Here we go again! Seasonal allergies are upon us. The pollen is flying and my black truck is caked in a thick, lime green layer of sneeze inducing, eye-watering madness. According to WebMD, spring allergies "affect 35 million Americans." Airborne pollen is the biggest culprit of seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis.

This airborne marauder is causing flocks of our fellow people to wipe out shelves of allergy medications in pursuit of some relief, but are they finding what they are looking for? For a short time, maybe, but then what? Pop another pill or mist a bit more of that funny feeling stuff up your nose? The choice is up to you, but a lot of those medications do come with their own bag of side effects and tend to be a bit of a burden on the 'ol liver.

For those of you who are interested in veering more in the direction of natural alternatives, you are in luck! One suggestion is purchasing a neti pot. They can be found at your local health food store or on-line, even Amazon sells them. The neti pot flushes the nasal cavity by irrigating the sinuses. It cleanses out the pollen and whatever other irritants that have taken up home in your nose and noggin'. Another great recommendation is acupuncture. Acupuncture does wonders for a number of various ailments and many people have found success in alleviating their allergies. Steaming your face is another possible option for clearing all of the junk out of your ears, nose, and throat. Also, if you are severely allergic, try to stay inside during super windy days when the pollen count is really high. If that's not possible, then make sure that you wash yourself and your hair, as well as your pets. Pollen will accumulate and reign terror on those of you who are sensitive. And, as always, eat a delicious and nutritious diet. By eating a full spectrum of nutrients, you will be keeping your immune system up so that you will have an easier time fending off those pesky, spring time offenders.

A few foods and herbs that might prove beneficial are hot peppers which serve as natural decongestants, goldenseal which holds antibacterial and immune boosting properties, and quercetin which is a natural antihistamine. Good sources of quercetin are red grapes, capers, black tea, apples, red onions, and berries, or you can supplement 200-400 mg/day in the form of tablets or capsules. In addition, eucalyptus oil can be applied to aid in the healing of the mucus membranes. Lastly, sit back and enjoy a nice mug of peppermint tea. "The essential oil acts as a decongestant and substances in peppermint contain anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial constituents." (www.howstuffworks.com).

Regardless, the battle is on. Arm yourself accordingly. Most of us have waited all winter for this lovely change in seasons so don't let these miscreant allergens get the better of you!  

                                                                                                                             Wishing you all the best of health and happiness,

                                                                                                                                                                         Stacy xo



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