Ahhh summer’s finally here…sun is shinin, flowers are bloomin, grills are cookin, and noses are runnin. If you’re like the millions of other allergy sufferers out there, seasonal allergens can put quite the damper on your warm weather. Ready or not, they’re coming. And if you’re like me, meds are the last resort to recovery. Medication can temporarily ease your symptoms, but you eventually pay the price by taking them; figuratively and literally. Instead of helping your immune system build up a tolerance to the allergen, your body instead builds up a resistance to the medication. This means you’ll need larger and larger doses, until eventually your body isn’t even affected by the meds.
The definition of an allergic reaction is “an inappropriate response by the body’s immune system to a substance that is not normally harmful. [Allergens] all contain protein antigens that stimulate an antibody response. Histamine and other chemicals are released into the system, causing an inflammatory reaction.” Some people respond to these antigens and some lucky individuals don’t. For those of you noisy noses, we’ve got some at home cures.
You’ll be amazed by some of these natural allergy remedies that are just as good as the unnatural ones that come in a paper box.
Apple Cider Vinegar
What does this magic drink NOT do? From helping with weight loss to claims of killing cancer cells, it’s no surprise apple cider vinegar is known to help fight allergies. It’s said to help reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system. Just be careful, it is acidic and can be rough on your stomach if taken in excess. Add just a teaspoon to eight ounces of water. A little goes a long way. If you simply can’t stand the bitterness, sometimes a little bit of honey helps it to go down better.
Beauty really is pain in this case. Pollen is a sticky little sucker and hair spray, gel, and other hair products attract it. If you must use these products, just be sure to wash your hair before you hit the pillow at night so you don’t transfer the allergen to your pillowcase and bed sheets. Your hair may be an allergy issue, but don’t forget about your four legged friend’s either. Perhaps it’s not your pooch you’re allergic to. If you get sniffly around certain dogs just during the warm seasons, it may not be an allergy to animals, but rather the pollen and other allergens they’re carrying on their fur. Make sure to wipe Fido down when he comes into the house, and especially if he’s sharing the bed with you at night.
Summer hats and sunglasses outside wouldn’t hurt either. Aside from being fashionable and protection from harmful rays, these will help keep the allergens out of your hair and eyes.
Citrus Peels (lemon, lime, and orange skins) are natural antihistamines and an anti-inflammatory. It provides allergy relief within minutes and the Vitamin C is an extra boost for your immune system.
Peppermint helps to clear up congestion, reduce inflammation, and even prevent infection with antibacterial properties. Plus, your breath gets to smell like Christmas in the middle of July. Echinacea can also be a great go-to drink during allergy season due to its immunity enhancing properties.
Speaking of appealing breath, spicy foods like wasabi, curry, hot peppers, and tabasco can help to fight off stuffy symptoms too. When your nose and eyes water after a spicy meal, there’s an actual chemical reaction going on. Capsaicin, an element found in these foods, helps your membranes to produce more mucus, causing natural drainage so those allergens can better find their way out.
A plant-derived compound called quercetin helps to stabilize mast cells, preventing them from releasing histamine. This element is known to contain anti-allergen, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties. It helps to clear your system of free radicals as well, which can cause cell damage as well as impair your immunity. Certain foods contain high amounts of quercetin, such as citrus fruits, apples, parsley, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and tomatoes. It’s recommended to consume about 1,ooo mg a day to ward off allergies.
Hopefully in trying some of these natural cures, your allergy symptoms will lessen if not completely go away. Summertime will finally be spent for the things that make it so great, like water slides and barbecues instead of watery eyes and tissues. You couldn’t notice pollen if it hit you straight in the nose.