We are quickly approaching the time of year where many of us who suffer from seasonal allergies start to feel the affect of the season change. Perhaps with the warmer weather and the maple trees budding you are already starting to feel the itchy eyes and sore throat coming on. Allergies are no fun! Often time the over the counter allergy medication is no fun either. It can leave us feeling tired or with a fuzzy head. Taking it daily isn’t a healthy option either because it does have side effects that can be long lasting. Maybe you are wondering if there are natural methods that are effective and safer than over the counter options. The great news is that there is! Seasonal allergies, or any allergy really, is just your immune system on high alert. It has recognized a foreign invader that has entered your body and is on the attack to get rid of it in order to protect your body. This is a great mechanism but sometimes our body misinterprets the invader and cannot really determine harmful things from natural occurring things like pollen. It is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Lets take a look at some options to help our bodies out with this struggle.
Essential oils are a great option! Essential oils have the ability to fight inflammation and also boost the immune system. It can help you detoxify the body of infections, bacterial, parasites, and toxins. This way your body will be less susceptible to outside sources and our body will not over react to a harmless intruder.
Lavender: A great essential oil to calm, cleanse, and reduce inflammation. It can reduce swelling in the airways, relieve headaches, and calm the nervous system.
Lemon: Cleanses, supports the immune system, and reduces inflammation. It’s very helpful for people with asthma who struggle when the pollen reaches their airways and causes inflammation. The citrus smell has an uplifting scent to help with fatigue which some feel as a result of allergies. Lemon essential oil is also an immune system builder helping you to fight off allergens. Peppermint: Relieves headaches, clears airways, and boosts energy. Inhaling it can immediately sooth the feeling of scratchy throats and blocked sinuses. It can also help the body get rid of excess phlegm and reduce inflammation.
As you are looking at essential oils it is important to choose pure pharmaceutical, food grade oils. You do not want to ingest oils that have synthetics in them as that can make your allergies worse rather than helping them. You can place 2-3 drops of each essential oil in a diffuser and allow the diffuser to release the oils into the air. You could also mix 2-3 drops with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and rub it on your chest and throat twice a day. Using a rollerball is also a great option. Simply fill the 10 mL roller bottle with a carrier oil and 20 drops of each of the essential oils and apply to the soles of your feet, behind the ears, on the back of your neck, and across the nose. The rollerball method is really great way to keep the oils with you on the go. If you are using the essential oils with little kids only use 1 drop of each oil instead of 20.
Another great option to help with allergies are herbs. A combination of Reishi mushrooms and Astragalus room will help regulate the immune system response when taken on a regular basis.
You could also try Horehound herb. It is a minty herb that if often found in cough drops. This herb is especially helpful with chest congestion.
Stinging nettles is great for decreasing allergy-related inflammation and histamine. The stingers in nettles actually contain histamine which means your body will not have to produce so much of its own.
Mullein Leaf is soothing, healing, and an antispasmodic for the lungs. It helps when the lungs feel irritate, inflamed, or infected.
Plantain herb can help to soothe and decrease inflammation in the upper respiratory tract. It grows almost everywhere and can be eaten like spinach or made into a tea.
As with every health struggle there is nothing that compares to a healthy lifestyle and diet. Be sure to drink plenty of pure, clean water. Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and consume grass-fed meats. Reduce or manage stress in your life so it doesn't take a toll on your body. And as always get enough good sleep. These are all great foundations for a healthy body! If you need additional guidance give me a call and we can schedule an appointment!