It’s that time of the year when the weather is warming up, the flowers are starting to bloom, the birds are chirping, and for many of us…..our allergies are driving us too crazy to even care! You may have the urge to run to the drug store and purchase some over the counter allergy medicine, but there are more natural approaches that can calm your allergies without the unwanted side effects of medication, like nasal irritation and drowsiness.
One of the most common natural remedies I have come across is the use of Neti Pots. Neti Pots are a little device that you fill with salt water, which you then pour through your nasal passages to clear out your sinuses. It works by thinning out the mucus in your nose and then flushing it out. It is recommended to use the Neti Pot daily until symptoms subside, and then 3 times a week after that.
A common supplement that can be taken to alleviate allergies is Quercertin. It works by stabilizing mast cells and preventing them from releasing histamine. Quercertin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, so it keeps the lungs, nasal passages, and eyes from swelling due to irritating allergens. It is best to start taking the supplement about 6 weeks before allergy season to help prevent allergy attacks. The recommended dose is about 1000 mg a day on an empty stomach.
It has been said that eating local honey can act like a natural vaccine against allergies. Bees in your area eat the local pollen and then produce the honey. Therefore, local honey will contain the same pollen spores that cause your allergies. Introducing these pollen spores into the body in small amounts by consuming the honey will decrease the chance that your immune system will release histamine and cause an allergic reaction when exposed to larger amounts of the same pollen spores.
Nettle Leaf works by reducing inflammation. It helps reduce sneezing, itching, and nasal congestion. Make sure to look for a freeze dried version of Nettle Leaf so the active ingredients are retained. A great way to ingest Nettle Leaf is by making a tea infusion. Add 1 once of dried Nettle Lead to 1 pint of boiling water and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and drink about 3/4 cup every few hours.
Butterbur’s two active ingredients are petasin, which reduces spasms in smooth muscle and vascular walls, and isopetasin, which reduces inflammation. Petasin also inhibits leukotriene and histamine. These two things are responsible for allergic reactions and inflammation. Some evidence suggests butterbur to be just as effective at treating allergies as Allegra or Zyrtec. When purchasing Butterbur, look for a supplement that is PA-free (PA= potential cancer causing toxins), standardized, and be sure to follow dosage instructions to avoid side effects.
I am a graduate of Oakland University in Michigan with a BS in Health Sciences. My studies included Nutrition courses, Community Health courses, Alternative Medicine courses, and Human Anatomy Courses. My studies jump-started my interest in natural and alternative medicine, but my real interest came through my own research and personal use of supplements and natural alternatives. When I am not learning about the world of natural alternatives, I spend my time with my boyfriend of nearly 5 years who I have also put supplements to the test on. I am so excited to be writing this blog to share my research and findings with you and I hope we can all learn something new!