Natural Allergy Relief You Can Count On

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There was a time when I greeted this time of year with a mixture of delight and dread…  I love the change in season and spring is such a magical time with new life and fragrant blossoms all around! But for far too many years spring was a time of utter despair — eyes so swollen I felt they would rip any minute, sneeze attacks so violent I don’t know how I stayed standing, and the constant itch that nothing could alleviate, absolutely maddening! Antihistamines weren’t nearly as effective as they ought to be and mostly left me feeling like a zombie with a debilitating headache.

Well I am happy to say that those days are far behind me. Since making a few changes to my diet and turning to natural remedies I can now breathe in the beauty that surrounds me without a hint of discomfort whatsoever.

Allergic reactions happen when our body tries to get rid of allergens such as such as pollen, mold or pet dander. Those irritating intruders latch onto soft mucous membranes in our nasal passages and bronchioles.  The histamine release that follows the intrusion triggers a series of responses designed to push these irritants out — sneezing, coughing, itching and watery eyes. Most allergy medications attempt to treat or mask these symptoms. Natural remedies, on the other hand, are used to strengthen our immune system and shore up our defenses, thus preventing a reaction before it actually happens.

Here are a few steps you can take to naturally ease your allergy symptoms.

Clean up your diet

We all know that what we eat has a significant impact on our health and that includes our allergies.  The most significant change I made to my diet five years ago was to get rid of gluten. I did so based on the advice of my physician to treat other ailments, and was a pleasantly surprised to discover that my allergy symptoms disappeared as well. I when I say disappeared I mean it. Gone. Completely. One hundred percent!

Was it really that simple? It was for me!  So, eliminate foods that cause gut inflammation. As doctors and natural health practitioners notice that changes in diet lead to diminished allergy symptoms, the link between an inflamed gut and allergies has become the focus of many scientific studies. Not everyone is sensitive to the same foods so you may want to do an elimination diet to determine which foods affect you negatively.  If giving up these foods seems too hard, try to avoid eating them during allergy season. You may find you feel so much better that you don’t really miss those foods after all.

Eat plenty of Allergy-Fighting Foods

What more enticing way to fight allergies than with delicious foods?  Just as some foods cause irritation, other foods do wonders to boost our immune system.  After removing inflammatory foods from your cupboards and fridge, make sure to add plenty of allergy fighting foods to your diet.

Researchers found that people who regularly ate foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids are much less likely to suffer form seasonal allergies than those who don’t. These foods include cold water fish such as tuna and wild caught salmon, nuts and seeds, particularly walnuts and flaxseed, avocados, and grass fed meat and eggs.

Foods rich in vitamin C, folic acid and carotenoids (cruciferous foods) are also fabulous choices as they help to reduce the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies (inflammation and irritation).  Researchers have found about 500 milligrams (mg) of Vitamin C a day can ease allergy symptoms, so go ahead and stock up on all your favorites! These include broccoli, kale, and collard greens, citrus fruits. Onions and garlic which are rich in Quercetin,  a flavonoid that prevents immune cells from releasing histamines and another secret weapon your natural allergy-fighting arsenal.  There are also many herbs that have been shown to inhibit the secretion of allergy-inducing histamine such as parsley or turmeric.

Get Your Probiotics

Science tells us that the symptoms associated with allergies are “the consequence of an imbalanced immune system making an unsuitable response to an environmental or food antigen” (source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16313688)  Studies have shown that balancing our gut bacteria and consuming beneficial bacteria offer an effective line of defense against common allergens. You can choose fermented foods or drinks like Kombucha or Kefiir (a favorite in my home) or take a high quality Probiotic capsule.

Add A Little Stinging Nettle (Utica dioica)

stinging nettle CU Leaf

If you feel you need an antihistamine but prefer a natural option to the many drugs offered by your pharmacy,  stinging needle is a fabulous alternative. Stinging nettle behaves in much the same way as many over the counter allergy medications but without any of the nasty side effects.

Stinging Nettle, a common weed in the United States acts by inhibiting the body’s ability to produce histamine. You can find it as as freeze dried supplement at your local health food store.

I also enjoy it as a tea I make from dried nettle leaves before bed. You can also  make a tea or tincture from fresh stinging nettle but make sure to wear gloves when handling the leaves as the stinging hairs on the plant’s leaves can cause skin irritation and inflammation. Nettle is most effective when it is used as a prophylactic, meaning when you start using it several months before allergy season hits. Long-term use of the herb is not recommended, since it can deplete your potassium stores.   

As a side note, stinging nettle is also a wonderful way to fight arthritis as it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory

Flush your Sinuses

The Neti pot has been used for thousands of years in India to keep sinuses clean. Since allergens attach themselves to our mucus membranes flushing our sinuses is an effective way to get rid of the offenders. Use a Neti pot first thing in the morning for easier breathing all day long, and just before bed for a restful night.You may also wish to cleanse your sinuses after spending some time outdoors if you feel any irritation at all.

Breathe Deeply With Himalayan Salt 

Spend a day by the sea and as you breathe in the wonderful salt filled air you feel rejuvenated.  Salt therapy has been used for thousands of years to treat respiratory conditions.   Ayurvedic practitioners rely on salt inhaling techniques to cleanse the throat and sinuses.  The Himalayan salt inhaler offers another way to benefit from salt therapy without flushing your nostrils with water, which some people find unpleasant.   

Himalayan salt crystals are placed into the small chamber of a ceramic inhaler. The inhaler is then placed in your mouth. As you breathe through the inhaler, moisture naturally present in the air absorbs the salt particles which soothe your respiratory system and reduce inflammation of your nasal passages and bronchioles.

My 8 year old daughter has been using a salt inhaler for a few weeks with great success. Not only does it offer her much needed relief,  the deep breathing helps her to relax completely and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

Indulge In Essential oils

bottles of lavender, lemon and peppermint essential oils

Essential oils offer so many health benefits and are a wonderful way to combat allergy symptoms naturally. You can diffuse essential oils to remove irritants from the air in your home or take them internally to detoxify your blood and boost your immune system while reducing inflammation. One of my favorite ways to use essential oils is to add 2 drops each of lemon, lavender and peppermint to a teaspoon of raw local homey and enjoy! Local honey in and of itself is a fabulous way to boost your immune system as it is made from the pollen of local plants that are most likely the cause of your sensitivity.  If you find this combination too strong you can add a quarter cup of boiling water to make a delicious tea!  You may also place the oils in a vegetable capsule and swallow with a glass of filtered water.

As you can see there are many natural solutions for allergies and the best part is that you can enjoy these without worrying about any negative side effects whatsoever.

Have you tried any of these natural remedies before? What are some of your favorite natural remedies for allergies?

*Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.

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I get my 100% therapeutic essential oils from Young Living. You can buy them wholesale which is a great money saver! I have to say this was the best decision for my family. It’s a natural way to help ease stress, pain, allergy symptoms and so much more. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

 

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About Valerie 

Valerie Remy-Milora is the mother of 3 amazing girls, an author, public speaker, coach and founder of Scrumptious Moms. She is passionate about empowering moms to embrace self care and live a vibrant, joyful life with their loved ones. A health and fitness nut, she is an advocate for chemical-free living, real food and GMO labeling. She believes in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

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Comments

  1. Robin Masshole mommy says:

    I have really bad allergies, so I need all the help I can get. I would much rather go the natural route as opposed to putting junk into my body.

    • I’m with you 100% Robin and always seek out natural solutions. Thankfully with more and more interest in botanical options it’s getting easier to find information every day. Good luck conquering your allergies!

  2. I’ve been diffusing Lemon, Peppermint and Lavender every morning and it helps a lot.

  3. Skip the store, and come get stinging nettle from my backyard! I had no clue there was a good use for it. It just keeps coming back.

  4. I am happy that your doctor told you to cut out gluten. I find that I feel better when I omit it from my diet. I have been so bad lately and need to get back on track.

    I have a few essential oils and should learn how to use them, too.

    • Giving up gluten was the best decision I ever made Lynda! Never in my wildest dream could I have imagined I’d feel so amazing, because I had no idea of the extent to which it was impacting me until I got rid of it… But if I cave in every now and then and eat even just a few bites, I get all the confirmation I need that my body just does not need it. I think you are going to LOVE essential oils!!

  5. Such good tips! I’m extremely thankful that I don’t have allergies but I have friends/family that do… I’ve heard so many positive things about essential oils that I’ll have to try them soon.

  6. The addition of stinging nettle is quite intriguing. It is an herb I really don’t have any experience with other than being a victim of it once.

  7. We have a lot of outdoor allergies in Florida. We use those same YL oils to help keep our allergies at bay. I, too prefer natural routes. These are wonderful tips!

  8. I’ll need to try some of these ideas on my hubby. When allergies hit him they hit hard! He’s willing to try anything that will alleviate his pain.

  9. My entire family suffers from bad allergies. I need to try some of these ideas and see if it works on us. Thanks!

  10. I’ve been hearing great things about these oils, I’m going to have to try them.

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