It’s finally happening! The snow in Massachusetts is starting to melt and the beauty of spring is beginning to shine. April showers will soon bring May flowers, and although everyone is looking forward to the beautiful flowers blooming, allergies inevitably will become a concern for many people. Although there are medications to fight allergies, many of them come with unwanted side effects such as extreme fatigue and dehydration, making it difficult to get through a normal day. Luckily, there are many natural remedies to help reduce allergic reactions that benefit the body in many ways!
- Apple Cider Vinegar - Vinegar has been regarded by cultures for centuries as a remedy for various health concerns including helping reduce allergy symptoms. Apple cider vinegar reduces the production of mucus, a common side effect of airborne allergies. Furthermore, it cleans the lymphatic system, which consists of the lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and organs. The lymphatic system is responsible for fighting infections, and when it becomes congested, this function may be compromised, putting allergy suffers at risk for developing a sinus infection. Additionally, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar has many healthy proteins, enzymes, and helpful bacteria, which is great for the stomach. It also contains pectin, which is known to help ease intestinal spasms.
- Neti Pot and Saline Rinse - A great way to minimize allergy symptoms is to cleanse the nasal passages using a neti pot and saline rinse. Nasal irrigation washes out the mucus and thins secretions, which reduces nasal congestion, and drains the sinus cavities, which prevents allergens and other contaminants from causing infection. Regular nasal cleansing helps a person’s ability to breathe and also prevents upper respiratory infections. It has also been known to reduce snoring and nose bleeds, and improve the sense of taste and smell. Just remember to clean your Neti pot regularly!
- Local Raw Honey
One of the best ways to allow your body to become more used to the local allergens to which you are reacting, is by actually putting them in the body. Locally made honey is a great way to do this because it contains the allergens from the area, but you need to start before allergy season as it will take your body some time. Local honey can be found at farmer’s markets and locally-based grocery stores. Raw honey is highly recommended due to the fact that honey is typically exposed to heat and therefore may lose the natural enzymes and antioxidants that are also beneficial for the body. Honey has also been known to aid digestion and help eliminate coughing for respiratory infections.
- Peppermint Essential Oils
Peppermint oil has been called the world’s oldest medicine. In the present, it is most often used as flavoring in food, but it has been proved to have many favorable qualities for the body. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, which assists in relieving nasal congestion due to allergies. Additionally, peppermint oil has been known to help with indigestion, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and headaches.
- Lavender Essential Oils
Most commonly used for aromatherapy benefit, lavender oil is a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory to soothe the symptoms of allergies. Lavender oil is often used to help treat respiratory problems because it also helps loosen phlegm. Other positive benefits include its capability of eliminating tension due to anxiety, improving blood circulation, helping the processing of food in the intestine, and helping people fall asleep. Many topical treatments contain lavender oil for its ability to soothe pain in sore muscles.
Foods to Avoid
Gluten and dairy are very mucus producing, thus avoiding them during allergy season when your body may already be producing extra mucus could help you breath better! Further, if you have a sensitivity to either gluten or dairy, cutting the allergen burden on your body will further reduce your reaction to environmental allergies, or even eliminate your reaction to them all together.
Mental health relies heavily on treating the whole person! To learn more about natural methods of wellness, schedule a free consultation with our director Dr. Jolene Ross.
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