It’s easy to get excited about spring. After months of shivering, you can finally relax outside! The air is warm, the birds are singing and the butterflies reappear. The flowers and trees start to bloom and…achoo!! Oh boy. Along with spring, it would seem allergies are back as well.
If you are dreading another endless round of coughing, hacking, sniffing, sneezing, and snorting, here are 10 all-natural ways you can successfully fight off allergies this spring.
Different Types of Allergies
There are all kinds of allergies. Which ones people suffer from depends on genetics and exposure.
The main types of allergies come from food, pollen, pets, mold, latex (rubber), insects, and drugs. While the best allergy treatment is always avoidance (prevention), this isn’t always possible.
What Causes Allergies, Anyway?
Allergies are not actually caused by allergens. Actually, allergies are caused by the body’s own immune system. When the immune system mistakes an allergen for a serious health threat, it mobilizes. It attacks, and then the symptoms begin.
The sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat—all of these and many other symptoms are actually signs that your immune system has gotten over-excited in its efforts to fight off the threat.
Some people have inherited a vulnerability to certain allergens—the immune system has a very long genetic memory. This inherited tendency makes it more likely that the immune system will over-react when presented with those particular allergens. So here, the key to treatment is to calm down your immune system as quickly as possible.
10 Natural Allergy Remedies
These 10 natural allergy remedies can help restore your immune system to balance and send the unpleasant allergy symptoms packing!
Remedy #1: Saline nasal wash
The neti pot is not a new home remedy by any means, but it has gained great popularity over the last few years as more mainstream medical professionals have begun to endorse its use.
While there are many washes and sprays on the market today, the original method was simply to mix a pinch of salt with sterile water and use the pot to irrigate your nasal passages, clearing out allergens and mucus with the water/salt mixture. Neti pots and saline packets are available at most drugstores today.
Remedy #2: Locally sourced honey
Locally sourced honey’s best recommendation is that, unlike most other natural allergy remedies, it is delicious. But it also carries within it a secret weapon—traces of the same local pollen and allergens that are causing your immune system to go into overdrive.
Eating local natural honey daily works in a way similar to that of homeopathy, by building up your body’s tolerance to the allergens it is most sensitive to day by day. You can take one straight tablespoon per day or add it to cereal or a smoothie (it is best taken at room temperature rather than in a hot tea).
Remedy #3: Nettle tea
Nettle tea (made from the stinging nettle plant) is a popular home remedy for warding or fighting off allergies. Nettle tea is known to be particularly useful in relieving hay fever symptoms.
Remedy #4: Air duct cleaning
Your home’s indoor air duct system is responsible for circulating clean, fresh air throughout your home and also for removing stale air through the vent system. Unfortunately, no air duct system is immune to the accumulation of dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and debris that tends to build up on the inner walls of the vents over time.
This buildup not only reduces the performance of your HVAC system and impacts your overall indoor quality, but it can also exacerbate and even cause allergies where none existed before.
Air duct cleaning literally vacuums out all of that buildup so the only thing circulating through the ducts is clean, fresh air.
Remedy #5: Mattress cleaning
Mattress cleaning quickly and easily removes one of the biggest allergy triggers in your home—dust mites.
By cleaning the mattresses in your home regularly and then covering them with anti-allergy cases, you can drastically reduce the likelihood of dust mite-induced allergies disturbing your sleep.
Remedy #6: Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus can be used to relieve allergy symptoms in a variety of ways. One of the most popular is by sucking on eucalyptus lozenges. But you can also use eucalyptus oil, tea, and balm to ease the coughing and inflammation allergens can cause.
Remedy #7: Dryer vent cleaning
Since washing and drying your clothing is such a routine chore today, it is so easy to forget that allergens can be lurking right there in your dryer vents! This is where dryer vent cleaning comes in.
Dryer vent cleaning removes the lint, dust, debris, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens that have accumulated not just in the places you can see, but also in the vent areas that are not easily accessed.
P.S. As a side benefit, dryer vent cleaning will also improve your dryer function, extend its life, and lower your energy bill!
Remedy #8: Licorice root
Used in moderation, licorice root can have the same effect as other over-the-counter medicines that loosen mucus and relieve coughing.
Remedy #9: Butterbur
As one of the few natural-based allergy remedies that have been studied by scientists, butterbur is a very promising natural remedy not just for relieving allergy symptoms, but for blocking them all together!
Remedy #10: Onions and garlic
These two are perhaps the easiest natural allergy remedies (especially if you love Italian food)! You can prepare them any way you like—the quercetin they contain acts as a natural antihistamine.