Every spring it’s the same old story — your eyes itch, you can’t stop sneezing, and you are so congested that you can’t sleep.
Severe allergies and symptoms require the attention of a medical provider, but for milder cases, there are natural, at-home remedies that can give you that much-needed relief from your allergies.
Try these five natural fixes to help with your allergies:
1) Use a Neti Pot
A neti pot could be a first line of defense in dealing with allergy problems, particularly if you are developing congestion, according to an interview on WebMD with Evangeline Lausier, MD. Lausier is an assistant clinical professor of medicine, and director of clinical services at Duke University’s department of integrative medicine.
Using a neti pot involves rinsing your nasal cavity with a saline solution. You can fill the pot with salt and warm water — making sure the water is boiled or distilled, not from the tap— tilt your head to the side, and pour it in one nostril until the solution flows out from the other, as explained on Health.com. Then switch sides.
This helps flush out allergens like pollen from your nasal cavity, loosen the mucus, and give you some relief from the congestion and itching caused by your nasal allergies.
A steaming hot shower can soothe your sinuses, clear your nasal cavity, and provide you with temporary relief from your allergies, according to TIME.com. Showering, especially after spending time outdoors, can help rid your skin and hair of allergens. This can also prevent their contact with your clothing, towels, sheets, and furniture, thus preventing further triggers.
TIME also states that, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, taking off your clothing and hopping in the shower immediately after you spend time outside gardening is also critical to managing your spring allergy symptoms.
3) Dust-Proof Your Home
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a good first step to manage your allergies is to limit your exposure to common allergens as much as possible. To do this, you can start with dust-proofing your home.
Weil recommends eliminating wall-to-wall carpets, down-filled blankets, and feather pillows that attract dust. You can also try replacing Venetian blinds that can trap dust with window shades, and wash your curtains regularly in hot water to get rid of dust mites.
Maintain your mattresses in dust-proof plastic covers and regularly dust your furniture with a damp cloth. Go over your floors with a damp mop to pick up dust that can trigger your allergies.
4) Eucalyptus oil Can Help
Try steam inhalation to help open your sinuses, and supercharge it with eucalyptus oil. According to TIME.com, the strong, piney aroma of eucalyptus oil can help relieve your congestion further. The menthol sensation can help make your breathing easier.
Just add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of steaming water and hold your face over it. You can cover your head with a towel to intensify the steam effects. You can also add a few drops on the floor of your shower before you step in.
Just be careful not to swallow it, and avoid direct contact to your skin as this oil can be toxic in concentrated amounts.
5. Consider a HEPA Filter
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air filter. HEPA filters trap allergens and irritants in the air that can trigger your allergies. You can try portable air cleaners that are equipped with HEPA filters the purify the air in your bedroom or spaces where you spend more time.
According to Health.com, a whole house system that incorporates HEPA filters would be more effective in filtering the air from allergens.
10 Home Remedies for Allergies. TIME.com. Retrieved on June 3, 2015. http://time.com/3814327/allergies-home-remedies/?utmsource=feedburnerutmmedium=feedutmcampaign=feed3atime2fmostemailed28time3amostemailedstoryoftheday29
Allergic Rhinitis. Drweil.com. Retrieved June 3, 2015. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03109/Allergic-Rhinitis.html
Home Remedies for Allergies: What Works? Health.com. Retrieved on June 3, 2015. http://www.health.com/health/m/gallery/0,,20677556_2,00.html
Neti Pot, Nasal Irrigation Pros and Cons. WebMD. Retrieved on June 3, 2015. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/neti-pot-nasal-irrigation-pros-and-cons
Reviewed June 4, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN