Spring Allergies Cheat Sheet

1. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR 

Apple cider vinegar is an age-old remedy that is often recommended for a variety of health conditions. The theory is that its ability to reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system makes it useful for allergies. It is also said to help digestion, weight loss, and more so it is worth a try! 

What to do: 

When allergies hit, mix a teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “The Mother” (that part is important) into a glass of water and drank this three times a day. “The Mother” is simply a colony of beneficial bacteria present in some organic and unfiltered ACV brands. Check the label, it should list if it contains it. Bragg’s brand is a good one. Apple cider vinegar can help with relief of acute allergy symptoms and may help avoid allergy attacks as well when taken daily, so if you suffer from allergies at a certain time of year start well before. 

2. QUERCETIN

Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid that is said to help stabilize mast cells to keep them from releasing histamine. It is also a potent antioxidant that is said to help reduce inflammation. It is best used as a long-term remedy and many people start taking it about 4-6 weeks before allergy season to help prevent allergy symptoms. As with any herb, you should check with your doctor before using, especially if you have a liver problem, are pregnant, or are on hormonal contraceptives. 

What to do: 

Though quercetin is naturally found in foods like citrus and broccoli, it is very difficult to get the amount needed to relive allergies from food alone. A supplemental dose from a quality source can be helpful for preventing allergies or helping acute symptoms. Start 4-6 weeks before allergy season for best results. 

3. NETTLE LEAF 

Nettle leaf is another natural antihistamine that can be very effective as it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine. It grows in many places and can be made into a tincture or tea, but for allergy relief, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are the easiest and most effective option. 

Nettle leaf can also be used in combination with other herbs to make a soothing herbal tea for allergy relief. It is often mixed with peppermint leaf and sometimes red raspberry leaf to make a refreshing allergy relief tea 

What to do: 

I often include nettle in homemade herbal tea during allergy season and use capsules for acute relief of allergy symptoms. 

4. PROBIOTICS

Allergies are the result of an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to react too strongly to a stimuli. Many studies link the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with reduced incidence of allergies. Evidence is even emerging that a mother’s gut bacteria during pregnancy and nursing can impact a child’s likelihood of getting allergies throughout life, as can exposure to overly sterile environments. While we can’t do much about our mothers’ diets while they were pregnant, balancing gut bacteria now and consuming enough beneficial bacteria can have a positive effect on allergies now. 

What to do: 

Make sure to consume a varied diet that includes plenty of fermented foods and drinks which can help boost gut bacteria. We also take a high quality probiotic capsule.  

5. LOCAL HONEY 

There isn’t much scientific evidence to back this one, but there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence from people who have tried it. The theory is that consuming local honey from where you live will help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment there. This is supposed to work like a natural allergy “shot” and doesn’t seem to have a downside. 

What to do: 

Consume a teaspoon or more of raw, unprocessed local honey from as close to where you actually live as possible. Do this one or more times a day to help relieve symptoms. It is often suggested to start this a month or so before allergy season. 

6. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS

Foods, teas, and spices with known anti-inflammatory benefits may play a role in reducing unpleasant allergy symptoms. A 2016 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that ginger given orally to mice reduced sneezing and congestion as well as lowered mast cell response. Green tea shows similar effects. 

What to do: 

Serve plenty of herbs and spices with meals, as well as green and herbal teas. Also combine three of these tips in one by making this. 

Allergy Away Drink: 

- low boil a large piece of ginger in 2 litres water for 15 min 

- for the last few minutes add peppermint tea and/or decaf green tea bags. 

- let cool and drink throughout day at room temp 

7. DIET CHANGES 

If all else fails, sometimes dietary changes can be the answer to allergy problems. Lots of healing bone broth and conducting an elimination diet are good places to start. I’d definitely encourage this as an option, especially for severe allergies or those in need of gut healing/rebalancing .

What to do: 

Our Nourish Me Health Reset Cleanse is a 15 day plan to help eliminate problematic foods. This is a useful reset to do 2-3 times a year. 

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