Tips on Easing Spring Allergies
By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
If your car isn't already covered in a layer of pollen, it's only a matter of time. As I drive to and from work each day, I am enjoying all of the blooming flowers everywhere, and I can’t help but notice how all of the leaves that usually pop out in May are simultaneously blossoming at the same time, showering us with an ever-constant supply of pollen that has most of us sneezing like crazy! Spring is here and seemingly early this year, along with the sneezes and watery eyes that accompany it. I guess it’s a small price to pay for the warmer weather and gorgeous blooms everywhere, but it can still be quite the annoyance if you don't keep your allergy symptoms under control.
Thankfully, there are natural ways to ease your spring allergies that are simple to find and can bring you the relief you seek.
Try apple cider vinegar.
It's a remedy as old as time, and one that really works. Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother can assist with a host of issues, and by helping to lower inflammation in the body, it can help to quell some spring allergy symptoms that are nagging at you. Try adding one ounce of organic Apple Cider Vinegar to 6 – 8 ounces of water and see if that helps relieve some of your symptoms.
Make nettle leaf tea.
As a natural antihistamine, nettle leaf is quite effective in blocking your histamine production. You can mix it with other herbs, like peppermint leaf, for added benefits. Take a stroll down the tea aisle next time you visit your supermarket and find a nettle leaf tea to try out. I love the taste of it, but it can seem different from most teas you typically drink, so give it a few tries before you give up on it!
Restore the good bacteria in your gut.
The gut has been shown to have a strong link to your immunity. Allergies (and MANY other ailments) often come about when there's a lack of balance in your gut microbiome. It could be that your good gut bacteria population is dwindling and needs a boost. Choose probiotic-rich foods such as high-quality yogurt (preferably dairy free since dairy is mucous forming), kimchi, sauerkraut, or drink kefir or kombucha daily to get your probiotics on and restore order in your gut. Beet kvass is one of my fermented favorites, and I love the Food and Ferments brand made locally in Truxton, NY (https://www.foodandferments.com/) that I buy locally at Side Hill Farmers in Manlius (https://sidehillfarmers.com/). Aside from eating probiotic-rich foods, find a high-quality probiotic supplement that can help you restore your microbiome. My friend Robyn Lev just launched her Mama Power Live Greens product to help strengthen your immune system, and start your day off right. It’s an organic plant blend with prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. It’s a fermented product which makes it gentler on the stomach. Check it out at https://mama-power.com/discount/Heidi5 – don’t let the name fool you, it’s good for dads, kids, and pets too!
Use local honey.
When you buy honey that is made locally, the bees are taking pollen from the native plants in your area. That means your body starts adapting to those same allergens that have you sneeze when you see that thick blanket of pollen on your car. Make sure the honey is raw and unprocessed. You'll find local stuff at your farmer's market or health food store. Take a teaspoon of it twice a day, ideally a month before allergy season is getting into full swing. We may have passed this point with the early arrival of spring this year, but that’s ok – start taking honey today and you can still reap the benefits of this super food! My favorite local options are the Bee Man in Canastota, NY (https://www.shopbeemancandles.com/) and K and J Apiaries in Cold Brook, NY (http://kandjapiaries.com/). The variety that both of these local bee keepers offer is phenomenal, and their products are top of the line!
Seek out anti-inflammatory foods.
Often, the answer lies in the foods we eat. Put more fresh herbs and spices into your meals, like ginger, for example, and you'll help soothe inflammation before it has you sneezing. Green tea is another effective option, plus it gives you plenty of antioxidants which boost your health all around. Foods like sugar, dairy, and many grains and gluten can be inflammatory in the body, so scaling back on these this time of the year, or cutting them out altogether can have many healing benefits. Add in lots of fresh veggies and mixed greens in salads (or you can even add greens to your smoothies!) to give your body the extra nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
With these natural ways to ease spring allergies, you'll hopefully be able to stop and smell the roses more often. Do you generally struggle with spring allergies? If so, what do you typically due to kick your symptoms? I'd love to hear what works for you!