Over 20% of Americans experience severe allergies every year, which are the fifth most frequent chronic health condition. And while some allergies are seasonal for many sufferers, others fight them all year long. Every season brings challenges to allergy sufferers whether it is the suffocating smog in summer, the pollens in spring, and falling leaves in autumn or house dust during the winter. Not everybody likes popping an allergy pill several times a day, so here are some natural treatments for allergies.
Eat a Little Honey
According to WomansDay.com, many people swear that honey does the trick at relieving their allergy symptoms, specifically eating local honey. The idea is that honey produced by local bees, who feed on local plants, contains small amounts of local allergens that can help your body become used to them, like a “mini allergy shot”. This is because the bees that produced the honey are consuming the local pollen, often the thing that triggers allergy symptoms. Unfortunately as our local bee populations seem to be dropping in numbers, this solution might become a problem in the coming years.
Eat Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Mother Earth News reports that allergy sufferers that eat foods containing Omega-3s such as walnuts, cold-water fish, and flaxseed oil are some of the most powerful natural treatments for allergies. Grass-fed meat and eggs also fall into this category.
In addition to helping with allergies, the anti-inflammatory action of Omega-3s are shown to help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Use a Saline Nasal Rinse
All of your friends raving about their Neti pot may just be on to something. By using a salt water saline solution to flush out sinuses, you can remove many of the irritants and allergens that are causing the irritation. Both herbalists and drugstores can provide saline solutions that are safe to use to flush out sensitive mucus membranes. Drug stores also offer pre-packaged nasal sprays containing saline solutions that effectively do the same thing, though many people swear by using heated saline for their sinus troubles. You can also make you own saline mixes at home.
Get the Steam Treatment
Steam has been used successfully as a natural treatment for allergies for centuries and has a soothing effect on your respiratory system. Whether a person takes a hot shower full of steam or uses a vaporizer to inhale steam, the humidity helps relieve dryness and reduce itchiness or irritation. Another natural method of reducing allergic reactions is to use a cool mist humidifier to remove pesky allergens from the air you breathe. Cool mist humidifiers also claim that they prevent mold build-up unlike the old-school home steam humidifiers.
Avoid Dirty Air
The allergens youâ€™re suffering from may have nothing to do with pollen or dust; other sources of air particulates may be the culprit. People that live in areas with periodically high smog levels are wise to stay inside as much as possible. Similarly, avoid smoke filled rooms cause by cigarette and cigar smoke as these irritants can make indoor air quality unbearable. To that end, more and more people are buying HEPA filter machines to help purify the air inside their homes.
Drink Peppermint Tea
The essential oil found in peppermint tea can provide relief when a person’s sinuses are blocked. It has an invigorating smell and has been used as an analgesic and decongestant for millennia. However, there are more important reasons to drink it if you suffer from allergies. This herb also has mild antibacterial and anti-inflammatory constituents. It has been a home remedy for asthma for years and years and years.
Avoid Pet Hair and Dander
Sufferers often blame their allergies on pet hair, but more than likely itâ€™s the dander that gets them. The best way to avoid pet allergies is, of course, to not have pets and avoid being indoors where animals are present. If you canâ€™t bear to be without manâ€™s best friend, you can help reduce irritation by keeping them off the furniture and vacuuming frequently to trap and remove allergens. It is also believed that certain breeds of cats (Siberians,Â Russian Blues,Â Devon Rexes,Â Cornish Rexes,Â Abyssinians,Â Balinese, andÂ Oriental Shorthairs) and dogs (Poodles, Hairless breeds, Portugese Water Dogs, Basenjis, Bichons, Dobermans, Maltese and Shih-Tzus) are hypoallergenic.
Time Your Outdoor Activities
According to the experts at the Weather Channel, pollen levels are highest in the morning…and they recommend performing outdoor activites after 12:00 pm. Of course they also recommend getting in from the sun at that time of day to avoid skin cancer…so I will leave this recommendation up to you.
Severe Allergies and Medical Emergencies
A portion of allergy sufferers experience severe reactions that need to be treated quickly to avoid injury. If you have a severe allergy, an emergency medical bracelet can help notify emergency personnel of your allergies.