Kick Spring Allergies to the Curb with These 5 Tricks
This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.
Allergies: Everyone has them, and everyone hates them.
Allergies slow you down, leave you feeling foggy-headed, and leave your nose sore from exessive tissue usage! Allergy medications are filled with artificial chemicals, and typically make you feel one of two things: extremely drowsy, or extremely wired.
So what's a person to do when they're suffering, but want to handle their allergies in a more natural way? Try these five techniques to decrease congestion, and reverse your body's reactions to seasonal allergy outbreaks.
5 Ways to Kick Spring Allergies to the Curb
1. Amp up your turmeric intake
During allergy season, one of the most common symptoms, aside from sniffling and sneezing, is fatigue. When you are suffering from congestion, you aren't able to breathe as well—and that affects your body's overall energy levels. One quick fix to this problem is to amp up your turmeric intake.
Turmeric is a highly potent root that is packed with antioxidants, filled antibacterial properties, and also contains anti-inflammatory agents. It's safe to consume in raw or powdered form, and adding it into your diet regularly serves as an amazing way to boost your body's vitality.
Why? Turmeric works to stimulate your body's red blood cell production, which increases your body's circulation, and flushes out toxins that are loged in deep in your cells. Turmeric root is a great way to keep you energy levels balanced without ingesting excessive amounts of caffeine or artificial sugars.
Try this recipe: Turmeric Banana Lassi
2. Consume local honey
Do you know what's making you sneeze and sniffle? It's the pollen floating around in the air! The best way to make your body immune to that pollen is to actually consume it. The easiest (and most cost-efficient) way to integrate pollen into your diet is to consume raw, local honey. The bees in your area are taking pollen from the same trees that are causing you to sneeze. So, when you ingest honey that is made from that pollen, you are building up your body's immune system to function in conjunction with your environment, rather than fight your environment all together.
Interesting ways to incorporate honey into your diet include: blending it into a homemade balsamic salad dressing, concocting a sleep potion (of almond milk, vanilla extract, and honey), or using it as a marinate for cooking. The best places to find local honey will be from your local farmer's market, or buying it directly from nearby bee farmers.
3. Hit the steam room
Steam it ooooout. Steam rooms, like a hot shower, are perfect for opening up your sinus cavities. The heat and the moisture in the air work to thin out mucus, and releave inflammation in your sinuses. The longer you stay in the room, the better the benefits.
Use this pro tip to get your sinuses healthy and clear when you have an allergy flare up:
Before heading into a steam room, dab a drop or two of peppermint oil on your pulses. As you sit down, taking deep inhales and exhales of the steam, bring your pulse points closer to your nose—inhaling the scent of the oil. Inhale deeply through the nose, exhale deeply through the mouth. As you do this, notice which areas of your sinuses begin to open, and feel free to play around with different beathing techniques to get your sinus cavities healthy and clear.
4. Get into an inverted pose
Flip yourself upside down, and breathe. When you enter into an inverted yoga pose, you are reversing your blood flow, and surging your face with fresh blood. As you do this, circulation increases, and congestion begins to break up—working the same way as a decongestant, without the excessive chemical intake. Make sure you stay in your inverted pose for a few minutes to get the decongestive juices flowing.
5. Massage your facial sinus cavities
Before sleeping, gently begin rubbing your forehead in a circular motion, massaging the space right above your eyebrows, and around your eyes. Press on the spaces directly above and below your tear ducts, and hold pressure for one minute. As you press here, you should feel your forehead and eye cavities draining—decreasing the pressure in the upper half of your head.
Grab a drop of lavender essential oil diffused in a carrier oil, like jojoba, and begin to gently massage the space directly next to your nose, and underneath your cheek bones. Slowly glide your fingertips to place pressure on either side of your nostrils. Hold for one minute to drain your nasal passages, and then glide over to your chin—gently massaging the space directly below your mouth.
Hold this area for one minute, and take a few moments to inhale the scent of your essential oil—creating a sense of relaxation and revitalization as you doze off to sleep.