There are highly effective natural treatments and preventative measures that can alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms associated with allergies.
Allergies are really just a hyperactivity reaction to cumulative sensitivities.
Chances are, if you experience allergies you have some other stimuli that you react to negatively in daily life. The thing is, when there are just a few sensitivities, and your body’s reactions are generally pretty mild, you probably don’t really take time to acknowledge them.
Sure, that bagel might make your digestion a bit sluggish, but it’s so good that you allow yourself to indulge every once in a while.
But when spring comes along and adds pollen to the mix, it becomes the proverbial straw on the camel’s back.
Your body gets overwhelmed and proceeds to do everything it can to rid itself of the external stimuli, leading you to experience an allergic reaction.
What to do?
Cleanse and Detoxify
Ideally, 6-8 weeks before your typical allergy onset time, you will want to clean up your food intake.
This is an excellent opportunity to partake in a springtime cleanse and focus on wholesome, nutritious ingredients that will keep your body balanced. Dark berries are especially good.
It is particularly important at this time of year to acknowledge any food sensitivities you usually ignore, and avoid the foods that trigger imbalance in your system.
If you indulge in too many of the foods to which you are sensitive, you create a reactive environment within your body, making you more prone to allergies.
For a lot of people food sensitivities include eggs, nuts, dairy, gluten, red meat, sugar, processed foods, mushrooms, alcohol, caffeine, and citrus fruits.
Your sensitivities may seem obvious to you, but you might have more than you think.
While you may not be sensitive to the whole list, keep a food journal for a week and see if you have reactions within 3 days after eating certain foods.
You might discover that your uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, fatigue, headaches, and indigestion, actually stem from a food sensitivity you didn’t previously know about.
Stress is another stimulus that can send your allergies over the edge.
When your body is stressed, it is already working very hard to find equilibrium. To become less reactive, try going to regular yoga classes, practice deep breathing, and enjoy long baths.
Lavender is known to help calm the spirits, but make sure you’re not sensitive to its scent before you try to relax with it!
Nettle, milky oat seed, ashwagandha, and rhodiola are excellent adaptogenic herbs to help calm your adrenal system and nourish your stress-response.
Start with nettle by drinking nettle tea. You can also take 10-20 drops of nettle tincture 3-5 times a day for up to 8 weeks leading up to allergy season, and then throughout allergy season itself.
Nettle is a highly nutritious food, so sprinkling the dried herb on your food is a great idea anytime of year.
*Do be aware that nettle is a diuretic, and should be used with caution in liver disease and other conditions that are vulnerable to diuresis. *
If nettle doesn’t work, find a local herbalist to help you determine if milky oat seed, ashwagandha, rhodiola, or another adaptogen might be a better choice for your particular constitution.
Other herbs that can be helpful include eye-bright and raspberry leaf tea. Eyebright can really reduce the itchy runny-ness of acute allergies, but should be used sparingly (maybe 10 drops of tincture, twice a day).
Raspberry leaf tea can be safely drunk in larger quantities. Well-known as a female tonic, raspberry leaves are actually good in all sorts of situations, especially when there is need for some astringency to tighten up the mucous layer.
If you’re suffering from allergies you want to make sure you remove as much of the irritating substance from your environment as possible, and the best place to start is with your clothes.
And while drying your clothes outside saves energy and adds that fresh air smell, it’s also a sure-fire way to get microscopic bits of pollen sprinkled throughout your whole wardrobe.
So use a dryer until allergy season has passed.
Use a Neti Pot
Neti pots are an ayurvedic technique for irrigating the nasal passages with a gentle saline solution.
Kind of like doing laundry in your nose, using a neti pot regularly will remove any excess stimulants from your airways helping you breathe more easily and react less.
Eat Local Raw Honey
Read this article to read about how trace amounts of pollen in honey actually help to reduce allergies.