At-Home Tips to Help You Alleviate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
It’s that time again. Allergy season. If you’re feeling it already, there’s a good reason. The pollen and mold count have been steadily climbing over the past few weeks and have reached a high level and we’re on red alert. (It’s even got me reaching for a tissue!)
The Goal in Treating Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
The main goal with alleviating allergy symptoms is to boost your immune system and keep it working at its peak through the season. This mounts a defense against any environmental forces (inside and outside) and prevents you from suffering from classic allergy symptoms (and even worse, it leading to an infection or going into your chest).
5 Natural Remedies to Try at Home for Seasonal Allergies
If you’re rolling your eyes and feel fed up with blowing your nose or sneezing so much, fear not. There are things you can do at home to help keep your seasonal allergy symptoms at bay. Here are 5 simple, natural tips to try:
1) Eat Ginger, Green Onions, and Garlic. All of these foods are Chinese herbs and can boost the immune system and detoxify the body. (a) Ginger is fantastic for stopping a cough and decongesting your nasal and sinus passages. (b) Green Onion helps move out any mucus or phlegm you’re experiencing. It also eases body aches and that “icky” feeling allover. (c) Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It can bring down swelling and detoxify the body.
The easiest way to enjoy all 3 ingredients is to eat at your favorite Chinese or Thai restaurant. Order a ginger dish and ask for green onions sprinkled on top. (Traditionally, garlic is included in most dishes, but it never hurts to ask).
2) Avoid Sweets. This tip may be challenging for you but it’s definitely worth the effort. Sweets and pastries suppress your immune system as soon as you eat them and continue to do so for several hours afterward. In Chinese medicine, when you have nasal discharge or congestion, you have dampness in your body. Eating sweets and the like which are damp only makes your allergy symptoms worse.
When you are feeling a sugar craving, reach for some fruit or mint tea to satisfy your sweet tooth. Remember to follow this tip as long as you’re experiencing allergy symptoms. Rest assured that as soon as you’re 100% better, you can go back to eating sweets if you choose to.
3) Use a Neti Pot. A Neti Pot is a small plastic container in the shape of a genie bottle (sadly, no genie included). Mix a saline wash packet (which usually comes with a Neti Pot kit) with filtered or distilled water that is warm but not hot and rinse out our nasal passages. It’s always weird the first time but you get used to the process after a few times. Using a Neti Pot is a great way to decongest your sinuses naturally without any harsh chemicals or side effects.
Remember: When using a Neti Pot, use only filtered or distilled water to protect your sinuses from unwanted bacteria or viruses. Neti Pot kits are available at health food stores, drugstores, and pharmacies.
4) Get Enough Sleep. This is old-fashioned advice, but it makes a huge difference! Sleeping about 6-8 hours will help build up your immune system. When you sleep, your body gets to rest, recover, and detoxify from the day before. We recommend going to sleep before 11 p.m. if your schedule allows. According to Chinese Medicine, the gall bladder is most active between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. and is in charge of detoxifying. By getting to sleep before its time, you maximize the gall bladder’s detox function. This leaves you feeling refreshed and energized the next day.
5) Drink water. We are made up of about 70% water. Not carbonated water. Not artificially-flavored water. Just regular water. In order for us to flush the system and stay hydrated properly, we all need to drink water. Hydrating with regular water (filtered preferred) can help flush out mucus/phlegm and toxins.
If water is not the beverage you drink the most of during your day, something’s gotta change. Switch out your coffee and soda for a cup of water - you’ll feel much better in no time. Just remember not to drink too much water – that is, no more than 6-8 cups per day.
Is water is too boring for you? Try this: Add a few slices of lemon, lime, orange and/or cucumber and let it infuse for about 15 minutes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how good it tastes.
Another Option: Acupuncture for Seasonal Allergies
If you have tried these tips and others and you’re still suffering from allergies, it might be time to try acupuncture.
Acupuncture can help you boost your immunity. It can also help stop cough, open sinuses and nasal passages, alleviate headache and body aches, calm a sore throat, and ease sneezing. Acupuncture can do this by improving circulation to help flush out mucus/phlegm and toxins, and get rid of aches and pain. It can also increase your white blood cell count to help you attack the allergen in your system. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years for a myriad of reasons, and allergy relief has been one of them all along.
Got more questions about allergy relief? Ask Lynn about them right here.
Lynn Palmgren helps people get rid of pain and balance hormones so they can feel good again. She specializes in acupuncture and cupping for pain management, insomnia, hormone imbalance, and stress relief. She is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist and co-owns Palmgren Acupuncture in Oak Park, Illinois. You can find Lynn at Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.