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For those of us who live in 4-season areas, being outdoors when the weather is nice is a blessing –especially when winter seems so long. But, for those who are sensitive to allergens in the air, the great outdoors also brings on the sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion, and watery eyes of hay fever. In the spring and summer, it’s caused by the pollens coming off the flowers and grasses; and in the fall, the spores of the molds that grow on the rotting leaves that have fallen from the trees can kick the symptoms into gear. This can often worsen by the dust and pollutants that are in the air.
The suffering often continues until the first frost of the season that freezes and kills the spores and pollens that inflame our membranes.
Many people just put up with the symptoms. Some retreat to air-conditioned homes – closed off from the outside just as they are in the winter, and many turn to medications that may work but also produce side effects that may not be all that desirable. However, most people are not aware that there are many natural remedies easily made at home to help beat the suffering of hay fever.
- Chamomile tea is said to relieve the symptoms. Some herbalists even recommend smearing chamomile leaves and lemon oil on a tissue and inhaling it to prevent hay fever symptoms.
- Ginger tea, made from fresh cut ginger root, and raw honey works to break up phlegm and chest congestion (also good for colds and flu). It strengthens the immune system and is a natural antihistamine.
- Green tea also blocks the formation of histamine as well as strengthening the immune system. In fact, it’s probably one of the best remedies for building a strong immune system.
- Steaming is a great way to break up congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to hot water and carefully inhale the steam. You can also make an inhaler by adding a ½ ounce of thyme to a canning jar, pour in a cup of hot water, cover and let steep and cool for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, breathe in the vapors and use as needed. The thymol reduces swelling in the bronchial tract as well as having anti-microbial properties.
- Eating local raw honey and bee pollen can help desensitize you to the pollens when consumed on a regular basis. This can reduce the frequency and severity of allergic attacks.
- There are nasal sprays made of pure saline (salt water) available in the local drug stores that can be very helpful. There are no drugs in these sprays, so you can use them as often and freely as you wish. The saline helps to wash the nasal passages of the irritants, and also helps to keep the mucous loose and flowing.
These are just some of the many remedies available to ease the suffering of hay fever. It’s too easy to take a medication, but consider that most medications either make you drowsy or hyper. But if you take the time to do it naturally, not only will you feel better, your body will be healthier too.