Do your allergy meds make you drowsy or offer limited relief? Try these natural remedies to ease your seasonal allergies.
The longer days of spring are here. For many, this is a season of outdoor adventures, digging in the garden and watching the landscape colors change. But for others, these changes are the beginning of allergy season bringing itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion, and a newly stocked cabinet of medications.
“Approximately one in 10 Americans suffer from some kind of allergy disorder,” notes Radmila Savcic-Kos, M.D. “We live in a world where antihistamines are widely used and accepted for immediate relief for seasonal allergies. But these solutions could lead to negative side effects like drowsiness, or may not provide enough relief and are expensive.”
Dr. Savcic-Kos says there are other ways to relieve seasonal allergies which don’t include over-the-counter remedies.
Top Seasonal Allergies Tip: Avoid Triggers
“The most important tip is allergen avoidance. This means staying indoors more, taking more showers to rinse off pollen and using air filters,” she recommends.
Important to remember: If your symptoms are new or unusual, always see your doctor.
“All patients with newly, severe, or worsening allergies should see a doctor,” Dr. Savcic-Kov says. “This includes allergies affecting the lips, mouth, tongue and airways.”
3 Natural Ways to Relieve Seasonal Allergies
Neti Pot and Saline Rinse
Before your symptoms are in full force, head them off by using a Neti Pot and saline rinse. In fact, it’s a great way to flush out pollen and loosen mucus in your sinuses. While it might not take the place of your allergy pills or sprays, it can reduce the need for them. Neti Pots and saline rinses can also help reduce cold and flu symptoms, relieve nasal dryness and decrease snoring.
To use: Use a pre-made saline solution or make your own by dissolving 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a quart of boiled distilled water. Cool the water, then pour into the Neti Pot. Lean your head sideways and poor the mixture into one nostril, letting it drain out the other one.
Eucalyptus Oil and Steam
Open your sinuses and nose by inhaling the scented steam of eucalyptus oil. The vapor provides a menthol-like sensation making breathing seem easier.
“Recent clinical trials with eucalyptus oil have shown evidence for the benefits of long-term use to prevent Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It can also improve asthma and decrease ER visits,” Dr. Savcic-Kos states.
To use: Add a few drops to the floor before a shower, inhaling the steam. Also add the oil to a steamy bowl of water, place a towel over your head and breathe deeply.
Bees can also help those with allergies: They fly from one flower to another, collecting local pollen impacting your allergies. “Consuming local, raw honey might build up your immunity to the pollen allergies where you live,” relays Dr. Savcic-Kos.
While this theory is widely believed, Dr. Savcic-Kos says there’s little scientific proof to support it. However eating local honey does have other positive uses. It can help soothe coughs, boost memory and immunity and provide small amounts of calcium, copper, iron and magnesium.
To use: Enjoy it in your tea, coffee or eat it spread on toast.
Before trying any natural remedy, talk to your doctor about your seasonal allergies. This is especially important if you have liver issues, are pregnant or on hormonal contraceptives.