Seasons when flowers start producing pollen tend to be the time when allergy symptoms are the worst. Whether it’s hayfever, or year round allergies you suffer with here are some natural remedies for allergies and their symptoms.
Although it sounds pretty ironic considering plants are causing the symptoms, plants can be used as a cure too!
What are allergic reactions?
Allergies are caused by the immune system over-reacting to foreign substances or sensitivity to pollen and fungal spores. These reactions cause itchy nose, throat, eyes, watering eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, congestion and even swelling in severe cases.
How to beat allergies
When your body is fighting to keep you healthy you have to help it as much as possible. Even if allergies aren’t an actual illness they can make you feel down, lack energy, and feel generally unwell and miserable.
Start beating allergies by checking in with your routine and taking care of yourself. Make sure you are getting plenty of restful sleep, drinking lots of water and take your vitamins. As well as eating lots of healthy foods like fruit and vegetables.
You need to help boost your immune system in any way you can!
There are also plant based and natural remedies you can take to prevent allergies and alleviate your symptoms
Natural remedies for allergies & hayfever
Take bee pollen and a spoonful of local honey once a day.
Locally sourced honey naturally contains the pollen that you are being exposed to. Taking honey allows your body to build up a natural immunity to pollens (rather like having a flu jab).
Bee pollen is anti-inflammatory as well as anti-fungal, anti-vital and basically magical. You can sprinkle on breakfasts or add a spoonful to your smoothie each day to help your immune system, and relieve that heavy stuffy congested feeling in your head and sinuses.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is definitely an acquired taste, but one with many benefits. You may have already heard of it as an aid for digestion and weight loss, but it is also good for allergy relief. Taken daily it helps to reduce the bodies mucus production and cleanse your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system deals with fighting bacteria and infections and is therefore vital to your immune system health.
Mix a spoonful of cider vinegar with a glass of water and take once a day once your allergies start to develop.
Eyebright has been used for centuries to treat eye problems. It is naturally rich in tannins which work to tighten mucus membranes to prevent further irritation , as well as reducing the amount of mucus you produce. It also works with your liver to reduce excess toxins.
You can use a tincture of eyebright to relieve itchy watery eyes (as well as eye infections!). To treat eyes you need to put a few drops into your eye(s), or use as an eyewash three times a day.
For itchy throats, catarrh, mucus and runny noses you need to swallow a tincture of eyebright mixed with a little water twice a day.
Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid. It can be found in lots of food (albeit in small quantities), and is a powerful antioxidant. Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory and has antihistamine effects on the whole body, helping to reduce allergy symptoms.
Although found naturally in foods such as broccoli and citrus, it would be difficult to consume the amounts needed this way. You can, however, take quercetin in supplement form as a replacement to an antihistamine tablet.
Start taking tablets about a month or so before your allergy season would usually begin (if possible) for the best results.
Elderflower is not only high in vitamin C, but the flowers can be used as a tonic for reducing mucus in the membranes of the nose and sinuses.
Make a tincture of the flowers to use cold for bathing irritated and itchy eyes, or you can mix with a glass of water and drink daily to help relieve blocked noses and reduce mucus.
You probably think of nettles as pesky weeds to avoid, but they are actually highly nutritious and have a multitude of properties. They are high in vitamins A & C, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium and chromium to name a few!
Nettles are another powerful anti-allergenic and natural antihistamine. Nettles grow everywhere throughout spring and summer, so you can easily pick them to make tinctures ,teas and even nettle soups.
Use tinctures of nettle by taking one teaspoon mixed in a little water or juice 1-3 times a day, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
You can drink teas too, as and when you need. You can either make the tea yourself using the dried leaves, or can easily be purchased.
Alternatively you can take a nettle capsule (which you can easily find at your local health foods store).
Essential oils cannot cure allergies as such. But you can use them to help alleviate your symptoms and discomfort.
Eucalyptus and peppermint oils are both good for clearing blocked noses and sinuses and helping you to breathe more easily.
Lavender oil is both relaxing and a natural antihistamine. You can use it topically to relieve symptoms, or use in a diffuser which will help clear your nose and any breathing problems in your chest & airways.
To relieve those feelings of being unwell, run down and achy rub a combination of lavender, frankincense and lemon onto the back of the neck. This is a personal combination of oils I like to use. You can do this a couple of times a day to alleviate discomfort. This little mixture will also help you feel soothed and relaxed.
I hope these tips are helpful and will help you get out and enjoying summer a bit more this year. Make the most of all the sunshine we seem to be getting!