Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Jill Schild­house

Fight back this spring by adding these 7 nat­u­ral reme­dies to your arse­nal.

Ahhh, spring is in the air! The birds are chirp­ing, the flow­ers are bloom­ing, and the grass and trees are en­joy­ing their post-win­ter thaw. But as you stop to smell the roses, you im­me­di­ately start sneez­ing. Then, your eyes be­gin to itch and your nose be­comes con­gested or runny. Oh yeah, you al­most for­got: Spring is syn­ony­mous with al­lergy sea­son. In fact, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion, more than 50 mil­lion Amer­i­cans suf­fer from al­ler­gies each year.

“Al­ler­gies oc­cur when our im­mune sys­tems be­come hy­per­sen­si­tive to some­thing like pollen or dust,” says says Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, founder of and best-sell­ing au­thor of Eat Dirt. “Our bod­ies re­act to these al­ler­gens by pro­duc­ing his­tamines in or­der to fight the al­ler­gen. Some of the most com­mon al­ler­gens are sub­stances that are most preva­lent dur­ing spring­time, like pollen or rag­weed.”

If you’re prone to sea­sonal al­ler­gies, or have moved to a new cli­mate with for­eign plant life, then it’s wise to have an al­lergy sur­vival kit on hand to help ease the an­noy­ing symp­toms. Con­sider in­clud­ing the fol­low­ing:


Not only is raw, lo­cal honey tasty, but it’s great for fight­ing al­lergy symp­toms. “Raw honey con­tains bee pollen, so when you pur­chase lo­cal va­ri­eties, you’re eat­ing the same pollen that’s caus­ing you to suf­fer,” ex­plains Dr. Axe. “Over time, it helps you be­come less sen­si­tive to the pollen in your area. It has also been proven to boost your im­mune sys­tem.” Try adding one ta­ble­spoon of raw, lo­cal honey to your tea, yo­gurt, or smoothie daily.


Dr. Axe says this pantry sta­ple helps boost the im­mune sys­tem, breaks up mu­cus and sup­ports lym­phatic drainage thanks to the bac­te­ria found in it. Add a ta­ble­spoon of an or­ganic, un­fil­tered va­ri­ety to a glass of wa­ter each morn­ing.


A strong im­mune sys­tem starts with a healthy gut, which is why pro­bi­otics — the good bac­te­ria that re­side in your gut and help pro­tect you against dis­ease and al­ler­gies — should be part of your daily rou­tine. “Boost­ing your im­mune sys­tem with pro­bi­otics can lessen or even pre­vent al­lergy symp­toms,” says Dr. Axe, who rec­om­mends tak­ing a pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ment daily that to­tals 50 bil­lion colony form­ing units (CFUs). Eat­ing pro­bi­otic-rich foods like ke­fir, yo­gurt and sauer­kraut is also a great idea.


This plant with a funny name is fan­tas­tic for those suf­fer­ing from hay fever, due to its anti-in­flam­ma­tory qual­i­ties. “There’s ev­i­dence that the plant also nat­u­rally con­trols his­tamines in the body,” says Dr. Axe. “Dur­ing al­lergy sea­son, I rec­om­mend 300–500 mil­ligrams of sting­ing net­tle sup­ple­ments daily.” Be ad­vised that if you are tak­ing lithium, seda­tives, blood thin­ners, or med­i­ca­tion for di­a­betes or high blood pres­sure, sting­ing net­tle can cause an ad­verse in­ter­ac­tion; check with your physi­cian be­fore tak­ing this sup­ple­ment.


Dur­ing al­lergy sea­son, a Neti pot should be your new best friend. The de­vice, which looks sim­i­lar to a teapot, al­lows you to pour a nasal rinse into your nos­trils to flush out ir­ri­tants like pollen and dust and thin out mu­cus. When us­ing a Neti pot, the FDA rec­om­mends us­ing dis­tilled or ster­ile wa­ter or tap wa­ter that’s been boiled for three to five min­utes and then cooled. Dr. Axe says you can ei­ther use a pre­made si­nus rinse or make your own so­lu­tion, us­ing pu­ri­fied wa­ter with a quar­ter tea­spoon to half a tea­spoon of non­iodized salt.


“This nat­u­ral com­pound, found in broc­coli, onions and cit­rus fruits, slows down the pro­duc­tion and re­lease of his­tamine by the body, which helps nat­u­rally con­trol al­lergy symp­toms,” says Dr. Axe. “Eat­ing a range of col­or­ful fruits is a good way to get your quercetin in, but if you’re struggling with al­ler­gies, try sup­ple­ment­ing with 1,000 mil­ligrams daily.”


When you need an im­me­di­ate fix, es­sen­tial oils can help clear your nose, re­duce in­flam­ma­tion, and pro­vide some im­me­di­ate re­lief. Dr. Axe names eu­ca­lyp­tus oil, frank­in­cense oil, and pep­per­mint oil as his top picks, and sug­gests adding them to a Neti pot or in­hal­ing them from a dif­fuser.

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