Wellness Wednesday: Fighting Seasonal Allergies the Natural Way

Spring is here which is great news if you’re totally over the snow and cold, but it’s nothing to cheer about if you’re one of the millions of adults with seasonal allergies.  

 

Unlike allergies to pet dander or dust, which can strike year-round, seasonal allergies are triggered by a sensitivity to particles that saturate the air in the spring and fall, such as pollen and mold. 

Even a little exposure (like during your afternoon run) can leave your eyes itchy, watery, and red and stuff up your nose and sinuses. 

To ease the misery, you could pop over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications. Problem is, even the non-drowsy formulations might give you brain fog. Instead, you might want to consider relief with with a more natural, “drug-free” approach. I thought I’d share some natural remedies (and helpful habits) that I’ve found to be very effective for seasonal allergies.


Helpful Habits & Natural Remedied for Seasonal Allergy Relief

Sip Peppermint Tea To Clear Nasal Passages
  
This herbal tea infused with mint contains menthol, which thins mucus and helps clear plugged-up sinus passages. The tea itself also has EGCG, a potent antioxidant that has been found to stop an allergic reaction before it starts.  And don’t forget the steamy benefits of a freshly steeped cup: Breathe it in, and congestion quickly fades. So enjoy a couple cups of peppermint tea each day, to decrease congestion and reduce swelling in the sinuses.

Shower To Rinse Allergens Off Your Skin
  
After spending time outdoors, rinse off under the shower — you’ll wash allergens out of your hair and off your skin, preventing them from keeping you from continuing to be exposed to the allergens indoors. Bonus shower benefit: Steam is an instant congestion clearer. 

Use Eucalyptus Oil
  

One of the most popular essential oils used for easing congestion is eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil has long been used in cough lozenges, and its decongestant properties are well known. The strong, piney aroma of eucalyptus oil can supercharge steam inhalation, helping to open your sinuses and nasal passages further.  In addition to this, research suggests that eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Try adding a few drops of oil to a bowl of steaming water, or to the floor of the shower before you step in. Just don’t swallow the oil or apply it directly to your skin; it’s toxic in concentrated amounts.
Make A Pineapple Smoothie To Reduce Nasal Passage Swelling
  
Adding fresh pineapple to a smoothie or using pineapple juice to add natural sweetness to green juice is a quick (and tasty) way to start breathing easier. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that reduces swelling in nasal passages, giving you relief.

Use a Saline Nasal Spray
  
Saline nasal sprays are available over-the-counter to relieve mild congestion, loosen mucus, and prevent crusting. They contain no medication and can be used as frequently as needed without causing additional problems. Over-the-counter saline sprays and rinses can help remove pollen from the nasal lining if you’ve been exposed to pollen. People often use them at the end of the day. 





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