For most of the country, the worst of 2018’s allergy season has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean everyone is out of the woods just yet.
In early June, tree pollen will likely peak in northern New York and into New England, according to AccuWeather.
Furthermore, grass pollen will also increase in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions. This means allergy sufferers could still be struggling this time of year.
Homeopathic Remedies for Allergies
While prescription and over-the-counter medications can provide relief, some prefer a more natural route. Luckily, there are a variety of home remedies that can help. Here are some options for keeping your symptoms at bay.
Options like neti pots and nasal washes flush materials out of your sinuses, which can reduce your exposure to allergens. Typically, they use a saline solution and purified water to break up mucus and remove irritants, like pollen.
Using a neti pot can feel odd at first, as you have to allow the rinse to enter one nostril and exit the other. Additionally, you need to make sure that you don’t use them with tap water, which can introduce risks.
Butterbur is a plant extract that may reduce inflammation of your airways. One study by Swiss researchers showed it was as effective as two over-the-counter antihistamines (cetirizine and fexofenadine) at reducing congestion and runny noses.
If you decide to use Butterbur, it has to be in an extract form. In its natural form, butterbur has dangerous compounds that can harm the liver, but they’re removed during processing.
Many praise honey for its health benefits. When it comes to allergies, one of the things honey can do is ease a sore throat. By swallowing a spoonful, it can calm irritation and coat the tissues, providing relief.
Try to source your honey locally, since that might help you build to pollen proliferating in your area. However, it would take time for a tolerance to develop. Note also that research on this topic is sparse.
Hot Showers and Steam
A hot, steamy shower can do wonders for the sinuses. But, for allergy sufferers, the benefits may be twofold.
Not only will you be able to unclog and clear your sinuses but showering also removes allergens from your skin and hair, reducing your exposure. This also decreases the likelihood that you will transfer the allergens to other items, like pillows and furniture.
If you just need the sinus-clearing benefits, you can also try a facial steam. You can use a facial steam device or simply heat some water and put it in a bowl. For the maximum effect, drape a towel over your head to catch the steam. You can also add eucalyptus oil to the water to reduce inflammation. Just be careful not to get too close to the water, or you can get burned.
Drinking tea can also provide allergy sufferers with relief. Since a hot cup of tea produces steam, that can help open nasal passages.
If you choose peppermint tea, you may also get some decongestant and expectorant benefits. Green tea may also have antioxidant properties that can reduce allergic reactions, albeit slightly.
However, if you are allergic to ragweed, avoid chamomile tea. It can cause a similar allergic reaction, so avoiding it is best.
If you need to make your home a sanctuary, install a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter on your HVAC system. If you don’t have central air conditioning, you can also purchase portable air cleaners that do the same thing.
These filters capture pollen in the air, ensuring it doesn’t circulate through your home. You will need to change the filter regularly to get the most benefit. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the replacement schedule.
Pay Attention to Weather Reports
Step up your consumption of weather forecasts to learn about conditions that might exacerbate your allergies — so that you know when it’s best to keep the windows closed or even stay indoors.
Depending on exactly what you’re allergic to, you might find that your symptoms worsen on windy days or those with increased pollution. Conversely, your symptoms might subside after a heavy rain, which tends to reduce the amount of pollen in the air.
Speaking of which, you can obtain more details on local pollen counts by visiting websites like Pollen.com.
Readers, do you or someone you care about suffer from allergies — and what’s your opinion on homeopathic remedies versus traditional pharmaceuticals?
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