Seasonal Allergies Getting You Down?
July 5, 2023
Ahh…Spring! You wait all winter for warmer days, blooming flowers and budding trees, then the sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose start making you miserable.
According to recent research, you’ve got plenty of company. Seasonal allergies are getting worse every year, and it’s now estimated that about 50 million Americans suffer in spring and fall1.
In This Healthy Insight:
When is Allergy Season?
While indoor allergies like dust mites and pet dander are around all year, spring and summer allergies can run from early March to late August.
Before you head off to your local drugstore for relief from spring allergies, some simple, natural alternatives just may do the trick.
- Make your home cleaner and more comfortable by using a HEPA air filter which traps airborne irritants.
- Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers. These reduce moisture from the air and limit the growth of mold that can trigger or worsen allergies.
- Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen is highest. While it’s tempting to throw open the windows, especially at night, resist the urge to bring the outdoors in.
- Shower after being outside. Pollen easily sticks to your skin and clothing, which you then track into your home, onto your furniture and into your bed.
- Try local, unprocessed honey. While it’s not been proven by science, there’s a lot of anecdotes about how honey can ease seasonal respiratory issues. The theory is that over time, it desensitizes you to specific pollen in your area.
- Regularly wash your bedding in water that’s at least 130 degrees.
Turn your attention from the medicine cabinet to the kitchen cabinet and cook up some hot, spicy food. If you’ve eaten authentic Indian, Mexican or Thai food, you’ve probably experienced the accompanying runny nose. Cayenne pepper, ginger, onion and garlic are some of the more potent seasoning that naturally clear nasal passages but, may help in supplement form as well.
Similarly, certain essential oils like eucalyptus, spearmint, and peppermint can help clear sinuses through their aroma. Use in a diffuser or add a few drops to the bottom of a steamy shower and inhale to relieve a stuffy nose.
In the world of herbs, the big buzz is Butterbur. A large leafed shrub, butterbur has been used as a natural remedy for centuries and has been the subject of several recent studies. It’s believed that butterbur helps block the histamine chemical released by your immune system. While initial results appear positive, additional studies are needed.
Nettle leaf, mullein, turmeric, and quercetin are other herbs that can help ease allergies. Many of these are offered in various combinations to address the full gamut of seasonal issues including respiratory, sinus, nasal and even immune system.
Whether you experience the occasional runny nose or year-round respiratory discomfort, with these tips and natural remedies, you can breathe easy all year long.