If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal plant allergies, you’re all too familiar with the symptoms of allergies to plant life, allergy headaches, stuffed up sinuses, runny nose and swollen, tender tissues. The most common type of plant allergies occur in the fall and spring. Some unfortunate allergy sufferers also get a dose even in summer, from sources like pine tree pollen and that freshly cut grass.
Unless you’ve had a round of the patch tests to determine exactly what you’re allergic to, finding allergy relief can be much like searching for a needle in a haystack. To complicate matters, you can suddenly develop plant allergies simply by moving just 100 miles away, to an environment with brand new flora and fauna your immune system doesn’t recognize. There are plenty of OTC medications for allergies, but you’ve got to be careful that you don’t end up with an allergy relief preparation that may contain something you’re already allergic to! I once tried an OTC allergy medicine which contained Goldenrod (unknown when I bought it) which made me feel as though I were on another, strange planet, sending me to the doctor pronto!
Allergy symptoms can make you feel bad enough to miss work and a blinding sinus headache can confine you to a darkened room with an ice bag on your forehead. Here, we’ve got five tips on natural ways to find allergy relief.
1. Some plants cause water retention, especially in the face. Not only does this produce a swollen face and eyes that appear half-shut and bruised, but the accompanying pain can reach the ‘this is ridiculous’ level in a matter of hours of exposure to the culprit. Try this: cut a couple of slices of cucumber and lay them over your eyes. Over the cucumber, lay a wash cloth drenched in cold water and lie down. Keep a bowl of cold water handy to cool the wash cloth as it eventually warms. Close the curtains. This method of allergy relief helps reduce the swelling, which in turn helps allay the pain.
2. Allergy headaches respond well to oil of lavender. Oil of lavender may be purchased at any herb shop. Place a single drop on each temple and rub gently. Rub another drop or two across your forehead, rubbing it in with a circular motion. Oil of lavender provides quick allergy relief. If allergy headaches are a frequent problem, you’ll do well to purchase or make a lavender eye ‘pillow’. If you make your own, fill the pillow with lavender flowers, along with a few drops of lavender oil. Store the pillow in a plastic bag, to retain the oils, in between uses.
3. Drink plenty of cool water during bouts of allergy symptoms. This helps flush allergens from your system, resulting in a reduction of swelling and pain. Avoid alcoholic beverages and herbal teas!
4. When pollen is circulating outdoors, stay indoors and keep your windows closed. As appropriate, use air-conditioning or keep a fan running to keep the air in your home circulating. During cold weather, stay warm under the covers, but try to avoid turning on the heater, which tends to dry out your sinuses and potentially increase your pain. Instead, use a humidifier with a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil in the little cup at the top.
5. Run a warm bath and lay back in the tub with a cool washcloth over your face. Again, keep a bowl of cool water and a couple of extra wash cloths handy. When one warms to room temperature, replace with a new, cool washcloth.
Each of these five tips can bring quick allergy relief and have you feeling better soon!