Who doesn’t love spring? The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, there’s a pep in everyone’s step — but then come allergies. The one thing that can ruin a day full of springtime splendor is a sneezing fit or an allergy-induced headache. It’s a season full of all kinds of pollen and other particles floating around the air. And once our immune systems notice these intruders infiltrating our sinuses, they go into attack mode and turn us into itchy, runny-nose sneeze machines.
But instead of being dependent on over-the-counter allergy medication, wouldn’t it be nice to treat your symptoms more naturally? There are a handful of different methods out there that might be able to give you some real relief from the springtime sniffles. Let’s take a look:
1. Eat local honey.
This option is a triple win because it supports local business, helps your allergies and gives you something tasty to eat! It works like this: Since bees create honey based on their surroundings, they’re using the same plants and flowers that trigger your body’s alarms. So the honey acts like a sort of immunization to build your body’s tolerance and teach it that pollen and grass aren’t deadly afterall. Just don’t expect to feel immediately better after downing a couple tablespoons — this is more of a long-game method to treat your allergies. In fact, it’s safe to feed honey to children over age one, so why not give them a head start against future allergic reactions?
2. Rinse out your sinuses.
Let’s take a minute to appreciate that our sinuses are an incredible and intricate system of pathways — truly an elaborate system. Unfortunately, this also means there are plenty of places for allergens to hide and make themselves comfortable. Thankfully, people discovered a long time ago that rinsing out our sinuses comes with some serious benefits. You can clean your pathways out using a neti pot or squeeze bottle filled with warm (not hot) water and a saline solution. It may seem uncomfortable the first couple times you try it, but you won’t mind when you’re breathing easier and sneezing less.
3. Give acupuncture a shot.
Understandably, acupuncture isn’t for everyone, but some people have found it helpful when dealing with seasonal allergies. There’s not a whole lot of evidence to support its effectiveness, but then again there’s also not much harm in trying either. In clinical trials, acupuncture has shown positive results in relieving subjects of their allergies. But researchers agree there’s a need for further studies to have any conclusive evidence. But it all boils down to what you’re personally comfortable with. If you think acupuncture might help, give it a try.
4. Stock up on supplements.
As with a lot of alternative medicines, there hasn’t been enough research to tell us how effective supplements are at battling allergies. That being said, there are a few different supplements out there that homeopaths suggest can help you put down the tissues:
- Spirulina: Who would have guessed that algae could be so helpful? This green supplement is said to be effective against allergies and their symptoms by stopping the release of histamine that causes symptoms.
- Butterbur: These big leafy plants are said to have big benefits as well. it has been used in both traditional Chinese medicine and touted as a relief-giving plant in the middle ages — now it’s gaining traction as a potential allergy blocker.
- Quercetin: Try saying that five times fast! But seriously, this antioxidant has a way of lessening the severity of the body’s reaction to allergens.
5. Make your home a safe haven.
We run into a lot of allergens out in the world and there’s nothing we can do about that. But there’s one place we can control: our home. Once you get inside, take off your shoes and change your clothes to keep pollen and other particles off your person while you’re home. Then give your face a quick wash to rinse off any other potential allergens. Don’t be afraid to indulge in some air conditioning and keep the windows closed to really create a safe space. And if you can swing it, invest in a HEPA air purifier for your place.
How do you handle allergy season? Have you tried one of these methods? Let us know all about it in the comments below!