Itchy eyes and runny nose? You’re not alone. Allergy season is here and if you’re one of the 23 million people in the U.S. affected by airborne allergies, we’ve got five natural ways you can fight your symptoms – plus one that may help – and actually enjoy your spring. (By the way, this is not medical advice, please see our disclaimer below)
1. Vacuum and sweep often
Your shoes and clothes may be tracking in some of that pesky pollen dust into your home. Be sure to vacuum your carpets and rugs, and sweep your tile or wood floors, often to avoid the accumulation of the very thing aggravating your allergy symptoms.
2. Use your AC and change your air filter
You may be tempted to keep your windows open this spring, but keep the pollen out by keeping the windows closed and using your energy efficient AC. And, while it is important to change your air filter every month anyway, it becomes even more important when you’re suffering from the allergy-inducing pollen in the spring air. Allergens can get trapped and then recirculated through your home through your AC’s air filter, making your symptoms worse. Regularly changing your air filter helps ensure that the air in your home is as clean as possible.
3. Herbs and Apple Cider Vinegar
While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that allergies cannot generally be prevented, mild allergic reactions can. If you’re trying to avoid the drowsiness of the over-the-counter allergy medicines, give these natural supplements a try.
- Butterbur is known as a natural remedy for migraines; however, a study found that butterbur worked just as well as the popular allergy medicine Zytrec in improving allergy symptoms.
- Garlic is an anti-inflammatory and immune enhancer due to its histamine-lowering ingredient of quercetin. Quercetin has been proven to improve symptoms as it works in your body as a natural antihistamine.
- Stinging Nettle Leaf has been used medicinally since the days of ancient Greece. Stinging nettle has excellent anti-inflammatory abilities and can prevent multiple inflammatory events, which are what actually cause seasonal allergy symptoms.
- Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Rosemary can help improve allergy symptoms, but we suggest taking it with food to prevent a potential stomachache.
- Turmeric has a seemingly endless list of health benefits due to its powerful compound of curcumin. Numerous studies have found that taking turmeric has alleviated sneezing and congestion, and improved nasal airflow.
- Apple Cider Vinegar has a positive reputation for helping with a variety of health issues, and it turns out it’s also a great way to naturally fight your allergy symptoms. Apple cider vinegar can help reduce mucus production and cleanse your lymphatic system. If you can’t stomach a tablespoon on its own, try adding it to hot water with a little local honey.
While it probably doesn’t sound appealing to work out with a runny rose and itchy eyes, studies have found that moderate to intense physical activity for even 30 minutes can result in substantial allergy relief. Because exercise can produce an anti-inflammatory effect in your nasal passages, it can help naturally reduce your allergy symptoms. Of course, an indoor workout would be most beneficial, so you can avoid exposure to the pollen outdoors.
Because allergy symptoms may also be due to your body’s immune system being imbalanced, introducing beneficial bacteria via probiotics may give your system a boost. You can find good probiotics in fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt.
6. Eat local honey… maybe
Eating local honey every day could reduce your allergy symptoms… maybe. Allergy symptoms often arise because your body registers the air as being bad for your health, like a virus. The thought is that you can “vaccinate” yourself to allergies by eating local honey which contains those pollens and training your body to better deal with the pollen. It’s such a popular belief that scientists are now starting to study this theory. Only a couple studies have been done, and they are inconclusive. One study showed that eating local honey was only effective due to a placebo effect. Another study suggests that honey might work if you eat honey made from the specific plants to which you are allergic, and even then, you’d need to eat a lot of that honey, probably more than you’d like. If you’re suffering from severe allergies, anything is worth a try. So, you can determine whether it’s worth a shot!
Here’s hoping you can control, or better yet eliminate, many of your airborne allergy symptoms this spring! If you have your own natural allergy remedies, please help your fellow allergy sufferers by leaving them in the comments below.
And, of course, this post is not intended to provide you with any kind of medical advice or treatment plan. The authors of this post are not medically trained in any way and you should only get medical advice and treatment from qualified, licensed, and experienced medical professionals. Also, please always consult a qualified medical professional (again, not us) before incorporating any kind of treatment (natural or not), herbs, supplements, or activity/exercise into your life.