7 Natural Allergy Relief Remedies to Try This Spring
It may be hard to believe amid all the polar vortexes that have been plaguing the U.S., but spring will soon be here. Although most of us welcome the warmer weather, longer days, and blossoming plants that that herald the return of the season, some of us also dread the inevitable return of seasonal allergies. While some allergies may be so severe that they require prescription medicine or some other type of medical treatment, most of us will turn to the usual over-the-counter remedies in order to get some relief for our sniffling and sneezing.
However, there are several natural remedies that may provide you with the same level of relief that you get from a medicated nasal spray or antihistamine pill. Many natural remedies can duplicate the symptom-relieving effects that you would get from an over-the-counter allergy medicine; some remedies also have the added benefit of being less expensive. While some alternative allergy relief remedies may include exotic herbal supplements, others simply take advantage of widely available ingredients and environments that are conducive to allergy symptom relief. Of course, before you start ingesting any new foods or herbal supplements, make sure to get your doctor’s approval first. With that caveat in mind, here are seven natural allergy relief remedies to help you survive spring.
1. Essential oils
One of the most miserable allergy symptoms is congestion. While many over-the-counter medicines use decongestants like pseudoephedrine or various antihistamine preparations to counter congestion symptoms, some allergy sufferers may get a similar level of relief from essential oil vapors. One of the most popular essential oils used for easing congestion is eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil has long been used in cough lozenges, and its decongestant properties are well known. Some people also like to use peppermint oil or lavender oil.
There are two primary methods for creating essential oil vapors: candle diffusers and hot water. Candle diffusers use the heat from a tea candle to warm the oil and release the aroma. Simply place a few drops of an essential oil mixed with water in the upper reservoir of a diffuser and let the oil slowly evaporate into the air. Another method is to put a few drops of oil into a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. You can also drape a towel over your head to enhance the effect. However, use caution when handling essential oils. Some concentrated oils can irritate the skin on contact and others, such as eucalyptus, are even toxic if ingested in high amounts.