I don’t know about you, but I think spring is the best and the worst time of year. It’s the best because the blue sky and warm weather bring so much fun and excitement to even the most ordinary day. Unfortunately, it’s also the worst for those who suffer from allergy induced itchy, watery eyes, headaches and nasal congestion and drip. While our instincts may have us reaching for the medicine cabinet at the first sign of trouble, there may be a better, natural and holistic approach to beating allergies. Here are a few habits and practices you can employ to feel your best while pollen runs wild.
Let’s face it, as inspiring as those magazines and article are about getting outdoors and experiencing the elements, we spend a lot of time inside. If you’re getting 8 hours of sleep, you spend at least a third of your day indoors. Though a fortress in spirit, it can’t always keep the outdoors, well, out. Using a humidifier in your home may help keep the pollen from being so bothersome. By adding moisture to the air, the tiny specs of dust and pollen will adhere to the droplets. This will add weight to them and nock them down to the floor. You will be breathing in much less of what causes sneezing, alleviating your symptoms and allowing you to rest comfortably indoors. A word of caution, however, too much moisture can exacerbate allergy symptoms.
Another in-home cleaning method is with the use of an air purifier. This one may go without saying but for only a few bucks you could be sleeping soundly all through the night with one of these at your bed side. Air purifiers pull air through a filter, trapping pollen, dust, spores and even smoke from the air. You wouldn’t drink un-purified water so why would you settle for dirty air, especially when it makes you feel so crummy?
Believe it or not, allergies can also be defeated by dietary changes! Your body’s immune system is acting the same way as it would when a cold or flu virus makes an appearance so taking steps to strengthen it is always a good idea. Avoid excess sugar at all costs, as it can really take a toll on your body by weakening your immune system. Vitamin C foods like oranges can be beneficial as well as green leaf vegetables, carrots and broccoli. Often times, allergies can be a result of inflammation in the body. Maintaining a healthy gut with probiotics, eating anti-inflammatory foods or adding spices such as ginger and turmeric on food or in drinks is a great way to boost your immunity also.
While not technically vegan, eating raw, local honey does the body wonders for fighting off allergies. A flu shot contains a tiny amount of the flu virus in it, which allows your body the chance to learn to fight it without getting overwhelmed by it, in turn, getting sick. The honey trick is the same philosophy. Local honey will contain pollen from local flowers that wild bees have been pollinating, so introducing them to your body can train your immune system how to fight off the symptoms. There is one downside to this however, and that is, if your allergies are caused by something other than pollenating flowers, the honey will likely not provide you much relief since the bees won’t be incorporating any particles from grass, trees or other plants.
Lastly, turning to natural herbs may be your best unknown allergy remedy. Stinging Nettle Leaf can be found all across the planet and is best known for the uncomfortable, stinging reaction that occurs when coming into physical contact with it. While essentially issuing an allergic reaction to the skin, when dried and served as a tea, it can combat the reaction from traditional allergies, known often as hay fever. It has anti-inflammatory properties that activate enzymes in the body to reduce negative symptoms. Generally, anti-histamines are gravitated towards to treat allergy symptoms, but Stinging Nettle tea, containing histamine, has an opposite reaction within the body.
Before heading to the pharmacy, walk down the isles of the grocery store and try an alternative, natural approach to beating allergies. Veestro can also help make it easy by delivering plant-based meals directly to your door. Try our Kale and Quinoa Salad for a dose of nutritious greens or our Quinoa bake to get an Italian inspired frittata packed with protein and vegetables.