You did it! You survived the germs of winter without getting sick but hold up, it’s now spring and you’re sniffling, sneezing, and you’ve hit some major insulin resistance. What gives? Now before you reach for some over the counter meds try these natural allergy remedies first. I’ll admit, they don’t work as quickly as over the counter medication, but I’ve noticed they’ve lessened the severity and frequency of my allergies over the long term.
Natural Allergy Remedies
1. Local Honey
Honey has been used for centuries to heal wounds & infections both internally and externally because of its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties. And while there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence on the subject of local honey and allergies, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from people like myself who’ve seen its effects first hand. The theory behind it is that the local honey is being made from the pollen in your area. When you eat the honey you are slowly developing immunity to the allergen, helping your body and immune system adapt to the irritant. It’s important that the honey is local honey, because while honey from bees living off the beautiful coast of southern California might sound incredibly tempting, it won’t help you much (allergy wise) if you’re living in New England and dealing with different bloom times and different plant species entirely.
Diabetics beware. Honey is about 75% sugar. Half of which is glucose, so this stuff hits you F.A.S.T.! AKA a 10 minute pre bolus probably isn’t long enough.
My favorite kind of local honey is the honeycomb variety. Hive and all. I either take a small bite or mix 1-2 teaspoons with warm (not hot) water. MMmm this is by far my favorite of the natural allergy remedies.
2. Avoid Histamine Foods & Be Aware of Cross-Reactors
Your body is having a histamine response to pollen, so it’s best not to further aggravate the situation by dumping histamine triggering foods on the problem. High levels of histamines are found in the following foods:
- Pickled or canned foods (like sauerkraut)
- Matured cheese
- Smoked meats
And be aware of cross-reacting foods. For example, if you have a birch tree allergy, you may notice an allergic reaction to food items in the birch tree family during allergy season like apricots, kiwi, and cherries, just to name a few. Check out an expanded list here: http://s.doctoroz.com/sites/default/files/im_uploads/3_170_food_seasonal_allergy_chart_PRINT.jpg
3. Add Antihistamine Foods to the Diet
In a nutshell, this is any food containing quercetin or pycnogenol. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that helps stabilize cells, so that they don’t release too much histamine. It’s also great at reducing inflammation because it’s a powerful antioxidant. Some examples of antihistamine foods are:
- Brussel Sprouts
Raw apple cider vinegar helps to break down mucus and slow down its production. It also does a great job at cleansing the lymphatic system, which can become extremely irritated and backed up during a bout of allergies. My favorite way to drink ACV is this recipe. I personally use this brand.
5. Vitamin C
Not only is vitamin C a powerful immune boosting antioxidant, but it also lowers histamine levels in the blood. While supplements should never replace a healthy diet, the recommended amount of vitamin C is pretty hard to get from food alone. It’s for this reason that in addition to a balanced diet, I choose to supplement with vitamin C. I personally take this brand when I feel my immune system needs a little extra love. Which, when living with three autoimmune diseases, is all the time.
Allergies are the result of an overtaxed immune system. The stronger your immune system, the less likely you’ll fall victim to the attack of the dreaded pollen. One of the best things you can do to support a healthy immune system is to keep your gut bacteria healthy and thriving. I do that by consuming probiotic rich foods, like sauerkraut, and taking this brand of soil probiotics.
I would love to know what your favorite ways to battle allergy season naturally are! Let me know in the comments below.