By Cody Frank
It’s getting warmer out, the sun is shining longer, and ACHOO. Bless you, it’s allergy season ladies. Many people suffer from allergies especially as the season changes. I’m going to share some natural remedies that will help you feel less congested so that you can continue to be your fly self.
1. Saline Nasal rinse – I personally have used the Neti Pot and the squeeze bottle that are both useful. Basically, you are flushing out your sinuses with a saltwater solution. This helps to wash away allergens and irritants inside the sinus cavities. If you use it daily you will see results, I have to work on putting it into my daily routine. I still find it a little difficult to get over the whole, “I’m drowning myself” feeling but if you pant like a dog while rinsing, it helps alleviate the suffocating feeling. The results are worth it! You can purchase the premixed package solutions or you can make your own. Combine 1 quart of distilled or boiled (then cooled) water; 2 – 3 tsp of non-iodized salt (kosher, pickling, or canning or sea salt); 1 tsp of baking soda. Pour around 8 oz at a time into the Neti Pot or Squeeze bottle and tilt your head forward over the sink while you pour/squeeze the solution in one nostril and let it drain out the other.
2. Steam inhalation – A way to relieve stuffiness is to inhale the steam of essential oils. A recipe from Dale Bellisfeld is to fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat, take the pan off the stovetop and add 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 3 drops of rosemary essential oil, 2 drops of myrtle essential oil and 2 drops of tea tree essential oil. Tent a bath towel over the saucepan (keep your face just far enough away from the steam to avoid burns and inhale deeply for 5 – 10 minutes. Repeat 1 – 3 times a day. This one is like a spa day in your kitchen. Drink some hot tea while the water is boiling and put some soothing instrumental music on.
3. Stinging Nettle Leaf – A natural antihistamine that inhibits the body’s ability to produce histamine. Works a lot like the over counter the drugs except without the unwanted side effects. You can take it as a supplement or drink it in tea form. Make sure the oils seep into the tea before you drink it.
4. Quercetin – Another natural antihistamine. A natural plant derived compound that also acts as a natural antioxidant. Check with your doctor before taking this supplement because it is not meant for everyone.
5. Cool mist humidifier – This can be useful for certain nights. Water droplets will bind to the allergens and fall to the ground. Thus preventing you from inhaling it in your sleep.
6. Air Purifier with a HEPA filter – Using a HEPA filter in your bedroom is a great way to remove spores and pollen from the air. Look around to see which filter is best for you on Consumer Reports.
7. Priobiotics – Good bacteria aid in keeping your immune system well balanced. The probiotics beneficial for your immune system are Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis and Acidophilus.
8. Acupuncture – Yes, getting stuck with needles by a professional and relaxing can help calm down an overactive immune system. It helps to do this at least a month before your allergy season.
9. Wash – Wash your hair before bed, wash your clothes that have been outside, and wash your bed sheets at least once a week. Washing out the allergens before they stick to you throughout the night can help prevent prolonged contact.
10. Chill out – New York City is known for the NY minute. We never stop out here because there’s always something to do. The best and worst thing about this city. Your body needs time to relax even if you fool yourself into thinking it doesn’t. A constant state of stress can make your response to allergens worse. Take time to meditate, pray, rest, or whatever you need to do for inner reflection.