Spring is a time for enjoying picnics, spending time outdoors and enjoying the fresh air, but for many people it is a time of itching, sneezing and eye-rubbing instead. This is due to allergies, which run rampant during the spring season and make life miserable for lots of people. The reason why allergies are so common during spring time is the amount of pollen that can be found in the air.
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Flowers, trees and grasses thrive during spring, but in addition to making the landscape look beautiful also cause the air to be thick with pollen. Some people prefer to use over the counter medications to take care of their spring allergies, but there are more natural ways to cope with the issue as well. In addition to the itching and sneezing as well as fatigue and congestion, allergies can also interfere with the quality of sleep of sufferers, so it is essential to have a plan of action.
1. Get A Boost From Probiotics
Probiotics are great for boosting digestion, but can also help your immune system to cope better with any allergies. Studies have shown that people who ate food containing probiotics or took probiotic supplements had a beneficial effect on their allergy symptoms. It was also found to improve the health of kids with allergic rhinitis . While further studies are needed for more conclusive results there is nothing to lose from taking probiotics.
2. Soothe Your Body With A Steam Bath
A steam bath will not only help you to relax but can also soothe your nasal passageways. It is also a good idea to wash your hair before bedtime to ensure that you are not taking any pollen with you to bed, where it can cause irritation.
3. Saltwater Can Ease Congestion
Instead of allergy medication that can only contribute to your feelings of fogginess and tiredness, why not try saltwater instead? Use a neti pot with a saline nasal rinse to get rid of the pollen from your nasal membranes. If your throat is scratchy or sore, you can also gargle with saltwater to help ease congestion.
4. Add Onions To Your Diet
One of the bioflavonoids that are derived from onions, quercetin, can actually help a lot with allergies. It has been found to minimize the chances of hay fever, watery or itchy eyes and asthma. This is because quercetin is a powerful antioxidant with anti-viral and anti-allergy properties. Due to its ability to stabilize mast cell membranes and decrease the release of inflammatory agents in the body, such as histamine, it is advisable to add onions to your diet during spring.
5. Take Advantage Of Butterbur
For a natural way to treat your allergies, you can’t go wrong with butterbur tablets. This herb has anti-inflammatory properties and can be just as effective as over the counter medication but without all the unwanted side-effects, such as drowsiness. Butterbur can be bought in tablet form from most health stores or consumed as a tea.
6. Don’t Forget About Fish Oil Supplements
It has long been known that fish oil supplements come with a host of health benefits such as lower blood pressure and a reduction in the chances of a stroke or heart attack. However, studies have also found that there might be a link between taking these supplements and decreasing the effects of allergies.
7. Sleep Better With Essential Oils
Because allergies can play havoc with your sleep, it is a good idea to make use of essential oils. Release these into the air after bedtime by making use of a nebulizing diffuser. The oils can provide nighttime allergy relief by dissolving mucous as well as stimulating your immune system, which means better sleep quality.
8. Load Up On Vitamin C
Over the counter medication for allergies tend to interfere with histamine in the body. However, for a natural option that can actually prevent the histamine from forming in the first place, it is best to turn to vitamin C. It is the histamine that causes excess mucus, tearing and a runny nose, so load up on vitamin C to nip this problem in the bud.
9. Reduce Your Stress
If you are constantly under a lot of stress it means that your body will be flooded with stress hormones. These are meant to get your body ready for action, but if the stress continues to pile up without any release it can actually weaken your immune system. Of course, if your immune system is damaged it becomes even easier for allergies to get a foothold. By reducing your stress, you can give your immune system a better chance at dealing with the allergies.
10. Watch What You Eat
There are certain foods that can make allergy symptoms worse and should be avoided during spring to help you cope. These include sugar, peanuts, alcohol, chocolate and caffeine. It is also better to steer clear of highly processed food and any food items to which you are sensitive, as these can also exacerbate your symptoms.
11. Massage Your Immune System Into Shape
Getting a massage is not only a great way to reduce your stress levels but according to studies, it can also help to strengthen your immune system. Combining the massage with essential oils, such as lemon and cardamom will yield even better results.
12. Shed Those Extra Pounds
Dealing with allergies can make it difficult to breathe, which is a problem that can be even worse if you are carrying around excess weight as well. Too much abdomen fat can prevent your lungs from expanding to their full capacity as well as hinder your diaphragm from moving downwards. This results in your body struggling to take deep breaths. Shedding a few extra pounds can make it easier for your body to get the oxygen it needs during allergy season.
13. Protect Your Eyes
During spring there is a lot of pollen blowing around outside, which can get into your eyes and cause irritation. If you do have to venture outside it is best to protect your eyes by wearing a pair of sunglasses.
14. Allergy-Proof Your Home
There are also a few changes that you can make in and around the house to help keep those allergies at bay. During the peak allergy season, it is usually better to close your doors and windows. Don’t forget to take your shoes off before you go inside, either, as this can help prevent pollen from spreading around the house.
The same goes for any clothing articles you wore that might have come into contact with pollen. Keeping your air conditioning and furnace filters in good condition can also help to keep pollen and mold out of your home. Also keep an eye on your pets, and don’t let them sleep in your bed as it is easy for them to carry around pollen in their fur.