Summertime is known for its barbecues, weddings, vacations to warm places, and outdoor fun.
Unfortunately, for the 60 million or so Americans suffering from allergies, summer also means sneezing, watery, itchy eyes, congestion, headaches and more.
Although allergens are all over the US, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released a list of the worst cities to live in when you suffer from seasonal allergies. Here are the top 10—note that Connecticut is especially challenged with three cities at the top:
- Scranton, PA
- Richmond, VA
- Wichita, KS
- McAllen, TX
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Hartford, CT
- Springfield, MA
- New Haven, CT
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Bridgeport, CT
While most people use antihistamines, nasal sprays or decongestants for relief, they’re merely suppressing your symptoms, and they’re opening you up for side effects to boot!
Plus they don’t do a thing for what’s really going on behind the scenes with allergies…
A hyper immune response that’s capable of wreaking havoc all over your body!
But when you instead address those overzealous immune responses, a whole new world free of allergy symptoms (and allergy medications!) can open up for you.
Here are 9 very effective measures you can try:
1- Probiotic supplementation
Nothing beats probiotics when it comes to a healthy, properly functioning immune system. Between 70-80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, so it’s crucial to ensure that your gut microbiome is in a healthy balance.
Having a diet of wholesome real foods is a good start, but your gut faces an onslaught of factors that can negate the best diet and upset your delicate microbiome balance--including stress, sugars and refined carbs, medications (especially antibiotics, antacids and birth control pills), tap water, smoking and glyphosate exposure.
- They repopulate your supply of healthy intestinal bacteria;
- They can manufacture enzymes to help your body break down allergens; and
- They can support proper immune function and help counteract the hyper response seen with allergies!
2- Eat the right foods (and stay away from the wrong ones!)
Foods that help with allergies include probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt; lots of fresh vegetables; wild-caught fish; organic beef and chicken; spicy foods (they help clear mucus) and bone broths.
At the same time, avoid dairy (it can be mucus-forming), processed foods, artificial sweeteners, grains, sugars, soy (most of the soy processed in the US is genetically engineered), and margarine.
3- Get sources of quercetin
Quercetin, a bioflavonoid naturally found in cruciferous vegetables, onions, shallots, green teas and citrus fruit, stabilizes the release of histamine and helps to naturally curb allergy symptoms.
4- Use apple cider vinegar
Drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of ACV and a splash of fresh lemon juice is a great way to help flush out your system each day. Look for organic raw varieties that contain “the mother.”
You can also try “Fire Cider”—an organic ACV tonic that also contains honey, oranges, lemons, ginger, horseradish, garlic, turmeric and habanero pepper—a whole bunch of superstar anti-inflammatory foods! I take a shot of Fire Cider every morning to start my day with a nice, cleansing anti-inflammatory boost.
5- Reduce stress
Stress can cause harmful changes to your microbiome and ignite inflammatory responses in your body.
That’s why when you’re under stress you find yourself getting sick over and over or suffering digestive problems or having headaches. Your immune system is challenged and inflammation is on the warpath inside of you.
It’s also why many people have allergy flare-ups during times of stress.
Do whatever it takes to curb stress in your life. Measures like regular exercise (with your doctor’s OK), meditation, massage, acupuncture, infrared sauna, prayer, deep breathing and even adopting a pet can be a big help!
6- Eat local raw honey
If you have pollen allergies, the idea behind this is that eating honey produced by bees in your local area can help relieve allergies because the bees transfer pollen from the local plants to their honey…so you can become “desensitized” by eating a little of the honey every day.
While mainstream medicine poo-poo’s the use of local honey for allergies, I know many people who have sworn by it, and it makes perfect sense.
7- Use eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil can be soothing and healing to your mucus membranes. You can place a drop on a cotton ball and sniff it several times during the day, or you can put it in a diffuser.
8- Try acupuncture
Acupuncture has been shown to be tremendously helpful with allergy symptoms, without the dangerous side effects of medications and shots!
9- Download an allergy app
There are several apps you can download to see what allergens are peaking in your area each day. This can help you to be proactive and take preventive measures to help minimize their effect on you.
Put these natural allergy-curbing measures to work for you and see how much better you can feel!
To your health,