By: Ann Agapis, York JCC Life Coach:
Living with seasonal allergies can be incredibly challenging during this time of year. Histamine, a chemical found in some of the body’s cells, triggers allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing. These can make it difficult to function, sleep or even see clearly. Antihistamine medications are effective for symptom relief, but many of them can cause drowsiness and other unwanted side effects. Let’s take a look at some natural alternatives to use and how they work:
VITAMIN C- This powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory boosts the immune system and acts as a natural antihistamine. This can be found in citrus fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and tomatoes.
BROMELAIN- This is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem. It is a natural remedy for inflammation, especially in the sinuses.
QUERCETIN- This is a plant pigment found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, and St. John’s wort. Research suggests it carries anti-allergens and antihistamine properties.
HYDRATION- Becoming dehydrated causes the immune system to create a rebound effect, which can lead to a runny nose, sneezing, or coughing. Try drinking a few cups of warm water in the morning before eating and keep drinking throughout the day. Healthy foods that naturally hydrate include, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, cucumber, zucchini, celery, and many more.
SALINE NASAL RINSES- Rinsing your sinuses is a great way to relieve congestion. You can use a Neti pot with warm, purified water or a saline nasal spray. Do the rinses at least twice a day to keep the nasal passages moist, preventing environmental allergens from getting trapped in the respiratory tract.
ESSENTIAL OILS- These concentrated aromatic liquids are distilled from plants and have been used therapeutically for centuries. Incorporating essential oils, including peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, or frankincense into your allergy treatment regimen can help reduce inflammation in the airways and decrease coughing, sore throat, and other seasonal allergy symptoms.
The views expressed in editorials and opinion pieces are those of each author and not necessarily the views of the York JCC.