Well, Spring is here at last! And while most are getting their bathing suits ready, and planting spring flowers, there are some whose thoughts after the winter thaw are of sneezing and sniffling and congestion.
Spring can bring out a whole host of new allergies, from pollen and new cut grass in the air, to mold and dust that is uncovered by the melting snow and cleaning. But there are a few ways you can naturally cure and prevent these allergies from stopping your love of the new season.
1. Eat Pineapple
Yes, simple pineapple contains an enzyme called Bromelain. Not only does it decrease nasal swelling and mucous, thereby reduce coughing and congestion, but it also works on inflammation by breaking up the fibers that hold it into place. But its true allergy fighting power lies in its ability to stimulate and release anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (PGs), while reducing pro-inflammatory PGs, the ones that typically cause allergic reaction symptoms to occur.
2. Eat lots of Vitamin C
Pineapple, the miracle fruit listed above, has large amounts of this vital vitamin, but you can get it from citrus fruits and juices too. (Yes, real lemonade counts!) Not only does Vitamin C, or ascorbate, help to strengthen and boost your immune system, but it also helps to both balance histamine release and aids in detoxification of the histamines.
Histamines contribute to the symptoms we experience, including nasal congestion and mucous buildup, by overproducing when an allergen enters the body, and most over-the-counter medicines work by inhibiting their production.
3. Add Garlic and Onions to your diet
Garlic is a non-sedating antihistamine, containing a high level of quercetin which lowers inflammation and boosts the immune system. Onions are wonderful for the boost too, and though you may not smell like a rose garden, if eaten often, they will keep you healthy and more able to naturally fight off foreign invaders of many kinds. Garlic and onions also work to stimulate IgA production, an antibody in the GI tract that coats allergens and prevents their absorption, a quality they share with ginger, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
4. Eat Local Honey
Local honey is going to be loaded with the pollen of local flowers collected by the bees, and acts like a natural vaccine. Try to find a farmer’s market or roadside stand to purchase honey that was collected close to your home for optimal usefulness. However, make sure to consume honey in moderate amounts so as not to get too much sugar out of it.
5. Take care of yourself
It is true that a healthy, happy person has a stronger immune system and quicker immune response. Depression, stress, fatigue and poor diets all contribute to a decrease in the bodies’ own illness fighting powers. The closer a body is to homeostasis, the less it has to fight off on a regular basis, so it has more antibodies available to attack foreign invaders. Take a look at a great article to help with this last tip, ‘5 Ways to Feel Good and Boost Your Immune System.’ Check it out here, and get yourself boosted!