Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms Naturally
Spring is here and for many of us that means allergy season. Herbal teas, essential oil blends, and environmental modifications are great places to start to help reduce allergy symptoms naturally. To have the most effective and optimal results, begin by seeing your allergist or medical professional find which specific allergies affect you the most and their severity levels.
My daughter is an allergy sufferer and we have tried many natural remedies over the years. Unfortunately, we would always end up going back to over the counter antihistamines because it seemed the natural remedies didn’t work. Finally, we took her to an allergist and had her tested to find her specific allergies. After discovering she was allergic to dust, mold, and dogs, we were able to start implementing changes that targeted those specific allergens. Suddenly it made sense why other natural remedies, such as giving a teaspoon of local honey was never beneficial for her. Local honey potentially benefits an individual with pollen allergies, not dust and mold. We are all unique and therefore will find remedies that are unique to our situations. For my daughter, it was removing the carpet and other materials that harbor dust from her bedroom. We also open windows when we dust or vacuum and keep our family dog out of her bedroom. These environmental modifications have helped us to greatly reduce her exposure. When autumn arrives and the wet moldy leaves create environmental allergies, the severity of the reaction is greatly reduced and much easier to treat.
While I may choose to forgo her allergist’s recommended treatment of pharmaceutical antihistamines, there is no replacement for the diagnostic screening we received. Finding a medical professional that respects your choices and will work with you is a critical piece to the natural remedy puzzle. Self diagnosing any condition will leave you without the proper information needed to make decisions on appropriate natural treatment. This is where much of the misconceptions about the effectiveness of natural remedies stems from. When you work together with your physician to receive the proper diagnosis, it’s much easier to find the correct natural remedies to work for your situation.
Once you receive a proper diagnosis, there are many herbs and essential oils that can be used in order to help reduce your allergy symptoms naturally. When we think about the fact that we are all unique, it only makes sense that different combinations may work for different people. It may take some time to find the combination that works best for you, so don’t become frustrated if something doesn’t appear to work right away. It’s important to note that herbal supplements and teas are derived from plants and may contain allergens that can trigger reactions in people who have specific sensitivities. This is another reason why a comprehensive diagnostic screening is recommended before beginning a natural remedy course of treatment.
The herbs mentioned below may be used singularly or in combination to create allergy beneficial teas. These herbal teas are some of my favorite go-tos and are generally steeped for 5-10 minutes in order to retain the volatile oil content available in the plant. They are readily available in most stores and can be purchased in bulk loose leaf.
Holy Basil, often referred to as Tulsi, is a herb that can be made into a tea and sipped daily. This herb is not the same as the garden basil often seen in Italian cooking, as it’s native to India. Tulsi is an adaptogen which helps the body cope with everyday stressors and supports normal cortisol function. Additionally, it helps strengthen the respiratory system making it great for allergies, hay fever, and asthma. This tea would ideally be used before your normal allergy season begins and consumed daily.
Chamomile is another herb that makes a delicious sweet flavored herbal tea and is a great choice for children. When purchasing in bulk, four to six grams of flowers can be infused in eight ounces of boiling water to create a tea that is useful for allergies, hay fever, and asthma. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe inflammation in the throat when a cough is present. Chamomile has a calming effect that can be soothing and relaxing in times when we are feeling run down due to stress or illness. If a ragweed allergy is present chamomile should not be used in the treatment of allergies.
Lemon balm, a natural antihistamine, can be made into a tea using two to four grams per eight ounces of boiling water. It has also been shown to be beneficial in relieving respiratory symptoms associated with allergies such as coughs and asthma. Additionally, lemon balm is calming and useful in treating irritability, anxiety, and restlessness which may be particularly beneficial when allergies are at their peak.
For additional benefits, mix in a spoonful of raw local honey which has been shown to be beneficial in treating seasonal pollen allergies specific to an area. A great place to find this would be your local farmer’s market. You can speak with the beekeeper directly to ensure no chemicals are used as treatments in the hive.
Essential Oil Blends
Essential oils can also be used in order to reduce allergy symptoms naturally. Ideally, these would be diffused into the air to receive the maximum benefit through inhalation, which can be achieved through a traditional diffuser. If you don’t have a diffuser you can still receive the benefits of inhalation by placing a few drops of essential oil on the shower floor and allow the scented steam to penetrate the room. Another option would be to place a few drops on a cotton ball or tissue under a pillow or in a pocket close to your face. The following oils are all found to promote a feeling of clear breathing and reduce allergy symptoms such as sinus headaches. Try any combination of the following oils or use them individually to suit your personal needs: eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, fir needle and lemon.
It is important to remember that not all essential oils are suitable for everyone. Be sure to obtain all the safety information pertaining to your remedy before starting the use of any new herb or essential oil.
Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Let me know in the comments below what natural remedies you have found to be most effective for you!