Simple Ways to Ease Hay Fever
Written by: Amber Alexander
I sit here writing this from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. There are a lot of reasons why people hear of my little home area, but recently it has been because of the ridiculously high pollen count (if you follow the link, I am in the bright red area in the upper left).
This week (and a good amount of the time), we experience the highest levels of pollen in the nation. This is one reason why it is so beautiful and green here – lots of plant life, grasses and trees. We have a great growing season and eating locally this time of year is quite easy to do.
But for anyone with hay fever, like myself, this time of year also brings it’s own set of challenges.
Over the years, I have experimented with several different ways to help ease hayfever and have definitely developed some favorites. If you don’t want to take prescription medication or an over the counter remedy, or if you are like me and need more than one way to counter the symptoms, you may want to try giving one or more of the following a try.
1. Warm Lemon Water In The Morning – There is a long list of possible benefits from starting your day with a cup of warm lemon water. When it comes to my hayfever though, I love that it helps boost my immune system function and gets my lymphatic system moving to help me battle the runny and itchy eyes and nose I experience. It also helps me wake up in the morning and is easy to make! Just squeeze the juice of half a lemon into about 8 oz of warm water and enjoy! For an added immune boost, add in a little bit of raw honey (even better if it’s local).
2. Consider Trying A Neti Pot – I was highly skeptical and more than a little nervous about trying out a neti pot for the first time. But I get so congested at the peak of the high pollen time of year that I caved and decided to try it out. Much to my surprise, it worked! Keeping my sinuses gently flushed not only helps me breathe much better, it keeps my nose from drying out from the constant runniness and reduces bloody noses and itchiness.
3. Lemon, Lavender And Peppermint Essential Oils – These three popular oils have proven to be an effective remedy for me throughout the day as well. I have a roller ball container of all three essential oils (mixed and properly diluted) that I carry with me and apply to my pulse points and the bottoms of my feet as needed during the day. It is a nice rescue remedy when I need a little added support. I also diffuse this trio of oils in my bedroom at night to clear out respiratory congestion and reduce the asthmatic side effects I experience.
4. Reduce Intake Of Inflammatory Foods – Limiting my intake of foods known to cause inflammation (such as dairy and, for me, gluten as well) really reduces the severity of the symptoms I experience. When my body isn’t busy fighting the inflammation or adverse effects of certain foods I am sensitive to, it has more power to fight off the allergens in pollen that bother me.
5. Increase Intake Of Foods High In Vitamin C and Resveratrol – Apples, oranges and grapes are great foods to start with. This will reduce asthma, nasal passage symptoms and wheezing, according to Dr. Rob Hicks. Plus, everyone’s body could stand to be healthier!
6. Get Enough Rest And Eat A Healthy Diet! – This sounds simple but is often overlooked in trying to reduce symptoms of hayfever or other chronic conditions. With hayfever specifically, our bodies are fighting the intruders (pollen) 24 hours a day, which is exhausting! If you aren’t feeding your body the nutrients it needs to wage war on the pollen and if you aren’t giving your body the rest it needs to replenish itself, you are setting yourself up for more severe conditions and illnesses and will not be able to enjoy all of the wonderful things about this time of year!
Whether you are trying to avoid taking medication or looking for something to supplement a medication you already take, I encourage you to experiment and see what works best for you. As with any medical conditions or decisions concerning supplements and medication, it is wise to consult your doctor before changing anything. I wish you luck as you navigate this sneeze-filled time of year!
As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Amber Alexander follows her passion for vibrant wellness by supporting others in cultivating greater health and joy, specializing in family nutrition and individuals recently diagnosed with autoimmune diseases and/or food sensitivities.
When not working to make the world a healthier place one person at a time, she can be found on her yoga mat breathing deeply, in her kitchen cooking up nourishing deliciousness for her family and loved ones, or out dancing in the woods. She strives everyday to do at least one thing that infuses her whole being with radiance, joy and strength and believes that a hug can solve almost any quandary.
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