It is a bright sunny day, the grass is green and sky is blue. My son eagerly waits by the door urging me to take him outside. And I want to, I would love nothing more than a nice walk in the great outdoors, but there is one tiny problem. That beautiful sunshine also makes little plants come to life, making my nose itch and eyes water. My problem is seasonal allergies.
Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from allergies.(AAFA) That is roughly 50 million people. Antihistamine sales have skyrocketed and products like Clariton and Zyrtec fly off the shelves. These pharmaceuticals do work but over time your body can build a resistance to them. This year when the itching, sneezing, runny nose started up again, I decided to research some natural homeopathic solutions to seasonal allergies, here is what I found.
The first step in ridding your life of allergies is to know your triggers. Animal dander, mold, dust, pollen, ragweed, hay, and even other people, can cause allergic reactions. If you know that you are sensitive to something stay away from it if possible, if you must come into contact with your cat or your 4th grader has a hayride then you can take steps before the reaction begins to lessen or prevent the symptoms.
Your diet can greatly improve your tolerance to allergens. Eating lots of vitamin rich foods and limiting your sugar can prevent severe reactions to allergens. Quercetin which can be found in citrus, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables has been shown to be a natural antihistamine. So load up at the farmers market. Supplements are also available for those who need an extra boost.
Omega 3 fatty acids build your immune system allowing you to tolerate allergy causing free radicals when they attack. Fish anyone?
Neti Pots have been around for ages. It is a small teapot that pushes hot water through your nasal cavity. It works similarly to nasal sprays. There also infusions that can be mixed with the water allowing for a deeper cleanse. While you are heating up the water you may want to think about making yourself a cup of Stinging Nettle tea, which has been shown to prevent allergies.
Allergies are not the only things that can be mended from natural remedies, for lots of eco concoctions check out Richo Cech’s Making Plant Medicine. It has recipes for everything from cuts to indigestion and many of the formulas are easy to make and the ingredients are readily available.
If you don’t have the time to grind plants and steep leaves there are options at your supermarket as well. You can find brands of allergy medicine that are homeopathic such as the children’s allergen remedy Kids Relief.
So the next time you wake up clutching a roll of toilet paper to your chest because your nose has been dripping all night, just remember that there are some really great really green ways to break the cycle and get you outside enjoying Spring.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding please consult your physician before taking any form of medication even natural ones, some plants have contraindications for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (www.aafa.org)