We welcome Spring. On the one hand, warmer temperatures, melting snow, sunshine for more than an hour at a time. And those breezes, the flowers and green things appearing. Soon we're fantasizing about our farmers market finds and our own perfect gardens.
And then we start sneezing, and we remember: oh, yes, the allergies.
If you struggle with allergies, try one of these natural remedies and see if you can't get some relief and get back out there to enjoy the good things this lovely season has to offer.
1. Locally sourced honey
Finding locally produced honey, and then adding it to your diet on a regular basis, can help you build up an immunity to the natural pollens and other irritants found in your area. The local factor is key; it's no good building up an immunity to pollen that comes from halfway across the country. Ask around at farmers markets, put an ad out or search online for bee keepers in your area.
2. Bee pollen capsules
Though you'll find mixed reviews on how well bee pollen can help allergy sufferers, it might be worth a try. The concept is the same as in using local honey; by taking and building up an immunity to the pollen, your body won't react so strongly when it encounters all that spring pollen floating around. Do be careful, if you've never used bee pollen before, as it can cause severe allergic reactions itself. If you've had any adverse reactions to pollen or bee-related products before, avoid this one.
3. Stinging Nettle
According to an article in Mother Earth Magazine, stinging nettle is a good source of a natural antihistamine for those who need some relief but don't want the side effects of drugs. You can purchase stinging nettle, which is a common weed, in capsule form at many herb, natural health or supplement stores. Follow the recommended dosage on the bottle; the study cited in the Mother Earth article found that 300 milligrams a day is effective for most people.
4. Vitamin C and Echinacea
Healthy doses of vitamin C and echinacea can both help relieve allergy symptoms and help prevent a simple reaction to allergies from turning into a long-lasting cold. Taking vitamin C on a regular basis, as well as eating vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits and dark leafy greens, is an all-around awesome idea. Add in echinacea for a couple of weeks, when those allergy symptoms start flaring up, to give your immune system a boost at a critical time.
Water is good for your body in so many ways. For clearing out the allergens that build up in your system, try a three-pronged moisture attack. Keep a cool-mist humidifier running at night, which can help get pollen particles out of the air. Flush your nasal passages with a saline solution (neti pot anyone?), and drink lots of water, as well, to help flush that pollen out of your system.