Allergies: how to work with them holistically

Spring means allergies for a lot of folks - myself included. So I thought this week that I would talk about how to combat your symptoms - without pharmaceuticals.

When you think about it, airborne allergies are a pretty interesting thing. First a little spindley-spikey thing flying in the air gets breathed into your nose, or lands on your eye, and attaches to the soft and squishy mucus membranes and well, that's irritating! So your body does whatever it can (sneezing, dripping nose, and watery eyes) to get rid of the irritating little spikey nuisance before it gets into your lungs and body. Essentially, these allergy symptoms are your first line of defense against airborne pathogens. At this point the body thinks it's just being attacked by something and it needs to be kept out. 

Most of us too are living with a slightly depressed immune system - due to the general pollutants in our world, and the food choices we make. So, the body's initial reaction to the airborne pathogen can be more extreme because your immune system knows it doesn't have the man-power to keep you in tip-top shape if those little bits get into you. This is why you can improve a lot of allergy symptoms by cleaning out the digestive tract and altering your diet (which is what I do!).

So, in the mean time, how can you avoid taking pills to ease your allergy symptoms?

  1. Eat raw, local honey - daily!! Have it in your tea, have it with some cashew butter (my fave!!), whatever you like - just don't cook with it. This will help your body to acclimate to the pollen in your area, and to see that the pollen isn't a dangerous invader like a cold/flu virus.
  2. Put Therapeutic-Grade Lavender Oil on the bottom of your feet! Lavender oil is a natural anti-histamine. Putting it on the bottoms of the feet will allow you to quickly absorb into the whole system. You can also sniff the oil or dab under the nose as-needed. **Make sure you use therapeutic grade oils to ensure you're using a product that is safe for your body. CLICK HERE for my recommended brand.  
  3. Invest in a Neti Pot! They're available at most drug and health stores and they are around $15 or so. It looks like a little teapot, and you can use it to do a salt-water flush to your nasal passages & sinuses. 
  4. Eat More Omega-3 Rich Foods! -- So say yes! to that avocado, walnuts, grass-fed steak (occasionally), pastured eggs, cod liver oil, flax oil.....etc. It's been shown (in a German study published in the Allergy journal) that these foods help to reduce inflammation and Eaters versus Non Eaters have fewer allergy symptoms. On that note, Tumeric(!!!!) is also a powerful anti-inflammatory spice.
  5. Shower at night and change your sheets often! You'll wash off the built-up pollen you carry on your person throughout the day, and lessen the buildup where you (hopefully) spend 8 hours of your day. 
  6. And, if you really want an antihistamine, try going natural and using Stinging Nettle. It has a lot of the same effects as the allergy medications out there, but without the dry mouth and drowsiness side-effects. You can generally find it in any herbal/supplement store like Whole Body @ Whole Foods. Or you can consult an herbalist and have them make you something special just for you!

Alrighty, I challenge you to leave the Claritin on the shelf this year and see if you can combat those pesky symptoms without it first. Leave a comment below and tell me how it's working for you.

Do you have any other remedies that you use to combat allergies? Leave a note below and tell me about them!