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Tips, Tricks, and Natural Remedies for Allergy Season

March 28, 2012

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Many Americans have welcomed an unusually early spring with open arms this year. Plenty of sunshine and higher temps have most us in high spirits until we remember what else is on the way. That’s right, allergy sufferers – pollen is on the prowl.

The dreaded itchy eyes, stuffy nose and constant congestion combo is an unpleasant side effect of spring’s arrival, especially if you call one of these allergy capitals home.  Studies have shown that a high pollen count can also affect your mood. The good news is there are several simple ways to prepare for allergy season!

1. Hold one massive spring cleaning session, then stick to a regular cleaning schedule based on what works for you and how bad your symptoms are.

2. Use a vacuum cleaner (once a week) that has a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, or a double-filter bag.

3. As part of your regular cleaning schedule, use a damp rag and a mold-killing cleaner to wipe down wood or metal surfaces that accumulate dust, including table tops, books shelves, dressers, and bed frames.

4. Regularly wash all linens with hot water, and if you don’t have shower curtains with an antifungal agent you’ll want to wash those too.

5. Clear out all the dust-collecting clutter! Not only is spring cleaning a perfect way to organize your space, but your nose will thank you as well.

6. Don’t forget about our furry friends. As much as it pains you, keep your pets out of your bed and bathe them regularly.

7. Use an air conditioner (on the re-circulate setting) and keep windows closed to keep pollen and mold outside.

Still suffering? Try these natural remedies

You’ve gone to great lengths to eliminate possible allergy triggers from your home, but chances are you can’t stay there forever. A few steps outside into a windy day with a high pollen count and you’re frantically reaching for the closest nasal spray.

We asked our community for their favorite natural remedies for seasonal allergies, and these three came out on top:

  • Local honey: Right before going to bed, consume 1 teaspoon of honey mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, or try chewing a piece of honeycomb from a local bee farm or farmer’s market. According to Earth Clinic, symptoms may disappear within 30 minutes! 
  • Neti Pots: Flush sinuses and keep them clear with this small teapot-shaped vessel. Pick one up in the Whole Body section at Whole Foods or your local health food store, and opt for ceramic. Be sure to always use distilled, sterilized, or previously boiled water.
  • Bee pollen: The natural supplement produced by bees, available at health food stores, has been known to improve symptoms. Try to start taking it before allergy season is in full swing to build up a tolerance before maintaining a daily intake.

    See a complete list of the suggested natural remedies and vote for your favorite in our Facebook poll!

    How do you prepare for allergy season?