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Before moving to the mountains, I never suffered from allergies. Of course, living in the middle of a National Forest where the trees drop a ton of pollen each spring can trigger allergies in the best of us.
We try to eat a very clean, real food diet, but I have found that’s not enough to prevent the pollen from getting to me. It really affects Zoë as well, so I have been doing some research on how to minimize our allergies this year since spring is here.
Fortunately, there are a variety of natural remedies you can use to help prevent spring allergies from taking over your life.
Vitamin C may help minimize many spring allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation related to allergic reactions. You can eat foods rich in vitamin C, or supplement with a whole foods vitamin C supplement.
Clinical studies have shown that quercetin appers to mimic the antihistamine effect of certain drugs. If you can add sources of quercetin to your diet, such as garlic, onion, apple and cayenne pepper, it may help to prevent the symptoms of springtime allegies.
Homemade Bone Broth
I am a huge fan of drinking homemade bone broths during winter months to keep the immune system strong, but did you know that it can also prevent allergy symptoms? In some studies, the strain Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92, has been shown to help alleviate Japanese cedar pollen allergy.
I love how relaxing chamomile tea can be to drink, but you can also use it to reduce the symptoms of spring allergies as well. Just place a cold tea bag over dry, itchy eyes and you’ll quickly get relief.
I first tried Nettle last year. You can buy it in capsule form, or make a tea from it. I like to make Nettle tea and sweeten it with local, raw honey. When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamine. Since nettle contains histamine, it helps your body build up a tolerance. It’s also great for reducing inflammation. Be careful of overuse though, as nettle can exhaust your potassium levels.
Another herb that is great for allergies is butterbur. The root and leaves from butterbur contain petasines, which can block reactions that can cause allergies. It relieves itching, sneezing, stuffiness, runny nose and watery eyes in only 5 days. In addition, German and Swiss research showed butterbur to be as effective as the pharmaceutical Zyrtec after only two weeks of use.
Elderberries are awesome for flu and colds because it strengthens the immune system. But they can also help with allergies since they contain beneficial flavonoids that can reduce inflammation. We’ll be continuing our elderberry syrup use through the spring.
Local Raw Honey
I have been reading about how local, raw honey can get rid of allergies for a while. But as far as I knew, we didn’t have local honey. However, last week I found out that there is a local beekepper and I’m trying to find out how to procure some true local honey. It’s best if the bees gather pollen from the plant(s) that cause your allergies, as it can help you build up a tolerance. But local and raw is the key.
Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
I am always discovering more uses for organic raw apple cider vinegar and springtime allergies are yet another one! ACV works by impeding your body’s histamine reaction and it also minimizes inflammation. You should take one tablespoon each morning before you leave your house. I like to mix my dose of ACV with filtered water and local raw honey (a great way to combine remedies).
I am a huge fan of essential oils as a natural remedy, and they can also help with spring allergies. Choose quality oils, including lavender, peppermint, lemon balm, blue tansy, eucalyptus or lemongrass. You can either diffuse a few drops of your favorite essential oil or you can dilute the oil and apply it to your feet, wrist, temples or chest.
While I have never tried acupuncture, it can strengthen your immune system so your body can better battle spring allergies. It has also been shown to alleviate swollen nasal passages even more quickly than some popular herbs can.
Since most of our immune system stems from our gut health, ensuring we are taking a natural probiotic supplement is important in helping manage spring allergies. I have been slacking on taking one, so we recently checked out the probiotic section at Costco.After reading the packages, I settled on Insync Probiotic.
I liked that it contains 6 strains of natural probiotics, including doctor recommended strains B. infantis, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, and that it has a gradual release so it’s not destroyed right away by your stomach acid. I also liked that they disclosed that Insync Probiotic has 3 billion bacteria at the time of manufacture and 1 billion at the time of expiration. It’s really important to know the numbers at expiration because many brands quickly lose potency after manufacture.
What are your best tips for reducing Spring allergies?