There are few things that make me feel worse than having an allergy attack. If you’ve ever had one, you know that they can totally ruin your day. They’re also just so uncool. Allergies have got to be up there with glasses, or headgear (both of which I had as a young gal, I’m sad to say). Well, I still have glasses. But glasses err on the trendy side these days, right? Not so much in sixth grade, and headgear is just never cool.
I’ve had them all my life. And by “allergies” I mean I am allergic to everything you can possibly be allergic to, according to the medical community. I had to get about 100 needles clamped all over my arms to find that out. I take the meds, and I get the shots, and I avoid smearing dandelions all over my face. But you know what works best? The natural stuff. Getting to the root of it all.
Spring’s on the horizon, which means the pollen counts are risin’ and it’s about to get dicey. Here’s what I recommend for natural allergic relief and more importantly, prevention. You may find some things work better for you than others, and I don’t usually do/use all these things at once (although if you can use a Neti pot, while drinking a smoothie, while showering, I commend you.)
1. Shower. Sounds silly, but it helps with immediate relief. Chances are if you’ve been outside, you’re traipsing some pollen or other allergens around.
2. Clean your living space. On the subject of keeping clean, clean it up a little … but NOT RIGHT NOW. Because yep, you guessed it, that’s going to bring on a big ol’ attack if you haven’t dusted in awhile. Prevention! Dust, vacuum and wipe spaces clean regularly to avoid said attacks.
3. Try Bee pollen. Sprinkle it on everything. Smoothies, salads, whatever! It’s a little bit of a strong flavor at first, so it’s a good idea to use it in food gradually. You can find it online, at Whole Foods or a health food store.
4. Add in Vitamin C. When you’re blending up a smoothie or preparing a salad, throw in some vitamin C to boost immunity. Red peppers, papaya, pineapple, kiwi and strawberries are all high in vitamin c. You could also whip up my fave roasted red pepper + tomato soup.
5. Eat raw, (preferably local) honey. Raw, local honey is going to fight harder against allergies than conventional honey. Also way more delicious. This can go into a smoothie or salad dressing, and when I feel an itchy throat coming on, I take a spoonful of it or plop it in tea. You can find it online, at a farmer’s market, Whole Foods, a health food store or perhaps the natural section of your grocery store.
6. Use a Neti pot. It’s a mild form of submerging your head in salt water (sounds worse than it is). You can find one online or in the personal care section at Whole Foods.
7. Think about what you’re eating. There are a few foods that can really aggravate allergies, and a few things you may want to add in. Dairy is the notorious one. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your cheese fix (just me?) but when you’re feeling extra stuffy, you may want to cut back. Also consider taking a probiotic supplement, or adding foods in such as cabbage, kombucha or kefir. This will help balance your immune system and gut bacteria.
Did I miss any of your go-to natural remedies for seasonal allergies? If so, let me know. I’m trying to keep my cool and tone down the allergy attacks.
Also published on Medium.