With the warmer weather, allergy season has sprung! There are so many natural alternatives to sinus pressure and congestion. It is estimated that 36 million people suffer from seasonal allergies also known as hay fever. When the pollen counts increase the body releases histamines. Those who suffer from allergies have an over reaction to non-harmful substances and this causes the itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and/or sinus drainage. Before heading to the drug store for Claritin or Sudafed try some of these natural remedies for sinusitis.
Grate 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
Add a few whole cloves and 1 piece of a cinnamon stick
With 1 cup of water
Boil for 5 minutes
Then strain out solution into a cup
Add honey and lemon juice
Common Supplements for Allergy Support
- Quercetin- a flavonoid found in onions, apples, and black tea. This antioxidant has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to block histamines or reduce the release of histamine.
- Astralagus- Supports the immune system
- Stinging Nettles- potent herb for allergies, anti-inflammatory
- Vitamin C- antioxidant that lowers the histamine levels in the bloodstream
- Bromelain- contains fibrin that will support proper draining of mucous membranes, acts like a decongestant .
Another great helper for sinus drainage is Xlear. Xlear is a xylitol nasal spray that was found to reduce bacteria, and used regularly, hydrated nasal passages and helped flush out airborne pollutants that could trigger asthma and allergies. In addition, Xlear shrunk swollen membranes to allow easy nasal breathing.
Irrigation with a Neti Pot
- Mix a ¼ teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized salt. Use the purest salt available
- Lean forward and turn your head to one side over the sink, keeping the forehead at the same height as the chin or slightly higher.
- Gently inert the spout in the nostril so it forms a comfortable seal.
- Raise the Neti pot gradually so the saline solution flows in through your upper nostril and out of the lower nostril. Breathe through your mouth
- When the Neti pot is empty face the sink and exhale vigorously without pinching the nostrils.
- Refill the Neti pot and repeat on the other side. Again, exhale vigorously to clear the nasal passage
Essential oils that can help with sinus pressure and congestion
Lavender- natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory
Peppermint- analgesic and anti-inflammatory, plus it relieves nasal congestion.
If pollen is starting to give the whole family problems, diffuse 3 drops of each in a cold-mist diffuser. One can also apply 1 drop of each to a dollop of a carrier (I like coconut oil) and mix thoroughly then apply to the back of the ears and neck.
There is also a do-it-yourself roll on recipe for allergies using essential oils
For this use:
25 drops of Lavender
25 drops of Peppermint
25 drops of lemon
25 drops of Copaiba (increases the availability of other oils)
Add oils to a 10mL glass roll-on oil, shake gently to combine
Foods that can cause or help with congestion
Finally remember that foods will can also impact congestion. Having a specific food allergy is not the same as foods that will help decrease congestion during this season. Specifically, if you are congestion due to the high pollen counts, try to decrease your milk consumption first. Milk products increase mucus production, by eliminating them from the dietary pattern one will have less mucus produced.
Allergy season does not have to be a pain. If you are a current client at Nutrition Works, remember to contact your clinician if you are dealing with allergies or start having a sinus infection. Gail, Trista and I are always happy to provide any information. If you are not a client, please ask our well-educated store employees.
Be well and enjoy the spring,
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