[S]neezing, runny nose, wheezing, and itchy, watery eyes…yeah, spring’s here. Seasonal allergies have the ability to steal the joy of the season and with the mild winter that most of the country experienced, they seem to have come early this year! We all know that allergies are mostly aggravated by the pollen in the air that comes from a variety of trees, grass, flowers and shrubs. Sadly, this often prevents those who suffer from venturing outdoors.
But what if there was an solution?
Over-the-counter and/or prescription antihistamines are the most common treatment given for seasonal allergy sufferers, but they only block the symptoms — sometimes causing horrible side effects — and they don’t really treat the underlying cause.
Learning to resolve the symptoms of seasonal allergies with powerful and effective vintage folk remedies, herbs, essential oils, and working to build a strong immune system are all natural ways that allergy sufferers can find empowerment, relief, and not to mention…save tons of money in the long run!
8 Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies Naturally
1. Local, raw honey. Yum! Who doesn’t like the idea of taking a spoonful of honey daily!?! Local, raw honey has the greatest ability to reduce allergies or get rid of them all together. If you know what it is that causes your allergies to flare up, your body can build a tolerance to it if you consume local honey from that specific plant source. Many local farmers markets usually have a vendor that sells local honey. Ask them to name the plant source of the honey and purchase the one that causes your symptoms. If they don’t have it…it’s totally fine, just buy the honey that is produced as locally as possible. It will contain pollen from several plants thereby providing a broadspectrum coverage. Note: Local, raw honey is generally considered safe to administer to anyone over the age of one. Find a source for local honey in your area HERE.
2. Raw, organic apple cider vinegar. Taking a tablespoon of raw, organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) every morning — before going outside — works by blocking our body’s histamine reaction and it reduces inflammation. Mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with a cup of warm water and a spoonful of local, raw honey and you’re good to go! Note: If you are able, I strongly suggest making up a batch of this Master Tonic and taking your daily dose of ACV in this form. It’s an incredibly powerful boost for the immune system! ACV can be found in most grocery stores along with the other vinegars or in a health food store. This is my favorite brand.
3. Build your immune system. There are so many effective ways we can build our immune systems, and when it comes to seasonal allergies here are a few that have helped a majority of folks:
- Drink plenty of pure water throughout the day. I have heard that many allergy sufferers have experienced relief from symptoms almost as soon as they drink 2 or more glasses of water.
- Eliminate highly processed and sugar-laden junk foods from the diet.
- Eat simple meals, minimally processed, and in as natural a state as possible.
- Switch to raw dairy, as much as possible. If raw dairy is not available to you, reduce your intake of pasteurized dairy products.
- Use probiotics. By eating yogurt, drinking kombucha and taking good-quality probiotic supplements you are sure to get the daily recommendation! Learn more about making your own through Gnowfglins ecourse on homemade lacto-fermented foods.
- Be sure to consume lots of organic beans, nuts, seeds, and a variety of fresh fruits and veggies. This benefits your immune system as it will increase your intake of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, the B vitamins, vitamin A, iron, and vitamin C.
- Make your own Elderberry Syrup, with local honey, and take it daily.
4. Support your respiratory system with herbs. Herbs are an extremely effective, gentle, and natural way to treat seasonal allergies. The number one herb — in my opinion — is the nettle. When taken internally, the nettle leaf works to reduce inflammation and congestion. It can be consumed as a tea or tincture and is considered safe to use daily throughout the duration of your symptoms.
A simple tea made from nettle leaves is very effective, and really all that is needed. However, you can create your own herbal tea blend with herbs that work together to act as natural antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, and nourishing respiratory system builders. Here’s a simple recipe that has been very effective in our home:
- 4 parts nettle leaf
- 2 parts peppermint leaf
- 2 part alfalfa leaf
- 1 part astragalus root
- 1 part elder flowers
- 1 part licorice root
- 1 part yarrow
To use: Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and store. Infuse 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea in 8 ounces of water for 10 minutes and drink up to 3 cups daily. Note: Looking for products mentioned in this recipe? For the herbs that I can’t grow myself, Mountain Rose Herbs is my go-to for all my organic and fair trade herbal needs!
5. Essential oils. Essential oils such as lavender, Melissa (lemon balm), peppermint, blue tansy (or roman chamomile), lemongrass, and eucalyptus are great for relieving allergy symptoms. Diffuse a few drops of essential oils in a humidifier or cold air diffuser. You can also apply essential oils to the feet, wrist, face, and chest by mixing 1 drop in a tablespoon of oil (i.e. olive, coconut, almond, or jojoba). Note: You may also receive benefits from the essential oils by apply a few drops to the new air filters of your home when replacing them.
6. Netti Pot. Using a Neti Pot is a natural way to cleanse your nasal passages from pollens, pollution, dust, and a variety of allergens. Note: Not appropriate for young children.
7. Don’t line dry your clothes. At least not outdoors. Line drying your clothes outdoors during times of high pollen count will allow the pollen to collect on your clothing. It may be best to keep your line drying efforts indoors for the spring.
8. Homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic remedies have also proven to be very beneficial in the treatment of seasonal allergies. However, because everyone’s issues are so diverse, it’s best to see a qualified practioner for an exact recommendation. Just know that it is a good option.
What about you? What do you do to naturally treat seasonal allergies?