If you are like me then you probably regard seasonal allergies as something of a nuisance, the itchy and watering eyes, sneezing and sore throats, trouble sleeping and the occasional nosebleed. Being that I don’t care to take any medications (and also do not tolerate allergy medications very well – they either don’t work, or put me to sleep) I usually just suffer through them for a few weeks in the spring and then again in the fall.
It normally starts in late April (for us Floridians), right after the last good cold snap and right before Love Bug season (if you do not know know about Love Bug’s, consider yourself Blessed). First my son gets the wheezy, whiny cough. That’s followed by having his eyes stuck shut after being asleep all night. Then comes the sneezing, which is inevitably followed by a barking dry cough and usually a handful of sinus infections. This also creates a problem in class, or when we are out with people assuming that my boy has some form of the bird flu, and that I’m a terrible mother for allowing my child to see the light of day while he has a runny nose. People tend to think of seasonal allergies in a one dimensional sense. That they effect only adults, and that they aren’t too terrible but, mostly just bothersome. What if you happen to be a child who not only suffers from seasonal allergies but, also asthma? What if you were in a situation where you didn’t have access to allergy medication? Can anything be done to help a seasonal allergy sufferer, without the use of expensive and often unreliable over the counter medications?
The number one thing you can do to help ease seasonal allergies is find a local source of raw honey. Something close to where you live if possible. The theory about local honey and allergies is this: your local bees are more likely to collect pollen from the flowers and trees and other plants in your area. That pollen will end up in small amounts in the honey produced. By eating that honey on a regular basis, the person will build up immunity to the pollens from the flowers in their local region. I haven’t found much in the way of scientific evidence proving that this is true but, anecdotally I can tell you that it makes a huge difference in our house. Where as in the past I might not have been able to get out of bed, drive safely, or even perform basic household functions while I’m suffering from hay fever during some bad allergy seasons – now, while taking raw local produced honey on a daily basis, the effects of hay fever are much more manageable and sometimes non-existent. While giving my son raw honey – we’ve been able to take him off over the counter and prescription allergy medications completely, which admittedly weren’t doing much, if anything at all to control the symptoms. (You name the allergy medication – we’ve tried it!)
Some other home remedies that you might consider trying a store bought or homemade saline solution for your nose, which can soothe inflamed sinuses, drain, and even wash away allergens and irritants that have become lodged in the nose. A homemade solution is a easy as making a fresh solution daily by mixing a teaspoon of salt in a pint of warm, distilled water and adding a pinch of baking soda. Or even making sure that you are using an allergy filter on your air conditioner. Or taking a shower to wash the pollen out of your hair on off your clothes after you’ve been outside. Tobacco smoke is a terrible irritant, so if you are a smoker or spend time with someone who is and deal with allergies – you’d be wise to stop. Peppermint tea and peppermint oil can both be used to treat blocked sinuses. Washing pets often can cut dander. Getting rid of carpets can help treat dust allergies. Using a dehumidifier can help cut down on mold allergies.
I’m sure there are many more tips and tricks to helping allergy sufferers, what do you use?
-Keep the tissues nearby, Lindsy