Seasonal allergies are a term that is used to describe allergic reactions as a result of the change in seasons. What this simply means is that during spring, as the flowers bloom and the trees come to life, you are one of the millions of individuals affected by these changes.
This allergy is usually accompanied by a running nose, chest congestion, sneezing and watery eyes. Like any other allergy, seasonal allergy develops as a result of an over-sensitized immune system in the presence of the allergens. In this case, some of the most common causes of seasonal allergies include grass, pollen and mold.
Since these triggers are commonly found in the environment, it does prove to be a challenge to manage the allergy effectively. There are a number of home remedies you may use and preventive measures you may put in place to manage the allergies.
These solutions not only alleviate the symptoms of the allergies, they also reduce the characteristic discomfort that accompanies seasonal allergies. Granted, it is not possible to reduce the amount of pollen in the environment, but with natural treatments, it is possible to ensure the body is able to deal with the allergies. Find below some of the home remedies for the natural treatment of seasonal allergies (this condition is sometimes referred to as allergic rhinitis or hay fever).
1. Be Aware of Your Allergy Triggers:
Time Required: Varies from one person to another.
What You Need: A journal to record details of seasonal changes and the accompanying symptoms.
One of the most fundamental home remedies in the management of seasonal allergies is to be intimately aware of what your triggers are. This is one of the ways to take preventive measures so as to reduce the intensity of the symptoms when they do occur. Additionally, knowing these triggers allows you to steer clear of the causative agents as and when it is possible. In light of this, the triggers for seasonal allergies are divided into two categories: ragweed and other types of weed pollen as well as mold.
Ragweed is a common plant that flourishes in many places, usually in open fields, vacant tracts of land as well as by the roadside. This plant produces billions of pollen grains during pollination. these pollen rains are transported by wind for hundreds of miles thanks to their lightweight nature. It is these factors that make the pollen from the plant one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies. Mold on the other hand, thrives in places with dense vegetation. It is also found in abundance in hay and raked dead leaves. Mold tends to increase after the rains and is common during seasonal changes accompanied by the rains.
Since it is virtually impossible to predict the extent of an allergic reaction, it helps to use general guides. For instance, during the wet season, there tends to be higher pollen production. The same is true for mold. For this reason, if you live in an area where summer and spring are accompanied by heavy rains, it is safe to expect more intense symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
- This exercise will take time, so you need to be patient to establish a pattern and discern what the allergens are.
- Make sure you jolt down the symptoms experienced as the seasons change, preferably alongside the intensity of the same.
2. Preventive Measures for the Management of Seasonal Allergies:
Time Required: Varies from one person to the other.
What You Need: To make lifestyle changes.
Once you have noted the triggers of the seasonal allergies as mentioned above, the next step is to take preventive measures to provide much-needed relief from the symptoms of the condition. this is important because it reduces your exposure to the allergens, and consequently helps manage the symptoms. As it is not always possible to benefit 100% from these measures, it is important to combine these guidelines with the home remedies listed below.
Relevant preventive measures to reduce exposure to triggers that cause seasonal allergies
- Stay indoors as much as you can, particularly during dry and windy days. This is because the dry and windy conditions aid in the transportation of pollen across a wide region, during which it is likely to get the symptoms of the allergy attack.
- If possible, avoid hanging your laundry in the outdoors. Pollen grains tend to be blown and stick on the surface of the clothes. Wearing these clothes places you in close proximity to the pollen grains and is likely to trigger an allergic attack.
- In the same breath, if you must spend time outside, make sure you change your clothes and shower to rinse off the pollen grains.
- A no-brainier preventive measure is to leave gardening chores to someone else. Weeding, pruning and mowing the lawn are tasks that will only stir up the pollen grains and mold, resulting in sneezing, coughing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.
- If you really must do any of these tasks, invest in a pollen mask to ensure minimal contact with the pollen grains.
- In the event that there is an alert for high pollen count, remember to close all windows and doors to prevent the grains from entering the house.
- Use air conditioner indoors. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are recommended for the AC units as they are most effective in trapping dust, pollen grains and other allergens. Do not forget to follow a regular maintenance schedule to clean these filters too.
- Check the pets. Cats and dogs can also bring in pollen after spending time in the outdoors. Consider cleaning them up to eliminate pollen grains.
- Check your house for mold development especially in hidden corners, the basement and the attic where the environment is conducive for mold development. Getting a dehumidifier should be effective in preventing the growth of the mold.
- Lastly, be aware of the foods that trigger the same symptoms as hay fever. This is because studies show that a large population affected by ragweed pollen grains typically tend to be more sensitive to certain foods. These include, but are not limited to cucumbers, melons, chamomile tea and sunflower seeds among others.
3. Nettle and Peppermint Tea:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon each of dried peppermint and dried nettle leaf, 1 tablespoon of honey, the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 2 cups of water.
Nettle is one of the most amazing herbs in the world of natural remedies. This herb is effective in the management of seasonal allergy symptoms because it helps reduce the production of histamine levels which are responsible for the flare-up of symptoms. When combined with peppermint tea, the remedy becomes an effective solution. Peppermint is added because it is rich in a compound known as luteolin-7-O-rutinoside. This active ingredient acts as an inhibitor for the production of histamine. Prepare this tea to get relief from the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
- Place the dried peppermint and nettle leaf in a cup and mix well.
- Add boiling water to the dried herbs and stir.
- Let the herbs steep for 15 minutes and then strain the mixture.
- Stir in the honey and lemon juice to sweeten the nettle-peppermint tea.
- Drink this tea twice daily to manage seasonal allergies.
4. Citrus Drink:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Preferred citrus fruits (lemon, lime and oranges), manual juicer and raw organic honey.
Most seasonal allergies flareups occur during summer and spring, and as such, they tend to happen alongside soaring temperature levels. Summer and spring are wonderful seasons to spend in the outdoors, but if you are one of many who suffer hay fever, this could be a torturous period. To counter this, prepare a refreshing glass of a citrus juice. Choose from any of the citrus fruits available, including lemons, oranges and lime among others.
These fruits have excellent health benefits as they are packed with Vitamin C which is an incredible immune booster. This is an appropriate remedy because at a time when the immune system is struggling to function properly, these immune-boosting healing properties are more than welcome. Add to this the refreshing effect of the drink on a hot summer afternoon and it is easy to see why this is a must-use remedy. Add honey to sweeten the mixture and prevent the allergies from escalating to respiratory infections.
- Roll the fruits between the palms of your hand in order to stimulate the succulent fibers to release as much juice as possible.
- Wash the fruits well to ensure they are clean before juicing.
- Squeeze each of the fruits using the manual juicer until you have a glass of the fresh juice.
- Refrigerate the juice for half an hour (or more if you would like).
- Stir in the honey and enjoy the drink.
5. Bee Pollen:
Time Required: Varies from one person to the other
What You Need: Bee pollen
Difficulty: Moderate as there are specific guidelines to abide by if this remedy is to be effective.
One of the natural remedies that is slowly gaining popularity in the natural treatment of seasonal allergies is bee pollen. This remedy draws from the concept that exposure to the pollen before the seasons changes allows the immune system to cope and adjust so that once there is high pollen count in the environment, the body does not suffer a huge blow. This is the same notion when kids, in their childhood, are exposed to germs and slowly build a resistance against them so that their immune system is strengthened.
There is a catch however: it is extremely important that you are not allergic to bees as this could have devastating effects resulting in anaphylaxis. Secondly, ensure that your body does not respond strongly to bee allergy as this could cause you to go into anaphylactic shock. Lastly, get pollen locally. Failure to do so makes the remedy ineffective because the body needs to be able to tolerate the allergens in your immediate environment. At the time of purchase, check that the bee pollen is insecticide-free to prevent health complications.
- Get the bee pollen from a reliable source. Choose from any of the forms of pollen available: powder, capsules and granules. Each of the forms have their pros and cons, but if you generally suffer from allergies, you want to avoid the powder form.
- The granulated bee pollen has a delightful crunchy texture that makes it easy to chew on directly or add to cereal.
- With the capsules, simply swallow the recommended dosage alongside a cup of water.
- Take the bee pollen at least 4 months before the typical period when the allergies flare up.
- Start on low dosage and gradually increases it as you monitor your body’s response.
- With no serious reactions, you may take up to 1 tablespoon of the granulated bee pollen during the allergy season.
- If in doubt about this remedy, make sure you consult an allergist for the way forward.
6. Red Onions:
Time Required: 10 Min for the preparation, 12 Hr for the infusion period.
What You Need: 1 Large red onion, 4 cups of drinking water and raw honey as a natural sweetener.
Onions are a versatile home remedy for a myriad of conditions, among them seasonal allergies. Red onions, which are the specific type of onion required for this remedy, are rich in an active ingredient known as quercetin. When present in the body, this active ingredient has been shown to reduce the production of histamine, thus alleviating the symptoms of hay fever. In reality, this has been equated to nature’s own original anti-histamine.
Additionally, the presence of quercetin has been shown to reduce inflammation. This allows for the dilation of the respiratory passages and eases breathing. Prepare this simple remedy by following the simple directions below. You will need raw honey to sweeten the mixture and reduce the intensity of the onion flavor.
- Peel the onion to get rid of the paper-like layers and then wash well.
- Chop thin slices of the onion and place in a bowl.
- Add the water and leave the onions in for 12 hours.
- This allows the active ingredients to diffuse into the water and makes for a rich remedy.
- Add some raw honey and drink at least half a cup twice daily.
- Refrigerate the rest of the mixture and it will remain potent for 3 days.
- If you are concerned about the characteristic aroma of onions, wash the red onion water with fresh lemon juice, which incidentally, is also packed with healing properties to manage seasonal allergies.
7. Saline Water:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of warm sterile water and a nasal spray bottle/neti pot.
A general rule when managing seasonal allergies is to get rid of the allergens from the nasal passages. There is no better way to do this than to perform nasal flushing using salt solution. the alt not only clears the allergens, it also eliminates the nasal congestion that is likely to result from all the sneezing. The most important thing when it comes to using this remedy is to make sure that you use sterile or boiled water. Water sourced directly from the tap is likely to harbor microorganisms that may cause serious infections of the respiratory system. You will need a nasal spray bottle for this remedy.
- Prepare the saline solution by dissolving the salt in the sterile water.
- Stir for complete dissolution before filling the nasal spray bottle with the solution.
- Lean forward so that your head is tilted sideways.
- Squeeze some of the saline solution into the top nostril and let it flow downwards.
- Switch and tilt your head in the opposite side.
- Squeeze the saline solution and remain in this position for a few minutes.
- Use this remedy at least thrice daily to treat seasonal allergies.
Other additional tips for the natural management of seasonal allergies include increased intake of fish oil supplements that help manage inflammation as well as turmeric. The latter is rich in curcumin whose decongestant properties help reduce the symptoms and keep infections at bay. For any clarification, or in case the symptoms are accompanied by wheezing, make sure you seek medical attention immediately.