Dealing with Allergies Naturally
Allergy season is in full swing. If the itchy, watery and burning eyes, along with cough, dry mouth, foggy head and fatigue are getting overwhelming, keep in mind the latter three are usually due to anti-histamines. When looking for alternatives to allergy pills, here are some simple and helpful tips that can help mitigate symptoms.
In the home
• Place pillows in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes, weekly.
• Wash linens in hot water, weekly. If using bleach, use a chlorine-free alternative.
• Vacuum carpets weekly, preferably with one that contains a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter.
• Wipe down shelves with a moist, not dry, cloth weekly.
• Clean windows and sills at least monthly with a solution of 10 percent chlorine-free bleach in 90 percent water. Let surfaces soak for 5 minutes, and then wipe clean.
• Place a few HEPA filters around the home and them run at night.
• Houseplants are nature’s air filters. A great resource to learn more about how houseplants can help is How to Grow Fresh Air, by Dr. Bill Wolverton.
• Avoid using petroleum-based candles, as these produce benzene when lit and this is a known carcinogen. Instead, use soy or beeswax candles.
• Consider making household cleaners from scratch if the “natural” ones are too expensive.
• Great resources on further purifying one’s home are Home Safe Home by Debra Lynn Dadd or Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond.
Pets don’t have to be part of the problem
• Wash dogs monthly and brush
weekly to reduce dander.
• Cat owners should clean litter boxes daily and brush cats weekly to reduce dander. Every other week, completely empty the litter box and soak it with chlorine-free bleach for 30 minutes. Wash and set out fresh litter.
• Birds owners should clean out cages at least every other day, picking up feathers as soon as possible.
Don’t be allergic to yourself
• Wash hands with warm soap and water often. Don’t use antibacterial soap.
• Avoid touching face with hands at all times.
• Wear a mask when cleaning the home and taking care of the pets as above.
• Consider daily or every other day, nasal irrigation with a Neti Pot or NeilMed and saline water. Add an eighth teaspoon of ground Goldenseal powder, Xylitol powder, or Quercetin powder, or 4 drops of essential oils of thyme or eucalyptus. Dissolve these in 16 ounces of warm filtered water to make the saline solution, and using 8 ounces for each nostril.
• Avoid known food, pet and
• Eat honey that is as local as possible. Also consider eating bee pollen, but make sure it’s local. Start with a quarter to half teaspoon daily. Avoid giving infants under age one any honey products.
• Buy fragrance- and chemical-free cleansers, soaps, shampoos, etc., as often as possible. A good resource for finding these products is www.ewg.org/skindeep.
Above are just some basics. There are many other “natural” and “integrative” approaches that can be made, as well as using sublingual immunotherapy to permanently eradicate all your allergies.