Fight Allergies the Natural Way

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Spring time is my favorite season! I am usually out in the garden or walking my dogs in our local park with my hubby. I love the sun and the smell of Spring. Unfortunately, Spring time is always spoiled for me by constant sneezing and dry, itchy or watery eyes.    Yes, I am allergic to pollen.  This year, I’m determined to fight my allergies the natural way.  Staying indoors is not an option for me.  I have three dogs that are full of energy, therefore walking them at least once a day is a must. I have discovered lots of natural remedies that will eliminate, if not minimize allergy symptoms.

Understanding pollen allergies

Allergies to pollen may be triggered when you come in contact with pollens of seasonal plants.  Your body releases histamine as your body attempts to protect itself from pollen. This causes inflammation and leads to many unpleasant symptoms such as sneezing, red, itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose along with many other symptoms. You may feel as if you have a cold, but in fact you have allergies.  Reducing inflammation is key in fighting pollen allergies and knowing what type of plants you are allergic is important. The types of plants that we are allergic to vary from person to person and vary by region. Freshly cut grass is my number one enemy! You may be allergic to grass, flowers, weeds or trees.  If you don’t know what type of plants you are allergic to, I recommend seeing a allergy specialist that could pinpoint what type of allergies you might have so you know what to avoid.

So here is what I found that works for me.

Prevention: 

As I mentioned before, I don’t have an option of staying in all day to keep away from pollen but when I do go out and the chance of pollen is high, I protect myself! Yes, I put on a hat and my largest sunglasses to cover my face as much as possible. Yes, pollen is airborne and on a windy day it will spread everywhere but some protection is better than none.  As soon as I come home, I shower immediately.  I need to remove all the accumulated pollen that is on my body and hair and clothing.  Have you ever gotten into your car and seen a layer of pollen all over your windows. Well imagine what your body looks like after being outside all day. You might not see the pollen on yourself, but it is there!

Healthy Diet:  

Recently I dramatically changed the way I eat.  I do my best to avoid processed foods and have been juicing a whole lot to include more fruits and vegetables in my diet that are anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine.  When juicing, I include walnuts and flax seeds which are high in omega-3s and are anti-inflammatory.  I’ve been eating lots of wild caught fish such as cod and salmon with my favorite spices such as Turmeric (which has many healing properties and aids in allergy relief) and ginger which is a natural anti-histamine.  I include anti-inflammatory fruits such as kiwi, pineapple and papaya to my smoothies since these fruits provide allergy relief.  Also, I have been adding fruits that are high in Vitamin C such as lemons, oranges, apples and berries which are anti-inflammatory and prevent the release of histamine.  I have to say it has made a big difference for me this Spring.  

Black Elderberry Syrup

When allergies act up, I take 1 teaspoon of Black Elderberry syrup.  Elderberry is a shrub that has been used for centuries to treat congestion, colds and the flu.  I have been taking elderberry syrup for my allergies which occur from time to time.  Within minutes after taking the syrup, my allergies subside! The best part is that just 1 teaspoon a day works the whole day.  There are many manufactures that make black elderberry syrup, mine is made by Gaia.  I have not tried any other elderberry syrup brand since this one has been working wonders for my allergies.  To ease your allergies you can also make a black elderberry juice, and have the control of your own ingredients.  You will love the sweet taste of this juice and it’s effects.

Mangosteen:

opened mangosteen fruit

opened mangosteen fruit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit that mainly grows in Southeast Asia.  I have been including 1 oz of Organic Mangosteen 100% pure juice in my morning juices which provides a natural sweet and tangy flavor.  Mangosteen is also an anti-inflammatory fruit.  Although the health benefits of this super fruit are still in the early research stages, there have been some promising studies with positive results.    Not only does Mangosteen help reduce allergies but some say that mangosteen improves vascular health and provides natural support to combat infections, increases energy and reduces inflammation. Learn more about Mangosteen here.  

Local Honey:

Almost every natural allergy relief website mentions that eating local honey is a way to combat allergy symptoms.  I have been including a teaspoon of raw local honey in my tea. Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce allergy symptoms.  It is recommended to include honey in your diet prior to spring, to help your immune system built up pollen tolerance.  Some even say that chewing on a piece of honeycomb can relieve allergy symptoms.  Although I have not tried this myself, if my allergies are really bad, I will do anything to relieve a stuffy nose and watery eyes.

So far!  I have to say that I have been fortunate in combating allergies.  If you have allergies and found something that works for you, please share in comments section.

Research Sources:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allergic_rhinitis

http://www.naturopathic.org

http://www.michiganholistics.com/natural-remedies-for-allergies.html

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