Image by: Forest Wanderer
By Robert Spencer
If you’re allergic to any kind of pollen, springtime may be causing you to have embarrassing sneezing fits and itchy eye syndrome (that’s not a real syndrome, I’m being facetious). It can really put a damper on your social life and on your exercise routine.
For the outdoorsy man, allergies are the worst. The weather is finally warm and it seems like the perfect time to start camping and hiking but you can’t even enjoy your surroundings because you’re too busy blowing your nose. My family’s big into camping but the entire household seems to be down for the count because of all of the allergens in the air this year. In our area, it’s tree pollen that dusts our cars with malicious yellow powder.
If you suffer from allergies, it may seem like all you can do is heavily medicate yourself to get through the spring. However, there are some natural remedies that can help your symptoms and help ease your suffering.
#1) Wash Your Face and Hands
During the day, you probably go outside a few times to get the mail, grab the paper, go to work, come home, take the garbage out, etc. While you’re outside, you’re exposed to all kinds of pollen and dirt. You may not feel like it but by the end of the day, you’ve got all kinds of allergens sticking to your face and it’s even worse if you habitually touch your face throughout the day.
This is why it is important for you to wash your face and hands regularly. I suggest washing your hands often, especially after you come in from doing anything outside. Wash your face once in the morning and once at night before bed as well. Otherwise, you’ll be getting allergens in your eyes and nose all day.
#2) Avoid the Outdoors
I know that it’s not all that feasible to stay home when the pollen count is high. Especially if you have things like…a job or kids. However, the best way to stay allergy-symptom free is to stay indoors as much as you can. Try to grab a pollen count app on your phone or tablet as well. That can help you eliminate your exposure to pollen. When the count is high, close your windows when you’re driving and run you’re A/C instead. Avoid exercising outdoors during those days.
#3) Neti Pot
A neti pot is a small pot that looks like Aladdin’s lamp. It’s filled with saltwater and you use it to rinse all of those allergens out of your system. It’s a bit like those nasal sprays, only instead of chemicals, you use salt water.
There have been many studies done on how well neti pots work. It has been used in India for decades. The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology stated that “nasal flushing was a mild and effective way to treat seasonal allergies”. It may be a bit uncomfortable at first but it’s definitely worth a try.
#4) Natural Decongestant
If you’re having issues breathing because your nose is stuffed with all kinds of bodily fluids, try some wasabi. Scientists in Japan found that wasabi contains ingredients which help lessen the inflammation in your nose. Hot and spicy foods are great for unclogging your sinuses. Try some wasabi with sushi (awesomely refreshing on a hot spring day) or with a roast beef sandwich.
#5) Vitamins and Minerals
A German study found that omega-3 fatty acids helped the participants with their allergy symptoms. However, it didn’t relieve their symptoms. The participants found that they were less likely to suffer from allergy symptoms if they regularly ate foods which contain omega-3 fatty acids (like fish).
#6) Change Your Pillowcases
When you’re out in the morning, your sheets and pillowcases are attacked by dust and all kinds of other allergens. When you lay down at night, you get to rub your nice clean face all over those pillowcases. Makes you feel itchy all over just thinking about it, doesn’t it?
Cover your pillow cases with sheets and a blanket in the morning when you get out of bed (yes, this is a reason to make your bed in the morning), and change your pillow cases at least twice a week.
Whenever we feel sick with a cold or if we’ve got a bad case of hay fever, we often turn to hot tea to help our symptoms. If you hold the hot cup to your face, the steam can help your congestion. If you choose to drink peppermint tea, the essential oils in peppermint can help with the symptoms too; they act as a decongestant as well.
#8) Get a Haircut
If you have longer hair (think Brad Pitt or Chris Hemsworth), your hair could be causing your allergy symptoms to get worse. When you’re outside, pollen and other allergens can attach themselves to your hair. You can wash your hands more often during the day than you can wash your hair so every time your hair brushes against your face, those nasty allergens attack your nose and eyes.
It’s even worse if you touch your hair often. Those allergens get transferred from your hair, to your hands, to your face.