african american woman sneeze

Spring hath sprung! The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and you’re suddenly sneezing…a lot. For some people, springtime is synonymous with allergies. It’s rare that I wake up without sniffling, and my eyes have seen their fair share of itchiness over the past week. I’ve tried various prescription allergy medicines over the years, and while they did provide some quick relief, I inevitably would find myself dealing with a new trigger at some point. Seasonal spring allergies are usually caused by pollen from trees, weeds and grass.

According to holistic health counselor and naturopath Kali Shirley Johnson of Soulistic Wellness, many of the typical symptoms of spring allergies include congestion, runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes. “Because many of these symptoms can be so uncomfortable over a certain amount of time, allergies may effect our sleep and make us more irritable and/or less clear-headed.” Keeping a journal of certain triggers can be very helpful when it comes to allergies. Do you find yourself more congested after a run, or do certain foods trigger anything unusual? These are the type of questions that could bring you one step closer to allergy relief.

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For those looking for natural remedies to address spring allergies, Johnson suggests the following:

1) Raw, unfiltered and ideally local honey: Take a spoonful daily to help create immunity to some of the allergies and pollen types that you are experiencing an allergic reaction from.

2) Neti pot: The practice of using a Neti pot can be beneficial to those with nasal allergies, by clearing out the congestion of the nasal passage and sinuses. Johnson reccomends daily use.

3) MSM: Often suggested for use for joint support and recovery and hair growth, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is an organosulfur compound---available at most vitamin retailers---that has been known to help many people with allergy relief.  Studies have shown that MSM taken daily offers relief from allergies without some of the drowsiness of other medications.

It is also important to be mindful of allergy triggers in your own home environment as well as precautions you can that may greatly alter your reaction to allergens.  If you spend a lot of time outdoors, be sure to take a shower to rinse potential allergens off of your body. Keeping your windows closed and using air purifiers can also ward off allergic reactions.

Here’s to healthy breathing this spring!