Last week we shared with you some ways to celebrate the spring season. As with most things in life, with the good, comes the bad. As you start to roll out your spring and summer wardrobe in anticipation of the good weather, let’s not forget about another season – allergy season. Red, itchy eyes, a runny nose, constant sneezing – for more than 35 million Americans, allergies are a giant pain in the butt, and in the wallet. In 2010, Americans with nasal swelling (due to allergies) spent over $17.5 billion on related health costs, lost more than 6 million work and school days, and made 16 million visits to their doctor reports the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America.
This allergy season, let Maxim be your guide to all things natural – from allergy relief to menstruation needs! Try our five ways of beating allergies naturally —
1. Herbal Supplements
For thousands of years, Ayurvedic and homeopathic therapies have been a prevalent and effective alternate to the allopathic drugs commonly prescribed and consumed in Western medicine. In fact, WebMD recognizes Ayurveda as one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the premise that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit; when these three main forces are out of sync or affected by external circumstances, people experience sickness. In 2009, the CDC commissioned a survey that found Americans spend about a third of their prescription drug costs on alternative therapies like meditation, chiropractic visits, and supplements, adding up to $34 billion across the country in a single year.
Butterbur, specifically the Ze 339 extract has been shown to be just as effective as antihistamines in dealing with allergens; other studies show plant-based phleum pratense and pycnogenol may be helpful. Sea buckthorn is another option and has been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine for lung conditions. chronic coughing, and asthma.
2. Nasal Rinses
Other than making you feel like you’re peeing out of your face, nasal rinses are extremely effective in clearing the mucus from your nose, relieving sinus pressure, and can help relieve nasal allergy symptoms by rinsing away the bacteria that builds up in your nose over the day. Rinses can also work to thin the mucus and decrease postnasal drip.
Instead of buying a rinse kit, make one yourself by using a Neti Pot or a nasal bulb. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with a pinch of baking soda in 8 ounces of warm distilled or sterilized water and be sure to lean way over the sink! Remember never use tap water as that can introduce a host of bacteria and other germs into your system.
3. Drink Green Tea
Among other magical properties, green tea is packed with a powerful antioxidant phytonutrient called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that blocks histamine and immunoglobulin E production. Drinking two to three cups each day will mean your body reacts less to allergens thereby reducing the likelihood and severity of symptoms. If you don’t like the taste of green tea, add macha powder to your fruit smoothies!
4. An Apple a Day…
Quercetin is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-histamine phytonutrient found in apples and onions. It has an excellent ability to reduce allergy symptoms and to improve lung function. Other good sources include: berries, cabbage, grapes, tomatoes, cauliflower, nuts, and black, green, or white tea. Remember to also stay away from dairy products – from milk to ice cream, these delicious treats help form and thicken mucus and can aggravate allergic symptoms and try to avoid as much sugar as possible – it’s acidity can also make allergies harsher.
5. Visit an Acupuncturist
The ideas of having needles stuck into your body may seem creepy, but research has shown that acupuncture can provide immediate relief to patients suffering from runny noses, itchy, watering eyes, and sneezing!
Other things you can try are installing air filters in your furnace and air conditioning systems which can remove up to to 95% of particles from your indoor air; so does wearing a respirator mask when outdoors, so break out your DIY kit and glue and snazz those puppies up! Remember to stay natural and healthy.