# Tuesday, April 22, 2014
                 
It has been a long, cold winter, but spring time is finally here! We can all look forward to warmer weather, sunshine and more time spent outdoors. However, spring time also means allergy season for millions and millions of people around the world.

The good news is that there are many ways by which seasonal allergies can be controlled.

There are the "conventional" methods such as drugs that usually contain a combination of antihistamines and decongestants to suppress allergy symptoms.

What many people are not aware of is that there are also natural methods that can be used to combat seasonal allergies. Read on to find out more!

What Causes Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies occur when the body identifies allergens (e.g. pollen, grass, dust, mold, etc.) as potentially harmful, invasive substances. When allergens enter the nasal passages they attach to the soft mucous membranes that line the nasal and bronchial passages. These mucous membranes contain immune cells called "mast cells".

Receptors detect when an allergen is present and alert the mast cells which then release histamines and other chemicals to help the body get rid of the allergen intruders. This results in prolonged sneezing, watery red eyes and itching. Occasionally there may also be swelling of the bronchial tubes, making breathing difficult.

Natural Treatment of Seasonal Allergies

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (preferably raw and organic) prevents the production of histamines by the body, resulting in a reduction of allergy symptoms such as sneezing. In effect it acts as a natural antihistamine.

Apple cider vinegar can be mixed with water and taken several times a day. Note that too much vinegar can result in stomach discomfort, so you may have to adjust how much vinegar you ingest on a daily basis.

As an aside, apple cider vinegar also alkalizes the body, which is critical when it comes to disease prevention.

Neti Pots

Neti Pot Neti pots are small vessels that are used to flush out and clean the nasal cavities using a mild solution of salt water.

According to an article published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, regular Neti flushing of the nasal cavities is an effective way to treat seasonal allergy symptoms, and results in a reduction of antihistamines needed to control the symptoms.

For more information about Neti pots please click here.

Note: please make sure you clean and disinfect the Neti pot thoroughly before using!

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle Stinging nettle is another plant (actually a weed) that inhibits the body’s ability to create histamine (i.e. it is an antihistamine). It is common to most parts of North America and is commonly found next to jewelweed (used to treat itchiness from stinging nettle scratches).

Stinging nettle can be bought in a powdered form as a capsule. It can also be ingested as a tincture or as a tea.

Click here to learn how to identify stinging nettle.

Local Honey

Honeycomb Honey is a "super food" that never spoils and has antiseptic/antibacterial properties.

Ingesting honey does not help out with allergy relief directly. The key here is that the honey is local, so it is made by bees pollinating plants where you live. This can help people build up tolerance levels to the local fauna and pollen (an allergen), thereby reducing seasonal allergic reactions.

This type of treatment is often referred to as "immunotherapy", and is similar to vaccinations (except that this type of immunotherapy tastes great and is based on local considerations).
 

Quercetin

Quercetin Quercetin is a plant-based bioflavonoid that is another natural antihistamine. Quercetin can help with allergy treatment by stabilizing mast cells, thereby preventing the production of histamines.

Quercetin can be purchased as a supplement, and is also found in the following: citrus, garlic, onion, apples, cayenne pepper, parsley, sage, broccoli, parsley, tomatoes, lettuce and even red wine.

As a side note, quercetin is also a natural antioxidant that helps to control free radicals in the body that cause cell damage, which can lead to cancer. In addition it is an anti-inflammatory.

Conclusion

There are many things that people can do to treat their seasonal allergies naturally.

Let’s enjoy the season without undue suffering from allergy symptoms!

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