7 Ways to Control Your Allergies Naturally

There’s nothing better than waking up, checking the forecast & seeing this:

Weather Forecast

But then, I check the other forecast.  The one that tells me if I can actually go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather…

Allergy Forecase

This time of year is awful for my allergies.  The cedar gets me the worst… can anyone else relate?

I used to reach for allergy medicine or anti-histamines to get me through, but after many years rotating through, they eventually stopped working. And I don’t know about you, but anti-histamines make me feel sleepy and sluggish so it’s hard to get up and go to work.  Plus, the purpose of those is to dry you up, so they are dehydrating.  In search for something that would help provide some relief, I’ve discovered a few ways that have really helped me control my allergies:

Allergy Relief

1. Use a nasal rinse.  This will clear your sinuses of allergens & bacteria.  Plus, it moisturizes your system, thinning the mucous to keep it moving through the system and reducing post-nasal drip. The saline mixture added to warm, distilled water works wonders for clearing my nasal passages and keeping me from getting too stuffy. I use this kind – you can find it at nearly any drugstore.

EO Allergy Blend2. Essential oils have worked miracles for me with my allergies.  In particular, I use a combination of Lemon, Lavender & Peppermint (aka the LLP bomb). I put them in my diffuser, put 3 drops of each in a capsule to swallow or put them in a spoonful of local, raw honey.  There are also a few other oils that can be super helpful with symptoms of congestion – RC & Breathe Again – or sinus headache – Copaiba.  Read more about how essential oils can improve your health here.

3.  Nothing relieves my itchy eyes better than Can-C Carnosine Eye Drops.  It is the best eye drop out there; even though it’s not specifically for allergies, it is a great moisturizer and completely safe. On a side note, I’ve read stories that it has even helped people improve their vision or cataracts.

4. I recently discovered a homeopathic tincture called Allergena.  They have blends for specific regions (Texas is Zone 5), or for allergies to pets, mold, dust, and several others. You put a few drops under your tongue every 10 minutes as long as you feel symptomatic until you don’t.  It works super fast to provide relief for sneezing, runny nose & itchy eyes.

5. A couple of times a day, I take Natural D-Hist. My doctor recommended it originally for my stress hives last year, but it also helps with seasonal allergies.  The blend of healthy ingredients helps relieve irritation from increased histamine response.  Although it doesn’t provide fast relief, I have seen a lot of benefit by taking it consistently every day.

6. While it’s not realistic to always stay inside, it helps to keep your indoors an allergy-free environment to give your system some reprieve.  Take a shower each night and wash your hair to get the pollen out. Put your clothes in a hamper when you get home for the day. Leave your shoes at the door. Wash your sheets and vacuum often. Close your doors and windows. Run an air purifier to remove those particles from the air – this is the one I use.

7. Eating a healthy diet is a crucial way to reduce inflammation & mucous production.  Organic fruits and vegetables will help provide vitamins and antioxidants.  Avoiding dairy and sugar will help lower your body’s inflammatory response and keep your immune system functioning properly.  Staying hydrated is also important; water helps control levels of histamines in the body.

Do you have any other ways that help you control your allergies naturally?  Thinking about trying any of these out? I would love to hear feedback on how these work for you!

“You’re Not Sick; You’re Thirsty”

Is it possible that the majority of illness originate from something as simple as dehydration?  Could we be treating ourselves with medicine when we should just be drinking more water?  I recently read Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by F. Batmanghelidj, MD, which explores this possibility.

Water

Our body is made up of 75% water, and in particular, our brain tissue is 85% water. Adequate hydration is essential to our bodies and brains functioning properly to stay healthy.  But many of us are suffering from chronic dehydration because we live in a society where coffee, tea, alcohol and manufactured beverages like soda have become acceptable thirst-quenchers.  While many of these contain water, they also contain dehydrating agents that only make our body’s more thirsty.  And, sodas, in particular, are addictive (both the caffeine and sugar), taking away our natural thirst for water, even when it’s plentiful and available.

We tend to think that we are “thirsty” when our mouths become dry and we crave a drink.  But this is actually the last outward sign of dehydration – if you are feeling this, your body is screaming for water.  And as you age, your body begins to ignore “dry mouth” more and more, making dehydration easier. Our vital organs receive the water, nutrients and hormones they need to work only by enough water existing in the body to deliver those elements, so it’s obviously essential to our basic functioning.  Just in case you need a few more reasons to drink more water, here are some that really stood out to me:

  • Morning sickness during pregnancy is the main indicator of a baby and mother’s dehydration.  Water is essential to cell expansion during a baby’s first stage of life.
  • Chronic pain is a huge indicator of thirst.  For a while, painkillers may work for pain monitored by the central nervous system, but eventually the brain will become so dehydrated that it will register all pain until it gets enough water.  And, until it does, the pain will increase and the body will limit the mobility of those areas in order to “prevent the production of additional toxic waste” that water, if available, would wash out. If you are experiencing consistent back pain, leg pain or headaches, take note.
  • Dyspeptic (gastritis, heartburn, constipation) pain is an emergency thirst signal.  “Digestion of solid foods depends on the presence of copious amounts of water” and “water provides the only natural protection against the acid in the stomach.”  Antacids contain a lot of aluminum (so does your deodorant, by the way), which combined with brain cell dehydration are proven causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Stop popping those antacids and drink a couple glasses of water instead.
  • “Fully 75 percent of the weight of the upper part of the body is supported by the water volume that is stored in the disc core.”  While proper posture is helpful, adequate water is essential if you are experiencing back pain.  Exercises that stretch the back and help “vacuum” water back into the disc space will help both neck and back pain.  I personally find that laying on the bed with my head off the edge for a minute or so helps a great deal.  Of course, my chiropractor adjustments help tremendously as well.
  • Dehydration affects the regulation of body temperature.  Many migraines and headaches are caused by “heat stress” because of dehydration that may occur due to lack of drinking water, drinking alcohol, or an allergic reaction that releases histamines (blocking hydration).
  • Dehydration leads to stress in the body and causes hormones to go into crisis mode.  As a result, dehydration contributes to chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.
  • Using caffeine to override your body’s available energy will lower levels of stored energy, meaning that your hormones will not be able to react appropriately later and the brain has less energy to work from, leading to less focus and attention span.  This dehydration effect is exacerbated when elderly people with memory problems or children with learning disorders drink anything other than water, especially soda.
  • Adequate water and salt intake are essential to maintaining blood volume that prevents hypertension.  The body will do all it can to retain water and sodium (helps balance water in and out of cells), yet the current “treatments” for hypertension prescribe diuretics.  Water is the best diuretic – if you are drinking enough water, your body will respond and eventually flush out the toxic edema fluid rather than the water your body desperately needs.
  • Cholesterol is essential to the function of our cells because it helps our cells retain water.  In the state of dehydration, you will develop high cholesterol as its working in overdrive to prevent cell dehydration.
  • “The sensation of thirst and hunger are generated simultaneously to indicate the brain’s needs.” We cannot tell the difference, and thus often overeat when our body’s are really just crying out for water.  Then, dehydration causes our brain to crave more energy, thus causing us to crave sugar.  So, we overeat, eat unhealthy foods and gain weight simply by being dehydrated.
  • Asthma and allergies are indicators that the body has resorted to an increase in production of the neurotransmitter histamine, the sensor regulator of water metabolism and its distribution in the body.”
  • In some cases of chronic dehydration, our brain begins to inhibit insulin so the pancreas can provide water for food digestion – a crucial function to provide energy to the body.  Ultimately, this can cause insulin-independent diabetes, and instead of drinking more water & eating a balanced diet to get the body to behave normally again, people take chemical override medications to force the body to produce more insulin.
  • Salt is crucial to ensuring we have an “ocean” of water outside our cells, but the table salt we eat in most foods is a chemical and not mineral-rich.  Remove sodium preservatives and table salt from your diet and replace with unrefined sea salt to keep your body’s hydration in balance.

The simple way to prevent the damage from chronic dehydration is to drink enough water.  Your body needs a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day, more, especially, if you are drinking alcohol or caffeine.  If your urine is not colorless, you are not hydrated enough.  Drink water slowly, throughout the day.  I typically drink a glass of water before and after each meal, and then at least one in-between each meal as a rule of thumb.  If I am feeling sick, my allergies are flaring or my back pain returns, I immediately drink lots of water, and only water, until the symptoms pass. I have truly noticed a difference.

Are you drinking enough water?  If any of the above dehydration-related illnesses stuck out to you personally, you must read this book. It has very detailed chapters on each of the effects of dehydration and testimonials for how water has healed people.  Go read it (or borrow from me!) – it’s fascinating!