Hello friends! Allergy season is well upon us and if you are anything like me (with a butt ton of allergies) then you will enjoy these holistic and natural tips I’ve found to really help me out through the blooming months. On the subject of allergies, let me give you a overview of the severity that I deal and have dealt with (they have gotten better and more manageable over the years.) I’ve have a skin prick test for upwards of like 100 or so different allergens in the state of Idaho. Big distinction there, depending on where you’re from will influence allergen contact. Anyway my results were severe in grass, pollen, trees, cats and sagebrush (save me! Idaho is like 80% sagebrush.) Essentially I’m allergic to anything in Idaho that blooms, or meows. Add that to my food allergies/sensitivities of gluten, dairy, eggs, cranberries, bell peppers, onions and corn….and that movie Bubble Boy with Jake Gyllenhaal starts looking like an unfortunate reality.
However, there is a light at the end of the bubble…uh…tunnel. Through some trial and error I’ve compiled the best tips to not only get me through my terrible allergies but to actually reduce them! I can only speak for myself so take this all with a grain of sand. Somethings that have worked for me, may not work for you. With that said, let’s get to it!
1. Let’s get the obviously not ‘natural’ one out of the way and that is conventional antihistamines. Although I’d love to be able to do away with pharmaceuticals the fact of the matter is science has made amazing leaps in medicine and they can be helpful, downright lifesaving if you wanted to use them in conjunction with alternative medicines. I used to have to take upwards of 10 little pills to get through the worst pollen-filled days. Even though, as my allergy specialist told me, they have a low risk profile in taking more than the recommended dose, I felt it was pretty excessive at the level I was taking. Now I can take 2 or 3 only on days I know I’ll be outside in nature and all its pollen-y goodness. That with all the other tips have helped me get to a very low maintenance level with the allergies, which is FAR from being Bubble Girl.
2. Nettle Leaf. This one is best for actual symptoms, instead of prevention but it helps nonetheless. My favorite way is to take nettle leaf is as tea but I also use supplement form because it is a little more convenient but also more expensive. Hot nettle tea or iced nettle tea with a little raw honey (more great health benefits there!) tastes a bit like green tea maybe more planty but very pleasant.
3. On that same thread, Raw Honey and Bee Pollen are great sources of local pollen sources in small doses that help build up your immunities to the area much like allergy shots. I always go for raw local bee products in my area to get my system attuned to the allergens around me. To get the most out of your bee pollen, consume it with fruit. A sprinkle on top of a smoothie or bowl of fruit with do you.
4. Turmeric. This root spice, among other amazing uses is great for reducing inflammation. With many allergies, my sinus’s tend to get inflamed and cause pressure headaches, stuffy noses or internal inflammation if gluten is involved. Turmeric has a very UNIQUE taste….well it tastes a bit like dirt. Fancy dirt. The earthy-ness is pretty strong but the benefits are worth it. My favorite ways to consume it is in curries, golden milk or supplement form for the active compound curcumin. For golden milk, I mix turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, nutmeg, clove and black pepper with some coconut milk and heat it up to a little simmer then drink hot.
5. Coconut Oil. This one kinda goes without saying, if you’ve kept up with popular health trends and how amazing coconut oil is. True as it is coconut oil has anti; bacterial, fungal, inflammatory and viral properties plus it’s composition of medium chain fatty acids means it bypasses cholesterol in it’s metabolism going straight into the blood steam and off to where it’s needed. I like to add some to smoothies, cook with it, use as a facial/body/hair moisturizer and most helpful oil pulling with it. I take a heaping teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil in my mouth, let it melt, then swish it around for 15-20 minutes (usually while showering/getting ready), spit out in the trash and brush my teeth. Helps draw toxins out as well as improving breath and whitening teeth. I find if I do it consistently, my brain feels clearer and my allergies are less severe.
6. Neti Pot. Another good way to reduce allergy symptoms is the neti pot. I add in a 1/4 tsp of neti salt to warm filtered water, let it dissolve then irrigate my nostrils to free up irritants and excess mucus, also great when you’re sick.
7. After watching holischabits on Youtube I was inspired to pick up a Himalayan Salt Inhaler off Amazon. Occasionally I get wheezy when my allergies hit and having an alternative to a conventional inhaler is nice. Whether or not the magic negative ions in the salt actually help purify my lungs, I don’t know but it’s nice to have in case I do get wheezy.
8. Sleep. This is one of the biggest helpers for overall health. Sleep is your re-charge button that allows your body to heal and re-set. Quality of sleep is also important. I like to eliminate as many light emitting electronics from my bedroom as possible, with exception of my cell phone which I turn face down on my dresser. I put up blackout curtains for complete darkness and use a Himalayan Salt Lamp for red/orange light to promote melatonin production. I generally try to read or do non-technological things before bed so my brain can wind down.
9. Eating a Clean Diet. Of all the tips I’ve shared this is the one that has had the most impact on me. My slow journey of food allergy elimination has finally paid off. Once I took all those irritants (for MY body) out as well as processed foods and refined sugars I started focusing on a whole food, plant based diet (I say based, not exclusive.) Now a few years later, my allergies are hardly noticeable as long as I keep taking proper care of myself, which happily includes my favorite past time, eating. Second breakfast anyone?
10. De-stress; Another one for overall health. Maybe de-stressing hasn’t had a direct impact on my allergies but knowing when to let things go and having healthy (non alcoholic) ways to relax and unwind keep me from snowballing. Which tends to start with stress and end with illness. It never rains, it pours, am I right? This includes a healthy state of mind. Mental health is just as equal as physical health (you know….holistic and overall) so connect with whatever makes you feel grounded and allow time for that connection.
I hope these tips help you during allergy season and if you have any other tips leave them in the comment below!