1) Stay Ahead of the Curve:
Spring happens every year. The signs are always the same, warmer weather, flowering everything, fertilizers, lawn mowing, weed whacking and bees buzzing about. I know this sounds basic, but every year people start becoming symptomatic and forget what’s going on outside. Whether you have ever had allergies or not, there is just plain more for our bodies to process nowadays. Be proactive! Start collecting some of the following supplies and practicing some of these habits to keep your circulation flowing and your body from accumulating toxins before symptoms present.
2) Neti Pot & Nasal Cleansing:
Yeah, I started here. I too was once one of you. I remember telling my brother Greg, “I will NEVER use that!” Well, after my spring allergies got so bad when I lived in Nashville, the Neti Pot became my best friend and quite frankly, one of the greatest tools in healing my allergies. You fill the pot with warm purified water and a pinch of sea salt. Next, you Relax and lean forward and to the side over a sink while pouring the mixture into the upper nostril. It will go up into your sinus and come out the other side. FREAKY huh? What this does is cleanse the sinus and reduce swelling and irritation. Even great for people who have Sleep Apnea.
I really like the ceramic pots by Baraka in CA. because they are not plastic, they have a smaller hole which keeps pressure into your nose at a minimum and is easier for kids to use to. Not to mention they have really cool new colors. Hey, if you are going to look undignified with water coming out of your nose, you might as well look good doing it, eh?
Here are some tips we’ve learned over the years:
* Start using it before you get stuffy and itchy.
It’s harder to go through your sinus once you are stuffed up.
* Use lukewarm filtered/purified water. Cold tap water stings!
* Start with a small pinch of sea salt. Too much can be uncomfortable. Stephanie from Baraka offered a different, experienced approach to the amount of salt
here’s the link: http://www.sinussupport.com/education/sea-salt-use
* Create a positive relaxing atmosphere. If you are tense it won’t go through.
* Use first thing in the am and last thing at night
Allow about 30 min before bedtime for drainage.
* You can also swab nostrils with castor oil. This helps coat the nasal passages and catch pollens before they go any deeper.
* We like to add a tiny bit of Purification Essential Oil to neti pot and castor oil when if there is infection. Just put tip of toothpick in oil and add to mixtures.
3) Epsom Salt & Essential Oil Baths
We like good old fashioned products like Epsom salt. It’s good for soaking sprains as well as helping the body detox. Adding essential oils to the Epsom Salt creates even more of a detox and helps soothe the sinuses and skin too.
* Remember: oil and water don’t mix so add the essential oils to the Epsom salt first. We add lavender, or eucalyptus to epsom salt, then add to bath. This keeps the essential oil from floating on the surface of the water.
* Also, “DO NOT” use essential oils that might be too strong like wintergreen, cinnamon or Thieves. Don’t even ask how we found that out!
* If you want to add even more of a detoxing boost use 1 lb of Epsom Salt and 1 lb of Baking Soda. Good gentle detox and even helps clean the bathtub drain too!
4) Cool Mist Diffusing of Essential Oils:
It’s the same idea of a nebulizer only you are adding uplifting, therapeutic grade essential oils to the air. It is a fantastic way to infuse the nasal passages and lungs with support through allergy season or really– Any season. As the name suggests, it is cool mist. Not heating synthetic chemicals like most air fresheners are doing. The idea is to use something that will help cleanse the body of toxins, not add to your load.
We use single oils and blends. Blend simply means a combination of essential oils either we make or purchase pre-mixed from Young Living. My favorite diffusers are the Armo-Pro at DiffuserWorld.com and for more of a humidifying effect and stress reliever, the Aria from Young Living.
(Tara’s Young Living ID # is 866847)
Here are our Favorite Essential Oils and Blends we Diffuse and Why:
* Purification Blend: Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle (Myrtus communis). Great all purpose oil blend for diffusing. Very helpful for sinus issues, sanitizing air and a natural insect repellent. We have found this is one of the most all around aroma in our home. Also, fantastic for offices and waiting rooms.
* Eucalyptus Globulus: There are many types of Eucalyptus oils, and you may prefer others to this one. We have had great success both diffusing and using topically this one. ***Warning: It is not recommended to put essential oils on the chest or back of children under the age of 3. Also, some people have reactions to eucalyptus oils even therapeutic grade oils. It isn’t totally understood why. Be cautious applying any oil to a person/child especially in a very reactive state.
* Lemon: (Citrus limon) has a strong, purifying, citrus scent that is revitalizing and uplifting. Lemon consists of 68 percent dlimonene, a powerful antioxidant. Lemon is also a very pleasing to most people. As as added perk, we like to add it to our water for liver support. During allergy season, and other times of physical or emotional stress, it is important to add steps to support our bodies’ filters (liver, lungs, kidneys and skin)
5) Nutrient Rich Foods:
It sounds so simple, and it really is. Consuming foods and beverages that are rich in nutrients and that are easily absorbed and assimilated is key when dealing with external factors that are difficult or impossible to control — like pollens and other environmental factors. How can your body get ahead of the game if it is fighting allergens and unrecognizable, undigestable, processed foods? Giving it REAL foods free’s it up to do its job and keep you strong.
Soups and broths are big favorites in our home. In fact, there is almost always a frozen jar of chicken broth in our freezer. It is the #1 on our list of nutrient rich foods. Leave out the empty calories from pasta and substitute with wild rice, sprouted quinoa or simply shredded cabbage. These are easier to digest and pack in more nutrition.
See our blog from the past on chicken broth complete with recipe from Essential Gluten-Free Recipes. For a fun video of the recipe process check out our YouTube Video on the Nourishing Your Family Channel
Five More Healthy Habits to Learn More about for
Bloomin’ Allergy Support:
7) Getting Plenty of Sleep
8) Throat Care (see “Healthy Habits for Soothing Throat Problems“)
9) Laughter or Stress-Lessness
10) Cleansing (see “Diary of a Whimpy Cleanser”)
Five Items for Your Own Home Medicine Cabinet:
1) Chicken Broth. You can freeze in Mason jars or Pyrex.
2) Castor Oil
3) Sea Salt
4) Hot Water Bottle
5) Daily Stress Relief – laughter, mild exercise, deep breathing!
This whole topic is near and dear to my heart. I could write chapters on this…oh, that’s right, I am writing chapters on this. Stay tuned for my new book coming later this year!
Listen to the “How to Create Your Own Little Black Bag” and read the notes at:
Kelly the Kitchen Kops Blog
And finally, Essential Gluten Free Recipes was written for just these issues. Allergies are about the whole body (inside and out) and not just what our bodies are being exposed to. What we eat can either support your health by supplying necessary nutrients or stress your system and use up valuable energy and resources on digestion alone. If you support your system with food and nutrient rich beverages, then your body has the energy to fight the “larger” battles.
Tara is not a doctor or a nutritionist. The content in this blog is not intended as a diagnosis or medical treatment. Her intention is to share old world wisdom using modern day tools and situations for improving quality of life through non-invasive healthy habits.