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8 Hacks For Seasonal Allergies That Really Work

Sure, the super bloom was all fun and Instagrams until we developed a nasty case of allergy face. 

Unfamiliar with the term? Chances are you’re at least familiar with the sensation. Over 50 million Americans deal with allergies every year. Allergy face is the less than desirable look that occurs due to seasonal allergies: puffy face, red watery eyes, running nose, dry skin and chapped lips from breathing through your mouth.

Why Seasonal Allergies Happen

When your body comes into contact with perfect innocuous pollen, it mistakes the foreign stimuli for potentially dangerous bacteria, releasing inflammatory chemicals which stimulate blood cells in the mucous membranes to swell and leak fluids, giving you a big, old, red allergy face.

Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

While taking an antihistamine is certainly an option, side effects may include nausea and drowsiness. Here are a few natural allergy hacks to deflate your allergy face, while still keeping your wits about you.

Honey

You may have heard that eating locally sourced honey will help your body build an immunity to airborne pollens in your environment. Sadly, the verdict is still out on this one. After all it’s not guaranteed that the specific pollen you’re having adverse reactions to will be the same found in the honey– even if it is local. Still, honey is a natural antibacterial and taking a tablespoon can soothe and protect an inflamed and scratchy throat during windy allergy season. Try Manuka honey, made in New Zealand, which contains a higher concentration of antibacterial compounds than other types of honey.

Neti Pot

Nasal irrigation has been on the rise for good reason. In one study, people suffering from chronic sinus issues reported a 64% improvement in symptoms with the use of a neti pot. Positive effects were also reported for those suffering from seasonal allergies with no adverse side effects.

Spring Cleaning

Because dust (and pet dander if you have a dog or a cat) aren’t doing your irritated sinuses any favors! Use a high-efficiency particulate air filter with your vacuum for maximum effect, or invest in a HEPA air purifier. Don’t forget to clean your makeup brushes which can also harbor unwanted irritants and spread them on your face!

Hydration

By now you might be sick of hearing about it, but let’s face it: water will never not be part of the equation to optimal health. In this case, dehydration can encourage face-inflaming histamine production in the same way that seasonal pollen does. Drink up or sneeze up!

Stinging Nettle

Fun fact: in medieval Europe this plant was used to treat joint pain. Since then research has revealed more about its anti-inflammatory benefits and some clinical studies suggested it might be more effective than over the counter allergy medicines. You can brew it up as a tea, or better yet, ingest capsules of dried stinging nettle to treat and prevent seasonal allergies.

Eucalyptus Oil

This cooling essential oil is microbial and opens up the lungs and sinuses. Add it to a bowl of hot water and cover your head with a towel over it for a two-in-one facial and respiratory opener. You can also keep dust mites at bay by adding a few drops to your laundry.

Probiotics

A review of 23 different trials with more than 1900 participants found that people with seasonal allergies who took probiotics showed improvements in symptoms. Be sure to choose a quality probiotic, as several factors can contribute to the efficacy of this tactic including the variety and quality of bacteria included in the mix. We’re partial to Gut Instinct which delivers 25 billion organisms in each dose.

Acupuncture

Needles in the face might sound like the last you want to try to alleviate your stuffed up sinuses, but a study reported reduced reliance on antihistamines for patients who treated their allergies with acupuncture. More studies are needed to determine whether this is just the placebo effect at play, but the findings were effective enough that we’re ready to give it a shot.

Are you suffering from allergies? Share your tips in the comments below!

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Zena Wozniak is the Senior Content Editor at HUM. She enjoys hot yoga, bath bombs, and making a mess in her kitchen. You can find her @zenawoz on social.
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