This is the season when many people suffer from dreaded seasonal allergies, leaving many reliant on prescription or over the counter medications. However, over time many of these medications begin to lose their efficacy and come with unwanted side effects. Not to worry, as with most illnesses, the power is in your hands! There are steps that you can take to reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms naturally and for good!
Elimination- First, let’s eliminate some of the major foods that initiate or exacerbate allergies. Dairy products, alcohol and processed foods. Additionally, these products cause inflammation and mucus which will certainly make allergy symptoms worse.
Get a Neti Pot for saline nasal irrigation! This thing works miracles. The basic process is that the you insert the tip of the pot spout into one nostril and let the saline rinse drain out of the other notril. One reason it works is because it clears pollen from the nostrils which can trigger allergy symptoms. The longer the pollen remains in the nostrils, the longer the symptoms linger. Additionally, the neti pot helps thin and clear the mucus from your system. Be sure to follow the use and cleaning instructions for your neti pot. Most people use a saline solution; approximately ¼ teaspoon of sea salt to 8 ounces of purified water. Do not use white table salt or unfiltered tap water; these can cause irritation. It’s best to use the neti pot twice a day during allergy season, morning and evening. If your symptoms are severe, try three times per day.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) or Fire Cider – Apple cider vinegar is a well-known home remedy; it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties among numerous other benefits. Keep organic ACV (with the mother) on hand at all times! You can gargle with it for quick sore throat relief (1/4 cup water, ¼ cup ACV), or add a tablespoon to 8 ounces of water to boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. For an extra boost during allergy season or anytime you feel a cold or cough, or flare up coming on, take a tablespoon of AVC or make the tried and true fire cider! Fire cider consists of ACV (1+ cups), cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon), fresh lemon juice (1 lemon with some of the zest), ginger (3 inches piece, grated), maple syrup to taste and garlic (1 bulb)! Yes, its potent, BUT IT WORKS! Recipes vary, so feel free to make adjustments and make it your own. Most recipes indicate that you should let this sit in a jar for 2-3 weeks and then strain it and take 1 tablespoon every few hours, until you feel better. This is a great method; however you can still take this right away for an incredible wellness shot. Store the rest to take as needed.
Load up on natural anti-histamines. Vitamin C is a powerful immune booster and also helps stops the release of histamines. Studies show that taking 2000 milligrams a day can reduce histamine levels by up to 40%.
Boost your immune system and improve gut flora with probiotics (50 billion per day). Having a healthy gut is a cornerstone of good health and a strong immune system. Probiotics have been shown to help prevent and alleviate seasonal allergies by promoting a proper immune response. Also include probiotic rich foods in your diet like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc.
BONUS (for an extra boost): Eat clean (no preservatives, artificial sweeteners, foods colorings, etc); eat lots of leafy greens; and eat an apple a day.
Johnston, C.S. (Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ) Retrum, K.R. Srilakshmi, J.C; Journal of the American Dietetic Association, ISSN : 0002-8223 Antihistamine effects and complications of supplemental vitamin C .