Seasonal allergies are the worst. If you have chronic allergies like I do, spring is your worst nightmare. Sneezing, stuffy nose. Also, watery and itchy eyes. Lately, we have had patients coming in with sore throats due to allergies. Acupuncture works great for treating the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Patient’s usually feel relief after just one treatment. If you suffer from chronic rhinitis or have issues regularly you may need to be seen several times.
We offer a great line of Chinese herbs for seasonal sufferers. Chinese herbs in combination with regular acupuncture treatments can really help knock out symptoms.
Here are some natural remedies that you can use to help alleviate your seasonal allergy symptoms.
1. Neti Pots and Nasal Irrigators- Neti pots are filled with sterile or distilled water. They look sort of like little teapots and the water is poured through one nostril at a time and drains out the opposite. They are very useful for clearing your nose and sinus cavities of pollen and dust which can exasperate your symptoms.
2. Dust and vacuum- This one might seem silly to even mention but it’s very important to be proactive if you have allergies. If you are suffering from pollen try to remove your shoes and change your clothing before you walk around the house or sit on the furniture. If you have been outside all day do a quick rinse off in the shower so you don’t bring the pollen to your bed. You also might want to change your air filter more often when pollen is high.
3. Food- Local honey has been one remedy that everyone can get behind. The theory is that honey produced in your area can help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment. It also tastes delicious.
Probiotics are another easy remedy. The stronger your gut bacteria the better your immune system- is the motto for probiotics. The better your immune system the better your body can fight off seasonal allergies.
4. Herbs-There are a variety of herbs that have been used for allergies. Nettle is popular and easily attainable but another is Butterbur. Nettle and butterbur have been shown to work just as well as leading antihistamine drugs.
6. Steaming and essential oils- A great way to open up your nasal cavities is with steam. Sauna’s are great for the body and can help clear out the toxins by sweating. The steam from the sauna will help open your pores and your nose! If you can’t get to a sauna a hot bowl of water and a towel over your head can provide some needed relief. Eucalyptus oil is very common for opening up your nasal passages and making it easier to breathe.
4. Spices- Nothing can clear a blocked nose quite like chili peppers! Try adding some spiciness to your dishes to combat stuffiness. Peppers, garlic, ginger, mustard, and horseradish are all ways to kick up your meals with some healing power.
Try this recipe for Spicy Stinging Nettle Soup
Disclaimer* Stinging nettles will sting you. Make sure to use gloves when preparing them. They are not harmful after they are soaked in water. They are best straight from the farmers market in the spring.
1 pound of stinging nettles
1 diced onion
2 garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced dried chili peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups vegetable/chicken broth
2 teaspoons of sea salt/Himalayan salt
1/2 cup basmati rice
salt and pepper to taste
finely minced chives
Greek yogurt or sour cream
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the nettles and salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Coarsely chop and remove any stems.
2. In a medium sized saucepan warm the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and chili peppers and stir frequently for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in rice, vegetable broth, and the nettles. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer on low for 15 minutes until rice is cooked.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup and season with salt and pepper. Top with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt and some chives.