It seems like as soon as the snow finally melts, we’re hit with a pollen attack that makes us wish we were still in winter hibernation mode. Nature’s mean like that. I’ve always had to deal with springtime allergies: scratchy throats and itchy eyes, and a chronic case of consistently runny nose. In an ironic twist, nature also holds the key to fighting the allergies it’s causing. I’ve rounded up some natural allergy remedies so that you can breathe easy outside (and leave the tissues indoors).
Brew Dried Nettle Leaf Tea
When it comes to natural allergy remedies, the nettle leaf is a force to be reckoned with. Aside from blocking histamines and reducing inflammation, it has also been shown to help with decongestion. It contains the essential benefits of big name allergy brands, with no side effects like drowsiness. You can buy the concentrated herb in capsule form, or brew your own custom allergy-fighting tea blend. This recipe blends other herbs known for various mucus-blocking and sinus-opening properties, making it a great weapon of choice against spring allergies.
Flush It Out
If you can get over the strange feeling of working water through your nose, nasal irrigation is one of the most effective ways to clear out your sinuses. Hot salt water moves from one side of your nose to the other through the sinus cavity, and flushes out irritants. The first time I used a neti pot, I admittedly gagged, but nothing clears out your nose faster! It helps relieve sinus symptoms from stuffiness and pain to coughing, since you’re actively getting rid of the things that cause the irritation. If you make sure your irrigation device is sanitary, and you don’t use it daily (some mucus in your nose is beneficial!), this is one great allergy-fighting solution.
Cook With Quercetin
Sounds like a scary chemical, fights allergies like a champ. Found in foods like apples, onions, capers and tomatoes, quercetin is a flavonoid with strong anti-inflammatory properties. I like this recipe for an apple walnut salad, since walnuts and apple cider vinegar have their own allergy-fighting properties. So when you’re planning your spring menus, remember to grab a handful of some quercetin-friendly snacks!
Bring On the Heat
If you’ve ever taken a generous bite of wasabi, you know what it feels like to have your sinuses suddenly flush out (and maybe cry in public). Certain spicy foods are mucokinetic, meaning they thin out your mucus membranes and help to decongest. The next time you feel stuffy, try cooking with chili peppers, mustard oil, garlic or horseradish. These recipes for Sinus Clearing Soup and spicy Thai chicken are packed with necessary ingredients to fight your stuffy nose. Clearing out your sinuses while eating something tasty is a pretty good deal!
Steam With Oils
If your allergy symptoms include stuffiness and sneezing, you might want to try the steam approach. Simply pour some boiling water into a bowl with peppermint or eucalyptus oil, and inhale the steam while your head is covered by a towel. This technique helps to clear your sinuses and soothe your nose and throat. These essential oils additionally work to help with inflammation and coughing, so your allergy symptoms don’t stand a chance.
Hopefully these tips and recipes will help you breathe easier this spring. Have any additional remedies that are your allergy season go-tos? Let us know in the comments!