Oh, Seasonal Allergies, here in Rhode Island we had the longest winter ever and still had snow coming down in April, spring seemed to never come! So now we are starting to get some warmer weather and Seasonal Allergies have seemed to hit my already allergy ridden family harder than normal.
Studies estimate that over 25% of the population suffers from allergic disorders and climate change theories suggest the problem is growing. Common allergen triggers include pollen from grass and trees, the fecal particles of dust mites, animal dander, certain foods, air pollution, beauty product ingredients, or even insect bites.
My kids have such bad seasonal allergies that they take Allegra all year, they also have histamine intolerance. So now that the pollen is in the air regular over the counter medicine is just not cutting it. So I decided I’m sharing the natural remedies that I use and work for us when needed. These won’t be as immediately effective as a medication, but over the long-term, these methods have lessened my families seasonal allergies greatly.
Here’s the deal:
Diet, strong gut health, and health overall can make a big difference when it comes to seasonal allergies because the allergic response has everything to do with the immune system.
I like to describe the body as a Bucket. Every time anything enters our bodies — be it from our food, water, air, etc. — our body reacts. This is good and nature’s way of keeping the body in a state of balance (homeostasis).
At a certain point, if the bucket gets to full, it’s going to overflow. Overloaded and overstimulated, the immune system responds to normally harmless substances as if against a harmful foreign invader.
When Allergies Become Chronic
With repeated exposure the inflammatory response becomes chronic. A 2008 journal article on the development of allergic inflammation explains this systemic allergic response as:
“Persistent inflammation induced by prolonged or repetitive exposure to specific allergens, typically characterized not only by the presence of large numbers of innate and adaptive immune cells (in the form of leukocytes) at the affected site but also by substantial changes in the extracellular matrix and alterations in the number, phenotype and function of structural cells in the affected tissues.”
In other words, the misery allergy sufferers feel is very real and more than a case of the sniffles!
Allergy testing may be helpful to determine triggers but typical treatment usually involves routinely taking an antihistamine or corticosteroid which can have undesirable side effects. There are two main ways to help stop allergies naturally:
- Limit exposure to possible allergens (like putting less in your bucket)
- Support a strong healthy immune system (like increasing the size of your bucket)
How to Treat Seasonal Allergies and Get Relief Naturally
Now that I gave you your science lesson for the day lets move on to some way to help relieve your allergy problems!
We don’t suffer from many allergies anymore after our time GF/DF, but I still occasionally get hit with an allergy attack from dust after cleaning or an increase in Birchwood or Maple trees blooming (both my kids and myself are allergic to these)and my hubby always reacts during season change. My soon to be step daughter is taking an allergy test through Affordable Allergy Testing to try and determine what exactly her allergen triggers are. I highly recommend it because you don’t need a doctor to prescribe it, it’s more thorough than anything you will get from a skin prick test and better yet no blood or needles needed its all done with hair!
To Purchase the child’s allergy test and save $20 use code 3withADHD at checkout. (This code works for all allergy test on the site) but it is only $102 with this code!
Visit : Affordable Allergy Testing
These simple natural remedies have been very effective for allergy relief in our family. Different people seem to benefit from different remedies depending on certain genetic factors and which allergens you are reacting to, so it might be worth trying more than one of these to see which works best for you.
I’ll start with simple suggestions and work up to solutions for more serious allergy problems.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an age-old remedy that is often recommended for a variety of health conditions. I’ve personally used it for allergy relief (and heartburn relief) with great success. The theory is that its ability to reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system makes it useful for allergies. It is also said to help digestion, weight loss, and more so it is worth a try!
What I did: When allergies hit, I mixed a teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “The Mother” (that part is important) into a glass of water and drank this three times a day. “The Mother” is simply a colony of beneficial bacteria present in some organic and unfiltered ACV brands. Check the label, it should list if it contains it I use this brand and it’s cheaper to get on good old Amazon Prime!
2. Wash Your Nostrils
This remedy works by preventing the offending allergen (or at least as much of it) from entering your airways.
Shockingly the Neti Pot is one natural remedy I haven’t personally tried because I’m a big scaredy cat about pouring things in my nose. I have friends who swear by it and many health experts I trust tout its benefits. The basic theory is that you use a Neti Pot filled with a sterile saline solution to flush out the sinuses of allergens and irritations.
Surprisingly, I’ve heard this recommended by conventional and alternative doctors, and it seems that it doesn’t really have a downside. It is recommended to use previously boiled or distilled water, not water straight from the tap (because parasites … I don’t really like to think about it!)
To use: Either use a pre-made saline rinse or make your own by dissolving 1 teaspoon of Himalayan or just plain sea salt in a quart of boiled distilled water. Cool completely. Put in the Neti Pot and pour through one nostril and let it drain out the other.
For Babies use the NoseFrida it looks disgusting but I assure you it is the best way to remove congestion and allergens from babies is little tiny nose!
An option for Neti Pot sissies like me: I like this natural saline spray with xylitol for hubby for extra help with soothing inflammation and opening airways. We cant use it for our kids and myself because Xylitol is derived from birch so be careful. A good one without xylitol in it is this one by Gold Root
For babies I would use Little noses: Saline spray Its cheap and works the best to loosen all that junk!
Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid that is said to help stabilize mast cells to keep them from releasing histamine. It is also a potent antioxidant that is said to help reduce inflammation. It is best used as a long term remedy and many people start taking it about 4-6 weeks before allergy season to help prevent allergy symptoms.
As with any herb, you should check with your doctor before using, especially if you have a liver problem, are pregnant, or are on hormonal contraceptives.
To use: Though quercetin is naturally found in foods like citrus and broccoli, it is very difficult to get the amount needed to relieve allergies from food alone. A supplemental dose from a quality source can be helpful for preventing allergies or helping acute symptoms. Start 4-6 weeks before allergy season for best results. We use this one by Pure Formulas, make sure to be careful and get ones with no fillers.
4. Nettle Leaf
Nettle leaf is another natural antihistamine that can be very effective as it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine. It grows in many places and can be made in to a tincture or tea, but for allergy relief, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are the easiest and most effective option.
Nettle leaf can also be used in combination with other herbs to make a soothing herbal tea for allergy relief. It is often mixed with peppermint leaf and sometimes red raspberry leaf to make a refreshing allergy relief tea
5. ProbioticsAllergies are the result of an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to react too strongly to stimuli. Many studies link the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with reduced incidence of allergies.
The evidence is even emerging that a mother’s gut bacteria during pregnancy and nursing can impact a child’s likelihood of getting allergies throughout life, as can exposure to overly sterile environments.
While we can’t do much about our mothers’ diets while they were pregnant, balancing gut bacteria now and consuming enough beneficial bacteria can have a positive effect on allergies now.
We use GutPro as it is formulated without D-Lacate, Has no allergens and no Strep Strains which for kids/adults with ADHD, AUTISM, Auto-Immune conditions and more these are things you want to avoid in your probiotic. Also you should always get a probiotic that needs to be refrigerated not just something that sits on a shelf at CVS!
6. Local Honey
There isn’t much scientific evidence to back this one, but there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence from people who have tried it. The theory is that consuming local honey from where you live will help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment there. This is supposed to work like a natural allergy “shot” and doesn’t seem to have a downside.
What I do: Consume a teaspoon or more of raw, unprocessed local honey from as close to where you actually live as possible. Do this one or more times a day to help relieve symptoms. It is often suggested to start this a month or so before allergy season.
We live in RI so we use Annie B’s Local Honey, they have tons of products even honey sticks and pops for fussy kids!
Click here to check them out as they are always at craft shows as well as sold in many RI local grocery stores and shops!