As the weather begins to warm, seasonal allergies start to kick into high gear. Our lungs pump in approximately 3,400 gallons of air each and every day, which gives airborne allergens like pollen many opportunities to get in.
These are a few tips to help keep your allergies under control all year round, but especially in high-allergen months, starting with your home!
Check Your Filters
Filtrete, a company I have used for years, is all about indoor air quality – which is why I’ve partnered with them in this series of Healthy Home articles. (Be sure to check out the other articles in this series – 6 Steps to Cleaner Indoor Air, Naturally Deodorize Your Home, & 8 Tips for Running Your Heating & Cooling Systems Efficiently.)
The Filtrete Healthy Living Filter is ideal for high allergen months. It is 93% effective at capturing particles like dust mite debris, pollen and mold spores from the air passing through the filter and has nearly twice the small particle filtration of their Allergen Defense Filter. If seasonal allergies hit you hard, a quality and high rating filter can make a big difference in how you feel.
Your HVAC system has a lot of work to do each day. So be sure to check your filters regularly and replace them when they begin to look dirty (or per the recommendations on your filter.)
Close The Window
I hate to say it, because fresh air can be a big help to indoor air quality, but closing your windows can be a big help when it comes to seasonal allergies. To allow for fresh air, try limiting the time that windows are open – for example, don’t sleep with a window open.
My tonsils are always my first indicator that something is up with my body. Every spring and summer my tonsils flair up to let me know that the pollen is here. One year it was particularly bad, and after a month of swollen and sore tonsils I went to see my doctor. After talking a bit, he suggested that I try shutting the bedroom windows at night (why had I not thought of that?!) Sure enough, that did the trick. The open windows were providing allergens a clear path to me for 8+ hours every night, and removing that exposure was enough to calm my allergies.
Clean It Up
This is a bit obvious, but it’s important. Wipe down surfaces and vacuum regularly to help keep allergens contained – and while you’re at it, be sure that you’re vacuum and the filters are also clean.
Use Essential Oils
Oils like Young Living’s RC & Raven, contain strong antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. These oils can be used by diffusing or applied topically to the throat, chest or feet with a carrier oil (like organic coconut oil or organic extra virgin olive oil.)
If you don’t have these oils on hand, they are a blend of oils, some of which are Birch, Cypress, various types of Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Peppermint & Pine. Any of these oils, or a combination of them, can be used to help with seasonal allergy symptoms.
Learn all about using these blends for seasonal allergies in this post from Old South Essential Oils. (Be sure to bookmark this site, it is truly a wealth of information on all things essential oils and holistic medicine!)
If you’re interested in purchasing oils, check out this article on what type of Young Living membership is right for you (both are free.)
Give Local Honey a Try
The idea here is that consuming a daily dose of local, raw honey will give you a micro-dose of local pollens and spores, thus desensitizing you to them and helping to provide protection against allergic reactions – sort of like a natural “vaccine.” While the jury is still out in the medical community (not surprising), many people have found relief and believe fully in the anti-allergen benefits of local honey.
Organic Nettle Leaf Tea
Inexpensive and effective, nettle leaf tea can help alleviate the symptoms of allergies and is also beneficial for immune health. If you’d like to harvest your own nettles and learn more about how to use them, this post is great.
Rinse Your Nose
Salt water in neti pot or irrigation bottle can help flush allergens and mucus from your nasal passages. Be sure to use sterile water when mixing up your salt water – or simply buy a solution. Also, be careful to let the water flow naturally. Do not force it or blow while rinsing. I’ve made this mistake in the past – it led to a week of funny hearing and being unable to taste.
This goes without saying, but staying hydrated and eating eating nutritious, healthy foods is good for your body and immune system. If you’re systems aren’t running properly, you have less good stuff to fight off the yuck.
Oh and for good measure, do a daily shot of raw apple cider vinegar. I haven’t done any research on this, but I’m pretty much convinced that it works miracles for basically everything.
This post has been sponsored by Filtrete. The content of this post is all my own thoughts, opinions and tips. I use Filtrete filters in my own home and was given the opportunity to work with them on a series of healthy home articles and am excited to be doing so! For more information about Filtrete filters, please visit their website and join them on Facebook & Twitter for tips, special savings and discounts.