eat more yogurt. Some studies have shown that the probiotics in yogurt – which make for a healthy digestive system and gut – can actually help fight off allergy symptoms. As if you needed another reason to chow down on yogurt’s healthy goodness.
- Don’t open the windows and stay inside! As tempting as it is to go out and enjoy the weather, the more you can stay inside, the less you’ll feel allergy symptoms. At the beginning of the spring season, we recommend doing a deep clean of your home to remove allergens (not just pollen, but dust and mold, too). That way you’ll start off fresh and allergy-free and can do your best to keep the inside of your home that way until allergy season ends.
All in all, this season only lasts a few weeks. With these tips, your allergies will fly by the natural way… and you’ll be out enjoying the sunshine and warm weather in no time!