The weather is gorgeous, the sky is a sparkling blue, the wild flowers are dazzling us with their colorful splendor, and the cactus blooms are popping out in the lower elevations. Unfortunately, for some of us, the allergy symptoms also start popping out with the arrival of spring.
If you are one of those people who want to enjoy the great weather and beauty of Sedona with minimal or no allergy symptoms, adding some of these common sense and common place remedies may help you out.
Remove the allergens before they have a chance to set in—
- Showering—The relaxing comfort of a warm shower is a familiar pleasure for many of us. The steam opens sinuses and provides soothing relief to swollen nasal passages. An added benefit is that you are cleansing your skin of pollens, dust and other allergens. Savvy showerers also realize that rinsing directly after working in the garden, tree trimming, mowing the lawn, etc., helps to quickly remove allergens trapped on their skin and hair. Showering prior to bedtime prevents bringing the allergens to your bed and pillows. While showering, you may want to wipe your eyelashes gentle with baby shampoo, recommended by some doctors to remove dust and pollen. Another shower-time allergy-buster is use of a Neti pot and saline rinse for a natural nose cleanser. No time for showering every time you want relief? Fixing a warm pot of water and inhaling the steam with a towel over your head can provide similar relief. There is research that suggests that adding a drop or two of eucalyptus oil will aid in the process due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Be aware that eucalyptus oil should not be taken internally or applied directly to your skin.
- Clear the air—Although enjoying the fresh air is tempting, keep the windows shut during pollen season and invest in a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. Studies show that nearly half of all seasonal allergy sufferers also have problems with perfumes and housekeeping products. A HEPA filter helps remove these types of indoor pollutants along with outdoor allergens that may be brought in.
Your home’s air and your own skin and hair are clean as a whistle, what next?
- Home Remedies that Work—There are many herbal solutions along with pharmaceutical choices to help you reduce allergy systems. Some very common and helpful allergy remedies that are my personal favorite choices include:
- Apple Cider Vinegar—A possible aid to help weight loss, heartburn, and general digestion, this familiar household staple is also used for allergy relief due to its ability to cleanse the lymphatic system and reduce mucous production. To get the benefits, use only apple cider vinegar with ‘The Mother”—a colony of helpful bacteria included in organic brands.
- Local Honey—I am a staunch believer that regular doses of local honey helps seasonal allergy symptoms though there are few studies to support my personal experience. However, one study conducted by Dr. Asha’ari, et el, and published at pubmed.gov indicates “Ingestion of honey improves symptoms of allergic rhinitis” and “Only the group that ingested honey showed a significant improvement in individual AR symptoms. The improvement persisted for a month after the cessation of the treatment.” The key is to purchase the natural honey locally. We are blessed with many Arizona honey producers who offer a variety of ‘flavors’—honey produced from different local types of vegetation.
- Stinging Nettle—Described as a natural antihistamine, studies also show that Stinging Nettle has antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer, astringent, and analgesic capabilities. According to Draxe.com, “Stinging nettle’s anti-inflammatory qualities affect a number of key receptors and enzymes in allergic reactions, preventinghay fever symptoms if taken when they first appear.” There are a few prescribed drugs that can be affected by the use of Stinging Nettle—as with all supplements, consult your physician prior to use.
- Probiotics—Another one of my favorites for a variety of beneficial reasons, probiotics come in different types; pill and liquid form. In a study done on infants, new research by E. Furrie at PubMed.gov indicates that beneficial gut bacteria aids in the reduction of allergic reactions.
It is estimated 24 million adults and children suffer annually with what is often called hay fever or seasonal allergies. So, if you are one of them, you are not alone. Of course, it bears remembering that we should always take care and consult a medical professional when ingesting or trying a new treatment, however natural it may be. At the Sedona Community Center we enjoy an active, holistic lifestyle and offer a selection of activity choices for our community members.