It’s that time of year again-you want to enjoy the great outdoors, but your. just. so. stuffed. up. Headaches, congestion, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes? Sounds like an advertisement for the newest antihistamine, nasal spray or prescription allergy medication. I personally developed seasonal allergies in my late teens and for once I am sailing straight through this spring season with barely a symptom, and this year without my allergy medication. How so? I swapped out my PHARmacy for a FARmacy. Here are some things I have done differently this year:
- I’ve been consuming one tablespoon of local honey in my tea daily. Though the research doesn’t necessarily support the beneficial effects of honey against allergies, the science seems simple and common sense. Introduce a small amount of allergen to the body and it acts like an immunization whereby the body triggers an immune response in response to the allergen. One informal, unpublished study supported the theory that local honey is beneficial and participants reported fewer allergy symptoms. This may be a subject of absence of evidence vs. evidence of absence. Interesting that in researching this, an advertisement for one of the popular antihistamines always happened to show on the webpage. Did you know we are one of only two countries (The U.S. and New Zealand) which allows direct to consumer advertising of prescription medications? Americans are often looking for the magic pill to make themselves feel instantly better and it’s quite amazing what a little marketing can convince you to do!
- I’ve been taking Vitamin C. Did you know Vitamin C has an antihistamine effect? In addition to consuming Vitamin C in your diet, you can consider taking between 500mg-2000mg of Vitamin C per day as a supplement to produce this effect. Vitamin C can be found in most fruits and vegetables but is found highest in cantaloupe, citrus fruits and juices, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, watermelon, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, tomatoes and tomato juice, and winter squash.
- I’ve been using a sinus rinse (or neti pot, or other nasal irrigation product). The research has supported that this thins mucous and flushes out the nasal passages. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully. It takes a few times to get the hang of it but once you do it properly, you can instantly feel the effects.
- I’ve drastically reduced my consumption of processed foods. By consuming tons of fruits and vegetables, I’ve allowed my body to do its job. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Seems simple because it is.
I encourage you to experiment a little. These things may not work for everyone but if you are anything like me, you hate taking medication unless absolutely necessary. Someone somewhere said nurses make the worst patients. Wonder where they got that idea?
May we all be well. May we all be happy. May we all be healthy. XOXO