Natural Remedies For Spring Allergies
April showers bring May flowers and… seasonal allergies, at least for the eight percent of Americans who experience them. Pollen, dust mites, and other kinds of outdoor fungi all come out to play in the warmer months, bringing with them a range of symptoms — runny noses, itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion — and the need to have a box of tissues always at the ready. Hey, hay fever.
While allergies tend to respond well to antihistamines like Benadryl or Claritin, sometimes, there’s no need to take medicine at all. While relatively safe, these medicines can have adverse side effects like dizziness and drowsiness. Plus, taking higher than recommended doses of these over-the-counter options for especially sneezy victims can lead to complications like heart problems or seizures.
So before you reach for the meds, try these natural remedies for spring allergies — they’ll help you fight off inflammation, bolster your immune system, and have you breathing easy in no time.
Close Your Windows
This simple solution goes a long way. Though it may be tempting to “get some air” and let in a little breeze on a nice day, consider doing so only on days when the allergen count is low. Resources like pollen.com offer a snapshot of the day’s pollen forecast where you live, along with other common allergens. It’s as easy as checking the weather.
While it’s hard to keep the sunshine and fresh air completely out of your home, just know that the breeze and pollen often come as a package deal. So if you are set on cracking a few windows, invest in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to help keep allergens to a minimum. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, HEPA filters can eliminate up to 99.7 percent of mold, dust, pollen, bacteria, and other allergy-causing culprits in the air.
Stock Up On Herbal Tea
Anti-inflammatory herbal teas are one of the best-kept secrets for allergy relief. Known to soothe the immune system, certain herbal blends make your body less reactive to the foreign substances that cause allergies to flare up. You may already have some of these common herbal teas in your pantry — ginger, peppermint, green, turmeric, and yerba mate will all tackle a runny nose or sore throat.
But if your allergies are coming on strong, butterbur is a shrub that has been especially shown to reduce symptoms (and migraines!). Simply steep the leaves to drink it as a tea or take it as a supplement.
And, herbal teas aren’t just for sipping. A piping hot cup will also do wonders for clearing your nasal passageways. Hold your tea close to your face and let the steam work its magic — it’s like a makeshift humidifier that also smells amazing.
Get a Jump on Spring Cleaning
One of the best ways to fend off allergies is by making sure they stay out of your living space to begin with. At least once a week, do a sweep of your home to make sure everything is vacuumed, tidy, and free of dust.
If you suffer more severe seasonal allergies, it’s recommended that you routinely take off your “outside clothes” once you come inside the house — especially before entering your bedroom where pollen and allergens can cling onto your bedsheets. Instead, switch into some comfy loungewear or a set of clothes that you only wear inside to keep the air around you allergen-free.
In 2022, we’re no stranger to masking up, but facemasks don’t just protect against Covid-19. Don one as you’re cleaning the house to protect your nose and mouth from any allergens in the air; you’d be surprised by how much dust and pollen will show up in your Swiffer. Your sinuses will thank you later.