This is Part 2 on Seasonal Allergies.  Part 1 covered the basics. Now, let’s talk about some simple strategies that can definitely help during allergy season.  I’ve picked 6 of my favorite holistic medicine “non-medicine” strategies:

#1  –  Take off your shoes in the house.  During your hay fever days, the pollen that is causing your allergies is all over the place, including the ground.  Tracking the pollen in the house on your shoes brings the outdoor problem into the house!

#2  –  Wash your hair before bedtime, especially if you have lots of hair.  Our hair is like a pollen magnet!  And our hair rubbing on the pillow creates a great overnight exposure to all those allergy triggers.  The longer our hair, the more important it is to wash out the pollen.  It takes some planning, I know  …. but the results can make the effort worthwhile.

#3  –  Inhale steam or use saline nose drops.  The whole idea here is to wash the pollen and allergens out of our noses so that we have less exposure to trigger our allergy symptoms.  Holding your head over a steaming pot of boiling water (at a safe distance so you don’t get burned by the steam) for even a few minutes can help a lot.  If you don’t like the steam idea, purchase saline nasal spray.  Any brand is fine. I use Ocean Saline Nasal Spray.   Saline is totally safe and can be used as much as necessary. It just helps wash the allergens out of our noses.

#4  –  Eat local raw honey.  This theory has been around for a long time with the idea being that the local bees gather local pollen and the honey that they make can gradually help desensitive our bodies to some of the pollens that may be triggers for our hay fever.  In my personal experience, it definitely has helped in my family.  Local and raw is best for the allergy problem. A study published in 2011 looked at the effect of no honey vs. regular honey or honey with birch pollen added for seasonal allergy sufferers.  The honey was started during the winter months (pre-allergy season).  The results found that either the plain honey or the honey with birch pollen added had a 60% reduction in total symptoms, twice as many days with no symptoms and 70% fewer days with severe symptoms than the control group (the no honey group)! So, if local honey is OK with you and your doctor, it is worth a try.

#5 –  Drink Nettle with Peppermint Tea.  Both Nettle and Peppermint have evidence that they can be helpful for seasonal allergies by naturally decreasing histamine release. Make a strong tea from nettle leaf tea and from peppermint tea brewed together. Try using the local honey to sweeten it!

#6  –  Try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).  EFT is commonly called “tapping”.  Have you heard of it? It is an extremely easy technique that is used as a self help aid.  Much of the data about EFT is strictly about mental benefits, however, a study published last month looked at veterans with chemical lung injuries and found that EFT improved immune function as well as all sorts of quality of life factors. With allergies, EFT can help ease some of the anxiety associated with the whole “bad day” experience and might even calm down emotional triggers associated with our allergies.  Many people report great improvement in the allergy symptoms with EFT!

OK, so there you have it, some of my favorite non-medicine allergy aids!  Oh, and of course, if you plan to try any or all of these ideas, run them past your own doctor first ….

Tom Casey
Amy Clark
Angelika Torres
Anthony Zolezzi
Chelsea Vurciaga
Dave Carter
Elizabeth Chatellier, MA, RDN
Linda Bonvie
Liz Latham
Sebrina Zerkus Smith
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