It’s that time of year! Summer has now ended and fall is in full swing. For some people their worst allergies are in the spring. Others, like me, it’s in the fall. Ragweed is awful! I’m exhausted all the time, my mood changes, my stress level is higher, and there are some days I can’t even walk from the house to my car before I start sneezing and my eyes start watering.
If you’ve read My Story, you know that as a kid I had severe food, environmental, and seasonal allergies. I’ve been able to grow out of some, and manage the rest. Today, I’d like to talk about what I use that helps my seasonal allergies that is natural, along with the foods that are good to have during this time of year for allergies. It might not take away all of it, and yes there are still times I need allergy medication, (like this time of year) but doing these natural remedies have helped to reduce my reactions and reduce the amount of medications I take during this time.
If you are researching how to help your seasonal allergies naturally, look into these things. Some things won’t work for everyone. And not everything is suited for all people when it comes to allergies and health. Please do your research before trying anything.
Take Showers Often
When you are out and about all day, pollen gets attached to everything. In your car, your clothes, your hair, your skin, and of course your sinuses when you breath them in. To help reduce the overall exposure to the allergens, try to stay in the air conditioning, and when at home and are going to stay home, take a shower and wash (or at least rinse) your hair immediately. Throw your clothes in the hamper and rinse off.
By doing this you can keep the allergens low in your home so that your home can be as safe and clear from the seasonal allergies you are dealing with. On the same note, your sheets when going to bed will have minimal allergens on them and you can sleep without your sinuses clogging up over night.
Apple Cider Vinegar First Thing In The Morning
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been know to help a lot of things. Some have proven true, and others have not. However, ACV being an anti-inflammatory is hard to argue against. There is also talk about it being an anti-histamine. Taking this in the morning will help to clear your head and open up your nasal passages.
Taking 1 teaspoon as a shot or with 8 ounces of water in the morning definitely has its benefits. When I first tried this, I was surprised at how much it cleared everything. I could breath better and I could feel my sinuses opening up and the drainage that resulted afterward. I feel so much more equipped to step outside into the ragweed infested air once I’ve had my dose of ACV.
Quercetin & Bromelain
Quercetin is an anti-oxidant meaning that it fights against natural oxidation damage in cells that occurs as we age. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and is a natural anti-histamine. Quercetin stabilizes the release of histamines which results in lowering the symptoms of allergies like coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, hives, etc. Studies have shown it can be just as effective as medications with little to no side effects.
- Natural Anti-Histamine
- Can Be Just As Effective As Some Medications
- Little To No Side Effects
Some of the foods highest in quercetin is apples and onions. However, to get the amount needed in your diet to help with major allergy seasons, it can take a lot. Getting it in a supplement form is suggested.
Bromelain is a digestive enzyme found in pineapple, including the stem and leaves. It helps to break down proteins that can be hard for us to digest and aids the liver in breaking it down. It’s used in a lot of meat tenderizers because of this. So next time you want to tenderize meat before cooking it, just let it soak up some fresh pineapple juice. With that in mind, bromelain helps to soothe and relax tense, inflamed muscles and connective tissues. It’s long been used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling agents. If you have not looked up bromelain before, please do. There is so much that it can do and help with.
For allergies, like I said it is known for it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling agents. Think of how swollen your sinuses can get and how inflamed it can be and then cause you to be at risk for an infection. Bromelain can help reduce the chances of a sinus infection. There have been studies that show how bromelain has helped to stop inflammatory responses affecting airways, which makes it something helpful for asthma sufferers. The enzyme helps by addressing the root of the issue – an oversensitive immune system. So instead of it blocking histamine like quercetin, it helps the immune system to have a normal response.
- Digestive Enzyme found in pineapple
- Helps Stop Inflammatory Responses, including airways
- Gets To The Root – Oversensitive Immune System
Quercetin & Bromelain
Quercetin and bromelain are my favorite when it comes to defending myself against seasonal allergies. These are two different components you can find readily in foods which I’ll be listing later in this post. You can find these two together as one pill. Both have shown little to no side effects. The only thing is, is that the longer you take it, the better the results. It’s best to test how well it works after taking it for 2 weeks or more. For my fall allergies I start taking this combo at the end of June, 2 months ahead for early ragweed signs just to make sure. I even have a reminder on my calendar. With the other benefits of bromelain helping with inflammation and quercetin being a powerful antioxidant, it’s not going to hurt however early you start taking it and will be benefiting you before allergy season starts.
My Natural Allergy Routine
- Take Showers Often
- Clean Clothes and Sheets More Often Than Usual
- A Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar in the Morning
- Start Taking Quercetin & Bromelain as Preventative Defense at Least 2 Weeks or More Prior
There are many other natural remedies out there, but these are the ones I choose and do regularly. I’d love to hear from you what you use!
Foods That Help with Allergies
Along with taking natural things as remedies and supplements, you can also be preventative by the foods you eat. Food rich in quercetin and bromelain (pineapple), and then also foods that support a healthy immune system that are high in things like vitamin C, zinc, and having a daily dose of probiotics can be very helpful. Foods rich in Omega-3 for it’s anti-inflammatory properties will help too. Here are some foods to make sure you’re having in your diet.
- Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit)
- Bell Peppers, Especially Green Peppers
- Legumes (Lentils, Chickpeas, Beans)
- Seeds (Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds)
- Lean Red Meat
- Fish (Salmon, Mackerel)
- Seeds (Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds)
- Berries (Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries)
Other than bromelain, which is only found in pineapple, there are more to add to the list of foods, but this gives you a rough idea. Eat for the nutrients your body needs, not just for energy. Like I said before, for some this might work, for others it might not at all. For me I still need to take allergy medication along with doing all of what I’ve listed to help. I don’t have to take as much, but to make sure it doesn’t cause an infection later on in the season and be down for a week or so, I still take allergy medication along with eating the foods I know will help and other things I can change in my lifestyle to aid my allergy reactions naturally.
I’d love to hear from you! What do you use or change in your routine during your allergy season?