Originally published on April 7, 2018 by Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
The temperature is rising, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and nature is blooming. This can only mean one thing: Spring has officially sprung!
Many of us have been anxiously waiting to put away those bulky winter coats, dust off our lighter layers, and get to the local farmers’ market with an ice-cold coffee in hand. Unfortunately, this euphoric state of spring bliss is blurred by the burden of seasonal allergies for as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children. Symptoms like uncontrollable sneezing, headaches, congestion, constant sniffles, and itchy, red eyes could be signs that you’re experiencing allergies.
An allergy is the immune system’s response to a foreign substance – called an allergen – that triggers a reaction. The response the body has can cause a wide range of reactions, from subtle sneezing and sniffles to persistent hives and fatigue. One of the most common causes of allergies in spring in the United States is pollen, which is produced by hundreds of plant species, including trees, flowers, grass, and weeds. Spring is hit heaviest by new tree growth, and some of the worst allergy triggers across the Unites States are birch, cedar, and cottonwood.
Here are a few natural remedies that can assist in alleviating seasonal allergies.
Tea tree, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils all have powerful natural properties that can help relieve some of those unwanted effects that allergies have on the body. Diffuse a few drops of peppermint oil to unclog your sinuses or rub a small amount of eucalyptus oil onto your chest and forehead to relieve stubborn congestion. Tea tree oil is commonly used to kill bacteria that may be causing allergies, so use it to eliminate the triggers and keep your space clean and germ-free. These oils not only will assist in helping your body fight allergies, but they also have a calming effect on the body, which can reduce the added stress that comes along with them.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has popped up everywhere because of its incredible health benefits! Allergies develop when the body’s immune system becomes sensitive to something in the environment, but ACV may help boost the immune system and prevent issues that come with the new season.
Take a moment to sip a cup of symptom-reducing tea; it will be worth it! Drink rooibos, which may help block allergy-causing histamines; green tea, which can help reduce your immune system overreaction; and licorice root, which can relieve irritation in your nose and throat.
The stuffy feeling in your head and nose could be keeping you feeling heavy and down. Use a neti pot or nose cleanser and nasal saline to clear out all the built-up mucus causing your congestion. Pour a mixture of distilled warm water, a quarter teaspoon of non-iodized salt, and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda into one nostril and allow it to flow out the other nostril by tilting your head. This will help drain the fluids from your nose and reduce congestion.
A humidifier can play a huge role in treating your seasonal allergies. Improving the quality of air this time of year can be key to making the season more pleasant. A humidifier increases the humidity in the air to help eliminate congestion and can reduce the inflammation that comes from those irritating spring allergens.
We know that allergies can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Adopt these remedies in your daily routine to get back to enjoying the season and celebrating all the new life growing around you!
This article originally published on Institute of Integrative Nutrition and used with permission.