Does springtime have you suffering with seasonal allergies? Headaches, sinus stuffiness, fatigue, pounding migraines, runny nose or itchy eyes got you down? Then check out these holistic allergy health tips for Allergy Awareness Month!
The constant onslaught of chemicals and pesticides from the foods that we eat combined with the stresses of modern life equals a more sensitive immune system. As a natural reaction, our system goes into protective mode and can produce excessive inflammation and allergic symptoms. Yikes! Below are some simple holistic allergy remedies for common allergies that can alleviate some of sniffling and sneezing this spring.
Just eat real food whenever possible to reduce the amount of pesticides, additives and GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) that you ingest. Processed food, genetically engineered ingredients and synthetic additives all decimate the beneficial bacteria in your gut, compromising your immune system. Avoid packaged/processed foods, and incorporate organic, locally-grown foods into your meals to optimize your nutrition. Fermented foods (like tempeh, natto, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, etc.) can help optimize your gut flora, or use a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Eat your greens, they are in abundance now at spring! Greens help clear congestion in the lungs by reducing mucus. They also promote good gut flora, keeping your immune system kicking. Avoid foods that produce mucus like pasteurized dairy, simple sugars, processed white foods, sodas, and gluten containing foods.
Sip on hot water all day. Just hot water, it will help ease congestion. If you find that too boring, try this: steep fresh ginger in a cup of boiling water with a pinch of turmeric. I love adding a dash of cayenne pepper into the tea for a real kick. All have anti-inflammatory properties and actually help alleviate congestion.
Soak up that vitamin D. Recent studies have shown improvement for people suffering from seasonal allergies with supplementation of vitamin D. Ideally, you’ll want to get you vitamin D from safe sun exposure. Enjoy a good 15-minutes of direct sun exposure on your face and arms, and then apply your sunscreen. On days when you can’t enjoy the sunshine, consider taking a quality vitamin D3 supplement.
Enjoy a teaspoon of local, unfiltered and unprocessed wildflower honey or bee pollen daily. Local as in at least 50 miles from wherever you live (ask the vendor). It helps boost your immune system to the local pollen. Next year, start this process 6 weeks BEFORE the allergy season starts and you should see a big difference. You may add a little of this honey into your tea mixture mentioned above.
Rest & relaxation. Stress makes allergies (or any other health condition) worse. It causes the immune system to overreact and spin out of control. Being peaceful is a far underrated way of decreasing allergy symptoms, so chill out!
Start neti-ing. Neti pots have been used in India for thousands of years to flush the sinuses and keep them clear. Irrigating your sinuses will help flush out pollen and other irritants, helping you breathe a little easier. You can find a neti pot at most conventional drug stores these days, and can even find pre-packaged salt solutions to add into it. Use a mixture of boiled and previously boiled (room temperature) water whenever you neti.
Shower off or take a bath at night, especially if you were active outside where pollen could have easily nestled onto your hair, eyelashes or skin. A quick warm rinse before bed will help you rinse off the day, the pollen build up, and will help to open up your sinuses which will hopefully allow you to breathe easier as you sleep. Who doesn’t love a warm bath/shower before bed? It’s so comforting. Remember, if you’ve got a pet who also went outside, they could carry pollen residue on them as well, so rinse your hands after loving them up and kindly demand them to spend the night on their bed (as hard as that may be for all parties involved!) and not cuddled up with you.
Practice yoga because the inversions and backbends can help to open the nasal passages for improved drainage along with expanding the chest and lungs giving you increased breathing capacity. Yoga also helps aid in draining the lymphatic system, keeping the immune system strong. It’s a great way to get in that R&R mentioned above!
Incorporting these tips into your daily practice will will ensure for holistic allergy remedies and natural ways to treat allergies! Be sure to stay tuned to Conscious Connection Magazine all month as we continue to bring you great insight, health tips and beneficial products for Allergy Awareness Month!