By Jessica Needle, ND
Are you suffering from the itchy eyes, scratchy throat and stuffy or runny nose from seasonal allergies? Before you reach for the Claritin, try these natural remedies to relieve the symptoms.
Remove mucus-producing foods from your diet. This includes dairy products, especially aged cheese such as cheddar, parmesan and Gouda. Wheat and the protein gluten, which is also found in barley and rye, can produce excess mucus, as can bread and pastry products made from refined flour. Avoid alcohol, sugar and processed lunch meats. And while fruit is generally a healthy snack, bananas can trigger your mucus-producing cells to go into overdrive.
Drink nettle tea. Nettle is a plant with a mild taste and its leaves contain iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The mechanism by which nettle works to reduce allergy symptoms is currently being researched. Nettle may affect the system of prostaglandins, chemicals which can cause inflammation and pain in the body.
Take quercetin. Quercetin is one of the plant pigments called flavonoids and it acts as nature’s antihistamine. It is also an antioxidant, a substance that stops cellular damage. Quercetin is found in large amounts in green tea and buckwheat. When taken as an oral supplement, it is often combined with bromelain, a pineapple enzyme that increases absorption of quercetin.
Use essential oils. A few drops of essential oil can be added to a pot of boiling water for steam inhalation to open the nasal passages and prevent infection. The oils recommended for allergy relief are peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus and lemon. Add some to your humidifier and be sure to get enough sleep to allow your body to heal.