Natural Allergy Remedies: What You Got?
Oh god. Are seasonal allergies contagious?
The answer, obviously, is, “Of course not,” (thanks, Yahoo Questions) but it’s been looping around my monkey mind all week. For about a month, I’ve been hearing people say this is the worst allergy season in ages, and I’ve seen up close how it’s been affecting my Claritin-cloudy friends, my colleagues, my guy. About a week ago I started feeling kind of crappy: runny nose, sneezy, headaches. Naturally, I thought it was either contact allergitis (this is not actually a thing) or, more plausibly, adult-onset—which would make sense since they hit my brother when he was in his early 30s. My dad has terrible allergies, t00. Ask him how he’s doing this time of year and the answers tend to be along the lines of “I can breathe today” or “I could smell a little this morning.” Suffice to say, and sorry to all you allergy sufferers out there, I was horrified at the idea of staring down the next 50 years in your camp.
Turns out, lucky for me, I just have a cold.
But what about all these poor suckers I care about? There’s got to be something other than a daily Allegra or Claritin that can help, right?
I’ve seen some interesting research about acupuncture helping with seasonal allergy symptoms (see here, here, and here), but it requires frequent visits, which is inconvenient and can be prohibitively expensive if your insurance doesn’t cover complementary medicine. (Course, if you compare the cost of thrice-weekly acupuncture for four weeks with a daily pill for four months, for years on end, the needles would probably win, but whatever—I know it’s not for everyone.) Over at Prevention, where I work, we have a neat piece about yoga poses that alleviate allergies, as well as a “Problem Solved” column with 10 solutions, many of them natural, and all of them science-backed. A woman I work with told me the other day that her husband started putting a teaspoon of raw local honey in his coffee every morning and is happy to report this is his first symptoms-free allergy season in years. Of course, there’s research debunking the effectiveness of local honey for allergies, but if you do what I do for a living, you learn that there’s a study for and against pretty much everything under the sun.
So we turn to you. We know y’all are a crafty bunch, and we’d like to know what, other than neti pots, you’ve tried with some success. Or, if you don’t have allergies yourself (high five!), what have you heard works well? Share, share. Our friends need us!
Image of my favorite flower, which is conveniently allergies-friendly, via