I love Spring! I enjoy all of the flowers beginning to bloom and the trees budding and blooming. Here in the Shenandoah Valley I look forward to witnessing the Dogwoods, Cherry and Redbuds blooming. The brilliant purple of the Redbud against the new green leaves of the other trees is stunning.
As a child I looked forward to having some time off for Spring Break and going for long bike rides. When I entered my 20’s something changed. I became sensitized to all of the pollen in the Spring and to the ragweed in the Fall. I remember feeling miserable and to seeking relief through over the counter medications. I’m not sure which was worse, feeling like I had the flu without the meds or feeling like a zombie on the meds. Even the non-drowsy type made me sleepy.
Over the years I’ve learned a few things and of course I want to share these tips with you.
#1 – Eating Clean Makes a Difference
I usually eat a very clean diet, low in sugar, gluten free, healthy fats and lots of vegetables. Earlier this month I allowed myself to eat baked goods loaded with sugar, I had pizza at my favorite pizza place a couple of times as well as other indiscretions in my food choices. What a huge difference it made! This month when The Weather Channel app was sending the High Tree Pollen alerts to my phone, I was miserable! The first day with the high pollen count really kicked my butt. I was outside most of the day at the South Street Barn Market sharing information about essential oils and my upcoming workshop schedule. I received pollen overload and by the end of the day, I was miserable and went to bed by 7:00 pm!
I am noticing when I keep to a clean diet (low sugar and gluten) I do not have the flu like symptoms that I experience when I’m indulging in foods I know don’t serve me well.
#2 – Spring Cleaning
When exposed to pollen, it is best to take a shower and change your clothes as soon as possible. I love to open the windows when the weather warms up. When the tree pollen count is high though I keep my windows closed. The count is usually only high for a week or so and this goes a long way in keeping the exposure limited. Same goes for doing laundry and hanging clothes outside to dry. This is a great ecological way to dry laundry, however, when the pollen counts are up, it is better to use the dryer and leave the pollen outside.
#3 – The Neti Pot is Your Friend
If you suffer with seasonal allergies and you don’t own a neti pot, you need to get one! They are inexpensive and can be found in most health food stores as well as available to order online. I like to use mine while I’m in the shower. I take a pinch of sea salt and then let the warm water from the shower fill the pot and then flush each nasal passage. If you are a newbie to this, use very little salt otherwise the experience may be too intense for you. Flushing with a saline rinse helps clear the pollen from your system and you’ll be breathing easier in no time.
#4 – Local Raw Honey
I’ve been practicing this tip for years. I love the taste of raw honey (clover is my favorite) and I have found a few apiaries within 20 miles of my home that sell honey. I don’t use a lot, maybe a ½ tsp in my tea in the morning. Ingesting raw honey that was made from the pollen from your locality has been shown to help some people with their pollen sensitivity. This tip really goes hand in hand with Tip #1. Over 80% of our immunity is in our gut so keeping to a healthy diet of whole foods that are local to your area goes a long way in maintaining your overall health.
#5 – Essential Oils
I have found that essential oils are superior to using over the counter antihistamines for me. When I feel a drippy nose or itchy eyes coming on, I take a drop of lavender essential oil on a q-tip and gently swab the inside of my nasal passages. And yes, this can be quite intense! It totally clears my breathing for the rest of the day! Another way that I use essential oils to support my system in fighting pollen is by ingesting a capsule made with a couple of drops of lemon, lavender and peppermint essential oil. I do want to emphasize that I would only ingest Young Living essential oils and would never recommend ingesting any other brand of oils. The difference between Young Living and all other brands is our Seed to Seal guarantee. Young Living owns the farms where our plants are harvested and where the oils are distilled. No other essential oil company in the world can compare with the purity of Young Living, a company that was established 20 years ago. Those who know me know that I am quite passionate about using only the purest and best essential oils on the planet and that is why I would only recommend the Young Living brand.
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Jen Roszelle is the founder of Living In Abundance, a business created to support others in living a healthy and holistic lifestyle. Jen calls herself a “Whole Foods Revolutionary” and specializes in showing others how to create healthy and nourishing meals using local, organic ingredients and sustainable resources. She is also a homeschool mom, adoptive parent to a gorgeous pit bull dog and is a fair weather hiker.