Natural Ways to Feel Better When You Struggle with Spring Allergies
The daffodils are springing from the ground, and the sunshine is feeling a bit warmer with each passing day. Depending on where you live, you might even already be getting a touch of spring fever in the form of seasonal allergies.
Here come itchy, watery eyes and relentless bouts of sneezing. Do you suffer from spring allergies? Leave me a comment below if you dread the pollen. I personally grew up thinking it was normal to fill your pockets with clean tissues in the morning, refill them in the afternoon, and frequently use the Kleenex box next to the bed. A stuffy and runny nose were part of my life.
Thankfully, they are no longer issues for me. After 20+ years of misery, I have found relief.
Do you need some relief but don’t want to be doped up on medication? I don’t blame you a bit. Here are some natural ways to get spring allergy relief.
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Nasal Rinse (aka: NetiPot)
Pouring salt water through one side of your nose, letting it irrigate through your sinuses, and letting it pour out the other side can sound a bit startling the first time you hear about it. A neti pot can be very helpful during allergy season to clear out mucus, help thin the mucus that remains, open sinuses, and relieve sinus-related headaches.
A nasal rinse can be up to four times per day. Researchers have found that twice daily rinses for 6-weeks led to significant improvements in sinus symptoms. If you want to prioritize one time of day to use your neti pot, my family has found them to be most useful at bedtime. After all, it’s much easier to fall asleep when you can breathe!
Caution: neti pots should only be used with sterile water. Do not add anything except salt to your neti pot. Do not ever add essential oils to a nasal rinse.
Saline Spray to Reduce Symptoms of Allergies
While adults can relatively easily use a neti pot, it can be difficult for children. A simple saline spray can be used to thin their mucus and help relieve symptoms. This can be used in children of any age. In fact, in the hospital, we encourage parents to use a saline spray on their infants before using a bulb syringe or suction device like a Frieda.
Fill Your Micronutrient Gaps
Current farming practices combined with modern stressors combined with a diet falling short of 9+ servings of organic fruits and veggies per day leave us with gaps in our micronutrients. Environmental allergies can be one of the first signs of a nutrient deficiency. The first time I heard this, I was insanely skeptical. Believe me. I dug into research about cellular health. I discovered that everyone should be taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement twice daily to support their health.
Filling my micronutrient gaps was life-changing. I didn’t know I had gaps; I thought my diet was ok and I had been taking a generic version of a daily vitamin. But after 12-months of switching to a high-quality supplement, I realized my health was different. I had given my body what it needed to improve health. In return, my body decided allergies were a thing of the past. I no longer fill my pockets with tissues each morning. I can breathe. It is wonderful.
After looking at research related to allergy symptoms and supplements, I use these products faithfully. Want a customized list? Schedule a free 20-minute call to talk about what might be best for you.
Get More Probiotics
Stuffy noses from allergies are a pain, but you can get some sweet relief with more probiotics. Eat probiotics daily or take them in supplement form for your best health and balance of immunity. You can take these in capsule form, while also trying probiotic-rich foods like apple cider vinegar, kimchi, pickles, and sauerkraut, to name a few.
Make an ACV Drink
Apple cider vinegar benefits your overall health in so many ways. It’s excellent for adding probiotics to your gut which may play a role in keeping seasonal spring allergies at bay. Just add a capful of it to your water every morning as an ounce of prevention or for relief, and be sure to use the kind that says “with the mother” on the bottle.
This is not too sweet to be true. Taking a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day will help your body build a tolerance to the local pollen. In trials, those eating local honey every day needed fewer medications for allergy symptoms. You can mix this tablespoon into your glass of water with apple cider vinegar for a more palatable drink.
It’s no coincidence that both the ACV and probiotic tips have to do with your gut. Gut health is responsible for 70-80% of your immune system. This means that if you are worried about your immune function, one of the best things to focus on is your gut. Gut health can be improved with probiotics, fiber, limiting processed foods, and drinking plenty of water every day. I’ve written quite a bit about gut health, check out these posts: 2 Keys to Improve Gut Health (and WHY it’s important!) and Does Disease Begin in Your Gut?
Make Things Steamy
If you don’t have a gym membership or access to a steam room, use your shower to help get you some allergy relief — the steam will clear out your sinuses. If you’re prone to allergies in the spring, it’s best you shower as soon as you get home and change your clothes immediately to get rid of the pollen from outdoors.
There’s nothing buttery about this plant, except that in the olden days, it was used to wrap butter. The extracts are great for relieving fever, nasal allergies, and headaches, working like an antihistamine without making you drowsy. You can drink it as a tea or take it in tablets. It is related to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies, so if you have allergies to any of those, skip the butterbur.
Or Stinging Nettle Leaf
Here’s another plant that has its roots in the olden days. Stinging nettle reduces the histamines in your body, making it a wonderful way to combat spring allergies. You can take it in the form of hot tea or capsules to relieve allergy discomfort.
Beta-Glucans for Allergies
In a double-blind study, beta-glucans decreased the symptoms of allergies in individuals with self-described ragweed allergy. In fact, the severity of allergy symptoms was reduced by 52% and the total number of allergy symptoms was also reduced. Other studies have also been done with beta-glucans with similar results. You can find beta-glucans in some mushrooms, bakers yeast, or supplement form. It would be difficult to get the amounts used effectively in the studies through your food. This is the beta-glucan supplement I use. (It’s also found in the list of supplements I find to be helpful for supporting and maintaining health for allergy-prone people.)
You may not associate stress with your allergies, but stress can exacerbate your symptoms. Of course, when you can’t breathe because of your allergies, overall stress levels tend to go up creating a vicious cycle. Grab my tips to reduce your stress here.
How Do You Naturally Help Your Spring Allergies?
Do you have any special tips for combating spring allergies that I haven’t talked about today? I’d love to hear any tricks you have up your sleeve, so drop them in the comments below!