Monday, April 22, 2013

Natural Remedies For Seasonal Allergies

It's Spring!! Well hello bright, warm sunshine. I seriously thought it was NEVER going to get warm. Even though it's been a little chilly, I still notice that Spring is here. Everything is growing! Green grass, the trees getting their leaves, and the flowers are blooming. Let's not forget that I can walk outside and not have to freeze to death AND I have brought out my flip flops! Best feeling ever. 

Since Spring seems to be in almost full swing...I knew the day the season kind of switched over you could say. I woke up with a pounding and stuffed up head. Well hello allergies! Nice to meet you again. Not really...
If you suffer from allergies, you know my pain. My allergies attack my sinuses and make me easily prone to sinus infections. If I don't treat my symptoms, I'll get one of those, oh-my-gosh-I-think-an-elephant-is-sitting-on-my-head-infections. 
I used to take all of those "allergy medicines" but they never really seemed to help. Plus, I have always hated taking medicine. Especially now, I go with all natural ways to help ease allergies. If you suffer from allergies, or deal with sinus congestion and pressure, you're going to want to try these. I promise you'll feel some relief. 

Neti Pot- Ever heard of one? And's not a form of any drug...get your head out of the gutter. It's a small pot, kind of shaped like Aladdin's lamp. What it does is the saltwater washes away any allergens from your sinuses and help relieve swelling. 

How to use: Mix a quarter to a half teaspoon of non-iodized table salt into a cup of lukewarm water( Use bottled water NOT TAP) and pour it into the pot. You can adjust the amount of salt, depending on what feels most comfortable. Lean over a sink with your head slightly cocked to one side, then put the spout of the neti into one nostril and allow the water to drain out the other nostril. Use about half of the solution, then repeat on the other side, tilting your head the opposite way. Gently blow out each nostril to clear them completely. Sounds gross huh? I'll admit, I refused to use this because I just didn't think it could work. I was wrong. I was dealing with a horrible sinus infection at the time, used this twice and my pain was almost gone in a day. No joke. 

Steam Therapy- Feeling so congested and stuffed up can be extremely miserable. Heating up water and putting in essential oils can help relieve symptoms. 

How to use: Fill a saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add in essential oils. Such as peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, and myrtle essential oils. You'll only need about two drops. Use one oil, or all. If using all, add one drop of each. Inhale deeply for about 5-10 minutes. Use up to 3 times per day. 

Honey- Eating local honey can be just as effective as an allergy shot. Since the bees eat the local pollen, they produce the honey that contains it, and your body builds up an immunity to it. 

Peppermint Oil- Peppermint oil can be really effective when dealing with allergy and sinus headaches.
How to use: Apply to the temples, across the forehead, and back of the neck. Also, try drinking all natural peppermint tea. This can help as a decongestant. 

Quercetin- Instead of grabbing allergy medicine. Try taking quercetin. This substance, which is found in the skin of onions and apples, is a natural antihistamine. You can take it by itself (300 mg 3 times a day during peak allergy season without food), or in a combination product like NOW, which also includes bromelain (from pineapple; also beneficial for allergies).  All these supplements are relatively safe, but check with your doctor first to make sure they don’t interact with other medications you’re taking (antidepressants and thyroid meds in particular may cause a problem).

Dehumidify- Dust mites and allergens love humid environments. A dehumidifier can also help prevent mold, another allergen, from growing.

So you don't have to suffer all season long. And cutting out medicines and shots will make you feel better knowing you aren't putting any added chemicals into your body. 

Breathe easier!!!