The flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer, and your sinuses are getting congested. Runny nose, itchy eyes, constant sneezing – if that sounds familiar, then you probably have seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies typically happen in the spring and fall, when there is more pollen in the air.
When you have an allergic reaction, an allergen such as pollen attaches to the mucus membranes in your nasal passages, causing the release of a chemical called histamine.
The histamine triggers an inflammatory immune response that results in the symptoms you experience with allergies. This is your body’s mechanism for fighting off chemical intruders. Limiting your exposure to allergens help limit your allergy symptoms.
But completely avoiding allergens in the air is almost impossible when you are outside, so here are some natural ways that you can relieve symptoms without a pill.
Take a shower
Taking a nice steaming hot shower can temporarily clear nasal passages. It will also clean up any allergens on your hair and face, relieving symptoms and preventing them from spreading in your house.
If you’ve already taken a shower, you can try putting your face in steam to help clear sinuses. Pour boiling water into a bowl and inhale deep breaths for 5-10 minutes.
Close your windows
Closing the windows will block allergens from coming into your house or room, minimizing your exposure. Turn off any fans to prevent the spread of allergens, especially in the mornings when pollen levels are at their highest. If things get really bad, wearing a medical mask can help filter allergens away from the air you breathe.
Make some tea
Green tea contains antioxidants that are great for your health overall, but also target allergies. Stay away from chamomile tea if you have spring allergies since it can cause allergic reactions. Putting your face over a steaming cup of tea can also help clear nasal passages.
Try some local honey
Having a spoon of local honey a few times a week can help you build immunity to allergies in the spring and fall. Honey goes great with oatmeal and fruit, or on top of toast. Here are some great recipes with honey to try when your allergies are acting up.
Drinking water or lots of fluids can help thin mucus layers, relieving congestion and an icky throat. Even better, warm liquids such as tea and soup can help clear sinuses with the help of steam. Try lemon water to get a little flavor boost and enjoy some sweet relief.
Eat strategic foods
Avoid inflammatory foods
Dairy and dried fruit can cause inflammation, which will worsen allergy symptoms.
By trying a few of these tips, you may lessen your symptoms without even having to pop any Claritin. Good luck!