7 Natural Ways to Fight Allergies
The HealthCentral Editorial Team Mar 28, 2012 (updated Sep 27, 2013)
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Consider the details
Just because a tip is simple doesn't mean it's easy to keep. Some of the simplest lifestyle changes have the most profound effects. Remember the basics: keep your car and home windows closed on heavy-pollen days, use your furnace's fan rather than window fans for fresh air, shower and change your clothes after being outside, and use sunglasses to help keep pollen out of your eyes when outdoors.
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Neti pots were developed in India thousands of years ago, and millions of allergy sufferers swear that clearing allergens out of their sinuses with this gentle saltwater rinse is their key to getting through the season. They're easier to get used to than you think, and they're affordable too.
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Step it up a notch
During peak allergy season, try adding horseradish, chili peppers, or Dijon mustard to your foods. These spicy condiments increase circulation to the sinuses and act as a natural decongestant.
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Butterbur is a shrub-like plant found in Europe whose roots, stems, and leaves have been used to treat a number of health conditions, including allergies and asthma. Experts believe the substance works by acting as an anti-inflammatory that decreases chemicals involved in triggering allergic reactions. If you take medications, talk to your doctor before trying herbal remedies.
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Peppermint works in your nose too
Using a nasal spray that contains saline and a few drops of peppermint oil can help relieve allergy symptoms. The peppermint oil opens the nasal passages and acts as a natural decongestant. And hey, it smells great too!
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Up your intake of fatty foods
Research suggests that people who eat diets full of foods such as salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, and olives are less likely to suffer from allergy symptoms. That's because these foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce inflammation in the body. Even getting a few extra servings per week may help make this allergy season less miserable than normal.