I never used to get seasonal allergies, but, as I’ve gotten older, I seem to get them every few years or so. For some reason, this year has been particularly rough for me. I feel like I’ve been overtired for three+ weeks. Grant typically gets them every spring, which is really so sad for me selfishly because I love nothing more than throwing open all of the windows and doors on these first few weeks of spring before the bugs get too bad (and sleeping with the windows open – oh how I love sleeping with the windows open!). I try to be a nice wife and keep the windows closed up or else Grant turns into a sneeze machine, but, I do cheat every once in awhile.
Over the past few years, I’ve found a few home remedies that seem to help. The over-the-counter allergy meds make Grant feel all sorts of loopy, so he was an easy target for my science experiments:
- The neti pot. I’ve waxed poetic about this thing before, but it really makes a huge difference for both of us. When we’re feeling stuffy, we neti every day. If I’m not feeling stuffy, I try to do it at least once a week. I feel like I might be a bit addicted actually. Use my homemade saline recipe to save money and packaging.
- Raw, local honey. Raw honey has tons of benefits: it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. It’s also practically a multi-vitamin, containing amounts of: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, and phosphate. Most of honey you buy at the grocery store is pasteurized, which destroys all of the beneficial properties of honey, so be sure to find a beekeeper you trust who doesn’t heat their honey. Many studies seem to prove that a teaspoon of raw, local honey a day before and during allergy season significantly reduces allergy symptoms. Proponents claim that local honey contains pollen spores from local plants, which is what causes your allergies in the first place. By ingesting a little bit of the irritant prior to and during allergy season, you help your body build up a sort of immunity to the allergens. I figure that raw honey has so much other benefits that a teaspoon a day never hurt anyone! (Reminder that infants under one shouldn’t eat honey).
- Raw ACV tonic. Since you’re taking the raw honey anyway, you might as well drink it in this yummy, all-around-good-for-you tonic. Raw apple cider vinegar is said to detox your lymphatic system and boost your immune system, both of which certainly can’t hurt during allergy season.
- Lemons. I start off nearly every day with a large glass of water with a big chunk of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Lemon juice is detoxing and alkalizing, both of which are great for overall health in general. (and yes, I know, lemons obviously aren’t local. Lemons are definitely one of my cheats!)
- Garlic (and onions). Garlic has so many health benefits, but one important benefit for allergy sufferers is its antihistamine properties. I like to make a big batch of this soup and keep it frozen in small batches for days when we’re feeling puny. I’m also pretty liberal with garlic in my cooking in general, but I throw in even more than usual whenever any of us are sick or during allergy season.
- Turn up the greens. Anytime you’re feeling a bit under the weather is the time to buckle down and eat healthy…more greens, no refined sugars, no processed foods. Your body is already compromised, so it needs all the help it can get (which is easier said than done, I realize, because our will-power is always a little weaker when we’re feeling down!).
- Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. This is a gimme, but I’m always looking for any excuse I can find to get more sleep.
What home remedies do you use to help with your allergies?