Spring has blossomed in Marin County along with sneezing, itchy eyes and other cold-like symptoms that are allergies.  Here are some remedies that can keep reduce allergies so you can appreciate the natural beauty of our flowers and trees without dreading their pollen and dust.

1.  Low Inflammatory Foods 

By removing gluten, diary and sugar from your diet, you are reducing the overall inflammation in your system.   Try eating whole foods which are nutritionally dense and eliminate those items which have caused digestive bloating and stuffy sinuses in the past.

2.  Stinging Nettles

This plant’s usage can be traced back to medieval times as a diuretic, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center and can be taken to build the systems resistance to allergens.  Nettles are used for those afflicted by hay fever and can reduce the amount of histamines in the body.  You can make a tea from fresh or dried leaves or buy capsules in a health food store.

3.  Apple Cider Vinegar

Drink apple cider vinegar to increase your potassium, which will help eliminate runny noses. Apple cider vinegar helps to break up mucus in the body, letting you breathe again. Dilute a ¼ teaspoon in a glass of water.

4.  Probiotics

Because probiotics are recognized for its use in balancing our gut bacteria, they support the immune system, which can reduce allergic reactions to the blossoming of spring plants and flowers.  Probiotics are found in yogurt or you can find them on the shelf or refrigerated section of Whole Foods.

5.  Nasal Irrigation

Nasal irrigation is the draining of saline from one nostril through another in order to flush out the mucus, using things such as Neti pots, which look like small teapots, or bulb syringes. By clearing the nasal passages, pollen, dust and irritants are removed from the nose and sinuses.

6.  Acupuncture

There are a number of studies which have shown that consistent acupuncture treatments have benefitted the reduction of nasal rhinitis (i.e. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19055209 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16670510).

7.  Hot Showers

Showering with hot, steamy water will not only help temporarily clear your sinuses, but the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends you take a shower once you enter your home to cleanse yourself of all the outdoor pollen.

8. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

The dried leaves of this plant make a scented oil that is commonly used for allergy relief, due to its ability to reduce inflammation. A 2010 study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359267) found it to be beneficial for respiratory problems such as asthma.  Put a few drops in a basin of steaming water and breath for a few minutes to open up the air passageways.

9.  Spicy Foods

Eating hot foods spiced with cayenne pepper, onion and garlic, or ginger will help thin out your mucous.  Soups and bone broths with hot spices can be perfect for clearing stuffed noses and opening up nasal passages and can boost the immune system overall.