It’s time to shake off the cold winter weather and welcome spring!
If you have hay fever, a.k.a. seasonal allergies, you may be looking for ways to counter annoying symptoms like an itchy throat, watery eyes, or a runny nose. A common cause of allergies in the spring is the abundance of pollen from flowering plants. Some research suggests as many as 50 million Americans will experience various types of allergies each year.
Allergy medication is helpful when it comes to keeping allergies in check, but for those who are looking to explore alternative options, here are 4 natural seasonal allergy remedies that may help to make your spring better than ever before.
Limiting your exposure
A great natural strategy to combat springtime allergies is to avoid exposure to pollen. It’s easy to find out about the type and severity of current pollen counts in your area. The Weather Channel even has an allergy tracker you can search by zip code.
Here are some other tips for limiting your exposure to pollen:
- Get outside in the early morning or in the evening when the pollen count is typically lower
- Take advantage of a spring rain as it cleanses the air of pollen for a short while
- Avoid activities like mowing the lawn
Seasonal allergies are usually in response to allergens like grass, plant, and tree pollen. An allergy to dust — or, technically, dust mites — often causes very similar symptoms. Luckily, you can reduce symptoms in most cases by spending a few minutes dusting with a little soap-and-water spritz. Focus on the rooms where you spend the most time and where you can have the most impact. Consider using a mask or a handkerchief while you dust to minimize irritation as you clean.
Enjoying products made by local bees
Some homeopathic enthusiasts believe eating local honey or bee pollen can reduce allergies. The theory is that since bees make honey in the presence of local allergens (i.e. pollen), you will be exposed to the allergen in small quantities and eventually develop a tolerance, similar to allergy shots.
Unfortunately, the scientific evidence is lacking to draw any conclusions about honey and allergies. “While there is not enough evidence to routinely recommend honey as a treatment for allergies,” Dr John Leung, an Allergist and Immunologist of Boston Food Allergy Center and Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, “there is no harm in trying it”. The bottom line, it’s unlikely that honey will help with your allergies but it doesn’t hurt to try.
Sometimes, the best way to clear your sinuses is to literally clear your sinuses. Nasal irrigation is a safe and effective way of reducing sinus congestion. It works by using a salt water solution to flush out mucus and nasal irritants from your sinuses. Nasal irrigation is certainly an odd sight
to see and even stranger to use, but can help provide the sinus relief you are looking for.
Making natural remedies natural
Allergy medication like antihistamines and nasal sprays are not the only way to control your allergies. These natural remedies are another option to combat allergens so you can go and enjoy your spring sniffle free.
The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
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