At about this time of year my allergies start to kick into high gear and are horrible for me until the first major frost. It starts off simple enough. First I will get the runny nose, than my eyes will start itching and than before I know it I am a huge allergy mess, sniffling and sneezing with my eyes almost swollen shut. This year in particular seems to worse than normal. I am not sure if it is because of the super hot and dry summer we had or what but my allergies have left their mark in my life in a big way this year. I of course have armed myself with a number of over the counter allergy remedies such as Claritin and a few others but I find that when I have to take those for any long length of time they start to lose their effectiveness and also have some undesirable side effects. So the hunt has been on this year to try and deal with my allergies in a more natural way and here is what I have discovered so far and have seen some good results.
The Neti Pot. This little pot has helped save me this allergy season. If you are unfamiliar with what a neti pot is it is a small pot that you fill with a water solution that goes up into your sinus passages and clears them out removing all the gunk that is causing you sinus problems. For my allergies this year I have used a solution of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon of non iodized salt. This really helps me out in the morning so I am able to breathe a little easier with less congestion. While it doesn't totally solve the sinus problem it does offer some immediate relief that does last for a couple of hours for me.
If you are in need of something along the lines of a antihistamine try using Stinging Nettle. It behaves in much the same way as a normal antihistamine does but without the major side effects like dry mouth and drowsiness. Taken in a capsule form this little weed will be effective for most people and will provide you with relief for a couple of hours at a time. I have also heard it can provide relief when it is drank in an herbal tea concoction but I have yet to try this method out.
Cold Packs. I use this primarily in the morning when my eyes feel like they wont open. I just apply the cold pack to my eyes for about ten minutes in the morning and it really helps with the itchy and swollen eyes. Also a really hot steamy shower will also help do the trick.
If you are fortunate to have access to a Sauna I highly recommend utilizing it to help fight off those allergies. Just sitting in a hot sauna for 15 minutes will help clear up your sinuses and make breathing much easier.
Allergy season is no fun at all and for someone suffering from them they seem to last forever. But there is hope at the end of the tunnel. You don't have to let allergies ruin your life and you also don't have to rely on a lot of different drugs to fight back against them. Try out a few of these natural remedies and see if they can help you out. Also if you have any super great natural allergy remedies that you use please feel free to share them in the comments section. I would love to be able to try them out!