11 Different Ways to Halt Seasonal Allergies

Bianca with flowers
Photo by Sérgio Savarese
By Jonathan Parker

Seasonal allergies, or "hay fever" irritates millions of people every spring and summer. In their most basic form, allergies are actually your body just doing its job. Well, actually, overdoing it.

Our immune system is trained to respond to threats from outside our bodies. Each antibody our body makes is specifically formed to target a certain threat. Unfortunately, like many high tech security systems, there are a lot of false alarms.

It matters little to the antibodies that the pollen dust invading our nostrils is only looking for a place to camp out -- but in a percentage of the population, it's all-out war. Like chicken little, the antibodies scream to the rest of the immune system that the sky is falling and BAM, you get histamine. Histamines! Histamines cause all the fun symptoms of hay fever -- itching, swelling, runny nose. Of course, like anything else, there are dozens of drugs on the market you can use to treat these effects, but wouldn't it be better to limit the reaction in the first place?

Here are some different tried-and-true methods that you can reach for to keep allergies away...maybe forever:

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Unpasteurized and unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains "the mother" - all the enzymes, minerals, and probiotics - is said to slow histamines which makes it a favorite for allergies including bug bites and poison ivy. Braggs is a trusted brand. You could take two tablespoons a day in water that you can flavor with honey.

King Bio Homeopathic Sprays

King Bio has an impressive array of homeopathic sprays for any issue. You will get results from their Allergy/Hay Fever spray OR you can look for their regional allergy sprays available at health food stores and online.

Boost Immunity, Detox

Another reason people struggle with allergies later in life is because of the massive load of environmental toxins the body must filter every day - especially the liver. You will notice that many allergy teas have the same ingredients as liver-helping teas - burdock, licorice root, etc. Likewise, a lot of the natural methods for allergy reduction involve boosting immunity with vitamins, echinacea/goldenseal, nettle, and more. During your allergy ordeal, be good to yourself by lightening the toxic load. Cut back on sugars (which cause inflammation and deflate immunity), heavy refined and fried foods, and chemicals. Reduce food allergens that exacerbate Leaky Gut, and up the amounts of plant life, veggie juices, and home cooking.

Quercitin

Is a powerful flavanoid that protects cell membranes and prevents histamine dumps. You'll find this in allergy teas, can take by itself as a supplement, and/or you can eat the following foods containing quercitin:

Teas, currants, red grapes, onions, leafy dark greens, apples and raspberries.

Eat local honey and burn 100% Bees Wax candles

For some reason, eating honey made by bees in your region helps with immunity to the local pollen. Bees Wax candles produce negative ions - the stuff that's causing those allergies has a positive charge.

Fish Oils

Fish oils are favored for all kinds of inflammation for their ability to help the liver and immune boosting properties. One dosage recommends 1,000 mg EPA and DHA per day.

DIY HEPA Air Filter (under $29 or less, easy to make)

Basically, if you have a box fan, buy a HEPA filter (around $13) roughly the same size and Duct tape it to the fan. Will it work? You will see that it will look pretty gross after a few weeks or more of use and then you can replace it. You have saved hundreds of dollars using this method versus commercial air filter systems.

Hang out indoors
Not all the time of course, only when pollen levels are highest. Many plants tend to release pollen early in the morning, usually not too long after dawn. It tends to die down after the daily winds have scattered these little gifts. This is a great excuse to sleep in later on your days off!

When indoors, barricade!
Ok, so your homemade moat might not help against ragweed, but your windows can. Try to resist the urge to drive with your car windows down in the morning. It might help to do the same on windy, sunny days at your house. I know it's a bummer to miss out on all that fresh breeze, but you don't want that dust to settle inside, you need a place where you can rest and not worry about those mean ol' plants. Air out on cooler days and you'll save a bit a grief by not having an invisible cloud hit your face every time you collapse on the couch.
    Photo by Yi and Ralf Thomann
Take a shower as soon as you come in. 
Residual pollen is VERY clingy, just take a look at that picture to the right. After all, its job is to cling to wherever it lands, so it can spread the love. A quick shower rids you of the light dusting you may have have received outdoors. 2 Minutes in the water, some fresh clothes and you should be free to relax - sneeze free.

Hang dry your clothes indoors.
I know, most people don't air dry any more, but there are a lot of benefits to this. One being you save a decent amount of money on your energy bill. Another benefit is you avoid the static cling created in your dryer. When you hang your clothes indoors, you avoid the pollen blowing around in the wind, and save a bit of money in the process.

 Stay tuned for more tips in the coming weeks. Here's looking forward to a great spring all around!

Jonathan Parker is an EMT-Paramedic and Preparedness Instructor with a love for emergency medicine, self-sufficiency and homesteading. His goal is to empower people towards a natural and sustainable lifestyle.




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