Sniffles and sneezes be gone
Natural remedies for allergies
MP EDITION 041
Watery, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, runny nose: seasonal allergies like hay fever are no walk in the park. Come spring, many are plagued by allergies when their immune system reacts to an irritant, one of the most common ones being pollen. While there’s nothing you can do about the amount of pollen in the air, there are things that can help mitigate your body’s reactions.
If you’re not keen on taking a bunch of drowsy allergy medication, there are plenty of natural remedies that can provide relief. We’ve rounded up a list of natural remedies that help reduce seasonal sniffles.
Natural remedies for allergies
No matter what you do, you’ll never be able to completely eliminate your exposure to allergens but you can take preventative measures. Try doing a daily saline rinse with a neti pot to wash away any pollen and clear out mucus from your nasal passages. But fair warning, it can get quite messy so do it in the shower or over the sink.
Among the many benefits of acupuncture, it may also help relieve allergy symptoms because it helps regulate immune responses.
Limit going out to the evenings
You might find that your sneezing and itching is worse in the mornings. This is because a lot of trees release pollen early in the day and they end up most concentrated in the air around midday. So on days where it’s sunny and windy, try to avoid going out until early evening. And when you do go out, don a hat and some shades to reduce the amount of pollen blowing into your eyes, making them an itchy, watery mess. Then when you get home, change out of your clothes immediately to get rid of any lingering pollen on your clothes.
Use HEPA filters
One of the best things you can do to mitigate your allergy symptoms is to use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. Putting one in your vacuum cleaner helps ensure that allergens like pollen stay sealed in the vacuum. In addition to vacuum cleaners, using HEPA filters in your AC, heating system, and even air purifiers can provide additional relief.
Essential oils are antimicrobial (they kill bad bacteria), as well as anti-inflammatory. However, avoid putting it directly on your skin. Use it with a diffuser or nasal spray. Peppermint, eucalyptus, oregano, and tea tree oil all help clear up your nasal passage.
Apple cider vinegar
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar helps break up mucus so you don’t feel so congested and puffy. Incorporate apple cider vinegar into your routine by mixing some in a glass with a splash of lemon.
Try antihistamine herbs
Butterbur is a shrubby herb with antihistamine effects that doesn’t leave you drowsy. Another herb that’s great for fighting allergy symptoms is stinging nettle, which also has an antihistamine effect but is anti-inflammatory as well.
Guzzling your daily 8 cups of water can help thin out the mucus in your nose, making it easier for you to breathe. Staying hydrated also helps drain your sinuses and prevent congestion. In addition to plain ol’ water, opt for a cup of green tea. There is more research to be done on the efficacy of green tea in relieving allergy symptoms but it’s a well-known fact that a hot cup of tea eases congestion and simply helps you feel better.
Take a hot shower
A hot shower feels great when you're stuffy, but it's also a good way to open up your airways and clear out congestion. Plus, the steam can help moisten and soften any mucus blocking your nasal passages.
Spice it up
If you’re crazy stuffy, try spices like cayenne or hot ginger to clear up your sinuses. Turmeric, in particular, can act as a decongestant.
While natural remedies can help alleviate allergy symptoms, sometimes you need some extra help in the form of medication. Try an over-the-counter antihistamine, a nasal decongestant spray, or even a prescription steroid spray. If neither natural remedies nor medication seem to be helping, it’s time to talk to your doctor. They can refer you to an allergen specialist who will help narrow down exactly what it is you’re reacting to and develop a treatment plan.
Stay safe. Stay strong. Muff love.