By Kris Vaughan, CH
Seasonal allergies can be a killer. The sneezing, congestion, itchy and watery eyes can leave you feeling worn out and fed up. Over-the-counter allergy medications can make you drowsy and groggy and they are very hard on your adrenals. There are natural options for you that won’t leave you feeling worn down and that actually work. Now each person is unique but I find that a combination of the following suggestions works best.
When we have food sensitivities our immune system is in a constant state of overdrive. This causes it to over-react to virtually everything around you. I call it an immune Drama Queen. Determine if you have food sensitivities by getting a saliva or blood test done by your health care practitioner or figure it out on your own with an elimination diet. This is by far the least expensive way and you find out a lot about yourself in the process. Once you have eliminated offending foods from your diet your immune system can begin to calm down and react normally to the things around you.
There is speculation about whether or not this works but I have seen it first-hand. The reason local honey works is because it is made from the pollen in your specific area. The honey contains small amounts of the pollen and desensitizes you to it over time. Typically 1-2 tablespoons of honey per day is all that is needed and you can take it straight off the spoon or spread it on toast or sweeten your tea with it.
It’s important to check with your local honey provider for the correct type of honey for the season. Bees are collecting pollen from different plants at different times of year and you won’t see any benefit if you are using the wrong kind.
Herbal teas are an excellent way to reduce your response to irritants and to boost the immune system. My favorite tea is a blend of lemongrass, eyebright, licorice root, nettles, hawthorne berry and hibiscus. It is delicious and I recommend it 2-3 cups a day during allergy season.
For tough sinus congestion I recommend an herbal capsule called Sinupret 2-3 times a day. This is also good when the sinuses feel clogged from swelling and nothing comes out when you blow your nose.
A great homeopathic for the allergies in my neck of the woods is called Allergena Zone 6. This is a blend of homeopathic doses of the grasses, weeds, and trees in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. Over time this will desensitize you to these plants and it also provides some immediate relief to the symptoms. If you live in another part of the country there is a specific blend for your zone.
Combining a few of the strategies above will give you the best relief of your seasonal allergy symptoms. If you need specific help and strategies be sure to seek the guidance of a natural health care practitioner such as myself. You can schedule a consultation in our wellness clinic and you can purchase the items mentioned in our apothecary.