Hurray, it’s Spring! Here in California we have a beautiful display of wild flowers, green grasses, and blossoming trees galore. Unfortunately not everyone can enjoy these gorgeous spectacles. The winds stir up their pollen and many people end up indoors dealing with runny, itchy or congested noses, scratchy throats, and watery eyes from seasonal allergies.
Claritin & Benadryl may be your saviors to get through this season, but then you need to deal with the possible side effects which can be just as miserable as the allergic response (headaches, sleepiness, nervousness, rashes, GI issues, or more serious conditions like jaundice or enlarged prostate glands).
I can tell you from personal experience that you don’t have to choose between seasonal allergy symptoms & drug side effects. I’ve had to deal with a major dust mite allergy and hay fever for most of my childhood & young adult years.
Below is a picture of me in Maine when I was visiting my Father-in-law & his girlfriend in 2008. My sinuses became extremely inflamed when their neighbors cut a field of grass. I remember spending a few days inside, alternating self-acupuncture treatments and clearing my nose with a saline rinse (with the neti pot that I pack on every vacation). I was able to enjoy our visit without a visit to the pharmacy.
This was the last time I remember having ANY allergic reaction and that was 10 years ago.
It was not one thing in particular that helped my body heal. At that time in my life I made a huge shift in diet, supplements, self-care practices, and therapies. If you’re interested in taking a natural approach to managing allergies, you’ll likely need to try a few different approaches.
Here is a list and explanation of the therapies that helped me. I’ve also included a few new ideas that have worked for friends & clients too.
Natural Therapies for Seasonal Allergies
1. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
A Chinese Medicine practitioner may use acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs to work with the root cause of your imbalance. For allergies, there is typically a deficiency in what we call “Wei Qi”, which is the protective energy that is analogous to our immune system. Practitioners will likely work to tonify this energy while also increasing your blood circulation. Treatments will take your time and commitment, but this may be your best chance in resolving your allergies naturally, for good.
2. Use a neti pot or saline rinse
Rinsing your nasal passages regularly is a great way to prevent allergic rhinitis. The rinse removes microorganisms, pollen, dust, excess mucus, and other impurities from the nasal passages. It can reduce discomfort from seasonal allergies and can even shorten the span of the common cold if done in the first few days.
Here’s a helpful video on how to use a neti pot:
3. Eating Local Honey
It’s theorized that consuming local honey helps one to become desensitized to the pollen that is causing an allergic reaction in one’s environment. This study showed that there was a significant reduction in allergic rhinitis symptoms after consuming a high dose of local honey over an 8 week period. Honey is yummy and in my opinion, is worth a shot if you’re trying to heal naturally!
4. Essential Oils
Do you want another reason to love essential oils? They can help immensely with seasonal allergies!
Peppermint supports respiration by unclogging sinuses, soothing scratchy throats and reducing inflammation.
Lemon promotes drainage in lymph tissue, flushes out toxins, boosts immunity, and supports the respiratory system.
Lavender is a natural antihistamine and helps with itching. It’s also calming and reduces inflammation.
Together, these oils are a wonderful blend to keep handy when you’re outdoors and concerned about a reaction. Dilute them in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil (20-50% dilution) and apply to temples, back of ears, and soles of feet.
DoTERRA’s TriEase Softgels allow you to take these oils internally, which is safe to do daily because of their high purity levels. They provide comfort when seasonal threats are high and help to protect the respiratory system.
5. Heal your gut
The great majority of our immune system resides in the gut in the form of beneficial bacteria. They help to protect our gut lining, increase our immunity by helping to make lymphocytes & other white blood cells, and allow us to digest & absorb nutrients efficiently. So when there is a dysfunction of the immune system, such as seasonal allergies, the gut is the most logical place to make significant changes.
Check out Improve Your Family’s Gut Health to Increase General Health, Part 2 to learn how to restore gut health with the GAPS diet, fermented foods, probiotics, and more.
Have you tried any of these natural remedies for seasonal allergies? How have they worked for you? Please let us know in the comments!
Well wishes to all…