April showers will soon bring May flowers.
But some people would prefer to enjoy this season of renewal from the comfort of indoors.
For many, springtime means sniffing … sneezing … red, itchy eyes … swollen throats … and other seasonal symptoms.
Currently, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. This has created a massive $15 billion market for treating hay fever and the like.
Drowsiness can be a short-term side effect of many of these treatments. But there are many potential, longer-term risks linked to prescription and over-the-counter allergy medicine.
They include …
• Low libido
And much more.
Tree and grass pollen are at the heart of seasonal allergies. Depending where you live, you can find different types of pollen in the air no matter what month the calendar says it is.
Plus, air pollution, dust, mold, pet dander and other fungi exist in the environment for longer than just a season.
In other words, we can experience an allergic reaction at just about any time of year.
So today, I would like to share with you today five natural alternatives to help you survive the allergy season — no matter how long it lasts for you.
5 For Fighting Allergies
As beautiful as springtime can be, with its flowers and freshly cut grass, things can turn ugly for those who are sensitive to the pollen in the air.
These five natural alternatives to antihistamines may be just what the doctor ordered to bring sufferers some relief:
You can find Omega-3s in wild-caught seafood, nuts and grass-fed meats.
These essential dietary fats can be potent anti-inflammatories. They can also boost our immune systems.
Think of Omega-3s as your base for allergy defense. They may not be fast-acting like over-the-counter medications. But with regular use, they can reduce or eliminate your allergic reactions.
Beyond finding it in certain proteins, you can also consume Omega-3 in supplement form.
A natural option to antihistamines, stinging nettle treats allergy symptoms the same way synthetic medication does … but without the side effects and health risks.
Nettle actually inhibits our bodies’ ability to produce histamine — the compound your body releases in response to an allergic reaction.
It kicks off a series of reactions designed to rid the body of the intruder. These reactions include sneezing, watery eyes and itching.
One reaction may be swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe. This is especially common in those who have asthma.
Studies show a daily 300-milligram dose of stinging nettle leaf — in the form of a supplement — offers relief for most people.
You can also consume it in teas and tinctures. (Tinctures are concentrated extracts made from alcohol and chopped herbs.)
Derived from a common weed in Europe, butterbur is another alternative to synthetic antihistamines.
In the days before refrigeration, its broad, floppy leaves were used to wrap butter during warm spells. That’s where the name butterbur came from.
A Swiss study, published in the British Journal of Medicine, found that butterbur was as effective as the drug cetirizine.
Cetirizine is an active ingredient in Zyrtec.
Participants in the study took 32 milligrams of butterbur a day, divided into four doses.
Though cetirizine is supposed to be a non-sedative antihistamine, researchers said it caused drowsiness — while butterbur did not.
These are small vessels shaped like Aladdin’s lamp. They have been used in India for thousands of years to flush the sinuses and keep them clear.
A neti pot is basically a small teapot filled with salt water. You pour the liquid into your nostrils to clear out mucus, pollen and other allergy-causing debris.
To flush your sinuses, you can mix a quarter- to a half-teaspoon of non-iodized table salt into a cup of lukewarm water and pour it into the pot.
Lean over a sink with your head slightly tilted to one side. Next, put the spout of the Neti into one nostril and allow the water to drain out of the other nostril.
Use about half of the solution, and then repeat on the other side, tilting your head the opposite way.
Gently blow out each nostril when finished to clear them completely.
Flavonoids are a group of plant pigments largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Quercetin is a flavonoid that’s used as a natural antihistamine to help stabilize mast cells.
It prevents the manufacture and release of histamine, as well as other allergic and inflammatory compounds.
Good sources of quercetin include citrus fruits, onions, garlic, apples, parsley, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, legumes, berries and wine.
Like Omega-3s, flavonoids are healthy nutrients you can consume year-round.
Check with your doctor to see whether changing your diet, adding supplements or introducing natural allergy remedies is right for you. If so, I would like to hear how these ideas work for you.
Independently or together, these five solutions can help to treat spring allergy symptoms.
But even after everything is in bloom, they can also help create a constant defense against allergic reactions year-round.
Here’s to your health this spring season!
Uncommon Wisdom Daily