Spring and summer are beautiful times of year with leaves springing out on the trees and flowers starting to bloom. However, for seasonal allergy sufferers, these can be the most miserable months. Itchy, watery eyes; runny noses; congestion, and other unpleasant symptoms put a damper on enjoying the nice weather. If your allergies are making your summer a bummer, give these natural remedies a try.
Keep Your Nose Clean
You’ve probably seen both Neti pots and nasal saline rinse bottles before. Both of these provide a way to flush out your nasal passages, clearing away clogs and rinsing out trapped allergens. Neti pots are used by pouring a warm sterile saline solution into one nostril until it flows out the other; rinse bottles force the liquid up through the nasal passages. If the idea of putting water up your nose makes you uncomfortable, consider the fact that there is no medication involved, meaning no potential side effects and no interactions with anything else you might be taking.
Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant bioflavonoid found in foods such as citrus fruits, onions, apples, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, and parsley. It may be able to reduce allergy symptoms by blocking your body’s mast cells from releasing histamine. For best results, supplement with quercetin starting four to six weeks before allergy season and continue as necessary to keep symptoms in check. Consult your doctor before taking a quercetin supplement to ensure that it won’t interact or interfere with other medications.
Boost Your “Good Fats”
Fat has gotten a lot of bad press, but there are types of fats that aren’t only beneficial to your body but also essential for health. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, have natural anti-inflammatory properties, giving them the potential to reduce allergy symptoms. They’re also essential for overall cell health and can boost your immune system. Increase your intake of these fats by eating foods such as flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, whole soy products, and dark green leafy vegetables. Avoid processed vegetable oils and animal foods, which contain a high level of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats. An optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is about 3:1. And if you want more allergy-fighting tips, a helpful resource is Nu Skin’s Facebook page.
Enjoy More Water or Tea
Drinking more fluids works for allergies the same way it does for illness. When you’re congested, fluids help to thin mucus so you can breathe easier. Water is the most obvious choice, but tea may have an added benefit. The steam you inhale as you sip a cup of your favorite brew can open up a stuffed nose. Some companies make tea blends specifically for allergies using herbs that are known to ease symptoms, so these could be a source of relief as well.
Debug the House
One of the best ways to fight seasonal allergies is to banish allergens from your home. Regular vacuuming and dusting keeps irritants from accumulating. The bedroom is a particularly important spot to clean, especially if your pets spend a lot of time there with you. Investing in a HEPA filter for your home or purchasing a vacuum cleaner with one built in keeps airborne allergens in check. When pollen counts are high, consider washing blankets, bed sheets, and any clothing that has been worn outside. If cleaning aggravates your allergies, wear a surgical mask to minimize the particles you inhale.