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Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
One day I woke up and realized that I was still experiencing severe seasonal allergy symptoms despite taking medication every night for them. I set out to try to find some natural remedies and was pleasantly surprised with the results!
I’m Not a Doctor
First things first: I am not a doctor. I don’t play a doctor on tv. I am in no way, shape or form qualified to dispense medical advice. This blog post is purely and wholeheartedly my own opinion, based on my own personal experiences. Please consult a medical professional before you decide to add any sort of supplements to your diet.
My Allergies Are the Pits
It was probably more than twenty years ago or so that I was first diagnosed by a doctor with seasonal allergies, namely pollen. Seasonal allergies are not only enough to make you feel completely miserable, they can really hamper your quality of life. When my allergies kick into high gear, my head feels like it’s trapped in a vice. I have dizzy spells and feel like I am in a fog. I wake up with a sinus headache that is unrelenting from morning til night. My nose is constantly running and I usually end up with a sore throat. Another awful result of allergies is that your immune system kicks into overdrive trying to fight them. This would often leave me susceptible to other illnesses – sinus infections, occasional strep throat, etc.
I have tried various medications for my seasonal allergies over the years. I started with Claritin, then tried Allegra, before finally settling on Zyrtec. I took a Zyrtec (or the generic equivalent) every day for about ten years. It got to be so routine, I just took it daily before bed, not really questioning whether or not it was actually helping me to feel better.
One day about a year ago, it dawned on me that I had had a sinus headache for days, despite taking the Zyrtec every night. Not only did my head hurt, but my nose was running, throat hurt and basically, I was experiencing a wide array of typical allergy symptoms.
I decided that if the medicine wasn’t working, it was time to stop taking it. And so I did. Though I will tell you – the Zyrtec withdrawal I experienced was horrendous. There isn’t much research out about it, but the few forums and posts I found described the same symptoms that I was suffering. Then Bob decided to stop taking Zyrtec as well. Between the two of us, we experienced almost identical symptoms that included breaking out in random hives all over our bodies, and getting random attacks of several itchiness, especially on the palms of our hands and the bottoms of our feet. I have never had hives in my life until the weeks post-Zyrtec, so I’m pretty positive they were directly related to the drug withdrawal.
We stuck it out and after 2-3 months, the withdrawal symptoms finally subsided.
Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
I was so glad to be off of Zyrtec, but I was also completely miserable as my seasonal allergies took center stage upon me. Dizzy, headache-y, totally in a fog, I was spending day after day overwhelmed with how out-of-sorts I felt. At around this time, I paid a visit to a new (to me) family doctor and told asked her if she had any non-medicated suggestions for my symptoms.
Here is what she recommended and what I have been taking for about 8 months at this point:
Quercetin is a “a naturally occurring bioflavonoid that supports healthy histamine levels, thereby helping to sustain a balanced immune response.”
I take a version that also has some Bromelain in it.
Bromelain is a “an enzyme derived from pineapple stems, also supports healthy immune system function.”
Since the Quercetin/Bromelain combo that I take above only has a portion of my recommended Bromelain dosage, I compliment that combo with pure Bromelain.
Saline Nasal Mist – I was in my mid-thirties by the time I first tried using a simple remedy like a saline nasal mist. I now use a saline spray in the morning and again at night to help clear/clean the pollen and dust from my nose and sinuses. I also take saline spray with me when we travel and find that dry hotel air doesn’t affect me much or even at all if I remember to use the spray before heading to bed. This spray is an easy, painless, cheap way to stay on top of seasonal allergies.
Those three things have been holding my seasonal allergies at bay for more than 8 months at this point. I was so skeptical when I first started using them, thinking that there was no way my allergies could be suppressed by a non-medicinal remedy. Then last fall, when my allergies typically show up as the leaves start to fall from the trees, I was pleasantly surprised how clear my head had remained.
The true test, however, has been this spring. Spring and all of the blooms and pollen that it brings are usually enough to send me into a 2-3 month long headache fog. I am pleased to report that this year I have experienced fewer seasonal allergies than in previous years. I have had a sinus headache once or twice, but they are far and few between compared to other years.
Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? What do you take for them?
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