5 natural remedies for allergies

Allergy season is on its way, which means that a large part of the population will be consumed by sneezing and red eyes. Instead of reaching for the over-the-counter medications, why not try a more organic solution and opt for a natural remedy? There are several simple methods to try that may help lower the side effects of those pesky allergies, with the added benefit of being (often) less expensive than regular medications.

Neti Pot

A neti pot is a saline solution that you flush through one nostril and it comes out of the other. It will empty the sinuses of unwanted allergens and irritations and really helps to clear the system. It can be intimidating to try a neti pot the first time, but it feels fantastic once you are used to it. Sinuses contribute strongly to allergies and taking care to flush your sinuses will help any irritations that occur in allergy season.


Acupuncture has been shown to help people with allergies. Specifically, acupuncture can help hay fever and curb inflammatory immune-system substances that are related to allergic reactions. It is a holistic alternative to allergy medication, and if you have never tried acupuncture, it doesn’t hurt at all.

Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine and helps block the body’s ability to produce histamine. It can be used in a tea or in a pill and helps to soothe any allergy related symptoms. Use it in conjunction with raspberry leaf or peppermint tea for a delicious concoction. Allergy teas are soothing and nettle leaf will help suppress any painful symptoms.


Probiotics are integral to good health and provide important bacteria in the stomach to boost the immune system. Allergies are often the result of an imbalanced immune system and regulating the gut with essential bacteria can help alleviate allergy symptoms. Kombucha has probiotics and is a yummy way of consuming probiotics. It also comes in a pill form.


Turmeric is a spice that can be used in curries, soups, stir-frys, and tofu dishes. The spice contains curcumin and is a decongestant. It helps reduce allergy symptoms and clears the system when it is blocked. Tumeric is a wonderful addition to many dishes and adds essential health benefits to the diet. One teaspoon can also be taken with water every morning to clear the system and is common practice for health-focused individuals.

Natural remedies for allergies will leave you feeling better and more clear-headed than medications. If you try each of these methods to see which works for you, one of them will surely help alleviate the irritating symptoms of having all-consuming allergies in springtime.

Which natural remedy for allergies is your favourite? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below.

Detoxify your body

This spring, I have decided to try a detox from May 13th to May 22nd. Not a vegetarian or vegan and always on the go, I look forward to cutting out some meat from my diet, but I think I will have the hardest time letting go of cheese.

Prior to my first detox, I was able to talk to a Certified and Registered Nutritionist (CNP, RNCP) who is overseeing the first BarreNourish Detox at Barreworks. At the moment they have just under 20 people who have signed up, but are expecting 10-20 more people.

“It is all online-based, other than picking up the detox kit, and the teleseminars are live and recorded for convenience,” she explains. “I kept the Barreworks client in mind. It isn’t too extreme and I don’t restrict on calories. They’re energizing foods with a restriction of foods that drain energy and all processed foods. There is an emphasis on the reset button. It’s about resetting your habits. There is cooking and buying healthy ingredients while thinking ahead on meal planning. “
They also decided not limit portion sizes. “Restricting portion sizes and calories is exhausting on a person’s body. I did a survey ahead of time and there was a concern that they would not being able to exercise,” she says.

In addition, she added substitutes for common food allergies. “Most are taken out including wheat and dairy, but nuts in a lot of meals. Ninety percent could be replaced with seeds. There are recommended suggestions and you can choose other meals. There are 15-16 recipes and I have provided 25. You can substitute for another recipe.”

Although this is a mild detox and all whole-food based, it is not without side effects. The largest is cravings as well as headaches, fatigue, bloating and skin eruptions that last a day. In order to prevent them, participants can use a dry brush, drink more water, go to an infrared sauna and exercise to increase the elimination.

The most common cravings include caffeine, sugar, wheat and meat, although meat is not usually a strong craving. “Healthy snacks, especially deliciously sweet dates and raw white chocolate, are good for sugar. It is important to increase portion sizes and eat enough to decrease cravings,” she says. “It is hardest during the first three to four days and then you feel amazing.”

My nutritionist assures me that there are numerous benefits. They include weight loss, clear skin and increased energy. You will be more focused and creative.

Join me as I go through the BarreNourish 10-Day Detox.  Visit again soon to hear about my experiences as I go through the detox process.

Running with allergies

For some runners it may be challenging enough running in perfect conditions, let alone having to cope with allergies, which can make breathing difficult and turn a routine run into a tortuous test of will.

There is good news, however, for allergy sufferers: their condition may now be controlled and prevented if necessary steps are taken. After suffering for long enough I decided to visit my doctor to learn which medications would be most suitable. I was diagnosed with Rhinitis (Hay fever) and was prescribed Flonase (nasal spray) and told to take an antihistamine before the workout, which certainly helped to make my running experience more enjoyable.

A recent survey commissioned by Johnson & Johnson suggests up to 10 million Canadians may suffer from allergy symptoms. The survey found that more than a quarter say they’ll limit their outdoor time to prevent the onset of symptoms. Allergy season may start early in spring but can last into fall as the combination of climate change and pollen counts leads to expanded sneezing, wheezing, and gasping.

The main culprits tend to be pollen, ragweed and grass. Sometimes not knowing we have allergies can affect our work and personal lives, as well as our best intentions of getting fit and staying healthy. Often mistaken for a common cold, it is treatable if one knows the symptoms, which may include nasal congestion, itchy and watery eyes.

Speaking with Dr. Jack Taunton, who was Chief Medical Officer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, he mentions certain regions across North America are harsher than others when it comes to allergies. “Did you know,” he asks, “that Eugene, Oregon isn’t the best place to run for people with allergies?” Dr. Taunton also includes the west coast of British Columbia as a particularly troublesome place for allergy sufferers because of vast forested areas and voluminous species of plants and grasses.

Dr. Taunton suggests various foods, such as strawberries, some vegetables, dust and pet dander, may trigger an allergic reaction, adding, “Some triathletes are even allergic to certain types of chlorine in the pool,” also showing that for some unlucky people there is no escape. He suggests seeing an allergist when symptoms become difficult to manage.

To summarize, your allergies are caused by the environment or certain foods and the best we can do is try to manage the situation.

So what can you do to enjoy your workouts more? “Try breathing more through your mouth,” says Dr. Taunton. Try running when the pollen counts are lowest (check the weather report) and wear sunglasses to prevent itchy watery eyes. Avoid running in trails or parks at the most dangerous times (for your allergies). Before your workout, take an antihistamine. Allergy shots may be the answer and I’ve heard green tea may help provide relief. If unsure, pay a visit your doctor first to find out if you do suffer from an allergy condition.