If it seems like the agony of allergy season will never end, we're here to offer some relief. It's time to remedy those burning eyes and drippy nose blues—naturally.
You may be sick of taking medicine and looking for a natural solution. Well, we're here to help!
Top 10 Simple & Effective Accessories for All-Natural Relief
Let's start with some tools that take the allergy irritations and even pain away fast. They can even work as edifying preventative measures.
1) Neti Pots
Neti pots provide a natural remedy for allergies and many respiratory conditions. They do this by clearing the sinuses to remove congestion.
Use of neti pots has been shown to help improve quality of life in sufferers of respiratory illnesses with little to no side effects. Clearing the nasal passages of allergens and irritants, this form of “sinus irrigation” started long ago in the Ayurvedic medical tradition. In fact, people in India have experienced glorious nasal cleansing results with neti pots for centuries, and now you can, too.
Although originally touted among "alternative" approaches to preventing congestion and allergies, neti pots are much more mainstream these days. You can find them in most health food stores or, likely cheaper, with a quick online inquiry. These magical little buddies look like tiny watering cans. They come in plastic or porcelain and can be reused indefinitely. Just keep 'em clean with a wash after each use.
Doctors conduct many studies on the subject and has proven clinically a neti pot helps prevent and treat several upper respiratory conditions, including chronic and acute sinusitis, the common cold and seasonal allergies.
2) Eyecup or Eyewash
An eyecup is a small, round cup (usually plastic) that's designed to fit over the eye and flush out anything foreign. You can find them in your local drugstore along with an accompanying eyewash.
Alternatively, one can just buy the eyewash, tilt your head back, and squirt the eyewash into your eyes like eyedrops. You don’t really need the eyecup but it may make the process of flushing your eyes out easier for those who have issues with a more direct squirt method.
This process can bring great relief to irritated eyes. Pollen can really rub your eyes the wrong way and ruin the wondrous spectacle of seasons changing. So get yourself an eyecup or at least some eyewash and rinse those irritants away.
3) Respirator Mask
N95 respirator masks are proven effective protection against airborne particles. In fact, the FDA touts them on their website for personal use as well as for professionals in a medical environment.
They're available at most drugstores and will block 95% of small particles like pollen and other allergens. Take note that these masks are really meant for one use only and are thus not particularly effective when it comes to multiple uses.
Go ahead and splurge for a few if this is your chosen protection method. The biggest drawback to these mouth and nose masks, of course, is if you experience any eye irritation. You'll have to add a pair of goggles if you want full face seasonal allergy protection. But that might not be necessary because there are alternatives.
In fact, we've got nine other options to offer you right here and now.
Allergy Solutions from Plants, Common Foods & Herbs
For solutions 4 through 6, let's head on over to the flora side of things.
This bioflavonoid occurs naturally in plant foods such as cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli or cauliflower), onions/shallots, green tea and citrus fruits.
Studies have found that it stabilizes the release of histamines and can thus naturally help control allergy symptoms. In fact, a recent study found evidence that quercetin is effective at reducing allergies because it eases and calms over active airways.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Quercetin is so powerful that Iranian researchers have even proven that it can even help control peanut allergies, the leading cause of life-threatening/fatal allergy attacks.
Quercetin works best as a long-term remedy, since it can take several months of use to start working. So, if you know seasonal allergies are your kryptonite, it may be best to start taking Quercetin a few weeks before spring arrives when trees and plants start to bloom. Prevention is sometimes the best medicine.
5) Stinging Nettle
People have been using this prickly nettle medicinally since medieval Europe, where it was used as a diuretic to relieve joint pain and fluid retention. Its technical name is Urtica dioica.
Some real softies also call it nettle leaf. But most importantly, the University of Maryland Medical Center studies suggest that stinging nettle can effectively treat a wide range of health concerns including allergies.
In other words, there's bigger news about this nettle than a mere name change. Research has specifically shown that stinging nettle leaf naturally controls histamines. So, it's no surprise that a growing number of doctors recommend taking a freeze-dried preparation before hay fever season begins. It can also be used as a pleasant tea so you don’t even have to take pills to big-time benefit.
Lately the importance of healthy gut bacteria for a strong immune system has become common knowledge. In fact, more than 80 percent of your immune function is stored in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. So, it's no wonder that research keeps surfacing that links probiotic ingestion to reduced risk of allergies.
Probiotics are beneficial AKA “good bacteria” that live inside your GI tract and can help defend your body against infections, viruses, allergies and more.
They're so effective that a study published in the journal Pediatrics discovered that women who regularly take probiotics during pregnancy significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies. You can supplement your diet with probiotics in supplement form or probiotic foods.
Some are sold at farmer’s markets and can even be made from foods growing in your own local garden. For example, there are plentiful probiotics in apple cider vinegar, yogurt, miso, and pickles. So it's easy to integrate some of these foods into your diet and thus ease your allergies during mealtime.
Noshing some yummy snacks certainly seems like a lot more fun than traditional medicine. It's likely to be cheaper and easier to make a lifelong practice too.
Allergy Helpers Around the House
Often you have what it takes to combat your allergies right in your own home with just a few common items.
7) Common Sense Tactics
Pollen and other allergens in the air are floating around and then sticking to us and our belongings. But the good news is that also means they can be removed just as easily.
We've all seen a car windshield covered in pollen and it's pretty simple to brush away. So, you can apply this same simplicity to your home. For instance, shut your windows and wash your hair, face and body after being outside in the pollen during pollen season.
Vacuuming a bit more often may help too. Believe it or not, just clearing your home of those tiny particles can make a big difference.
Flushing your system by drinking lots of water and clear broth drinks can help thin mucous in your nasal passages. This means less stuffiness and sniffles. The steam from hot tea may give you a sense of relief from this as well.
Lastly, avoid the usual suspects like cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and pollution. Some of these may seem obvious.
But when it's allergy season any little bit can make a hug difference. We're all busy and distracted these days. So, a little reminder about these common sense helpers can't hurt if it helps ease your allergy agony.
8) Raw Honey
It may seem hard to believe a delectable treat as tasty as raw honey can help control seasonal allergies. But don’t discount this ancient remedy. It's the real deal!
Taking a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day will help your body build a tolerance to the local pollen that is running amuck on your sinuses.
The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article in 2011 that tested pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey and its affect on people with birch pollen allergies.
The Results Are In
Scientists discovered that patients taking honey “reported a 60 percent lower total symptom score, twice as many asymptomatic days, and 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms.”
The patients also used 50 percent fewer antihistamines compared to the control group who were taking conventional meds.
You can stir some raw honey into your daily tea or coffee. Some also like to add it to their breakfast cereal, smoothies, or oatmeal.
It's so easy and delicious to add this allergy protection to your life—raw honey can become a daily habit in no time.
Garlic makes dinner delicious. But that's not even the most fantastic things about this glorious bulb of tasty goodness.
Garlic's also a natural antibiotic that helps ward off infections, viruses and even allergies. Most importantly, it boosts your immune system.
Eating or juicing two raw cloves of this powerful antioxidant may literally keep the doctor away!
Some people choose to take garlic supplements because they don’t want to smell like garlic, but the supplements may not work as well as the real herb does. Raw garlic eaten every day will fight off all types of allergies because it boosts your immune system immensely.
There are lots of tasty ways to add raw garlic to your diet. Ever tried garlic stuffed olives? Pesto is another delightful way to integrate raw garlic into your lunch. Or mix it into your guacamole or your salad's vinaigrette.
But the best we saved for last—the ultimate comfort food that is only made better with a garlic boost is . . . mashed potatoes! So, even when you're indulging in the creamy white wonder of the mash, you can upgrade your immune system.
Lemons are excellent immune boosting little fruits and can relieve various afflictions, including allergies. Not only that, they are also loaded with vitamin C and immune-boosting antioxidants.
Drinking lemon water throughout the day already helps flush your body anyway but with the added boost of antioxidants. Of course there are other ways to add lemon into your life.
Mix the juice of one or two lemons or limes with olive oil to make a wonderful tasting dressing for salads and veggie sandwiches. Or simply squeeze it directly on salads, spreads, and veggies for an added zing that help boost your immunity to boot.
Here's To a Healthier You!
Thanks to this list, you've got lots of natural choices to combat nasty allergy symptoms. Best part is there's no real drawback to trying them. In fact, they can benefit your body in many ways beyond allergies.
So, why not give some a try?
We hope you find a solution that works for you. No more hiding inside on nice days.
May the change of seasons simply mean a delightful walk in the park for you from now on!