25 Massively Effective, All-Natural Remedies, Scientifically Proven to Provide Seasonal Allergy Relief
Spring is in the air and for millions that means seasonal allergies are too. An estimated 1 in 5 Americans suffer from allergies. Annually these allergies cost Americans an estimated $7.9 billion in medical and business expenses. Yikes!
Side effects of allergy medication vary, but can include confusion, drowsiness, difficulty peeing, dizziness, dry mouth, moodiness, restlessness, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. Antihistamine medications are notorious for drying you out, so you may experience constipation, dry-cracked nasal passage and even decrease in your body’s sexual secretions.
A simplified explanation of allergies is that the body reacts to a substance that it feels is a threat, whether it truly is or not, by releasing a compound called histamine to fight it. Histamine comes with a slew of reactions to help fight off the unwanted intruder such as copious amounts of mucous to engulf and wash it away. Hence the runny nose and water eyes – oh so much drainage. This all comes along with a lot of inflammation and irritation.
If you’ve deal with seasonal allergies you know that spring to fall can be pure respiratory hell. But for some, what’s in the air year round causes an allergic reaction leading to constant nasal drainage, congestion, itchy-burning eyes, ears and throat. Pollen, grass, leaves, mold, fungus, dust and dander are a few examples of what sets off allergies.
Both prescription and over the counter allergy medication add up in cost and for some people they’re a non-negotiable, must have. Constantly running to the store for more meds, plus tissues, netty pots, salves and cough drops can be draining your wallet on top of your nasal drainage.
Don’t despair, there’s A LOT that nutrition and healthy lifestyle tweaks can do for you.
NUTRITION THAT HELPS
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Think of omega 3 fatty acids as fatty acid chains that have 3 bends in them, like hinges. In constrast, saturated fats don’t have any hinges in them, so they are rigid. That’s all well and good when it’s time to stand strong, but not good at all for when it’s time to go with the flow. When your entire immune system is raging against the machine of life, you’ve got to provide all the chill nutrients and lifestyle choices you can. The hinges in omega 3 fatty acids allow for bending and moving with the flow.
Omega 3 fatty acids soothe bronchial tissue, thereby reducing the inflammation associated with seasonal allergies. Typically the first thing that people notice when supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids is that their eyes are less irritated. Contact wearers and/or those who suffer from chronically dry eyes often will be the first to sing the praises of omega 3 fatty acid supplements.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines, plus plant sources like Brussels sprouts, walnuts, flaxseeds (not whole, must be ground or the oil form to be accessible). When dealing with some prolonged, serious allergies, supplementation may be an absolute must.
Takeaway: Eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids on a regular basis. Research a quality supplement that works for you and your budget.
Magnesium Rich Foods
Ever think that a mineral may help your seasonal allergies? Well it turns out that magnesium tells your allergies to chill out. Studies have shown that magnesium soothes the muscles that outline the trachea and respiratory tract, which can be your saving grace when you’re in a horrible bout of allergies.
Animal studies have shown that animals deficient in magnesium have higher levels of histamines. This indicates a connection between magnesium deficiency and high histamine production. The positive spin is that maintaining health magnesium levels can keep histamine production in check.
Magnesium is a mineral needed for over 300 enzymatic functions in the human body. Everything from nerve function, to healthy reproductive organs to even bone health requires magnesium.
Unfortunately, for the most part, Americans get very little of this important mineral. All because the most magnesium rich foods tend to be seeds, nuts and beans. Seeds are just now becoming popular to eat here, nuts have a bad reputation due to their caloric value and allergens and beans are associated with gas. Heads up, if you rinse your beans in a strainer until all the bubbles are gone, you’re rinsing the gas causing oligosaccharides down the drain.
The most concentrated source of magnesium in food is going to be pumpkin seeds, well squash seeds, as pumpkin a type of squash. Pumpkin seeds boast 50% of the RDA for magnesium in a single 1/4 cup serving! That said, if you're deficient you're going to want to eat as many magnesium rich foods as possible throughout the day every day.
If you're allergies have been really bad and you know you're not getting enough magnesium in your diet, an Epsom salt bath or foot soak can help. Magnesium can be absorbed through the skin!
Epsom salts have magnesium in them and thus soaking in them helps with magnesium. Practice caution though. Magnesium is an electrolyte, too much at once can make you feel major woozy.
Start out with 1/4 cup Epsom salts in bath or 2 tablespoons in a foot soak. Slowly move up in amount over the course of a few weeks and increase your intake of magnesium rich foods in the interim.
If you are diabetic, consult with your healthcare practitioner prior to Epsom salt bathes or foot soaks.
Practice caution with magnesium supplementation. As magnesium is an electrolyte, intake of the wrong form and/or dosage can cause extreme gastric distress and diarrhea. Additionally, magnesium supplementation may interact with your medication. This is not to rule out magnesium supplementation, but rather to discuss it with your healthcare provider and focus on making magnesium rich foods a daily, lifelong habit.
Takeaway: Eat magnesium rich foods (seeds, nuts and beans) several times a day, making them a habit. Epsom salt bathes or foot soaks are a relaxing way to get magnesium. Contact your healthcare provider prior to magnesium supplementation, as the wrong form or dosage can cause severe diarrhea.
You may have noticed a pattern with omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium – they’re both chill. Allergies, deeply intertwined and entangled raging inflammation, are made significantly worse by excited, irritated tissue. Thus, having nutrients that are decrease inflammation, soothe the tissue and promote healing are an absolute must. Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamin D synergistically work together to increase each other’s absorption, utilization and efficacy.
Vitamin D is needed in over 200 functions in the human body and the majority of them overlap with magnesium. They’re nutrient BFFs y’all. You need vitamin D to absorb and utilize magnesium and vice versa. It's very chicken and the egg. Vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning needs fat to be absorbed, and is keen on omega 3 fatty acids.
Many speculate that cases of seasonal allergies are on the rise because of the increase in vitamin D deficiency. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is significantly more common in folks with allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies), than individuals without.
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin and when you’re dealing with seasonal allergies the number 1 thing to do is reduce your exposure to the allergens, i.e. stop going outside unless necessary. This in turn limits your exposure to the sun and opportunity to get vitamin D. We’re back to the chicken and the egg scenario.
Vitamin D is not readily found in food. A small amount is fortified into milk and some other food products. Mushrooms have a bit of vitamin D in them as well. The best course of action is to have your vitamin D levels checked - vitamin D is not part of a standard blood panel. Get 5 to 10 minutes of sunshine during the lowest pollen levels of the day. No need to bust out the bikini, unless you want to, exposing your face, neck and lower portion of your arms can be enough. Take a quality vitamin D supplement daily.
Next time you’re at the store to pick up your allergy meds, make sure to pick up some vitamin D as well.
Takeaway: Vitamin D is a must in fighting allergies and inflammation while promoting healing. 5 to 10 minutes of sunshine a day when pollen is at its lowest. Take a quality vitamin D supplement that works for you and your budget.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C is a nutrient ninja that slashes histamine production and breaks down already produced histamine. Typically foods rich in vitamin C are also loaded with other nutrients that help with allergies such as vitamin A (well its precursors carotenoids), bioflavonoids, water, and more.
If oranges aren't your jam, don't worry, you've got options. Bell peppers and tomatoes have more vitamin C in them than oranges, plus there are plenty of fruits and vegetables with vitamin C.
Foods rich in vitamin C include apricots, asparagus, avocados, bananas, basil, beets, bell peppers*, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery*, cherries*, cranberries, cucumbers, garlic, grapefruit, grapes*, peas, green beans, kale, kiwi, leeks, lemons, onions, oranges, papaya, parsley, pineapples, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, romaine lettuce, spinach*, strawberries*, summer squash/zucchini, tomatoes* and watermelon.
*These foods are featured on the EWG's Dirty Dozen list for having high levels of agricultural chemicals. These chemicals may promote inflammation and immune responses such as allergies. Purchase these organic if possible or select different foods.
Takeaway: Eat vitamin C rich foods to help break up and prevent mucus production.
Bioflavonoids are a type of antioxidant that tends to role with vitamin C, plus boost vitamin C’s benefits. If you’re eating fresh vitamin C rich foods, you’ll get the added benefit of bioflavonoids.
Bioflavonoids are said to help with allergies by immobilizing the very mast cells that produce histamine. Foods and beverages that include bioflavonoids are tea (as in from the tea plant – white, green, black and oolong teas), citrus foods, berries, broccoli, eggplant, flaxseeds (which must be broken down for the nutrients within to be available), soybeans, onions, and whole grains.
Takeaway: Pick up some black, green, white or oolong tea. Green and oolong are going to be your best bet for allergies. Make sure the only ingredient in the tea is tea leaves and that it's either loose leaf or packaged in a non-plastic tea bag. Drink 1 to 2 cups daily, keep in mind all these teas contain caffeine. Each bioflavonoid foods, which is easy because they're vitamin C rich foods.
Yet another health benefit of probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) is they help with seasonal allergies. A study published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences concluded that probiotics were useful as a therapeutic treatment for respiratory allergies, although the exact mechanisms remain unclear.
Considering that probiotics have been found to help with proper digestion, clear up skin, boost immune system, aid in weight loss, improve mental health, play a preventative role in colon cancer and the list keeps going, adding a probiotic supplement to your daily regimen is a great idea for overall health. That's all in addition to helping ease your seasonal allergies.
Eating fermented foods, yogurt, kombucha and other probiotic rich foods is a great way to support a health gut microbiotic (population of bacteria), but you’ve got to put them there first with a supplement. Look for a supplement containing both a Bifido- bacteria and a Lactobacilli- bacteria. If you can find one that also contains an Acidophilus strain of bacteria get it.
Takeaway: Pick up a probiotic supplement and take as directed to establish a colony of healthy bacteria. From there consume foods and beverages with probiotics or that support a healthy gut microflora.
Drinking more water is probably the most basic and unsexy bit of nutrition and health advice ever, but it works for a lot of things.
Feeling anxious? Take a seat in a quiet spot and sip 12 ounces of water.
Feeling overwhelmed or angry? Have a glass of water.
Diarrhea? Glass of water.
Constipated? Sip on water while you go for a walk.
Hot day? Glass of water.
Horrible allergies? GLASS OF WATER!
Water helps wash all the allergens that have made it into your mouth and throat down away from your nasal passage into your stomach where they can be destroyed by stomach acid. It also helps flush more obstinate allergens out of your body. Water helps decrease inflammation, detox the body and, as a matter of physics, helps keep your mucous thin. Thin mucous is less likely to result in severe congestion and sinus infections.
Whenever possible filter your water to get out any potential allergens or chemicals that can aggravate your already angry immune system. Avoid bottled water. Most bottled water is straight up tap water and the plastic bottles it comes in result in you drinking plastic particles.
Not only is that gross and weird, those particles are foreign bodies that will set off your immune system and the inflammation response. Additionally, those plastic particles can become enveloped in your body and even in your lining of your lungs. All of which is going to make your allergies worse.
Treat yourself to a nice glass or metal water bottle, or four, with your favorite sports team or whatever makes you smile. Fill it with filtered water and enjoy the amazing health benefits.
Takeaway: Drink at least 8 to 10 (8 ounce) cups of water a day. All fluids count in fluid consumption, but they are not all created equal. Avoid high sugar beverages, those with food dyes, etc. Don't drink bottled water unless there is no other option.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of many old school foods enjoying a newfound wave of massive popularity. Turns out that this simple product of rotten apples and water has a multitude of health benefits, if you get it organic, unpasteurized, unfiltered and with the mother. All that means is that the rotten bits of apple that contain all the nutrients and health boosting enzymes are still in the vinegar.
The potassium content in ACV helps cut through the mucous and congestion of allergies, providing relief from allergies already in full swing. That much has been proven. Others claim that it can help alleviate and prevent allergies by enzymes within apple cider vinegar killing the allergens that enter the mouth, throat and stomach and thereby circumventing the body’s release of histamine.
There are also the benefits of ACV decreasing inflammation plus nourishing healthy gut bacteria, which we’ve discussed help with allergies as well.
Takeaway: Drink at least 1 tablespoon of apple cider daily. This can be done by adding the entire tablespoon to an 8 ounce glass of water or by adding a teaspoon to a smaller glass of water 3 times a day. Also use ACV in recipes, such as salad dressing.
While we’re on the topic of old school foods finally getting the healthy recognition they deserve, we’ve got to give a shout out to an ancient food is receiving some long overdue love: turmeric.
Turmeric, specifically the health benefits of turmeric curcumin, the inflammation busting wonder compound, is all the rage right now. Turmeric curcumin, especially when combined with black pepper, has been found to significantly reduce inflammation to the extent that it’s more potent than aspirin or ibuprofen!
That’s only the beginning of turmeric’s health benefits. Turns out that turmeric can help fight off everything from seasonal/respiratory allergies to diabetes to depression to cancer. Given that it’s a naturally occurring food, the side effects of turmeric are few and far between.
To get the allergy fighting benefits, incorporate turmeric into your recipes and try out new recipes containing turmeric such as curries and golden milk lattes. If you’re not able to get a couple teaspoons of ground turmeric or inch of fresh turmeric root into your diet a day, a turmeric curcumin supplement may be the best option. Make sure it’s organic and has 200 – 500 mg of curcumin in it. Even a supplement will need the black pepper to get the most out of it, so look for a supplement that contains black pepper or take it with a meal that has black pepper.
While the amounts of turmeric in recipes is fine for pregnant women to consume, supplement dosages are not recommended while pregnant.
Takeaway: Start incorporating turmeric rich recipes into your diet on a regular basis. For individuals who dislike turmeric and/or have severe allergies and inflammation, supplementation may be a good idea.
Ginger has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as strong as ibuprofen. Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties have been under the microscope for decades and have been shown to go all they way down to a genetic level to interrupt the inflammation pathway. That's a lot goodness in one gnarly, unassuming root.
Make ginger tea with fresh ginger root and hot water. Simply combine 3 to 4 slices of ginger root to 8 to 12 ounces of boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes or longer. The longer it steeps the spicier it will taste, be advised.
Add ginger (both fresh and dried) to recipes and look specifically for recipes that call for ginger. It will add quiet the kick to your food, so add a little at a time to see if it’s really for you.
Ginger comes with the additional benefit of being one of the best foods to ease an upset stomach. When you’re dealing with allergies, all that drainage can do a number on your stomach. Ginger tea can help ease your stomach, decrease inflammation that is worsening your allergies and flush out allergens in your system.
Takeaway: Regularly consume ginger. Make ginger tea daily during allergy seasons, ice after making on hot days. Avoid candied ginger the sugar will only feed inflammation defeating the purpose.
Raw, Local Honey
Honey may seem counterintuitive because it’s a type of sugar and sugar is one of the absolute worst, if not the worst, causes of inflammation. Furthermore, if you’re allergic to pollen it may seem assbackwards to be consuming honey that bees have made out of pollen, but this is exactly why honey is said to work. Raw, local and unfiltered honey is said to do wonders for allergies.
The theory, that is still waiting for science to prove it someday, is that ingestion of small amounts of the exact pollen that you’re allergic to will help you build up antibodies to the pollen, as well as help your body understand that it is not a threat, thereby building an immunity to said pollen. With this ideology in mind you can understand why it is important to get local as possible with your honey, seasonal if you can (to get the right type of pollens) and leave it unfiltered because otherwise you’re defeating the purpose.
Takeaway: Make raw, local honey your only sweetener. Consume no more than 1 tablespoon a day. Try find a honey that is local as possible and harvested in the season of your allergies. If you cannot find the latter, at least make sure it is local and raw.
WHAT TO CUT OUT
74% of food products in America contain added sugar that goes by at least 62 different names. Sugar was once thought to be nothing more than sweet, benign goodness. It is now being cited as one the biggest detriments to human health, if not the biggest. What’s worse is it’s highly addictive, lighting up the same centers of the brain as cocaine.
Sugar sets inflammation absolutely ablaze. Anything that ignites and fuels inflammation makes allergies worse. Read ingredient panels for added sugar and don’t add it to your food.
Naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables is fine, unless you have diabetes, as you will overload on fiber before you overload on naturally occurring sugar.
This may seem in contrast to local, raw honey helping allergies, but the key with honey is to consume no more than a tablespoon a day, beyond that you’re aggravating allergies because of too high of pollen ingestion.
This makes raw, local honey a viable swap for the sugar. Honey found on an ingredient panel is going to be pasteurized (not raw), filtered (beneficial pollen and enzymes removed) and thus of no health benefit.
Replacing sugar with sugar substitutes is not the answer either. Turns out artificial sweeteners can cause bronchial spasms and production of histamine. Add raw, local honey to your morning coffee instead.
Refined carbohydrates, such as those found in breaded food, fries, pastries, etcetera act in the same way that sugar does. Limitation or exclusion of these foods is going to be beneficial to your allergies, in addition to you overall health.
Takeaway: Sugar, it's gotta go.
Toxic Food Additives
In addition to avoiding artificial sweeteners, avoid toxic food additives that set your inflammation ablaze and may actually be something else you’re allergic to. To keep it simple avoid anything you cannot pronounce and the following 5 (to stay alive – rhyming helps you remember):
!!!Artificial Flavors and Colors – inclusive of caramel coloring
!!!Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats)
!!!Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
!!!High Fructose Corn Syrup
Scanning the labels for these top toxic offenders can help you avoid the 100s of nasty food additives in our current food supply. If you’re interested in learning more about toxic food additives or want a handy app to decode food additives head over to the Center for Science in the Public’s Interest.
Pesticides and other chemical residues on foods can also cause bronchial spasming and histamine release, so choose organic when possible. The Environmental Working Group has a handy guide on what produce items are a must to buy organic and where you can save your money. Get a free copy of The Dirty Dozen – Clean 15 or download the free app.
Takeaway: Read food labels. Avoid the above mentioned 5 as well as anything you cannot pronounce.
BEYOND THE MEDICINE CABINET
Detox Your Living Environment
First thing that absolutely has to go are the toxic chemicals in your living environment that set off your allergies, promote inflammation, upset your neurons and even screw with your hormones. Swap out your scented laundry detergents, fabric softeners, soaps, lotions, cosmetics and shampoos for unscented or naturally fragranced products ASAP.
If your office uses highly scented products and toxic cleansers, let the powers that be know that they set off your allergies and see if they can implement changes. If you're the powers that be, stop using toxic chemicals in your office.
When it comes to cleaners, many of the chemicals we clean our home with upset our respiratory tissue and not to mention cause other health problems. Continue to keep your house clean, but know that water and vinegar can do the majority of cleaning and disinfecting. Throw in some essential oils and basically you’re done. More on essential oils and allergies below.
Now is a good time to swap out your air filters in both your home and in your vehicle. Wipe down vents, again in both your home and vehicle. If this is likely to set off your allergies, wear a medical mask while you do so and make sure to change your clothes and wash any exposed skin before removing the mask. There is also the option of calling in the pros to clean both sets of vents, however be clear with them not to spray down the vents with toxic, artificial air fresheners.
Takeaway: Choose non-toxic cleaning, beauty and hygiene products. Wipe down entire home, office and vehicle with said non-toxic products. Swap out air filters. Call in pros if need be.
Seasonal allergies may give you the heeby-geebies when it comes to all plants, but many household plants can actually improve your allergies. Houseplants, for the most part, don’t produce pollen, but do purify the air. In fact the team at NASA did a study on this to see which plants could provide clean air in case we ever start colonizing the moon or Mars.
The NASA Clean Air Study looked at plants that could both cleanse the air of certain toxins and produce large amounts of oxygen. The researchers not only made a list of plants that are the best for clean air, but also concluded that clean air is accomplished by having at least 1 plant per every 100 square feet of living or office space.
Takeaway: Pick up some houseplants, double check to make sure they’re not toxic to your pets. Make sure to have at least 1 plant in your office as well. If you want to get super technical and scientific about this, make sure to have 1 houseplant per every 100 square feet of your home.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a whole can do wonders for allergies. Some people (the author included) find that it’s the best thing for their seasonal allergies.
Response to acupuncture is individualized and dependent on the severity of the condition, duration of the condition, other factors exacerbating the condition (examples: inflammation, toxic chemicals, high stress) and your nutritional status.
Your acupuncturist will guide you through the process, as well as help you choose herbs if needed and possible household and lifestyle solutions that can help. Make sure to disclose any medications that you’re on to treat your allergies and as a whole.
In TCM, allergies are views as having to do with wind, which in spring and fall can be very literal. It can also reference a lot of changes in life, working/living in an environment with constantly moving air (think the blasting AC at your office), and being in constant motion in life.
That’s why things like find a quiet minute each day to practice deep breathing and stillness (meditation) can do wonders for your overall health, including your allergies. If you’re living a life that involves a lot of travel (lots of movement and lots of circulated air in vehicles and air planes), make a quiet moment in the morning and evening a non-negotiable.
To find an acupuncturist in your area go to NCCAOM.org and put in your location. If you're a frequent traveler, find a home base acupuncturist, as well as an acupuncturist to follow-up with when traveling, based on your homebase acupuncturist’s recommendations.
Drink plenty of water the days leading up to your appointment and try to schedule at a time you have a free hour or two after, possibly their last appointment of the day. Acupuncture often makes people feel incredibly relaxed. It’s normal to fall asleep on the table and be in a state of pure relaxation for several hours thereafter; enjoy it.
Takeaway: Give acupuncture a try.
Let’s start with a lesser known oil that does wonders for seasonal allergies: copaiba oil. Copaiba oil is produced from tree sap resin. It’s incredible at reducing inflammation and works wonders for respiratory health. It’s also antifungal, meaning if fungus spores are contributing to your allergies, it will help with that. It also happens to be amazing for your skin and mood.
Spot test this one with a carrier oil or lotion on a small spot of skin prior to using. Massage copaiba oil, along with a massage oil or lotion all over your body to enjoy the respiratory health benefits in addition to the skin, mood and muscle relaxing (part of this oils anti-inflammatory properties) benefits. Put in the diffuser when your allergies are tensing you up, your allergy meds are making you anxious or you simply need help breathing.
Lavender oil may be the most commonly known and loved essential oil there is. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s about to go way up on your list. It acts as an inhaled antihistamine. At the first signs and symptoms of an oncoming allergy attack, put some on your palms and deeply inhaled and exhale several times.
Another great way to maximize lavender oils inhaled antihistamine properties is putting several drops in a diffuser with filtered water. Start the diffuser an hour before your worst allergy times to prevent the buildup of histamines.
Wipe down all the vents in your car (and the rest of your vehicle as well) and rub a little lavender oil on them, that way when you turn on the air you breathe in an antihistamine instead of the dust that was residing on your vents.
Spritz some additional lavender oil on your car seats, ceiling and floor – enough to get the aromatic properties of the lavender oil, but not so much that you’re creating an opportunity for mold growth. A few drops of pure essential oils go a long ways! Add 4 to 8 drops of essential oil to 8 ounces of water in a spray bottle.
If you’re in a full blown, nose blocked allergy attack or flare-up, dab a few drops on your forehead, cheeks, neck and chest. While lavender oil is gentle enough to not need dispersed in a carrier oil, it may be best and help you spread it the furthest, use an oil or unscented lotion to spread it.
Another oil that works great to help you get back to breathing is peppermint oil. Keeping it going in the diffuser, using a carrier oil to spread it across your chest, back, neck and sinus area (steering clear of your eyes) can help clear your head up and provide a crisp, tingling sensation the relieves the tight, suffocating feeling of allergies.
This is a great oil to use when the mucus from your allergies has gotten really thick as the volatile oils in mint break up mucous.
If your allergies have pushed you to the point you have a sinus headache, severe congestion and exhaustion, try eucalyptus oil. Blends well with peppermint oil and has the ability to breakup intense, miserable congestion. This is a very strong oil, so practice caution, make sure to avoid your eyes or direct skin contact and know a little goes a long ways.
A couple drops in your diffuser will do a great job. You must use a carrier oil with eucalyptus to prevent burning your skin. If your skin reacts well to a small test spot of eucalyptus and a carrier oil, spread a small amount on forehead, neck and chest. Drink plenty of water and be ready for a lot of drainage. Eucalyptus oil really breaks up mucus.
Tips & Tricks to Maximizing Essential Oils for Seasonal Allergies
Another great way to get the benefits of any of these oils is to put them to work while you sleep and/or while you’re wearing clothes. Throw out the toxic, fire-hazard, waste of money dryer sheets and swap them for coffee filters, vinegar and essential oils. You read that right.
Take a simple coffee filter and wet it with vinegar add 2 to 3 drops of whichever essential oil(s) you want to use and throw it in the dryer with your clothes. Get the same effect of a dryer sheet, but with health benefits instead of health hazards. If one, or a blend of these oils are particularly beneficial to you, use that for your sheets so the oils can help you breathe as you sleep.
Another simple tip is to create an “after laundry spray.” Get a small, 4 ounce spray bottle, fill with water and 4 drops of your favorite, most helpful oil. Lightly spritz your clothes and or bedding with it to get the aromatic benefits. Again, this is enough to get the oil dispersed on the clothing, not enough to create a damp environment for mold to grow.
Oils break down fast, so spritz the remaining solution on carpet, curtains and/or furniture. Spot test to make sure that won’t ruin anything first.
Takeaway: Purchase these 4 essential oils. Use them in addition to other seasonal allergy remedies and in place of toxic household products. Do not use them in place of medical advice. No no.
Himalayan Salt Lamps
While this may sound a bit woo-woo and the scientific jury is still out on it, Himalayan salt lamps are said to do wonders for air quality. One of the many claims both by sellers and enthusiastic owners is that these salt lamps reduce allergens.
The theory is that when heated by the light within being on for a prolonged time, the salt gives off negative ions like those found in nature. This cleans the air and thus reduces the number of air borne allergens.
Most are in the $20 to $30 range; not too shabby. If it doesn’t clean your air it at least looks beautiful and gives off light. There’s a laundry list of other health claims behind the lamps including helping with anxiety, depression, insomnia and the common cold. Worth a try.
Takeaway: Don't overthink it. Get you one for each room/area you frequent. This includes your office. Turn it on and then move onto incorporating other remedies into your life. These pretty lamps are not curative, but can help.
Get Tested for Allergies
Our bodies change a lot in the course of our lifetime, as do our allergies. What may have been setting off your allergies as a child could be completely different now. That plus our food supply and lifestyles are further removed from nature than they ever have been. With off the chart inflammation from added sugar, high salt foods, nutritionally void diets and off the charts stress - allergies are worse than ever. Stress induced allergies are a thing y’all.
There’s another reason to schedule an appointment with an allergist that you may not have thought of: food allergies may have respiratory projections instead of digestive issues. That’s right. For example, a wheat allergy may have zero digestive problems, but present with everything you think of for asthma or seasonal allergies.
It’s time to let the pros tinker around and see what’s really going on in your body. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider and/or allergist to see what you’re allergic to.
This also helps with avoiding foods that are related to your allergies that can make your allergies worse. For example, if you’re allergic to ragweed did you know it’s best to avoid bananas, melons (inclusive of cucumber), artichoke, zucchini and teas made out of flowers (think chamomile, Echinacea and hibiscus). A skilled allergist will know this and be able to give you a tailored list.
Remember, allergies change over time. Making all, or as many as possible, of these changes and turning them into habits can help your body heal and possibly recover from your allergies. That’s not to say any of this is a cure. No. This is not meant to take place of the advice of your healthcare professional.
What this does mean is that if you focus on taking care of your health through diet and lifestyle, you’ll see significant improvement in all areas of your health. It’s all connected.
Takeaway: Stop self diagnosis. Call in the pros. Get the info and keep a level head about it. There is a lot you can to help your allergies and heal.