Runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion and sneezing—allergies can make you miserable. The good news is that there are natural remedies to help relieve your symptoms, according to Lake Health naturopathic provider Jacob Wolf, ND, LAc, Dipl OM:
Your home could be sparkling clean but still harbor hidden allergens. One thing you might forget to do is replace the filter in your heating and air conditioning systems. You should do this regularly, as recommended by the type of filter you use, and more often if you have a family member who has asthma or allergies or if you have pets. Jacob Wolf recommends a filter with a rating of MERV 13, which removes the most airborne contaminants. MERV means Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the value, the more efficiently the filter will trap airborne particles.
Reduce indoor pollution
Reduce indoor pollution by removing candles, scented soaps, air fresheners, dryer sheets and other products with fragrance. While we think these scents help us relax or make our home smell fresh, they can trigger allergies.
Keep shoes in the garage because they can track allergens into the house.
The best treatment is avoidance: reduce your exposure to known allergens. Admittedly, this is easier with sensitivity to food and chemicals than airborne allergens. Treatment options that can help include:
Herbs and nutrients
Some herbs and nutrients decrease the allergic process by stabilizing the cells that release histamine. These are a few common ones:
- Quercetin – a flavonoid found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, American elder and others. Buckwheat tea has a large amount of quercetin.
- Vitamin C
You can get all three of these nutrients in one product, which can be purchased at Jacob’s office or at most health food stores.
Therapies that help clear nasal passages include the following:
- Steam inhalation – boil water on the stove, pour it into a bowl and add two to three drops of an essential oil, such as eucalyptus, or a few pinches of an herb, such as rosemary, thyme or oregano. Lean over the bowl, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam.
- Nasal saline rinses
- A neti pot – make sure you use sterile water
- Saline sprays
These natural remedies might take a little extra time and effort, but they’re safe and effective when used correctly, and pose few or no side effects.