After a long winter, most of us are already dying to get outside.
Now add in the current pandemic induced lockdown and that feeling is even stronger.
However, for some of us springtime renewal comes with dreaded sniffing, sneezing, itchy eyes, and headaches of season allergies.
Tree and grass pollen are the main culprit and coat the world with their yellow splendor.
In fact, the other morning my entire car looked like it had a new coat of paint.
In this article, I’m going to share with you five natural alternatives to survive and thrive during this allergy season — no matter how long it lasts for you.
Natural Allergy Fix #1: Omega-3s
You can find Omega-3s in wild-caught seafood, nuts and grass-fed meats.
These essential dietary fats are potent anti-inflammatories.
They can also boost your immune system.
Think of Omega-3s as your base for allergy defense. They may not be fast-acting like over-the-counter medications.
But with regular use, they can reduce or eliminate your allergic reactions all together.
Beyond finding it in certain proteins, you can also consume Omega-3 in supplement form.
A high quality brand we recommend is Nordic Naturals.
Their Ultimate Omega Extra is unparalleled when it comes to overall DHA/EPA content combined with their world renowned purity and quality.
Natural Allergy Fix #2: Stinging Nettle
A natural alternative to synthetic antihistamines, stinging nettle is a plant that treats allergy symptoms the same way medication does without the side effects and health risks.
Nettle actually inhibits our bodies’ ability to produce histamine — the compound your body releases in response to an allergic reaction.
Histamine kicks off a series of reactions designed to rid the body of a persevered intruder like pollen. These reactions include sneezing, watery eyes and itching.
One reaction may be swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe. This is especially common in those who have asthma.
Studies show a daily 300-milligram dose of stinging nettle leaf — in the form of a supplement — offers relief for most people.
You can also consume it in teas and tinctures. (Tinctures are concentrated extracts made from alcohol and chopped herbs.)
Natural Allergy Fix #3: Butterbur
Derived from a common weed in Europe, butterbur is another plant alternative to synthetic antihistamines.
In the days before refrigeration, its broad, floppy leaves were used to wrap butter during warm spells.
That’s where the name butterbur came from.
A Swiss study, published in the British Journal of Medicine, found that butterbur was as effective as the drug cetirizine in treating allergic rhinitis. [R]
Cetirizine is the active ingredient in Zyrtec.
More importantly, cetirizine is supposed to be a non-sedative antihistamine, but the researchers found it did, in fact, cause drowsiness — while butterbur did not.
Natural Allergy Fix #4: Neti Pots
Neti pots are small vessels shaped like Aladdin’s lamp. They have been used in India for thousands of years to flush the sinuses and keep them clear.
A Neti pot is basically a small teapot filled with salt water. You pour the liquid into your nostrils to clear out mucus, pollen and other allergy-causing debris.
To flush your sinuses, you can mix a quarter- to a half-teaspoon of non-iodized table salt into a cup of lukewarm water and pour it into the pot.
Lean over a sink with your head slightly tilted to one side. Next, put the spout of the Neti into one nostril and allow the water to drain out of the other nostril.
Use about half of the solution, and then repeat on the other side, tilting your head the opposite way.
Gently blow out each nostril when finished to clear them completely.
Natural Allergy Fix #5: Quercetin
Quercetin is a type of flavonoid. Flavonoids are a group of plant pigments largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Quercetin is an essential allergy fighter for it’s ability to regulate mast cell function.
Mast cells contain histamine until it’s ready to release.
Essentially, quercetin is shown to keep your mast cells “in balance” making sure they don’t release too much histamine when a perceived invader enters the body.
Good sources of quercetin include citrus fruits, onions, garlic, apples, parsley, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, legumes, berries and wine.
Like Omega-3s, flavonoids are healthy nutrients you can consume year-round.
If you’re really in a pinch, quercetin supplements are an option.
A word of warning, quercetin is very hard for the body to absorb.
That’s why we recommend a version of phytosome version of phytosome like that from the company, Thorne.
Phytosome complexes are created by a patented process that binds a botanical extract to phospholipids – phospholipids are key components of cell membranes.
In the case of quercetin phytosome, the quercetin is combined with sunflower-sourced phospholipids to create a phytosome complex that can easily cross the gut barrier.
Independently or together, these five solutions can help treat spring allergy symptoms.
But even after everything is in bloom, they can also help create a constant defense against allergic reactions year-round.
Have you tried these types of natural allergy alternatives before?
Or are there other’s not listed you have tried?
Please share with us and other readers your experience by leaving a comment in the comment section below.