Ah, allergy season. For some unlucky people, the “season” lasts 365 days a year. 12 years ago, I was dependent on twice a week allergy shots and popping 24hr Claritin every single day just to get some relief. And even then, when the wind kicked up, when someone sprayed Bath and Body Works spray or when I breathed, the nonstop sneezing, itchy eyes, and stuffy nose would begin. It was uncomfortable for me and for those around me. When I got the scratch test done on my back one year at the allergist, I reacted so badly to 95% of the triggers, they had to wipe it off halfway through and give me a cortisone shot in fear that my throat would close. I carried an Epi-Pen for years. And then one day, my allergies all but disappeared.
Now, I hardly have any allergy attacks, I no longer take Claritin, and I haven’t gotten allergy shots for over 11 years. The allergies disappeared almost as suddenly as they came and it was all due to one MAJOR change – my diet. Shortly after my daughter was born, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis and opted out of surgery. I turned to a plant-based diet, with the occasional seafood once a week or so. Suddenly I found myself no longer sneezing nor dependent on over the counter medication at all!
I want to be clear that if you don’t want to eat plant-based, that’s fine. You don’t have to become a vegetarian to treat your allergy symptoms naturally. A few years ago, I returned to eating meat. (My body was desperately craving it, and I believe that your body will tell you what it needs from you). But since I am eating meat, I have to be very careful with what I am consuming so that I don’t overload my body so that it isn’t prepared to fight off the histamines when they come. One summer, my knee began swelling badly. It started off looking like a bug bite and it grew and grew until the was the size of a tennis ball. My joints hurt and over the course of 2-3 days I had edema and could barely walk! I was 36 years old at that time; that is not okay. Looking back at what I ate (and drank) that weekend – we were celebrating a birthday, and so I consumed a ton of BBQ, chips, cheese dip, pizza and lots of sugary vodka cocktails. No wonder my body was rebelling. It simply couldn’t process all these terrible things quickly enough, and so it rebelled. That brings me to the single most powerful natural remedy for allergy relief:
The Standard American Diet (SAD Diet) of fried greasy foods, bad fat, chemically laden “diet” sodas and buckets of sugar are killing us. Cancer rates, heart disease, and diabetes are skyrocketing at alarming rates. Our bodies, already overtaxed by poor air quality, chemically-enhanced everything and lack of nutrients, are working overtime trying to get rid of the toxins that are coming in from the environment around us and from poor food choices.
The fastest way to stop allergies is to prevent them with what foods you are nourishing your body with. You may be allergic to specific foods, such as shellfish or gluten, but I’ve found that for many people, an excess of bad foods can cause allergy attacks. The main culprits I have found for myself:
I don’t deny myself the occasional treat, but if I overload on any or a combination of these, my body begins to rebel. As I type this (and this is the inspiration for this article), my body is covered in itchy rashes, my eyes are swollen, and I’m sniffly. I had more than my fair share of sugar and dairy this weekend, and my body is telling me that enough was enough. It’s sending me a reminder and teaching me a little lesson about overindulging. This week, I’m sticking to my meal prep delivery from California Creationz. They make my life easier with healthy meals and I don’t have to think about what I am eating!
[RELATED POST: Meal Prep For Beginners: The How, The When & The Why]
If you want to read more about eating cleaning to help your body, I recommend:
- The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days
- Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
- The Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Action Plans: 4-Week Meal Plans to Heal the Immune System and Restore Overall Health
2. Essential Oils
No, I’m not going to try and sell you Doterra or rope you into an MLM. But the benefits from essential oils are countless. I have a therapeutic grade lavender essential oil with me at all times and use it for almost everything. I use it on myself, my daughter, even the dogs. It can be used to calm and relax you before bed, heal cuts quickly, to put on bites, burns, dry skin, hay fever, dandruff, and rashes. I have a few drops in a bottle with fractionated coconut oil, and I spray it for instant relief.
When I have an allergy attack, I use a blend of three oils: lavender, lemon, and peppermint. I use a drop of each and rub it under my nose, on my chest and on the bottoms of my feet. If the allergy attack is severe, I usually have to do this about 2-3 times before the symptoms disappear completely.
3. Activated Charcoal
Charcoal?! Like the stuff you put on your BBQ grill? Yes, but not quite. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins and chemicals. They use a large amount of it in hospitals when someone’s ingested poison, and it soaks it all up. It’s that powerful. The powder (or capsule) itself is tasteless and has no odor. I typically take it in a capsule form, purchased at a natural food store, or I’ve had the powder form in a pressed juice.
People have used it to aid in helping numerous ailments such as a teeth whitening agent teeth or for food poisoning. I use it to flush out any toxins after I’ve had a particularly greasy fried meal or when my stomach is upset. Because my current rash I suspect is from a food allergy, I’ve been taking charcoal capsules in the morning and at night.
Consult your physician before taking anything and do your own research. I’m not a doctor, but charcoal has really helped me. Oh, and it helps with hangovers as well.
4. Nettle Leaf
It may seem counterintuitive to use nettle, the stuff that leaves your skin itchy if you touch it to treat allergy symptoms – many of which leave you itchy – but trust me, nettle leaf works wonders. It also comes in a powder and capsule form. With the powder, you can make soup or tea, but it’s just more convenient for me to take the capsule.
Nettle can also be used for UTI’s, arthritis, rheumatism, respiratory issues, eczema, asthma, and on and on.
Don’t be afraid of the needles! They are tiny, and you don’t actually feel more than a quick prick. I actually find an acupuncture session relaxing, often falling asleep in the 45-60 minute session. Acupuncture is not an immediate cure-all. It is a long-term solution to help you balance your body and make you feel great. It is a commitment, but it helps with everything from balancing hormones, stomach issues, stress, emotional issues, and more. It has helped me with all of the above as well as helped me find relief in my allergies.
I’ve also been sick a lot less and when I do get sick, it typically only lasts a day or two.
Sometimes you need to know when to take an over the counter medicine, but more often than not, people reach for the harsh prescriptions before even considering a gentler, safer and chemical-free option. You don’t have to become dependent on taking a pill every day to fight off the sneezing, swollen, itchy eyes and hives; I encourage you to spend some time investigating your diet and trying some natural remedies to give you some allergy relief.
What are some natural remedies have you tried to get allergy relief? Comment below!