Tackling Springtime Allergies the Natural Way

The Ayurvedic Take

Allergies can sometimes get exacerbated when your body is not eliminating toxins effectively. The consumption of flaxseed oil (1 tsp, 2 times a day for 2-3 days) or triphala is effective in helping the body naturally flush some of the toxin build up. If your allergies primarily show up in way of respiratory issues - e.g., sneezing, difficulty breathing, it is likely a Kapha-induced allergy and a Kapha-pacifying diet can help.

You can also try to “block” the allergens by using a very small amount of ghee (clarified butter) on a Q-tip on the insides of your nostrils (please do this very gently, ensuring caution that you’re using a minimal amount of ghee and not pushing the q-tip deep into your nose!).

Alternate nostril breathing and Kapalbhati (Skull Shining breath) are also very effective in helping tackle respiratory allergies. Finally, Sun salutation yoga poses in the morning (try a cycle of 6-8) can help you battle allergies all day long!

Natural Supplements

Reishi Mushrooms

The spores from this fungus have been shown to help boost the immune system, help tackle lung conditions like asthma and bronchitis, fight fatigue, and in conjunction with other medicines have even been used to treat cancer. When taken regularly, the herb can help regulate your immune system's response to allergens.

Local Honey

While there isn’t much scientific evidence to back this one, there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence from people who have tried it. The theory is that consuming local honey from where you live will help your body adapt to the allergens in your environment. This is supposed to work like a natural allergy “shot” and is as easy as consuming a teaspoon or more per day of raw, unprocessed local honey from as close to where you actually live as possible.

Nettle Leaf

Nettle Leaf is another natural antihistamine that can be very effective as it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine. Nettle leaf can also be used in combination with other herbs to make a soothing herbal tea for allergy relief. It is often mixed with peppermint leaf and sometimes red raspberry leaf to make a refreshing allergy relief tea. Otherwise, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are an easy and effective option.

Steam Therapy and Essential Oils

Steaming using essential oils is an indulgent way to easy symptoms of pesky allergies. The Allergy Trio: Lemon, Peppermint, and Lavender.

Combined, they can potentially help manage inflammation and other discomforts caused by your body’s allergic response. The easiest method is simply to pour boiling water into a bowl or other container, drop a couple of drops of your oils into the water, drape a towel over your head to form a tent, and inhale deeply through your nose for five to 10 minutes. (Just be careful not to get your face too close to the water.)

Probiotics

Unfortunately, research is showing that our newfound hyper-vigilance about germs and bacteria may actually cause more allergies to develop. The good news is that probiotics may be a new way to prevent and remedy allergies. Probiotics is a term often used interchangeably with microflora, except that often, probiotics implies the microflora we can consume (in supplements, foods, liquids). Consuming probiotics (especially those that are native to the human digestive tract) will help boost your inner ecosystem and your immunity. In fact, researchers believe that in our sterile modern world, probiotics can actually encourage the production of antibodies in babies and children that can protect them from allergies that commonly develop later in life.

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