Today, April 11, 2011, Minneapolis got 5 inches of snow. Â Lovely. Â So, feeling inspired, I shared on my Facebook page, a cartoon of a cow who tied up a snowman, holding him at hairdryer point, asking him what he’s done with all the grass. Â As of this evening, that post was seen by 8,423 people and shared 123 times. Â I guess I’m not the only one who thinks Â this has been a LONG, cold, snowy winter that seems to never end. Â Maybe talking about seasonal allergies will inspire spring to arrive.Â
Seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as spring allergies attack more than 35 million Americans every year as the seasons change, allergens blossom, pollens scatter through the air. People unknowingly breath them, allergic reactions such as sneezing, coughing, eye and nose irritation and runny nose are triggered. Â It’s been such a long winter, I’m almost looking forward to hayfever!
There are many over-the-counter allergy medications on the market today. But these drugs can cause side effects including drowsiness, headache, dehydration, and occasional loss of appetite. Its really not necessary to deal with those side effects when there are scientifically proven natural remedies that can help fight spring allergies.
Here are 5 effective natural remedies for fighting spring allergies:
Garlic: Garlic is a natural antibiotic that wards off infections, viruses and even allergies. On clinical studies, quercetin, a natural compound found in garlic and onion, is observed to mimic the antihistamine effect of certain drugs. Eating or juicing two raw cloves of this powerful antioxidant literally keeps the doctor away! While some people go for the supplements because they donâ€™t want to smell like garlic, they aren’t getting the benefit because for full effect, it must be the fresh, Â real herb, and if possible, get organic. It’s not that much more expensive, and has a higher sulfphur content (that’s good for you) and tastes better. Â Raw garlic eaten every day will fight off all types of allergies because it boosts your immune system immensely. Garlic tincture is another alternative to raw garlic and is just as effective. Â Garlic is definitely a superherb and it truly helps us to breathe better and live healthier lives. When regularly added to the diet, spring may just pass without causing sniffs and drips.
Raw Honey: If the allergen is pollen based, then hope in honey is well-founded. The bees collect both pollen and nectar, and tiny grains of pollen are present in your honey. Regular honey consumption acts as an immune booster and minimizes the reaction to the pollen. It works just like the allergy shots, but much cheaper and tastier!!
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? With honey….there’s never too much!
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? A teaspoon or a couple of teaspoons a day will do it.
First, it must beÂ local honey. Start taking itÂ Â for several weeks before the start of the allergy season. And with this winter, it’s not too late to start! Â However, so many suffering customers came and got our honey as a last ditch effort in the middle of an onslaught of pollen-based misery….and they reported excellent results when they began this daily honey regimen.Â
Here’s the thing. In order to work, you need honey that contains the pollen that’s getting to you. So the honey needs to be produced as close as possible to where you live. This ensures that the pollen from your neighborhood plants will be in your honey.A tsp taken 3 times per day can help prevent seasonal allergies. I will say that if youâ€™re going to use raw honey to fight pollen allergies, youâ€™ll want to buy honey that comes from bees who deal with the same plants and flowers that produce the allergenic pollen in question. That means buying local, preferably wildflower honey. Unless you know for sure that your allergy is caused by a specific pollen from a specific plant, wildflower will give you the most bang for your buck by covering a large assortment of plants.
Raw honey’s antibiotic properties are effective in treating colds and sore throats. Raw honey coats the throat and reduces irritation. For blocked sinuses, mix a teaspoon of honey in a pot of hot water, put a towel over your head, and just inhale the steam.
To treat allergies, take a teaspoon of raw honey a couple of times a day starting a few months prior to allergy season.
Anyone who knows me personally wouldn’t put it past me to start my own bee hive. Â I’ve certainly thought about it…..but, not now. Maybe when I’m living in the wilderness in my log cabin. But in the meantime, local raw honey can be found at your local natural food co-op, farmer’s markets and upscale grocery stores.
Cayenne pepper is an effective natural remedy to fight spring allergies
Cayenne pepper: Like garlic, it also contains quercetin that can act as antihistamine. Â Some people prefer using cayenne pepper because the natural heat it produces in the body is said to comfort irritations caused by allergens. Three of cayenne pepper’s health benefits:
- Anti-inflammatory:cayenne pepper helps to reduce allergic symptoms by its anti-inflammatory properties that desensitize the nasal passages when exposed to allergens, assist in breaking-up and loosening mucus formation and thus reducing throat irritations.
- Anti-bacterial properties â€“ cayenne pepper has been used traditionally for years to prevent food contamination from bacteria.
- Anti-cold and flu agent â€“ cayenne pepper will help to break up congested mucus in colds and flu and get it moving, giving instant relief from many of the symptoms of colds and flu.
To clear you sinuses and help you breathe, make a cayenne pepper tea with a cup of hot water and a couple of teaspoons of cayenne pepper powder with raw honey. Â Be careful not to take this on an empty stomach, and sip the tea between bites of food. Â It will be hot, and maybe even a little painful, but you’ll be amazed at how fast it works and how much better you can breathe! This will last a day or two….so much better than over-the-counter drugs!! Â Â Alternatively, add some slippery elm and molasses or honey to your cup of hot water and cayenne pepper and take in doses throughout the day for colds, sore throats and coughs.Â
Chamomile: A healthy and delicious drink, chamomile tea can also relieve itchiness and dryness of the eyes. By placing a cold tea bag for five to 10 minutes, you will feel the immediate effects against allergic reaction.
Chamomile has a long history of use in Europe for digestive ailments. The active constiuents of chamomile have anti-inflammatory properties, and ease spasm and discomfort in the digestive tract.
- Canker sores
- Conjunctivitis, eye irritations
- Crohn’s disease
- Menstrual disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Peptic ulcer
- Skin irritations
- Ulcerative colitis
- Minor wounds
Chamomile is part of the Asteraceae plant family, which includes ragweed and chrysanthemum, so people with allergies may react when they use chamomile either internally or topically. Call your doctor if you experience vomiting, skin irritation, allergic reactions (chest tightness, wheezing, hives, rash, itching) after chamomile use.
Chamomile should not be taken during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
Your mom was right! Â Chicken soup actually IS an effective natural remedy to fight spring allergies
Chicken soup: Medical experts considered this as a mere hoax until a year ago when a research showed surprising benefits to the recovery rate of subjects experiencing the common cold. Since spring allergy triggers nasal fluid build-up, it is a smart idea to have chicken soup not only on a rainy day but during springtime as well.
Whenever I have a choice between pharmaceuticals and effective natural remedies, I always choose natural. There are no side effects! Try some of these effective Â natural remedies to fight your spring allergies. Please come back and leave a comment. I’d love to hear about your results! Â
Reminder: While I am a registered nurse, Â in no way am I diagnosing, prescribing or treating any medical condition, nor is anything here intended to replace the advice of your doctor â€¦ who is hopefully a naturopath. Â All recipes and tips here should be used at your own discretion, taking into account all medical conditions you may have.)
Sources for this article include: http://www.naturalnews.com/039791_seasonal_allergies_natural_remedies_relief.html
I’m going to write a post about how to make tincture of garlic, so please stay tuned. Â Contact me and I’ll put you on my email and newsletter list so you won’t miss a thing!