Statistics show that over 10%-30% of the global population is affected by seasonal allergies and allergic rhinitis. In the US alone, about 50 million people are allergic to pollen and over $18 billion is being spent by the health care system and various medical businesses to treat allergies. There are various causes for allergies but what’s really troubling people is how they can treat their symptoms or at least make them less annoying.
Here at 5 Fun Facts, we have done some thorough research and have discovered some ways to help you relieve your allergy symptoms.
1. Rinse your sinuses with the Neti pot.
Nasal irrigation is one of the most ancient remedies against allergies. Indian practitioners of Ayurveda invented the rinsing of the sinuses using salt water and a specially-designed vessel. Supporters of the technique claim that using a neti pot offers them significant relief from sinus congestion and headaches that derive from it. Many clinical tests have shown that using a neti pot is absolutely safe.
2. Go natural with butterbur and stinging nettle.
When your body comes across an allergen, it releases a chemical called leukotriene. What butterbur does is act like an LT receptor inhibitor, treating nasal allergies and relieving their symptoms. However, you should be very careful when using unprocessed butterbur, since it can cause serious liver damage.
In addition to that, research has shown that consuming nettles in freeze-dried capsules effectively reduces the level of histamine in the body. Drinking nettle tea can be very beneficial.
3. Install HEPA filters.
HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air and what these filters do is they trap harmful particles, such as pollen, dust, and pet dander. These filters don’t capture chemical particles. If you want to see a big difference in the quality of air that you are breathing, you should be very careful with the cheap filters. In this specific area, you get exactly what you pay for.
4. Breathe in the aroma of essential oils.
Essential oils have the ability to fight inflammation and boost the immune system. They fight bacteria, parasites, and toxic micro-organisms that cause your allergic reaction. You can use eucalyptus, basil, and tea tree oils by either applying them topically under your nose or diffusing them in boiling water and inhaling the steam.
5. Eat some Greek yogurt.
Yogurt is often mentioned to be a natural method of relieving allergy symptoms. But, before you go to the nearest store and buy the first yogurt you find, you should know that only Greek and probiotic yogurt can be beneficial. Probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus casei can be found in probiotic and Greek yogurt and it helps prevent the body from overreacting to allergens.
6. Cook foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods like salmon, oysters, sardines, and mackerel are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and they have shown a significant effect on brain development and the treatment of allergies and asthma. They have the ability to reduce inflammation caused by allergens and eosinophil activities, keeping the function of the lungs at an ordinary level.
7. Be very careful when cleaning your house.
Cleaning your house isn’t an easy or fast job when you are allergic to pollen. You should vacuum the carpets one to 2 times a week and make sure that you have a HEPA filter installed in your vacuum so that it can trap even the smaller allergens. You should also use a damp cloth when cleaning the house in order to catch allergens and not shoot them back in the air. It also would be very useful to wear a mask while doing typical household chores.
8. Make sure to exercise indoors.
Carlos Iribarren, MD, Ph.D., is a research scientist who has found that frequent exercise in people who are allergic can reduce the risk of heart disease, which in allergic people is 40%. When you work out, the blood vessels in your nose become unswollen since your body sends most of the blood to the parts that are moving the most.
However, you should know that an outdoor workout can be done only after or during it rains because that’s when pollen isn’t floating around. The most effective type of exercise that can ease your allergy symptoms is aerobics and yoga since they concentrate on your breathing and help in relieving nose congestion.
9. Try acupuncture.
A study that was published in Annals of Internal Medicine showed that patients who were allergic to pollen and received acupuncture treatments, as well as antihistamines, showed great improvement in their allergic symptoms. On the other hand, patients who only received antihistamines and fake acupuncture treatments didn’t notice that much improvement.
10. Invest in your vitamin C intake.
Neuropathic doctor Dani Wilson says that investing in vitamin C-based nutrition (kale, broccoli, strawberries, peppers) can help relieve allergy symptoms. According to her, vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, only a mild one. This means that you need to take 500 mg to 1000 mg 3 times a day to reduce symptoms. Making some adjustments in your nutrition along with taking supplements can show significant improvement.
11. Drink specific tea blends.
Most people think that any kind of tea is beneficial for allergies, but there is a very serious catch. Yes, green tea is good for you (unless you are allergic to it) but not just any tea will relieve your allergy symptoms. If you like sipping tea, you should find a good peppermint, nettle, and ginger blend and consume it 2-3 times a day. Turmeric and rooibos tea will also have very positive effects.
Bonus: Control your alcohol consumption.
Beer, wine, and liquor contain histamine, which is produced by yeast and bacteria during the fermentation process. Red and white wine, in particular, are the biggest triggers of allergy symptoms right after their consumption. In a study that took place in 2008, it was found that having more than 2 glasses of wine per day can double the severity of allergy symptoms.
Have you found any other natural remedies to be helpful with your spring allergies? Please, let us know in the comment section.