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How We’re Dealing with Allergies

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

Ever since we moved from Michigan a little over a year ago, my allergies have been different. Spring and fall used to be the times that my symptoms flared up and I could expect that every year. The first year living in South Carolina has been tough because the seasonal stuffy nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes challenge me for the better part of every month. It’s the worst right now while ragweed is in full bloom. Actually it drives me almost insane. I guess what did I expect since the ragweed in our backyard is taller than I am?

I want to share with you the natural methods that I’ve been using to deal with all the pollen that’s been making me nuts. I’m not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body’s natural functions to ease discomfort. My allergy symptoms are not 100% gone by any means, but I’ve noticed a difference in the way my kids and I have been feeling.

Local Raw Honey

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

We’ve heard farmers and beekeepers who have lived in our area for years say that eating a teaspoon to a tablespoon of local raw honey can help our bodies fight allergy symptoms caused by pollen. If you’re curious, this article supports this theory. I’ve been more than willing to try it so I take a teaspoon of local raw honey per day. I have also heard that it can take up to a year to feel a difference, but at the very least honey coats and soothes my itchy throat and eases my cough. It’s delicious in tea!

We have hives in our yard and the bees have been all over the ragweed. Hopefully ragweed pollen will transfer to the honey so we can eat it and build an immunity over time.

Neti Pot

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

About a year ago I wrote an in-depth post about my neti pot. If you’ve never used a neti pot before, my post will help you get started if you’d like to try it. I promise it’s not scary!

By using a neti pot daily I’m rinsing my nasal passages with a sterile saline solution that aids in flushing out irritants like pollen and dust. It’s also very healing for irritated nasal membranes. The neti pot particularly helps me at bedtime because rinsing the irritants out helps me sleep better (i.e., sneeze less.) I also use it when I have a cold because it helps to break up the nasal congestion and reduce sinus pressure.

I use a ceramic neti pot because it’s very easy to sterilize and it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that can be present in plastic types.

Essential Oils

I'm not saying that these things cure, prevent or treat allergies, but they can help support the body's natural functions to ease discomfort.

My favorite way to use essential oils is by diffusing them into the air. My entire family, including my two little ones, can receive benefits from the oils this way. The calming scents of our favorite oils help us to relax which is beneficial when we’re all driven crazy by constant sneezing and itching. Lavender, lemon and peppermint together are my favorite oils to diffuse for all of us during allergy season because their properties help our bodies maintain proper nasal function and overall wellness.

I use pure, unadulterated essential oils that were manufactured for therapeutic use. They were produced from plants that were grown without the use pesticides or herbicides. Read more about them here.

In addition to eating right, exercising, reducing stress and getting enough rest whenever possible, these natural remedies have helped us promote wellness during our allergy season. They may not be your miracle solution, but I’ll say that they’re definitely worth a try!

Does the Neti Pot Bring Relief?

Does a Neti Pot Bring Relief?

Are you reading this post through burning watery eyes, desperate for relief? I feel for you. I’m sitting here writing this during the time of year that I’m usually tormented by fall-blooming plants like ragweed. Burning eyes, itchy throat and ears, sneezing a hundred times a day, asthma flare-ups, sinus pressure and headaches. I wake up sneezing and coughing at random times during the night. Sometimes it has been downright debilitating.

In years past, I’ve taken allergy and asthma medication to help or prevent my symptoms. Sure, it masked them, but I didn’t like the side effects that came along with it or the monthly expense. When I started making healthy lifestyle changes 6 years ago, I began to look for natural remedies. Incorporating clean, organic, non-processed foods into my diet was a good start and definitely has made a big difference in my overall health including my allergies and asthma. I have tried natural nose sprays and herbal teas to target the allergies. I always love my herbal teas and they definitely make me feel better, but don’t totally kick the allergy symptoms, so to speak. The nose sprays haven’t been effective at all for me and they’re expensive.

I was 3 months pregnant with my first baby a few years ago when my fall allergies hit and they were especially extreme. I was over at my mom’s house for dinner one night and she pulled out a neti pot. I had never heard of one before. I read the insert in the package which explained that neti pots have been used for centuries in India and are associated with yoga practices. I had been practicing yoga for years, so honestly, that sold me more on trying it. I was freaked out by the idea of it at first. I was afraid of the drowning feeling I thought I’d have when pouring water up my nose. I made my mom demonstrate first.

After finally trying the neti pot for the first time, my experience with it was not bad like I had feared. Yes, water went back into my throat on the first few tries and I coughed a little, but I didn’t feel like I was drowning. It did feel good to rinse out my irritated nasal passages. Here’s a quick rundown if you haven’t seen how a neti pot works. You fill a sterilized neti pot (here’s mine) with the recommended amount of pure non-iodized neti pot salt (like this) and distilled water to make a saline solution. (Having the water luke warm or room temperature always feels the most comfortable for me.) You then lean over a sink and tilt your head so it’s almost perpendicular to the sink. While breathing through your mouth (that’s important!) put the spout in your top nostril and pour the saline solution so it flows through your bottom nostril. Pour half of the solution through one nostril and then switch to the other nostril to pour the other half. (There are very detailed instructions included with the neti pot when you purchase one.) When you’re done, you can gently blow your nose and see all the fun stuff that comes out!

Rinsing the nasal passages with sterile saline solution helps to flush out irritants like pollen, dust, etc. and is very healing to the delicate nasal membranes. Have you tried gargling with saline solution? It’s soothing like that.

It took a few days of using the neti pot 3 to 4 times daily before I really noticed a reduction in my miserable allergy symptoms. Since then I’ve been a regular neti pot user and I LOVE it. I haven’t used allergy medication a single time since, or cold medication for that matter! I use the neti pot every day during my peak allergy times. When I use it before bedtime it helps me sleep without waking up sneezing…or less anyway. It really makes a difference to soothe my nose and rinse out the irritants. I use it whenever I have a cold or any other kind of nasal congestion. It breaks up the congestion and reduces sinus pressure.

If you’re suffering from nasal congestion and irritation from allergies or a cold or flu, I’d definitely recommend the neti pot. I promise you won’t feel like you’re drowning…after a little practice at least! I am not making any medical claims in this blog post; I am sharing my personal experience with this natural home remedy. It is important to check with your healthcare provider and read about the contraindications in the instruction manual included in the package before you use a neti pot, especially if you have a sinus condition or have had sinus surgery. It is imperative to follow the directions included with your neti pot very carefully. If the saline solution isn’t sterile it can cause infection.

Do you have a natural remedy that you swear by for allergies and colds? Please share your helpful tips below!

I choose to use this ceramic neti pot over a plastic one because of the toxins present in many kinds of plastic. The ceramic pot can be heated to sterilize it without toxins leaching out.