At Teleflora, we love spring. Not only is the warming weather (and long hours of sunshine!) an amazing relief after the long winter season, but it's also the time of year when many flowers are blooming beautifully. And that, of course, is something we love to see. However, with blooming flowers and high counts of tree and grass pollens, spring is also often a frustrating time of year for some people: It's allergy season. Spring allergies are usually a reaction to the increased amount of pollen in the air, so it stands to reason that nature's favorite season is also the worst for allergies.
But if you do suffer from this seasonal frustration, there are a few ways to fight back against the sniffling, sneezing and congestion you may experience. Read on for five do-it-yourself home remedies for spring allergies:
1. Limit Your Exposure to Allergens
The first remedy may sound obvious, but it's an important first step. During the spring and summer, pollen levels in the air are highest during the afternoon hours. So, you may want to enjoy an indoor activity during that time in order to limit your exposure to the pollen. If you do venture outdoors (and who could blame you for enjoying spring sunshine?), make sure to take some precautions. Protect your face with sunglasses and a hat, and change clothes immediately upon going home.
2. Take Extra Vitamin C
Vitamin C has many health benefits, from increasing the effectiveness of your immune system to supporting your overall skin and eye health. The nutrient is also a natural antihistamine, making it great for relieving some of the symptoms of allergies. Eating foods high in Vitamin C like fruits and vegetables might help a little, but you may also want to consider taking supplements to really make a difference.
3. Try a Neti Pot
If you've ever used a Neti pot, you know just how well this DIY remedy works to loosen up congestion and clear out allergens. To use a Neti pot, you first have to make a saline solution out of salt and warm purified water (don't use tap water, since it might contain bacteria or other dangerous organisms). Then, fill your Neti pot with the solution, and use it to pour the saline water into one nostril. During the process, tilt your head to the side and allow the solution to go in one nostril and flow out of the other. Then, repeat the process on the other side. You'll be cleared up in no time! A similar remedy people often use is saline spray, which can be spritzed into each nostril to help clear up congestion. The spray is simple to use, a little more gentle than Neti pots and very effective.
4. Use Spices
Some spices have been found to reduce allergy symptoms immensely, including cayenne pepper, chili pepper and turmeric. Cayenne and chili peppers are natural decongestants, since they both contain a component called capsaicin. Turmeric is a popular spice used in Indian cuisine, and it has an ingredient called curcumin that naturally reduces inflammation. This can help your inflamed sinuses and nasal passages return to normal.
5. Drink Herbal Tea
There are a few types of herbal tea that may also help you reduce your spring allergies, including peppermint tea, green tea and nettle tea. The menthol found in peppermint tea can have an immediate effect on your congestion, while green tea has a compound called methylated epigallocatechin gallate that could help with allergy symptoms. Nettle leaf is another natural antihistamine that can be consumed as tea or in capsule form. As far as allergies, it's best to avoid drinking chamomile, which can actually sometimes cause allergic reactions.