For some, the pleasures of warm weather also bring itchy eyes, a runny nose and non-stop sneezing. Check out these five all-natural remedies to get you back outdoors this summer!
1. Get your fruit fix
Instead of taking an antihistamine to subdue annoying seasonal allergy symptoms, try natural quercetin. It gives many fruits their vibrant colours and may help prevent your body from releasing histamine in the first place, says Bryce Wylde, a homeopathic doctor and nutritionist in Toronto. To up your intake, eat more oranges and apples, or try drinking a cup of green tea.
2. Try a daily extract
There’s some evidence butterbur extracts can help relieve hay fever. The plant is so potent it’s even been compared to drugs like Allegra or Zyrtec, says Wylde. But use caution: Pregnant or breast-feeding women and young children shouldn’t take butterbur, and everyone should look for extracts labelled “UPA-free.”
3. Wash off pollen
Showering before bed helps remove pollen and give you a good night’s sleep. A neti pot offers the same idea — just for your nose. “Using a neti pot at night will irrigate the parts of your sinus cavity and your nose that can often harbour pockets of pollen,” says Wylde.
4. Switch up your bedding
Time to change your sheets: Tightly woven anti-allergen bedding, like SmartSilk Shield Advantage, helps block dust mites, which feed off our skin and create allergy-inducing dust. Want an instant DIY option? Put your pillow in the dryer on high for five to 10 minutes before bed to burn off the dust-mite population.
5. Block it out
For people with allergies, sleeping with a breeze is a Catch-22: It lets in healthy fresh air — and pollen. “If you’re an allergy sufferer, you know the worst thing you can do is open up your bedroom window,” says Wylde. New products like Pollen-TEC, a screen that filters out up to 100 percent of grass allergens and up to 90 percent of ragweed, will let you breathe easy.