Spring is my least favorite season. I know, I know, but when you’re allergic to pollen, mold, mildew…it’s the season of runny eyes and snotty noses.
Not exactly a cute look for me.
And sadly, both kids got my penchant for being allergic to nature. I know I’m not alone in this, and as much as I love modern medicine, I’ve had less than stellar luck with allergy medications, so I do my best to “treat” or prevent my allergies with more natural methods.
But let’s start at the beginning.
What Are Allergies?
You may be wondering what an allergy actually IS.
Well, an allergy is your immune system’s reaction, or rather over-reaction, to what is otherwise a harmless substance. Most allergies are triggered by dust, pollen, animal dander, mold…the list goes on and on.
When this happens, our bodies fight said allergens off with antibodies, triggering inflammation. Since I’m allergic to dust, mold, and pollen…my life was pretty miserable most of the time. I often considered living like Bubble Boy…no, really.
But I ended up miserable no matter what I tried. When I say miserable, I mean it felt like I was dying. I get the whole shebang: stuffy, runny nose, hacking cough, watery eyes (so watery that not even waterproof mascara would stay put!), congestion, scratchy throat…and then my “allergies” turned into a cold.
I’ve been dealing with allergies for more than 20 years. That is a LONG time.
Like clockwork, every spring and every fall I’ve been miserable for about 2 months.
I felt like I was living in a giant fog-me, not really me. It completely sucked.
Managing Allergies Naturally
So (for years), I’ve been looking for a better way to manage my allergies. I am not so naive as to think I can “cure” them. But manage them, especially with natural remedies? That I’ll jump on. I’ve tried, well, everything.
Locally sourced raw honey contains small amounts of pollen from the local flora. This means that you’re getting small doses of pollen rather than being hit face on with it. Just a spoonful of honey a day should do the trick.
Say that 10 times fast (and video yourself-because I haven’t been able to do it!)! HA!
Boiron has a homeopathic tablet called Histaminum that temporarily relieves common allergy symptoms like hay fever and hives.
This may sound like it’s too good to be true, but honestly, it works for me.
Everyone’s different, but when you’re miserable anything is worth a try.
Yes, I know that these things are creepy and take some practice. But my mom has been telling me that a neti pot will help my allergies for years. This year, I finally took my mom’s advice and flushed with a neti pot.
Once I started using mine, I haven’t been able to stop. I seriously feel so much better after I use it because it washes out all the junk.
The neti pot is the oldest form of nasal irrigation and was developed as an ayurvedic yoga tradition in ancient India. And the word “neti” means “nasal cleansing” and comes from the historical Indian language, Sanskrit. Pretty cool, right?
To use your neti pot, you’ll need about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and filtered or distilled water. Then you will want to grab a towel or washcloth.
Put the salt into lukewarm water and stir into your neti pot. Tilt your head forward over the sink (so you are looking directly down toward the sink).
Insert the spout of your neti pot into your right nostril, then turn your head to the right and let water move into the right nostril and exit the left nostril. Repeat on the other side and you’re done.
I have this neti pot and love it. Doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty so it stays on my counter!
A lot of people recommend that you drink organic nettle tea regularly through your allergy season.
I honestly cannot tell you how this works because I could only gag down a few sips. If you use this and it works, please let me know in the comments below!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar (with “the mother”-that stuff at the bottom that you probably forget to shake in) diluted in some water can help boost your immunity which may help your allergies.
I do this daily year round, so I can’t say it “cured” my allergies, but it probably does help.
And before you write this off thinking you need to gag down a tablespoon of vinegar, hold off. I drink it mixed with honey (another homeopathic allergy helper) and hot water. I do a teaspoon each of honey and ACV, but you can up that to a tablespoon of ACV if you can stomach it.
I’ll get there eventually.
If you don’t take a daily probiotic, you may want to start.
Some think that allergies are actually signs that your gut is out of whack. Since I’ve been taking a daily probiotic for years, I don’t think that’s the case for me, but it may help you.
If you already take probiotics, you may want to try increasing your regular dose.
Find What Works For You
We’re all different.
Some things work, and some things don’t, so you may need to try a few of these ideas before you land on one that works for you. The important thing is to try one thing at a time, paying attention to how your symptoms improve or worsen.
I usually try to give things a few days before I throw my hands in the air and say that it doesn’t work.
What works for your allergies?