News reports from this year and last tell us that increasing numbers of us are experiencing seasonal allergies. If you’re suffering and find that your prescription or over-the-counter medications seem ineffective, why not consider trying a natural remedy? Don’t stop taking your medications, although you’ll most likely want to let your doctor know what you’re doing. After a time, you may find that not only your symptoms, but your need for medications, are greatly reduced.

Here are a number of natural methods to help you gain control over your allergies:

Reduce dairy consumption - One of the most effective ways to ease environmental allergy symptoms is to completely remove dairy from your diet. Dairy is a mucus-producing food and is considered quite inflammatory. Try completely eliminating cow’s milk products from your diet for two months and see if it makes a difference.

Other food allergies - Many health practitioners agree that seasonal allergies may be related to food allergies or sensitivities. If you've tried removing dairy products from your diet and found no relief, you may want to try an elimination diet. This will involve eliminating from your diet for a period of time the foods that most commonly create an immune reaction. In addition to milk, these include eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. A nutrition professional can help guide you through an elimination diet.

Honey – many allergy sufferers swear by eating honey that has been produced in an area local to them to help control hay fever.

Omega-3 fatty acids – these help control inflammation and are available in a small number of foods, including cold-water fish such as wild salmon and tuna, walnuts, and flax seeds and flax seed oil. To be sure you’re getting enough of this important nutrient, eat two servings of wild salmon each week, or supplement with cod liver oil or fish oil capsules.

Limit your exposure - If you are a chronic allergy sufferer, avoid exercising outdoors, especially in the early morning, when pollen counts are highest. Avoid the outdoors particularly on windy days if your allergies are severe. Keep home and car windows closed, and wear a mask while performing yard work. You can take this a step further by limiting your exposure to toxins that may cause sensitivity, such as perfumes, household cleaning and laundry products, and scented candles and room deodorizers.

Neti pots have been used in India for thousands of years to keep the sinuses clear and seem to be gaining popularity here in the U.S. They are shaped similar to Aladdin’s lamp, inexpensive, and available and health food stores and many drugstores. Instructions will be included in the box, but basically, you’ll fill the neti pot using a mixture of non-iodized salt and lukewarm water and, leaning your head over the sink, pour half the saltwater mixture into one nostril, let it drain, and repeat on the other side with the remaining mixture. Use your neti pot twice a day during allergy season, especially after you’ve been outdoors.

Supplements –

An herb called stinging nettle leaf reduces the amount of histamine the body produces, reducing sneezing and itching due to hay fever. Stinging nettle leaf extract in freeze-dried capsule form can be taken in a dose of 300 milligrams daily.

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid, a phytochemical found in plant foods such as apples, onions, berries, grapes, teas, and red wine that supports the immune system and acts as a natural antihistamine. A normal healthy diet will provide about 25-50 milligrams of quercetin; if you choose to supplement this, be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the bottle.

During allergy season, increase your daily intake of vitamin C, which enhances the immune system. Most people can safely take up to 2,000 milligrams per day for short periods of time.

Other remedies that will help in the short term:

To ease congestion, add a few drops of an essential oil such as eucalyptus, peppermint, sage, lavender, or tea tree oil to two cups of boiling water and inhale the steam.

If you find yourself in the middle of a severe allergy attack, try this home remedy: drink an 8-ounce glass of water followed by a pinch of salt on the tongue every 15 to 30 minutes until your symptoms subside.

We’re exposed to so many different substances each day that can over-stimulate our immune systems. You may never completely eradicate your allergies but, as you can see, there are many things you can try to reduce your symptoms and ease your suffering. Which will you try first?

Author's Bio: 

Susanne Warren is a board-certified holistic health coach. She works with women and men over 40 who are motivated to finally address longstanding health issues. Passionate about helping others become empowered to take control over their health, Susanne supports her clients in making healthier diet and lifestyle choices and integrating those changes into their lives permanently.

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