Do you have a love/hate relationship with August and September? Well, I sure do! These months have some of the best weather but they also like to drive me nuts with copious amounts of pollen. For me, it's the Ragweed. Gets me every time! Somewhere around the second week of August the scratchy throat, itchy/watery eyes and non-stop sneezing and running nose begin. And it doesn't let up until the first frost - GAH!
In case you're wondering, yes I do take antihistamines. Do they help? Ummm....sometimes?! If nothing else, for my stubborn allergies they help take away some of the itch and drippy-ness. But they do have side effects, so I am kinda hit-or-miss with taking them. But I have found that adding in some natural remedies really makes a difference on my symptoms.
So here's a few things you can try to help ease this miserable time. Try some, or try them all and see how it helps. And just remember - this too shall pass!
- Essential Oils - Try adding Lavender, Peppermint, Menthol or Eucalyptus to your diffuser. They help open up nasal passages and lungs making breathing easier. Plus they improve circulation and help relieve stress. (Did I mention stress makes allergies worse?)
- Vitamin C with Bioflavanoids - Vitamin C reduces histamine release and makes histamine break down fast. And those Bioflavanoids enhance the Vitamin C activity and stabilize mast cells that produce histamine. Without getting too technical, the mast cells release histamine which generates an immune response that is responsible for all those unpleasant allergy symptoms.
- Quercitin - is one of those flavanoids that stops the production & release of histamines. (think antihistamine)
- Zinc - is great for the immune system and it also helps improve adrenal fatigue (which is caused by stress). Remember, stress makes the symptoms of seasonal allergies worse!
- Windows - of course fresh air is great, but during allergy season you may want to close them up. Pollen counts vary day to day and even time of day. Warm, breezy days are worse than cool, rainy ones. And pollen counts tend to peak around lunch time, so try keeping your windows closed to help decrease the amount in your house.
- Cleaning - as much fun as cleaning your house is, if you can keep dust levels down, you'll also decrease your pollen exposure. Also remember to wipe down pets and even change your clothes after being outside as they act like giant pollen sponges bringing even more of that nasty stuff inside your house!
Let me know what natural remedies work for you! I love Summer & Fall and I don't like having to hide out because of my allergies. By taking care of myself, eating well, getting lots of sleep and decreasing my stress levels, I am hoping to keep my allergy symptoms to a minimum.