Natural Allergy Reducing Tips
We’ve all experienced it. That itch on your arm, the feeling right before you sneeze and the world’s itchiest of eyes. You guessed it, we’re talking all about allergies in today’s blog post. With hundreds of pharmaceutical options available in the drug store and lotions and potions that you can hardly pronounce, we’re taking a more natural spin on solutions to soothe your allergy itch or annoyance. Like our food, we should be able to pronounce every ingredient if we are buying packaged foods. So why wouldn’t we go to the same due diligence with what we put on our bodies?
Before we get into natural solutions to address your allergy issues, let’s first discuss what allergies are and what happens inside of your body when you get that first hint of ragweed in the air. This might sound like a sentence from your high school biology teacher, but here we go! When our bodies are exposed to an allergen, the antigen enters our immune system and binds to IgE (immunoglobulin E) receptors on the surface of our cells. The antibodies then travel to cells to release chemicals that cause the allergic reaction. Depending on the individual and the severity of the allergy, allergies can be classified into the following categories; Type I (analphalytic), Type II (cytotoxic), Type III (immunocomplex) or Type IV (cell-mediated). That’s as science-y as this blog post is going to get – promise! In other words, the individual either has a serious, life-threatening allergic response or they have a mild allergic reaction with bearable symptoms.
The most common allergies are; grass, tree pollen, dust mites, peanuts, fruits, shellfish, eggs, dairy, pollen, pet dander and mold. If you read that last sentence and cringed a little, chances are you have allergies and are dreading even reading the name of it because you know how unbearable they can be. Well, let’s change that and make this year your easiest allergy season yet! Grab a piece of paper and a pen, there’s a few natural products you’ll want to stock up on and have on hand!
12 Natural Allergy Reducing Tips You Need to Know:
Tip #1: Saline Nose Rinses
Using a saline solution regularly can help to thin mucus, reduce post nasal drip and free your nostrils of bacteria. This helps to wash out the allergens after inhalation and keep your allergies at bay! Use a diluted saline solution, draw the water into the bulb and tilt your head downward so the outflow will land in the sink. Gently squeeze the water upwards and into your nasal passage, breathe normally through your mouth, and allow the solution to cycle through.
Tip #2: Local Honey
Local honey contains small amounts of pollen that have been used to pollinate local produce and have been circulating in your area. Consuming local honey gradually exposes the individual to the allergen and continuously boosts their immune system – this will help them become less sensitive to it over time. Honey also contains natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help with eczema, serve as an antibacterial and antifungal and is a healthy dose of antioxidants.
Tip #3: Essential Oils
Essential oils are one of the trendiest health products on the market. They can help with stress relief, digestion, joint pain, energy levels and combating allergens! Peppermint, spearmint and eucalyptus oils are three that are natural bronchodilators that help to relax the airway and increase lung capacity while clearing our airways. If you’re ever been congested and then smelt some really strong peppermint, you’d know the “WOAH” experience in terms of how effective it is at doing its job! Simply place 1-2 drops of the oil of your choice into the palm of your hands, cup your nose and take 10 deep breaths. Voila!
Tip # 4: Garlic EVERYTHING!
The good stuff, garlic, is a natural antihistamine and superfood that packs a punch! Garlic assists your immune system by attacking free radical cells (allergens) and helps our bodies to remove them from the bloodstream naturally. When it’s not acting as an allergy superhero, it’s also helping to lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and chance of heart disease. If that wasn’t enough, garlic has also been associated with increased bone density, improved memory and glowing skin! So the next time you’re choosing between the garlic pesto pasta or the bolognese, pick the one with the health boosting punch!
Tip #5: Close Your Windows
This one is straightforward. If you’re allergic to environmental allergens, close the windows before they can get in! Either turn on the heat or the air conditioning to ensure your home is as cozy or cold as you like. Yes, this might cost you a bit more than usual on your next utility bill, but you’ll likely save big time on what you’d usually expense for allergy medication!
Tip #6: Rosemary the Rockstar
Rosemary is usually recognized for its potato flavouring powers in the kitchen, but it’s often neglected for its allergy fighting abilities. Rosemary continas rosmarinic acid which has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects within our bodies. Recent studies have shown that rosemary is capable of suppressing our IgE response when our bodies encounter the allergen. Still not sold on rosemary? It’s also helps to improve blood circulation, memory, concentration and boost intelligence levels. So do the smart thing, eat the rosemary!
Tip #7: Clean Your Home Frequently
Everyone’s favourite task – cleaning! For some of us at least! Cleaning your home and workspace prevents dust and dirt, two common allergens, from building up and causing you to have an allergic reaction. It also motivates you to keep your space clean, clear of junk and organized! Say hello to improved productivity! After cleaning, try diffusing essential oils such as peppermint, lemon and orange to help kill bacteria or germs in the air, open your airways and create a relaxed environment.
Tip #8: Turmeric
Turmeric lattes were all the rage last year! Let’s keep that trend rolling. Turmeric contains curcumin, that can help prevent the release of histamine from our mast cells in the event of an allergic reaction and can inhibit anaphylactic reactions. Turmeric is also a well-known anti-inflammatory fighting powerhouse and is commonly used to help minimize swelling and irritation caused by inflamed sinuses. Almond milk lattes are delicious, but do your allergy fighting body a solid by ordering a turmeric latte or adding a hearty teaspoon to your next meal!
Tip #9: Hydrate!
This is extremely important for not only reducing allergens, but for your health in general. Our bodies are composed of mainly water, therefore we should drink plenty of it! Studies have shown that when we are dehydrated our bodies produce higher histamine levels that drive allergies. That’s the opposite of what we want! Keep yourself hydrated with your Ener-C Vitamin C or Sports Electrolytes packets. Simply add to water, drink and repeat often! Not only are you boosting your hydration levels, you are increasing your vitamin C intake, strengthening your immune system and increasing your energy levels as lethargy is often confused with dehydration. Yes, water can do all that!
Tip #10: Pro-pro-probiotics!
The good bacteria that we always need more of! Our gut is composed of trillions of bacteria. Our guts are responsible for helping with the metabolization of food, nutrient absorption, energy production, hormonal balance, removing toxins and your immune system. It is crucial that when our bodies feel like they are being attacked from an external source, such as ragweed, pollen, dust…etc, that we ensure that it is equipped for the battle! Boosting our immune system ensures that we have a plethora of good bacteria to fight off the bad that we are about to be exposed to.
Tip 11: # Vitamin C
The ultimate immune boosting powerhouse. Vitamin C single handedly protects our cells from damage from external threats. It can reduce the severity of our allergies while simultaneously combating infections. Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine, a powerful anti-inflammatory and naturally helps to repair tissue damage. Pineapple contains and antioxidant called bromelain that is a natural antihistamine.
Tip #12: Apple Cider Vinegar Shots
Sorry, these aren’t the ones you are used to from your University days. These are the adult allergy shots that help to combat inflammation, allergies and support digestion. Boring. We know. All jokes aside, apple cider vinegar is a powerful immune booster that helps to break up mucus and reduce inflammation. The symptoms that one experiences with inflammation can be similar to those of allergies, so its important to ensure that inflammation levels are at an all time low so your body can focus on freeing your airways and allergies!
There you have it! The ultimate allergy reducing list of natural combative strategies to keep your body healthy, well and strong year round! Don’t wait until you have your first sneeze or feeling of a headache brewing. Get on top of your allergies this year and stock up on the supplies you might be short on!