Now that winter is behind us, the long-awaited season of spring brings with it rebirth, renewal – and allergies. When flowers, grasses and trees begin to set forth their blooms, our allergies show up. Congestion, sneezing and watery eyes are no way to enjoy the gifts that spring brings.
Relieve Your Allergies Naturally
For many, symptoms of allergies can be averted with a simple drive to the drugstore for over-the-counter meds. On the other side, those with more severe allergies must take a more aggressive approach to remedy their allergy symptoms.
1. Herbal Supplements and Extracts
Many herbs have been shown to have positive effects on allergy relief. Spirulina, eyebright, and goldenseal—have been studied for allergy relief and relief in sinus inflammation. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple is sometimes used to curb inflammation after sinus surgery and could be used for allergy relief. Studies show that it reduces swelling and improves breathing, as well.
Some extracts have been shown to have a significant effect on allergy symptoms. According to WebMD, one study, published recently in the British Medical Journal, showed how just one tablet of butterbur extract (Ze 339) taken four times daily was as effective as a popular antihistamine drug in controlling symptoms of hay fever — without the traditional symptom of drowsiness that sometimes occurs.
Other extracts that show promise is nettles added to a tonic made from golden seal and added to a saline solution. This solution is used as a nasal spray and has been shown to have positive effects. ”The saline works to wash out pollen and reduce or thin mucous — the goldenseal has astringent and local antibacterial properties which can aid in this process.”
Evidence shows that local honey can have a profound effect on reducing allergies. The prevailing theory behind eating honey is similar to gradually vaccinating the body against allergens, a process called immunotherapy. Honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that give allergy sufferers so much trouble when flowers and grasses are in bloom. Introducing these spores into the body in small amounts by eating honey should make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance an immune system response like the release of histamine will occur [Source: AAFP].
3. Steam Bath
Breathing in steam is a simple way to open the airway passages and relieve the symptoms of congestion. Go a step further and add some essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil to the water to create a powerful bond between the steam and oils and helps to ease symptoms of certain ailments, especially those of the upper respiratory tract, nose and sinuses.
4. Saline Spray
Saline spray can also relieve allergy symptoms quickly. You can easily purchase pre-made saline solution at local drugstores, or make your own solution daily by mixing a teaspoon of salt in a pint of warm, distilled water and adding a pinch of baking soda. Bend over a sink and sniff a bit of solution into one nostril at a time, allowing it to drain back out through the nose or mouth; do this once or twice a day. Note: If you also have asthma, check with your doctor before trying this remedy.