Excerpted from The Healthiest People on Earth by John Howard Weeks
Watery eyes. Sinus pressure. The constant sneezing. Allergy season is upon us, but that doesn’t mean we have to turn straight to the pharmacy for relief. John Howard Weeks’ family has passed down generations of medicinal lore (more of which is shared in his new book The Healthiest People on Earth), including natural tips for reducing allergy symptoms. Try one (or a few!) and enjoy the spring weather—sneeze free.
Irritants in the food we eat and the air we breathe can cause seasonal or chronic allergic reactions that spell misery for millions of us. Congestion, inflammation, swelling, itching—these are just some of the symptoms suffered by the red-eyed, runny-nosed, coughing, wheezing, scratching weary ones who are allergic to pollen, dust, pet dander, certain foods, and other triggers.
Here some some ideas for allergy relief.
- Home remedies include natural antihistamines such as rooibus (red bush) tea, chamomile tea, and stinging nettle, which is available in both tea and capsule form at health food stores.
- A time-honored treatment for sinus allergies is to place several drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water and inhale the steam.
- An interesting preventive measure against seasonal allergies is to eat a couple of teaspoons of local honey, and chew the beeswax in which it comes, for several days before pollen season starts. The idea is to desensitize your immune system’s hostile reaction to local pollens by ingesting the honey made by bees from area pollen.
If your allergies are giving you headaches, here are some additional home remedies for soothing them.
- Place an ice pack on the low part of the back of your neck. It draws blood away from the head, which reduces the throbbing. That’s what Mom always told me. If you don’t have an ice pack, just use anything in your freezer. A bag of frozen peas works just fine.
- If giving your headache the cold shoulder doesn’t work, fight fire with fire and drink a cup of hot herbal tea. Feverfew is a classic remedy for migraine. Other good choices include rosemary, lavender, and peppermint.