Allergy

Six Natural Ways to Fight Seasonal Allergies

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Here’s more from our guest blogger this week, Renee Lea-Currie.

On Wednesday, I shared with you my quest for safe and effective allergy medicines for me and my family. For the past two years, I’ve used homeopathic medicines to treat our symptoms, so here are six natural weapons that we keep in our arsenal to fight seasonal allergies. Enjoy and share the good news with others.

1. Boiron Sabadil is a SUPER WEAPON of allergy symptom destruction. I LOVE THIS STUFF! It is surprisingly effective for helping to relieve the respiratory and eye reactions associated with hay fever, which means I can wear my contact lenses again. It is ideal for ages 6 and up, and the medicine dissolves under your tongue, so no water is needed. To me, it tastes neither good nor bad, and the dissolving tablets make it fun for kids to take. The convenient packaging makes it great for those of us on the go. I am never without my Boiron allergy weapon.

2. Saline nasal sprays and saline nasal sprays with natural menthol or peppermint are a great alternatives to traditional vasoconstrictor nasal sprays when you are still congested, but have reached the three-day limit. Extended use of nasal sprays can result in a horrible phenomenon called “rebound congestion” in which further use of nasal spray no longer allows you to breathe, and you must wait another one to two days before using it again for relief! I have experienced it, and rebound congestion is much, much worse than your worst congestion. Young children, like my five-year-old, love a sense of control in their lives, and the saline nasal spray is a weapon she can manage with supervision.

3. Take a teaspoon of local raw honey (from within 50 miles of your home) each morning or night. It’s easy to get the kids to take their honey "medicine.” This works on the same principle as allergy shots, which involve exposing yourself to small amounts of pollen specific to your area so that your body can adjust and not overreact in the future. An allergic reaction is simply your immune system overreacting to non-harmful substances such as pollen. Raw honey is available at your local natural foods store, some small businesses, and many grocery stores.

4. Boiron Sinusalia blasts sinus headache pain and congestion far, far away. After my third day of sinus congestion/migraine misery, I purchased a box of Sinusalia one morning at Whole Foods and took it immediately. I was surprised that it worked so quickly! I took another dose two hours later and was pain- and congestion-free for another four days! Even though none of us can correctly pronounce it, my kids and I love taking Sinusalia. I don’t have to worry about artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, poor quality control in the product, or maneuvering past a bad-tasting remedy. And because homeopathic medicines are not contraindicated with pre-existing conditions, I can share it with my friends and relatives who have high blood pressure, so they too can live congestion- and sinus headache-free.

5. Home engineering controls:

- We don’t lounge in our home wearing the same clothes we wore outside. When we come home, we immediately change into “house-only clothes” and “house-only shoes.” This helps to avoid the transfer of pollen to our beds. I remember this tactic from "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood," as he always changed from his outdoor to indoor sweater and shoes.

- We dry our clothes in the dryer instead of an outside clothesline to avoid having pollen collect on our freshly washed clothes. If you want to be more earth-friendly, use an indoor drying rack.

- We use a natural laundry detergent and fabric softener to avoid the synthetic perfumes that could trigger a respiratory or skin reaction unrelated to seasonal allergies. When I combine the detergent with my homemade fabric softener (equal parts water, baking soda and white distilled vinegar, and a few drops of pure peppermint extract), we are left with fresh-smelling, environmentally-friendly clothes.

- We regularly change the air filter in our home, and we dust and vacuum when the children are at school or on a play date.

- We deodorize our home with a simple mixture of baking soda and essential oil (peppermint is my favorite) in a small decorative jar or candle holder. Decorating the jar makes a great rainy day craft project for the kids. Plus, it’s cheap and very effective. People love entering our home and breathing in a clean, fresh smells.

6. Nutrition controls:

- We avoid artificial sweeteners and colors in our foods and medicines as much as possible. These ingredients can sometimes cause sensitivity reactions, especially in children. Homeopathic medicines are widely available and companies like Boiron offer product coupons to make this task easier. Forgive yourself and do the best you can with the resources available in your area. Use your consumer power to request items at the stores where you shop.

- Enjoy eating a variety of wholesome colorful foods and whole grains available in your area. Use coupons and sales to make this affordable. Avoid highly-processed “food” products as much as possible, even when they are on sale.

About Our Guest Blogger: Renee Lea-Currie is a married mother of 2 (ages 5 and 9) with a Ph.D. in Nutrition. She is currently the Director of Cell Biology/Safety Officer for Zen-Bio, Inc, the Health Ministries Leader for Philadelphia Seventh Day Adventist Church in  Burlington, NC, and a founding member of the Healthy Alamance Faith Based  Initiative Task Force. This group of volunteers works with local churches to help them develop and maintain an effective health ministry with a focus on diabetes prevention. Renee (aka The Healthy Snack Lady and Natural Coupon/Freebie Queen) is passionate about sharing ways to make transitioning to a healthy lifestyle fun, tasty and affordable (YAAH) with coupons, deal alerts and real world health tips in the blog www.thetakebacktour.com.

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