Wishing You Total Well-Being,
April showers bring May flowers, but Spring allergies often hitch a ride, too. If your eyes are watering, your nose is running and you’re generally sneezy and miserable, there are some natural solutions to this common problem. Your wallets can breathe a sigh of relief, as well. You likely already have most of these items at home.
While Quercetin is a relatively new kid on the block when it comes to allergy relief, recent test tube studies have shown that it prevents immune cells from releasing histamines. Histamines are those nasty chemicals that cause allergic reactions like runny nose, watery eyes, hives and swelling in the face. It’s available in supplement form, usually in capsules, but Quercetin is present in many of the foods we eat every day. Eat your Quercetin by adding onion to your recipes, eating berries, plums and apples, and by experimenting with capers. Capers are the brined flower buds of the capparis spinosa plant and can be used in seafood, poultry and pasta dishes for added flavor. While they are high in Quercetin, capers do tend to be high in sodium. If salt intake is a concern for you, best to stick to the onions or fruit.
Another antihistamine you probably have lying around in spades is good old Vitamin C. It works by destroying the histamine’s molecular structure, which reduces the amount present in the blood. The supplement form is easy to find, and can be purchased in capsule form, powders or in chewable tablets. If you can find a variety with bioflavonoids, especially rosehips, research shows that this man improve it’s ability to fight allergy symptoms. If you prefer to get your Vitamin C in your diet, oranges are a viable option, but you’re not limited to them. You can also get high doses of Vitamin C in greens like kale, chard and spinach, fruits like guava and mango and in bell peppers of all colors. A word of warning, you’ll know immediately when you’ve had too much Vitamin C, because it will send you running to the restroom. If you’re going to up your regular dose, go in small increments so you don’t have any unexpected emergencies on your hands.
Neti Pots & Nasal Lavage
Nasal lavage, or saltwater cleansing with a neti pot or specially created squeeze bolttle can work wonders for allergies. We take in approximately 500 liters of air in a day, and our nose serves as the only filter for it. That means the nasal mucosa, the liming of our nose, is exposed to pollens, molds, dust, pet dander and any other variety of irritant that is the reason for our sneezin’. Flushing out this filter regularly, especially when we’ve been outside for an extended period of time, can keep these substances from coming in contact with our immune system. Neti port and nasal lavage bottles can be picked up at local health food stores or online for around $10 and you can also pick up premade saline mixes to make the process simple. You can also make your own solutions with salt and baking soda. Just make sure to follow the directions and stick with it. It might seem frightening or strange at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. Use this simple tip for keeping the solution from trickling down the throat: Keep your tongue pressed against the roof of the mouth, Nasal washing should be considered safe, but talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
You don’t have to cry over your itchy, watery eyes any longer. A simple trip to your local supermarket store or a short walk to your kitchen can have you ditching that hay fever and skipping through the daisies, before you know it. Spring has sprung. Get outside and enjoy it!