With seasonal changes come beautiful transformations all around us: new plants bloom, others die away in awe inspiring fashion, new produce fills our farmers markets, and we welcome holidays that bring friends and family together. That is all well and good, but in this article we will talk about what those changes do to us on the inside.

If your sinuses are running or stuffed, your throat is irritated, your eyes are itchy and watering, and you just hate everything right now, then you could be suffering from seasonal allergies. Your reaction to allergens in the air like pollen, dust, or micro-organisms is completely normal. There are some great plant-based ways to treat these reactions at the source that act like anti-histamines (histamine release triggers your allergic reaction). There are also methods for treating some of the symptoms above that you can make at home while your body puts up a fight and you get on with your life.

Butterbur Extract

Butterbur is an herb that has been clinically shown to be just as effective at relieving nasal symptoms as common anti-histamines on the market, but without making you drowsy. When you are buying the supplement, make sure that it is processed and UPA-free.

Quercetin

Quercetin is an antioxidant and bioflavonoid that helps prevent you from releasing histamine when built up in your system. It also can fight nasal inflammation. It is found in citrus, onions, apples, parsley, tomatoes, broccoli, and wine. It can also be purchased as a supplement so that you can get enough of it to prevent instead of lessen the blow of your seasonal allergies. Quercetin works even better in combination with Vitamin C.

Saline Nasal Spray

Saline, or purified salt water, can be used to flush out your nose and remove pollen or other allergens while reducing congestion. You can find it as a nasal spray or you can use a Neti pot (or your cupped hand) to flush your sinuses with your own solution.

Spicy Foods

The hotter your food, the more effective it can be in thinning the mucous in your nose and clearing your nasal passages. Get some hot peppers, ginger, raw garlic, fenugreek, and horseradish in your diet and be prepared for a rush.

Licorice Root

If you are a fan of licorice, then this is great news! If not, we are sorry. Licorice root decreases inflammation, thins mucous, and reduces the occurrence of coughing fits – especially when enjoyed in some tea. You can find it as a supplement and in many teas aimed at soothing an irritated throat. Make sure to throw in some lemon juice for some added Vitamin C!

Other Pro-Tips

By taking anti-histamines and other preventative measures in advance of a seasonal change, such as purchasing an air filter for your room, you can decrease the likelihood of having an allergic reaction. Be careful about taking too much of anything or combining multiple remedies that aim to do the same thing. Your body may get overwhelmed. We hope this helps!

Image source: William Brawley/ Flickr