Allergy season is upon us and if you have been depending on over the counter antihistamines to help with the sniffles and sneezes, it might be time to try an alternative solution.  What if I told you there were more natural and holistic ways to battle seasonal allergies? Many of those medications might work but they also have some not so pleasant side effects. These 5 remedies work the best and although they won’t be as immediately effective as a medication, they contain natural ingredients and will help you long term. You can now spring clean your medicine cabinet once and for all!

1.      Honey – Something you will most likely already have in your pantry. The best type is raw, local honey from wherever you live. Studies have shown that consuming honey from your area will help your body adjust to whatever allergens are in the environment and build up immunity. It’s basically a natural allergy shot without any side effects. You can either put a teaspoon of honey in a cup of hot tea or take it by the spoonful, multiple times throughout the day. It’s recommended that you do this a month or two before allergy season starts up to get the most benefit.

2.     Quercetin – This has a funny name but can banish allergy symptoms like a boss. Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid that has been proven to stabilize mast cells to keep them from releasing histamine, a major cause of allergy symptoms. This is an herbal supplement and as with all supplements of any kind, you should consult with your physician before taking. It’s recommended you begin taking Quercetin 6 weeks pre-allergy season. Although you can find this herb in food sources such as broccoli and citrus fruits, it’s difficult to get the amount needed to alleviate allergies from food alone.

3.     Probiotics – If you aren’t already taking probiotics as part of your daily supplement regime, you need to get on it! Probiotics offer a wide array of benefits and are vital to promoting positive gut health. An imbalance in the immune system and not enough beneficial bacteria in the gut is a recipe for a full-blown allergy attack. By taking probiotics, you are balancing your gut bacteria in a positive way and that can have a substantial impact on allergy symptoms.  You have some options when it comes to probiotics – the best way is to eat fermented foods and consume drinks such as kimchi or Kombucha. An alternate way is to take a probiotic supplement. If you go that route, make sure it is a quality brand.

4.     Neti Pot – This option might not be right for everyone because it can be a bit uncomfortable. Neti Pots have been used for centuries and tout many health benefits, including allergy relief. The theory is, by using a Neti Pot filled with a saline solution you can flush out the sinuses and get rid of any allergens and inflammation. Start by filling a Neti Pot with a sterile saline solution. You can make your own by boiling distilled water and dissolving a teaspoon of Himalayan salt. Cool before pouring into the Neti Pot. Pour the solution through one nostril and let it drain out of the other. If this is too scary for you, you can use a sterile saline nose spray, which will offer you the same benefits.

5.     Apple Cider Vinegar – Quite possibly one of the best ways to battle seasonal allergies and a number of other health conditions, apple cider vinegar is a must-have in any holistic household. ACV can be used for anything from heartburn relief to aid in fat loss and is super effective in reducing mucous production and treating seasonal allergies. Simply mix 1 teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink up to three times a day. Make sure the apple cider vinegar has “The Mother”, a colony of beneficial bacteria that isn’t present in all brands.

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