Allergies. Ugh. Thoughts of itching nose and face, headaches, swollen and sore throat fill my mind at the very mention of the word.
In my early twenties, I had such severe allergies, they'd morph into sinus infections four or five times a year. My GP and the two ENT's I visited didn't help me beyond the prescriptions they wrote for allergy meds and antibiotics. Their inability to educate me pushed me to start asking questions. These questions were the catalyst that led me to my current passion for organic living and a gentler approach to everyday maladies.
Without further ado, here's what's worked for me. Remember, these changes didn't happen in one week or even one year but several years.
1. Eliminate chemical cleaners from the house. Yes, I mean no bleach.Vinegar, baking soda and good old hot soap and water work great for cleaning.
2. Remove fabrics that harbor dust from the house - like carpet, un-washable drapes and pillow covers, goose down pillows and comforters. We have tile and wood in our house and all my fabrics are washable.
3. Pay close attention to soaps/fragrances and makeup that touch the skin. We use unscented laundry soap and shampoo. I wear minimal makeup and the ingredients in it are edible - like olive oil and fruit extracts.
4. Eliminate foods like citrus, dairy, wheat, sugar and caffeine during allergy season and then add them back in one at a time over a few weeks time to see if any of them seem to exacerbate symptoms. My big triggers were dairy and citrus and I don't consume either during my worst allergy times.
5. Try homeopathic remedies. My Naturopathic doctor prescribed one for me that looked like pollen and it worked!
6. Try local raw honey. The idea is that honey contains local pollens that build the body's immunity to allergens.
7. Try Nettle (Urtica Dioca) infusion (a strong tea) and my symptoms definitely subside if I drink it regularly. While one can buy herbs in capsule form, my personal preference is to make a tea, infusion or tincture with them. It's an acquired taste and I always add peppermint to mine.
8. Flush daily with a netipot. Keep your sinuses moist and "dusted".
As usual, I want to clarify that I'm not a doctor or herbalist and this information is not intended to diagnose or cure any diseases. It's meant for informational purposes only and I encourage you to do your research and consult with an herbalist or Naturopathic doctor for more information about herbs - especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or if you are taking any medication. That said, the reason I love herbs is that they are usually far more gentle on our bodies than over the counter prescriptions and remind our bodies how they are supposed to work!
Try some of these and breathe the air without fear of sneezing!!!