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By Crystal Baldwin
Allergy symptoms are so disruptive to our lives that it is difficult to think about anything else when they hit. It brings a lot of stress just thinking about springtime and dealing with the physical issues that allergies bring with the change in seasons.
I have good news! There are things that you can do to ease and in many cases eliminate this issue and it doesn't require yet another medication that makes you lethargic or feeling out of it. There are some simple, natural remedies that actually work and work well!
What Causes Allergies?
Allergies, as you probably well know by now, are caused by our bodies immune reaction to allergens. These allergens come in many forms and there are different triggers for different people.
Things that aggravate allergies:
When you breathe in these allergens, your body goes into defense mode, trying to protect you from the invading chemicals. Your immune system releases histamines that go to work to get rid of the invaders. Histamines dilates our blood vessels and increases the flow of fluids - this causes sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, swollen sinuses and more.
It also causes an inflammatory response which increases blood flow and increases the production of mucous- all to try to expel the invading allergens. In turn, that causes swelling of the tissues, which means you end up with a stuffy nose, lot's more phlegm and fluids which get released from your eyes and nose.
How Do We Reduce Allergies?
And no, I am not talking about using medications to address this. Instead I am talking about using plants to deal with your bodies strong reactions in a very powerful and at the same time gentle way that gets the job done!
Your body is familiar with and understands the components in plants and knows how to use them. You do not want to turn off histamine response (like medications often do) as we need it for many important functions. Instead, we want to modulate the body's response to allergens and calm things down naturally. We will be looking at herbs & essential oils that can really make a big difference.
Herbs that are super helpful for allergies
There are many different herbs that can help greatly to support your body when dealing with allergies. Some are natural antihistamines, some are naturally anti-inflammatory and some support and strengthen the immune system all of these actions help to get rid of allergy symptoms.
These herbs can be used in many different ways. We have found making a strong tea blend and drinking it 1-3 times a day makes a huge difference. I have included a tea recipe below. It is easy to make up the tea in a quart jar and drink it for several days before making more. Also adding herbs to foods such as soups, salad dressings, sauces, drinks and more is another way to get these soothing herbs into your diet.
Essential Oils that work great for allergies
There are many essential oils that work miracles when it comes to allergies. Much like the plants they come from, they work by reducing inflammation, reducing your bodies immune response (they send signals to the brain to calm down that histamine response) and act as natural antihistamines. Here is a list of just a few of our favorite oils.
Oils that open respiratory tract & Sinuses (reducing mucus & congestion)
Oils that are anti-inflammatory (reducing inflammatory response)
Oils that are have antihistamine actions
Using any combination of these oils in your diffuser, mixed in a body lotion or oil, blended into bath salts or oils, used in natural cleaning products and added to room & linen sprays can go a long way to help calm down your body's over-reaction to allergens and to help clean the air and your environment.
How to clean your environment
There are many allergens lurking in your home right under your nose. These sneaky invaders bring more allergy triggers to the place you spend the most time - your home. Taking some simple steps to clean and clear the space that you live in can make a big difference in your allergies.
Harsh Cleaning products
One of the biggest offenders that you might never even know is right under your kitchen sink. Harsh cleaning products which contain many toxic and harmful chemicals (that do not have to be included on the label or undergo any type of testing) can create huge issues. These everyday cleaning products with brand names you know (and probably own) trigger allergies and oftentimes severe asthma (especially in little ones).
This is one item I would suggest spending a few extra dollars for (they last a long time) and shop from natural groceries, wholefoods or anyplace that you know carries clean product lines (like Seventh Generation, Mrs.Meyers, Better Life, ECOS, Bon Ami, Bac-Out, Ecover,). Don't be fooled by "green washing" where they give the product a flowery name and literally put flowers on the container to make you feel better about it, but still contains toxic chemicals.
Your natural "green" cleaners should have a complete list of the active & inactive ingredients on the label as they are very transparent about ingredients. They will also state that they are "nontoxic", "plant-based" and "biodegradable" and often have recyclable packaging. Remember even healthy cleaning products can still be dangerous if ingested or for babies & children, that is not a indicator of being "green".
The other option you have is to make your own green-cleaning products using essential oils and simple ingredients (vinegar, baking soda, castille soap, lemon & borax). It's very easy to do, you can add essential oils to them to improve your health and save money as they are much cheaper. Either way get those harmful chemicals out of your home ASAP!
Our Top selling products that work wonders
If you are not sure where to start and exactly what to use and perhaps you are not a "make it yourself" kind of person, then using our tried and true products will make it super easy to get things going. We suggest using these products before your allergies become intense and get ahead of your allergies and hopefully avoid them altogether.
Our customers have had the most success when combining a nasal inhaler with our allergy blend of essential oils with a herbal tincture (taken internally) and if you add a daily tea blend it's a great power punch to knock allergies out.
WishGarden Herbal Tinctures
Herbal tinctures are made by combining herbs with alcohol & glycerin to extract the nutrients and preserves them in a liquid form that is easy to take. You simply use the pump bottle and either pump the tincture directly into your mouth or into water or juice and take it throughout the day. The great thing about herbal tinctures is that they are not pharmaceuticals, which means you can take them more often, up 4-5 times a hour every 5 minutes for in the moment treatments. The pump bottle makes it super easy to use.
There are two different tincture formulas to pick from depending on what your specific allergy symptoms are.
Essential Oil Allergy Blend
Earth Sweet Boutique Essential Oil Allergy Blend- this combination of essential oils can be used in many different ways. Our number one choice for using our allergy blend is in a nasal inhaler.
A nasal inhaler allows you to take your essential oils on the go and use them all day long. You add 7-10 drops of the essential oil blend into the filter and slide it into the nasal inhaler. Snap the cap on and you are ready to go.
Nasal inhalers can be tucked in your pocket or purse and used all day to help reduce your reaction to seasonal allergies. It's a great way to retrain your body to stop reacting to allergens as well as helping to calm symptoms in the moment. You can simply breathe in the oils throughout the day sending a calming signal to that histamine response, reducing symptoms.
The great part about a nasal inhaler is it doesn't scent you or your environment and you can slip it in your pocket and use it easily all day long. This gets greater results in a super simple method. It's a one stop, pre-blended, multi-use essential oil blend.
We sell the allergy blend by itself or as a kit with the nasal inhaler. Watch our video on how to use a nasal inhaler here.
Other Ways to Use the Allergy Blend
We have found that when you combine the Wish Garden tinctures with our allergy blend people have had the most success.
Many customers have told us that they have been able to get off of all over-the-counter supplements and many were able to stop allergy medications altogether and avoid the lethargy and many other side-effects of medications.
1. Warm your glass quart jars or pitcher to avoid breaking when adding hot water (you can add slightly hot water to the jars and let them sit a few minutes)
2. Bring a pot of water almost to a boil, let it cool slightly
3. Add your herbs to the glass container and slowly pour the water over the herbs
4. Stir to be sure all of the herbs are wet, avoiding dry pockets that could mold
5. Leave for 4-5 hours or overnight to be sure all nutrients come out of the herbs
6. Strain out the herbs and drink a 8 ounce cup daily (at least twice or three times)
Other ways to drink this tea blend:
Some people have a hard time drinking herbal teas or just don’t like the taste of certain teas. The teas chosen in this recipe are specifically to help ease allergies. If you do not like any of the teas in this recipe, feel free to leave them out or substitute with a tea you like better- the blend must include nettles as it is your main allergy fighter! If you don’t like the taste of nettle, hide it with more of the other tea flavors or add ones you like.
Also important in this blend is marshmallow. Nettles are a drying herb and the marshmallow is added to offset the dryness that nettles cause. If you don’t like marshmallow, try increasing healthy fats, coconut oil, avocado’s and such to get more moisture in your body. You can also skip a day here and there if needed.
It is important that you are consistent in drinking this tea every day or even 2-3 times a day in order for it to work. Skipping a day here and there isn’t the end of the world, but If you want to get rid of allergies you will need to drink daily. Once your allergies are under control, try spreading out how often you drink the tea and you will figure out how much you need to control allergies.
Other ways to use Nettle:
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This very creamy southwest dressing can be made vegan or not - just change out the cashews for mayo if you don't have any dairy or egg concerns and this recipe will whip up fast!
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