Flowers are blooming, spring winds are blowing, birds are chirping. It sounds like a fairytale on paper, but to the 35 million people in America with allergies, spring may seem more like a tear-jerker. Flowers and winds trigger a search for allergy relief, a break from the sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and other uncomfortable symptoms.
What’s in the air that sends us running for allergy relief products? Pollen gets most of the blame. Pollen is naturally produced by plants, so when all of those beautiful flowers and leaves grow back come spring, pollen comes with it. There are over-the-counter products and prescriptions that you can buy to control your allergy symptoms, but many of them have unpleasant side effects.
Here are some of the easy, natural ways you can help keep allergies at bay this spring.
Stay Away from Pollen: You won’t need as much allergy relief if you can limit your exposure to pollen. Check weather forecasts and pollen levels at different times of the day before you head outside to make sure you aren’t stepping into an allergy battlefield.
Keep It Clean: Your clothes, your pets and your home should be as clean and free from dust as possible. If you limit your pollen exposure, allergy relief is a lot easier. Wash the clothes you’ve worn outside, then take a shower to rinse any excess pollen from your skin and hair. Pollen also can get into your furniture and bedding, so make sure you vacuum and remove dust on a regular basis.
Make Healthy Choices: Eat a balanced, nutritious diet and drink plenty of water, especially if you are taking allergy relief medications – they can dehydrate you. Water, milk, and citrus fruit juice rich in vitamin C help to enhance the immune system so you can better fight allergy symptoms. Another bonus? Vitamin C is considered an anti-histamine food. By counteracting histamine, the potent chemical produced by pollen, vitamin C can promote allergy relief.
Eat Honey: Allergy relief can be sweet! Eating a teaspoon or two of locally grown honey on a daily basis even before the season starts can up your resistance to pollen. Because bees collect honey from local plants, which may contain pollen, consuming the product helps your body adjust to pollen exposure. This way you can build up a tolerance and reduce the need for allergy relief when spring rolls around.
Eat Spicy Foods: When your allergies start acting up, eating spicy foods like horseradish, wasabi, and peppers is a great way to help clear your nasal passages and reduce mucus buildup. Spicy foods act as a natural clearing agent, and they can provide instant allergy relief.
There is a lot of talk about how to relieve allergies this time of the year, but why not start with these natural approaches? Avoiding being outdoors when pollen counts are high, reducing the amount of pollen in your environment, and making some simple adjustments to your diet can all bring a measure of allergy relief this spring.