Healing Hay Fever
It’s spring, and while everyone else is outside enjoying the sunshine, you’re a prisoner in your air-conditioned house all because you’re allergic to some form of pollen. Help has arrived: try these tips to stifle your sniffles.
Eat Raw Honey
Well, start eating raw honey. Since it contains grains of pollen, it helps to gradually accustom your overactive immune system to the pollen so it doesn’t go nuts when it encounters the grains every spring. Aim for 3 or 4 tablespoons a day. You can lick it right off the spoon, mix it into your tea, or drizzle it onto your toast or corn muffin. Make sure you’re using raw honey, and use local honey so it contains pollens from your local region. You can usually find this type of honey at roadside vegetable stands and farmers’ markets.
Warning: Some experts caution against trying this method, because it may temporarily aggravate your symptoms.
Try Algae for Allergies
Here’s another trick for controlling those seasonal sniffles: Try sucking down green drinks or supplements that contain spirulina, a blue-green algae. This strong anti-inflammatory can quell the overreactive immune response to allergy triggers that leads to your miserable symptoms.
That’s what University of California, Davis, researchers found when they gave 24 people with allergies either 2,000 milligrams a day of spirulina or a placebo. The algae group produced 32 percent fewer inflammatory chemicals that trigger those symptoms-the placebo group saw no change. Now, just imagine your allergist’s face when you cancel your next six appointments!
Flush Away Allergies
What if you could just rinse away those annoying allergens so you can enjoy an outdoor picnic with your family? Well, with a small gadget call a neti pot, you can. Resembling a palm-size Aladdin’s lamp and found at most health food stores, a neti pot is designed to flush water from one side of your nose to the other. Here how it works:
- Fill the pot with warm saltwater (about 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of water).
- While leaning over a sink, tilt your head to the left and tip the spout into your right nostril. The liquid should trickle out the opposite nostril, “power washing” your nasal passages on its trip through.
- Continue until the pot is empty, then blow your nose and repeat on the opposite side.
Although it sounds simple, it works! Studies on children and adults who used this technique found that their symptoms significantly improved, and they used considerably fewer anti-histamines than those who didn’t use irrigation.