ACHOOO!!!! Sniff. Sniff.
“Are you sick?”
“No, it’s just allergies.”
While this is a typical response that means, “Don’t worry, I am not contagious,” anyone with allergies knows seasonal allergies are no joke. It’s hard to breath, our eyes are red and itchy, and even though they make us tired, it can be hard to sleep.
Fall is a common season for allergies to act up, even though we think most plants should be done blooming and pollinating by now. Ragweed is a huge source of Fall allergies. Did you know that if you are sensitive to ragweed your allergies might also be triggered by certain fruits and vegetables, including bananas, melon, and zucchini? Weird, right? It is also zucchini season here in Michigan. Hmmmmm. That amazing chocolate zucchini bread you love so much might be making your nose run. Darn it.
According to WebMD, mold and dust mites can also contribute to seasonal allergies. Piles of wet leaves can produce mold as well as damp basements and siding. Dust mites blow around our houses when we turn on our furnace for the first time and stir everything up.
Kids also have a tough time during the Fall, and it’s not just because they are surrounded by all the other kids with cooties. Dust and mold exist in schools too. That cold your kid caught on the bus might actually be allergies.
The good news is that there are several natural and easy ways we can combat the symptoms of seasonal allergies that can save us money and several trips to the allergist to get poked. Ouch!
Natural Ways to Fight Seasonal Allergies
#1. Peak Pollen Times
Check the weather or get a good app on your phone that alerts you on days when the pollen count is really high. When this occurs, close your windows and stay indoors. You can also wear a mask if you do go outside. You may feel silly and worry that people will think you have some deadly disease, but it really could help.
#2. Chiropractic Adjustments
This is one of those “magical” ways chiropractic care can help that may not seem obvious at first. Yes, we do help people’s necks and backs feel better, but we do so much more than that. If your body is aligned properly it is much better able to defend itself and protect you from outside elements like germs and allergy inducing things like pollen and mold.
#3. Change your Furnace Filter
BEFORE you turn on your furnace for the first time this year, change your filter. This will drastically cut down on the stuff flying around your house and stuffing up your nose. A HEPA filter is the best way to go. Getting your heating ducts cleaned out can also go a long way to create a healthy home environment. You can also get a HEPA filter for your vacuum cleaner too.
#4. Take Your Shoes off and Wash Your Face
Avoid bringing allergens into you home with you by removing your shoes and washing your face and hands when you come in.
#5. Eat Healthy
Just like chiropractic adjustments can help your body’s defense, so can eating healthy. Fruits, vegetables, and proper nutrition make your body healthier and stronger. Getting the right vitamins and minerals is “medicine” for your body.
#6. Rinse Out Your Nose
If you have never used a neti pot or nasal bulb this can seem like a really weird thing to do, and it is. But rinsing your nasal passages cleans the allergens from your nose. It also flushes out bacteria and mucus that can cause that pesky postnasal drip that makes us sound and feel gross.
A good solution to use in your neti pot is 3 teaspoons of iodide-free salt with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. To use, put 1 teaspoon of the mixture into 8 ounces of distilled or boiled then cooled water. Lean over a sink and gently flush one nostril at a time.
#7. Drink lots of Fluids
While drowning your allergy symptoms in alcohol may sound tempting, we really mean drink more water, tea, juice, and other liquids that can help flush your system. Extra liquid will thin the mucus in your nasal passages. Warm liquids (tea, broth, and soup) are soothing and also provide some steam when held close to the face. Breath deep and take long sips.
#8. Steam those allergies out!
If breathing over a warm cup of broth doesn’t quite do it, you can go bigger by placing your head over a big bowl of hot water with a towel over your head. Or sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running. This will help to break of the congestion and get you breathing easier.
#9. Eat Local Honey
Purchase honey that has been produced in your area. Farmers markets and local stores are a good source for this. Honey that has been made locally is made from local bees collecting pollen from local plants. While this may seem counter intuitive, it works a lot like allergy shots. Allergy shots actually inject small amounts of what you are allergic to into your body in hopes that your body will get use to it and not react as strongly. Honey can do the same thing, just in a more delicious and non-painful way.
Natural Ways to Fight Allergies: The Wrap Up
You don’t have to continue to sniff and blow your way through the Fall. Doing all or a combination of the above listed things can help you feel better and enjoy the beautiful, cool weather. We encourage you to make a chiropractic appointment soon so your body can maximize its defense against the season. Call today (517) 781-4884