Updated: Apr 18, 2018
Allergies got me for years when I was younger, before the age of 30 I never went more than a season without pollen, mold, falling leaves bothering my very sensitive sinuses. Winter seemed to be the only time I got relief, the first frost my mom telling me at 5 that it would all be over, the runny nose, the congestion, the medicine taking!!! As I got older into my 20s, many trips out west to Las Vegas and to Europe snowboarding……I realized OMG I don’t have allergies in those places. Spending a spring season in the Southern California area at 24, confirmed it…….I am a East Coast allergy sufferer!
Here's the thing: Barring serious illness, I'm not big on taking any kind of meds—not even Advil. I've had plenty of success treating minor symptoms and ailments with natural remedies, Eastern medicine, and a healthy lifestyle. This has been my M.O. for about 10 years now! What has been happening after almost 20 years of “outgrowing” my allergy symptoms?
They have come back full force……I am on a mission to create a protocol to treat seasonal allergies with natural methods…..here we go!
But in spite of my itchy eyes and the distinct sensation that a truck was repeatedly backing into my sinus cavity, I made myself a deal: I'd try home remedies for allergies first, and if nothing improved in a week's time, I would then hit my local pharmacy. I got to researching, and the next day (love you, Amazon Prime) I had an arsenal of holistic remedies on my doorstep, ready for testing.
That was a Monday. By Wednesday of that week, I could breathe out of one of my nostrils. By that weekend, the sinus pressure was finally beginning to subside, and on the following Saturday I was back out on spin bike with few complaints. At this point, I figured it was safe to declare my methods a success.
So, how did I do it? While I wish I could say that I took a magical, all-natural pill that did the work, it really involved a bit of a lifestyle overhaul bolstered by a few specific natural remedies for allergies.
Keep reading for the prescription.
STEP 1: GIVING MY BODY SOME TLC
Whenever I'm feeling "off" in any way, the first thing I always do is check in with my lifestyle: Am I eating properly? Exercising? Getting enough sleep? Sure enough, I realized that stressing about little things at the office, a lack of shut-eye, and too many happy hours probably weren't doing my immune system any favors.
So my first plan of attack was to re-establish my healthy habits. I recommitted to my nightly eight hours, filled my fridge with clean foods, and decided to go cold-turkey on alcohol for a few weeks. Hiking, my preferred method of exercise, was out of the question until I could handle going outdoors again, so I opted to stream easy workouts at home.
And FWIW, I also deep-cleaned and steralized my entire home—to get rid of dust and any other potential irritants (especially since I have a lot of indoor plants), but also because I never underestimate the impact that a tidy, stress-free, tranquil environment has on my body.
STEP 2: FILLING UP ON VITAMINS
Confession alert: I'm not the best at taking my daily vitamins, which is not exactly ideal when you follow a plant-based diet. I always forget! But that wasn't going to fly while I was sick, so I doubled down on that habit and kept my supplements in eyeshot on my desk as a reminder.
Cool fact about vitamin C: Studies show that getting 2000 milligrams a day can reduce histamine levels by up to 40%. That's powerful stuff! So while I took a variety of vitamins each day, I focused especially on filling up on vitamin C both through my diet and with my handy 8G tablets, which I usually just pop into my water bottle.
STEP 3: FIGHTING POLLEN WITH POLLEN
It sounds counterintuitive to consume pollen when that's exactly what is torturing your body, but bee pollen is magical stuff: In addition to being an antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and even beneficial against cancer, it's also an anti-inflammatory and an antihistamine. I sprinkled a tablespoon in my smoothie every morning for extra relief, and it's a great natural remedy for allergies.
STEP 4: DRINKING SILVER PARTICLES (IT'S A THING, PROMISE)
I've seen a few wellness experts mention this natural remedy for allergies lately (not to mention its benefits for skin) and figured now was as good a time as any to placate my curiosity. The tonic, which contains silver particles suspended in liquid, is purported to help fight unwanted bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Because research on its efficacy is limited, many Western doctors warn against taking it excessively (it says right on the bottle not to take it for more than 10 days at a time). I stuck with a few drops in a glass of water each morning for a week just to bolster the rest of my anti-allergy routine.
STEP 5: BOOSTING MY IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH ACV
Is there anything that apple cider vinegar can't do? In addition to being the ultimate beauty multitasker (move over, coconut oil), it has an array of health and wellness benefits, too, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties chief among them. It's for this reason that it makes for a great natural remedy for allergies and has become my go-to tonic whenever I'm feeling under the weather includes ACV, along with other cayenne pepper, maple syrup, lemon, ginger, and sometimes garlic—all ingredients that offer a natural immune boost and instant sore throat and sinus relief. Don't feel up to gathering all these ingredients up at home? Purchase my favorite brand here on Amazon!
How about a daily cider recipe that I call the Holistic Health Miracle
**If you are not ready to make your own cider......the Ayurvedic Apothecary can help Visit Maureen's Facebook page HERE.
Fire Cider:Homeopathic Remedy
1 large horseradish root scrubbed very well, about 7 inches long
1 large ginger root about 7 inches long
1 large onion root and stem end removed and peeled
1 large orange
16 cloves of garlic peeled
2-4 habanero peppers stems removed
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
raw apple cider vinegar
1. Grate the horseradish and ginger roots. Roughly chop the onions, orange, lemon, garlic, and habanero peppers. Stuff them into a half-gallon glass jar with a tight fitting lid or divide evenly between two quart sized canning jars. Sprinkle the turmeric in on top (dividing evenly between the two jars if using quart jars). Pour the raw apple cider vinegar in over the contents, allowing it to settle in through the crevices and adding more so that the contents are submerged.
Lay a piece of parchment paper over the rim of the jar, then screw the lid tightly in place. Let the mixture sit in a dark, cool place, allowing it to marry and infuse for 4 weeks, shaking once daily.
2. After 4 weeks, pour the contents into a muslin or cheesecloth lined colander positioned over a stable pot. Let it drain for 30 minutes, then gather the
corners of the cloth, twisting and squeezing until you cannot release any more liquid. When it's fully strained, add honey to the liquid to taste and pour into a sterilized wine bottle or canning jar. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year, shaking well before using.
So how is this Fire Cider remedy good for you?
Let me count the ways:
• Fresh horseradish is known to be effective against the flu and common cold, tonsilitis, respiratory disorders, urinary tract infections, and pathenogenic fungus.
• Ginger is used to treat arthritis, muscle pain, upset stomach (motion and morning sickness and general nausea), gas, upper respiratory tract infections, and cough.
• Onions are used to boost cardiovascular health, bone and connective tissue benefits, and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
• Garlic is used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis, asthma, building the immune system, help level blood sugar, and is used topically to treat fungal infections.
• Habanero peppers boost your metabolism, and offer headache, sinus, and arthritis relief as well as releasing endorphins.
• Oranges are great for heart health, as part of a cancer negative diet, fighting cholesterol, to help in weight loss, and to break up or prevent kidney stones.
• Lemons are known to aid in digestion, alleviate Meniere’s Disease, kidney stones, and ringing of the ears, cure scurvy (chronic lack of Vitamin C), treat colds and flu, improve the function of blood vessels, and reduce inflammation and retention of water.
• Turmeric is pretty much the be-all and end-all of health foods. It’s known to delay liver damage, reduce carcinogenic compounds in other foods, make cancer cells more vulnerable to chemo and radiation, inhibit the growth of malignant melanoma and breast cancer, alleviate arthritis symptoms and skin conditions.
Don't believe me, maybe I should let the experts describe what the main compound in turmeric - cucurmin- does. Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states that, “Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses.”
• Raw apple cider vinegar (not plain old cider vinegar!) is known to be a good source of acetic and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), mineral salts, amino acids, and other key components of good nutrition, but it is also a well-loved folk remedy thought to ease digestion, fight obesity and diabetes, wash toxins from the body, kill lice, and reverse aging. Does it do all of that? I dunno. But it surely tastes
good and it’s nutritional value is undisputed.
• Raw honey (locally produced) is a fantastic, all-natural fighter of seasonal allergies. Because bees collect pollen from flowers in your area and then convert it to honey to feed their hives, eating raw, local honey is like a tasty allergy shot. It’s also full of vitamins and minerals, antifungal, anti-viral, and makes a great, non-narcotic cough suppressant and throat soother.
• There’s not too much to this, just grate or chop everything up and put it in a jar. That’s where I’m going to caution you. If you cannot or will not use a plastic lid, do lay a piece of parchment paper on the rim of the jar before fixing your lid in place. Raw apple cider vinegar is quite likely to motivate a canning jar lid to rust or discolor. You’d hate to have all your waiting and work ruined by a rusted lid. Replace that parchment sheet every week or so.
• I prefer to use Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for my Fire Cider. I always keep it on hand because I love the flavor and I also love the health benefits it offers. Because it still has the ‘mother’ in it, it packs a higher nutritional punch. I
understand that Trade Joe’s and Whole Foods also have in house brand versions that are great.
• I’d advise you to use organic produce if at all possible. This way you won’t be infusing your lovely health tonic with anything you wouldn’t want to have in it.
• When you grate your horseradish, make sure you do it in a well-ventilated area or you will regret it. That stuff packs some serious oomph and will empty your sinuses in 30 seconds flat.
• When it’s time to strain your Fire Cider Homeopathic Remedy, line a colander with butter muslin, a muslin tea towel, or a double layer of super fine cheesecloth, and set it over a large, stable pot. Pour the contents of your jar into the lined colander and let it drain for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, pull the corners of the cloth together and twist to squeeze the contents until you cannot squeeze any more liquid from it. You may reserve the solids for tossing in stir-fries or discard them.
• You’ll notice there is not an actual quantity of honey listed in the recipe. You should add this to taste. We tend to like ours less sweet, you may prefer yours more so. Start with 1/4 cup and whisk it well, then add 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition, until you reach your desired sweetness.
• It’s best to choose raw, locally produced honey for the benefits listed above. The second choice is raw honey. The third choice would be pasteurized commercial honey.
• Store your finished Fire Cider Health Tonic & Homeopathic Remedy in a sterilized wine bottle or canning jar. Store in a cool, dark cabinet for up to a year.
• Oh! Awesome tip don't forget to use the finished Fire Cider as a dressing for cooked greens or in salad dressings. Boost your health while enjoying your dinner!
The Holistic Health Protocol for Seasonal Allergies
8 Natural Allergy Relief Remedies
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory, Alkaline Diet
First and foremost, start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your risk for allergies and many other health problems. Caring for your body with nutrient-dense foods gives your immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can fight off common allergies in your environment. Here are some of the best foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet to help you beat allergies:
Garlic — What’s so fantastic about garlic? Garlic is a natural antibiotic that helps ward off infections, viruses and even allergies. Eating or juicing two raw cloves of this powerful antioxidant may literally keep the doctor away! Some people choose to take garlic supplements because they don’t want to smell like garlic, but the supplements do not work as well as the real herb does, so don’t be deceived by this. Raw garlic eaten every day will fight off all types of allergies because it boosts your immune system immensely.
Lemons — As most of us know an alkaline body means better balance and immune function. Lemons and limes are excellent immune boosting little fruits and are used for various afflictions, including allergies. Both of these little fruits are loaded with vitamin C and immune-boosting antioxidants. Drinking lemon water throughout the day detoxifies the body and rids it of impurities. Mix the juice of one or two lemons or limes with olive oil to make a wonderful tasting dressing for salads and veggie sandwiches.
Green leafy vegetables — Leafy greens (including spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, arugula and watercress) are a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that aid detoxification and help reduce inflammation.
Probiotic-rich foods — Probiotic foods support immune health and can help to repair a damaged intestinal lining. Examples include kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, yogurt, raw cheese, miso and kombucha.
Bone broth — made from beef and chicken stock, is rich in many minerals and amino acids that support the healing of leaky, thereby helping to strengthen the immune system.
Coconut milk — The best alternative for cow’s milk is coconut milk, which is free of dairy, lactose, soy, nuts and grains.
Almond butter & seeds — For people allergic to peanuts and peanut butter, almond butter is a safe and healthy alternative that provides healthy unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, minerals like riboflavin and magnesium, and even some antioxidants. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also great sources of healthy fats and fiber.
Gluten-free flours/grains — Instead of using wheat flour when you cook or bake, try coconut flour, almond flour, spelt flour, oat flour and rice flour, which are all gluten-free.
Breast milk — Studies shows that exclusive breastfeeding seems to have a preventive effect on the early development of asthma and atopic dermatitis.
2. Local Raw Honey (Bee Pollen)
Considering how good it tastes, having some raw honey every day to help control seasonal allergies may sound too easy to actually work well, but don’t discount this ancient remedy. Taking a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day will help your body build a tolerance to the local pollen that is running amuck on your sinuses.
The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article in 2011 that tested how pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey affected people with birch pollen allergies. They discovered that patients taking honey “reported a 60 percent lower total symptom score, twice as many asymptomatic days, and 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms.” And they used 50 percent less antihistamines compared to the control group that took conventional meds.
I recommend taking one tablespoon of RAW local honey daily, such as by stirring some into tea, adding some to oatmeal along with cinnamon, or putting some in your smoothies.
What makes raw honey so powerful at reducing allergies? One reason is because it contains bee pollen, which is known to ward off infections, allergies, and boost immunity. The bees living in your area go from flower to flower collecting pollen that you are suffering from. It would make sense then that eating local raw honey will help build up your immunity to local pollen. Honey also contains many enzymes that support overall immune function.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
For many years I have recommend apple cider vinegar, and now you can find it almost everywhere. Drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of ACV and some fresh lemon juice is one of the best ways to wake up every morning. At the first sign of an allergy attack, put one teaspoon of ACV in your neti pot solution for a natural “sinus flush.”
Quercetin is naturally found in plant foods such as cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli or cauliflower), onions/shallots, green tea and citrus fruits. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the release of histamines and helps to naturally control allergy symptoms.
A recent study found evidence that quercetin is effective at reducing allergies because it helps calm down hyperactivity of the airways. It is so powerful that Iranian researchers have proven that quercetin can help control peanut allergies, the leading cause of life-threatening/fatal allergy attacks. (8) Various sources suggest that it is best to use quercetin as a long-term remedy, since it can take several months of use to start working. People prone to seasonal allergies should start to take them a few weeks before spring arrives when trees and plants start to bloom.
5. Neti Pot
Neti pots are a natural remedy for allergies and many respiratory conditions because they help to clear the sinuses and remove congestion. Use of neti pits has been shown to help improve quality of life in sufferers of respiratory illnesses and cause little to no side effects. Clearing the nasal passages of allergens and irritants, this form of “sinus irrigation” originated in the Ayurvedic medical tradition hundreds of years ago. People living in India have been receiving astounding results from using neti pots for centuries, and now you can, too.
Thankfully, this “alternative” approach to preventing congestion and allergies has now become more mainstream. David Rabago, MD, has conducted several studies on the subject and has proven clinically that using a neti pot is beneficial for preventing and treating several upper respiratory conditions, including chronic and acute sinusitis, the common cold and seasonal allergies. (11)
When you use a neti pot, make sure that the water is distilled and as sterile as possible. Tap water is full of chlorine and fluoride and can actually aggravate your sinuses, so it shouldn’t be used. If you don’t want to use a neti pot, you can also try a salt water sinus rinse by mixing sea salt with warm water and sucking it up one nostril.
6. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle has a rich history of medicinal use dating back to medieval Europe, where it was used as a diuretic to relieve people of joint pain and fluid retention (edema). According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, studies suggest that stinging nettle can effectively treat a wide range of health concerns including:
Urinary problems like urinary tract infections
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
Joint pain, sprain and strains
Research has specifically shown that stinging nettle tea leaf naturally controls histamines, which is why a growing number of doctors recommend taking a freeze-dried preparation before hay fever season begins. It can also be used as a tea or in tincture form.
7. Eucalyptus Oil & Frankincense Oil
One interesting study evaluated the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mites and found that eucalyptus oil ranked amongst some of the most potent. Essential oils for allergies work by reducing inflammation and improving detoxification of harmful bacteria, parasites, microorganisms and toxins that can trigger an attack. You can use eucalyptus oil for seasonal allergy relief in a variety of ways:
You can put several drops of eucalyptus oil into your neti pot, inhale it via a diffuser, or use it in your laundry detergent as an antimicrobial agent.
For an eco-friendly, biodegradable addition to your natural detergents, add 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to each load of wash during allergy season, especially if you or the kids are running around outside.
If your allergy symptoms are going strong, mix eucalyptus oil with coconut oil and rub it on your chest and behind your ears and diffuse it in the air during the day and while sleeping.
Another powerful essential oil for managing allergies is frankincense oil. The almost unbelievable cancer-killing capacity of Indian frankincense has been well established in scientific literature for several years, but its life-giving power doesn’t end there.
In a study published by Phytotherapy Research, when mice took 1–10 milligrams of frankincense orally, it was discovered that multiple levels of their immune systems were stimulated including IgG, IgM and interferon. This means that frankincense has seriously powerful effects when it comes to supporting the immune system.
To implement it into your natural health regimen, simply rub frankincense behind your ears and on your chest several times per day, or diffuse frankincense essential oil in your home and office for about three hours daily.
8. SBO Probiotics
It’s now becoming common knowledge that a strong immune system starts with a healthy gut. More than 80 percent of your immune function is stored in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract! It should be no wonder that research keeps surfacing that links probiotic supplement use to reduced risk of allergies.
Probiotics are beneficial “good bacteria” that live inside your GI tract and help defend you against infections, viruses, allergies and more. They are so effective that a study published in the journal Pediatrics discovered that women who regularly take probiotics during pregnancy significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies. I highly recommend getting your soil-based organisms through probiotics in supplement form or from probiotic foods, which are sold at farmer’s markets and can even be made from foods growing in your own local garden.
Order all the supplements mentioned here from my online pharmacy and get 20% off your first order!! Visit the list here!
Visit my YouTube Channel for the LIVE Webinar on Seasonal Allergies
Healthy living is not one size fits all & I totally embrace that! My goal is to help you learn what foods & lifestyle habits work best for you! I always encourage the consumption of real, plant based & whole foods to nourish your body and mother nature has the prescriptions are body craves.
Looking at health from a whole body, holistic approach. A shoulder to cry on, a friend to have Ah Ha moments with as we make connections about your body and your health. I am here for you every step of the way. Just like I wish someone was there for me!
Whether you are seeking help for a specific condition or concern or you are seeking to maintain healthy life long habits to prevent potential illness in your later years, I am here for you! Much Love Suzanne
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