Ah-ah-ah choo! Here we go again. It’s allergy season.
Allergies are a big deal, too, especially if you’re among those who have them, which is estimated to be approximately 50 million Americans. It’s serious, too, since allergies rank fifth among leading chronic health problems in our nation. And they're expensive—costing the health care system and businesses in the United States a whopping $7.9 billion, along with four million lost workdays.
The truth is that many of us suffer from allergies, which can be worsened by weather conditions, pollen, humidity and other influences. If you have allergies, then you are familiar with some of the symptoms, including runny nose; nasal congestion; post-nasal drip; itchy nose; itchy eyes; watery eyes; coughing; sleep problems due to these symptoms and others; headaches; cloudy thinking; and fatigue.
Many people look to pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter medicines for relief. However, there are some more natural ways that can help. Here are some of them.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, and foods packed with vitamin C, including lemons and limes, can help fight against allergies.
Flavonoids: These powerful compounds include many plant pigments and also help to enhance the helpful effects of vitamin C. You can find them in many foods, including apples; apricots; pears; blueberries; raspberries; strawberries; cabbage; onions; tomatoes; black beans; and more.
Raw local honey: Choose raw, unfiltered, local honey that is from within 100 miles of where you suffer your allergy symptoms. It can be helpful in the fight against allergies.
Turmeric: Helping to support healthy inflammation levels, turmeric can also fight aches, fatigue and other allergy symptoms.
Peppermint oil and other mint oils: These—and the heat from their teas as well as chamomile and green teas—can be helpful in opening airways and can act as natural antihistamines.
Nettle: Acting as a natural antihistamine, nettle can minimize the effects of allergies.
Reishi mushrooms: These mushrooms have been found to be effective in fighting some allergic reactions, including those associated with seasonal allergies.
Eyebright: A wild plant native to Europe, eyebright is often used in teas to help minimize the overproduction of mucus from allergies as well as helping calm itchy eyes.
Ginger: Ginger has a direct effect on the anti-inflammatory processes of the human body, as it plays a positive, pivotal role in dominating the platelet-activating factor, which is associated with allergic reactions, says OrganicFacts.net.
Probiotic-rich foods: Finally, eat probiotic-rich foods—especially those with the probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus. Be sure your probiotic-filled foods are also organic and non-GMO, of course. Check the labels to ensure you’re getting the forms of probiotics you need.
Don't let allergies get the best of you this season. Fight them naturally.