My love for trees, gardening and just about anything green is not being reciprocated at this time of the year, there’s so much pollen in the air that my eyes are itchy and the other morning my nose had turned into a tap. Fortunately this is not happening every day as it’s dependant on the wind/sun/rain factor. This week I heard on my favourite breakfast show, The AM Show, that this summer is likely to be one of the worst for allergy sufferers, so what can we do about it naturally?
First of all you’re likely to have a proven allergy fighter in your pantry already, Green Tea has natural antihistamine properties, a couple of cups a day can help with congestion, everyday I have one cup but after doing this research I’m upping to two. Then there’s one of my favourite tonic’s made with boiled water, cayenne pepper, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric and lemon this is something I drink throughout winter months, add to this concoction some fenugreek and you have a calming tonic for allergy sensitive noses and stuffy heads.
However, I would not be without my Neti Pot, this is an absolute lifesaver during allergy season, you really will not believe the difference this ancient technique will make to your life!
The Neti Pot in this picture is from Billspots.co.nz
Nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot or a MeilMed Sinus Rinse (available at most chemists but be warned it’s plastic), is a life saver for allergy sufferers, it can be a bit weird to use as you are pouring water into one nostril and out the other, however it’s totally worth the brief discomfort as you’ll be washing away any pollen and allergens that become stuck in the tiny hairs in your nose and add to your discomfort. If you’d like to find out more follow this link to the instructional video and recipe for Himalayan Salt Solution. Please make sure your water is filtered and boiled before using!
Using a steam bath is also a very good way to clear out nasal passages, loosen up mucous, and hydrate the sinuses, adding a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil will help to cleanse, open and un-block nasal passages.
Eat food that is high in bioflavonoids such as beetroot, carrots, kumera, citrus fruits, onions, apples, dark green, leafy vegetables, broccoli and red grapes. Remember to drink plenty of water, this will help all the time; hydration is super important, especially when dealing with allergens.
Horseradish and wasabi are both great at clearing out nasal passages, (not recommended if you don’t like hot spice) eat a little and let the heat do the rest.
Eat raw honey from your area, the theory on this is that the bees ingest the pollen from the same place and therefore it’s like taking a small allergy shot, some people swear by taking two tablespoons a day leading up to allergy season.
There’s also a selection of herbal supplements that are worth a try, these can help instead of taking an over the counter anti-histamine, you’d need to do your research and see which is best for you, for example too much liquorice can give you high blood pressure. The best herbs are: Feverfew, liquorice, butterbur, stinging nettle, red clover, milk thistle, ginkgo and dong quai.
Oh, and don’t forget your Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), I’m a firm believer in taking plenty of this magical supplement that your body can not function without, humans have lost the ability to synthesise ascorbic acid so you need to get it from food or by taking a supplement. I take it on a daily basis and up the quantity dramatically as soon as I feel the slightest hint of a cold or the onset of allergies. My usual dose is 1000mg of micron particle Vitamin C in the morning but I triple that amount and spread it throughout the day for a boost when I feel that something is up.
Hope this helps and you can enjoy our wonderful NZ summer allergy free. Triona
References; The Green Pharmacy, Herbal Remedies, Dr. Haddon, Bruno Laos and Bill