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Allergy Hell, (Otherwise Known as Spring)

So it’s that time of year, y’all, when the snow stops, (I say this knowing that we are supposed to have a snowstorm tonight here in Colorado), our sleepy little flowers start to bloom, the sun is out a little more and everyone is in a better mood because it’s SPRING. I love Spring. I love flowers and trees and birds and nature. But you know what I don’t love? Allergies. Stupid, awful, drippy, sneezy, seemingly never ending allergies. Since moving to Colorado, I have been plagued with the worst allergies EVER. I am allergic to everything, ragweed, pollen, trees, molds, grasses, air…you name it and it’s gonna make me sneeze. And according to EVERYONE, this is going to be the “worst allergy season on record”, (thanks global warming!), which strikes fear into my heart. You guys, I literally feel like I have the flu all the time, from March to November. My body aches, my eyes run, I sneeze all the time, I can’t smell anything, it’s so awful, and now they are saying it’s going to be worse? How can that be?

Now, my allergies are severe, and I will admit to taking an over the counter allergy medication, which at least helps make life liveable this time of year. But, as y’all know, I hate putting chemicals in or on my body, so I’ve done a ton of research on some natural remedies, and I thought I’d share a few that have worked for me.

Neti Pot

I was skeptical about this one, (and also completely grossed out). For those who are unfamiliar, it involves squirting a saline solution up your nose which causes all the mucous and crap to come out. I know it sounds disgusting, but I do this every day and have cut my number of seasonal sinus infections at least in half. Once you get over the ick factor, you’ll see that it works. I would start with once a day, but you can do it more often if your sinuses are really congested or painful.

Local Honey (Raw)

The idea behind this one is that if you eat honey produced by bees in your region, you will build up a tolerance to the pollen that is causing the allergies in the first place. This is another one that I thought was a bunch of hippie nonsense, but I tried it, and I have seen a difference in how my body responds on high pollen days. Start with a dose of ¼ teaspoon per day and work your way up to a tablespoon. There are worse things that eating a spoonful of honey every day, am I right? Make sure you get raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized honey that is local to your area. Don’t buy the honeybear, fake, high fructose nonsense that you see at the grocery store. That won’t work.

Nettle Leaf

A friend recently turned me on to the fact that nettle is a natural antihistamine. It can be taken in supplement form or brewed in a tea. I find that the supplement form works best for me. It’s a natural replacement for benedryl and doesn’t make me feel so groggy.

Dietary Changes

Now, I know what y’all are thinking, everyone and their brother is either doing the guten-free paleo thing, (whether they are gluten intolerant or not), or they are vegan, or pescatarian, or whatever. I’m not suggesting anything extreme, but on the advice of my doctor, I reduced my intake of grains and dairy, and I have noticed a difference in how I feel during allergy season. I didn’t cut them out completely, (because, cheese…or better yet, cheese toast), but I dramatically reduced how much I consumed and that has helped.

I can’t promise that any of these things will alleviate your allergy suffering, but if you’re like me, you will literally try anything to make the allergy symptoms go away so that you can sit on your patio in the summer, enjoying a vodka gimlet or a pimm’s cup like a normal person. So give one or all of these a try and see what works for you. Oh, and Happy Spring, y’all!

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