Yay! It’s autumn. The weather is beautiful. You are not sweating uncontrollably. Theres a cool breeze. And then, aha… you remember it’s allergy season. My allergies are the worst in the fall months. So before you pop that Benadryl or Claritin or Zyrtec, here are some things that I have tried that seem to do the job:
- Something your grandma may have told you: Local raw honey, a tablespoon or so a day, will help with seasonal allergies. In fact, some people say that you should start on honey before your worst allergy season, in preparation. Honey also gives you a lil boost of energy when you are feeling all allergy groggy, due to it’s naturally occurring sugars. Local raw honey has many medicinal uses, but that’s a whole other post. In mean time read up about some of it’s other uses here. So instead of sugar, or agave, try honey!
- Headaches, oh the headaches. Badger Organic Balm Headache Soother is a miracle worker. It has Lavender and Peppermint essential oils, which are both known to help relieve headaches. Depending on the kind of headache and where you have the most tension, you can rub the balm into your temples in circular motions, from under your brow bone (near your nose) and up and outward, or with outward motions across your cheek. Or you can combine all 3 in one fluid motion. But be prepared, you will then fall asleep. It feels so good.
- My nose gets dry, stuffy, runny, and itchy all at once. I don’t know how this happens. But it normally leads to some kind of sinus infection. I know it sounds strange, but keep the inside of your nose hydrated. The more hydrated, the less inflammation, and the less likely you are to get sick. You can put one drop of olive oil and one drop of lemon juice in each nostril, or you can use Ocean Nasal Spray, which is basically saline that you squirt twice in each nostril. Some people use a neti pot, but those freak me out. I once nearly choked on salt water whilst trying this “easy to use” neti pot. It was weird. If the above still doesn’t help, try adding a humidifier to your bedroom when you sleep.
- Speaking of sleep, many times I can’t get any when I’m all stuffed up. I try all the suggestions above, one after the other, and if I still can’t get some rest, I pop 3mg of Melatonin, which is a naturally occurring hormone that only comes out in the evening hours. In a half hour I’m sleeping like a baby. (Extra note: Melatonin is very helpful when readjusting your body clock when traveling.) Although, only take it when it’s needed.
- So you look in the mirror and it looks like you were just punched in the nose, and haven’t slept in days. Your eyes are swollen, red, and so itchy you would happily rip them out of your head if there were no consequences. A few things here: Make sure your apt is clean, especially your bedroom and near your bed. Make sure your eye/facial cream, if you use one, is all natural with no fragrance or harsh chemicals. (This was a game changer for me. I use Avalon Organics eye cream. Their whole line is really great.) Try a cool compress over your eyes, this could be an eye mask from the fridge, a cool washcloth or paper towel, or the tried and true cucumber slices over the eyes. Flushing the eyes with water sometimes helps, and if all else fails I use saline eyedrops.
-If you have a dog note: I have a lil pup named Chloe. She is a maltese, which means she is hypoallergenic. Even so, I always give her a bath if she has been in a dog park or played with other dogs. In these situations, your dog will pick up other allergens from the other dogs, including pet dander, and whatever allergens they have present at their homes like dust, mildew, mold, so on. The dirt at the dog park is pretty jam packed with all of the above, including environmental allergens, and well, pee and poop. So wash their little feet at the least. This is especially important if your pup sleeps in bed with you.
Above is a photo (apologies for poor photo quality) of a page from Prescription for Herbal Healing ( an encyclopedia of natural healing information!) that has some beneficial herbs and such for seasonal allergies.