5 Ways to Relieve Allergies with Natural Remedies
Springtime hit in Ohio and while I love nothing more than seeing the trees turn green and the flowers bloom, I also know that it's going to be accompanied by at least some amount of sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and maybe the development of a cold (if I don't get a hold on it quickly).
If you don't suffer from allergies, you probably can't understand all of the complaining, but allergies can make you miserable! According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an allergy is an immune system reaction to a foreign substance that you breathe in, eat, touch, or inject. And while my own experiences and reactions have been mild (sometimes moderate), severe allergic reactions can lead to asthma attacks, low blood pressure, hives, and even death. AAFA.org also states that allergies are increasing and that they affect approximately 30% of adults and 40% of children. The site also states that allergic disease, including asthma, is the 5th chronic disease in the US in people of all ages. It is the 3rd most common chronic disease in children.
Prior to my interest in natural remedies, I utilized OTC meds for allergies, which made me exhausted, yet unable to sleep (awesome). I then had some success with prescriptions though they really dried me out and tended to get me a little wired!! And a few gave me horrible migraine headaches. My kids and I also utilized homeopathic injections under the care of doctor for quite a while. This was truly effective, but as we changed our diet and added some natural techniques, we traded natural remedies even for those weekly shots.
There are a host of natural treatments and remedies that can be utilized successfully at home. I'm not one to ever say that a doctor's visit is unthinkable, it's always just my last resort and you have to decide if that's the route you wish to go. These may be able to replace allergy medications for some people, or they can be used in conjunction with conventional allergy meds. But at our house, we have made changes that have greatly reduced our allergy symptoms. I keep it super simple with my kids (mostly dietary and essential oils), and my husband and I will utilize a few other methods, as well.
Below are 5 remedies that we use consistently to naturally combat allergy symptoms:
1. Dietary Change--
By consuming a healthy diet, you can decrease inflammation and increase your immune system response. I know, I know, this is not what people want to hear. No one wants to change their diet and believe me, I know it's not easy. But nothing can change your health status like improving your diet can, so I have to start here.
According to a study published in Thorax in 2007, allergy symptoms were found to be less common in rural Greek children on the island of Crete than anywhere else in the Greece. The allergies present are the same, but it is felt that their strict adherence to a Mediterranean diet is the difference. It was found that these children have a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These are foods that are high in nutrients and antioxidants and help lower inflammation.
Food that will do the reverse: sugar, dairy, gluten, processed foods.
2. Essential Oils--
Our favorite and most simplistic way to fight allergies is by using essential oils through diffusion, topically, or internally. The following are our most used remedies oils for allergies:
Lemon--this oil contains anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties that may help clear mucous and congestion in the respiratory tract.
Lavendar--this oil also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties that may help to soothe respiratory allergies. It is also very beneficial for rashes, eczema and skin irriation.
Peppermint--this oil also has anti-inflammtory properties as well as a strong aroma that may help clear respiratory congestion and provide soothing relief.
I find that the three of these work best when combined. You can use them topically by adding a drop or 2 of each to a tablespoon of carrier oil (I prefer fractionated coconut oil) and then placing on chest, forehead, back of neck, or bottoms of feet. Another favorite way is to add them to a diffuser at night and/or during the day. Finally, I will frequently take a veggie capsule containing this combination of oils. Find what works best for you. And be consistent with use.
3. Neti Pot--
My husband and I have used a Neti pot for years and this is actually his number one go-to for allergies. He always uses his neti pot following outdoor work to help clear his sinuses and to flush allergens.
What is this? A Neti pot looks like a small tea pot. You simply add some distilled water and a teaspoon of himalayan or sea salt to this and pour half into each nostril (ensure you read the directions). Some people even add essential oils like Proshield or Lavendar for added benefits.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar--
If you haven't already bought a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), what are you waiting on? We (well, mostly me, and my husband as needed) use it all the time for anything from cleaning to combatting colds.
You can add some ACV to honey and warm water or even add a little ACV to iced water (I like the taste so I will drink it any way). It has numerous health benefits, including the reduction of mucous. As acidic as ACV tastes, it contains a high number of many beneficial vitamins and minerals and actually helps to alkalize the body and an alkaline environment is able to fight off viruses like cold, flu, etc. much more effectively.
Improving your gut health will drastically improve your overall health in many ways and therefore, also improve allergy symptoms.
Because allergies are a misguided reaction by your immune system in response to contact with an allergen, we need to strengthen our immune response. It is reported that 70% of our immune system is located in our gut, so incorporating a good probiotic into your regimen is one way to help improve your gut health. But your overall diet is critical to gut health (and overall health) as well.
If you are looking for a more natural alternative to treating your allergies, these are 5 that work for us. There are others and you may want to try several as different things work for different people. Natural remedies do require consistency and ongoing effort. They aren't necessarily a quick fix, but over time our allergy symptoms have greatly improved and we will continue to use them!
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Wife and mother of 2•Lover of Jesus•Natural Health Advocate with a love for superfoods and essential oils•Yoga/fitness addict•People loving introvert•Lifelong Buckeye State Girl•Speech Pathologist by Trade•Momprenuer•Big picture girl who never stops dreaming (but avoids details and rules)•I love helping women realize the impact they can have on their life by utilizing natural health and living a bold and intentional life. I am so honored that you are here.
Disclaimer: I am simply a mom who has taken great lengths to restore her own health and that of her family. I am not a doctor nor a certified health practitioner. I'm simply a well read and self educated momma who loves natural health and wellness and who fully believes that we have the power to take our health into our own hands.
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