I made it through 24 allergy seasons on the pollen-heavy East Coast without so much as a sniffle. Can you blame me for thinking IВ had officially dodged that genetic bullet? I watched year after year as my older brother sneezed and suffered, choking back Claritin to appease his symptoms,В sympathising with his apparent misery but nonetheless thankful that I could spend spring outdoors and breathe easy. That is, until I moved to L.A. and woke up one morning with a debilitating pain radiating through my sinuses.В
I figured it was just a cold, because hell-o, I don't have allergies. But after two weeks went by with no relief-and thenВ noticing that my symptoms gotВ worse whenever I spent more than a few minutes outside-I grumpilyВ began to accept my fate. And then a fellow ex-New Yorker confirmed it: She too had gone allergy-free for most of her life, until she swapped coasts. PerhapsВ it was just a coincidence and it's really a matter of age; my working theory is that California has bionic pollen that our respiratory systems hadn't beenВ conditioned to handle. No matter the cause, the conclusion remains the same: I now suffer from seasonal allergies. What a joy.
Here's the thing: Barring serious illness,В I'm not big on taking any kind of meds-not even Advil.В I've had plenty of successВ treating minor symptoms and ailments with natural remedies, Eastern medicine, and a healthy lifestyle.В This has been my M.O. for about six years, which is why it was a huge deal-and indicative of just how crummy I was feeling-that I began to consider getting a prescription for allergy pills. But in spite of my itchy eyes and the distinct sensationВ that a truck was repeatedly backing into my sinus cavity, I made myself a deal:В I'd try home remedies for allergies first, and if nothing improved in a week's time, I wouldВ then hit my local pharmacy.В I got to researching,В and the next day I had an arsenal of holistic remedies on my doorstep, ready for testing.
That was a Monday. By WednesdayВ of that week, I could breathe out of one of my nostrils. ByВ that weekend, theВ achiness was finally beginning to subside, and on the following Saturday,В I was back out on my favorite hiking trail with few complaints. At this point, I figured it was safe to declareВ my methods a success.
So, how did I do it? While I wish I could say that I took a magical, all-natural pill that did the work, it really involved a bit of a lifestyle overhaul bolstered by a fewВ specific remedies.В Keep reading for the prescription.
Giving My Body Some TLC@victoriadawsonhoff
Whenever I'm feeling "off" in any way, the first thing I always do is check in with my lifestyle: Am I eating properly? Exercising? Getting enough sleep? Sure enough, I realized thatВ stressing about little things at the office, a lack of shut-eye and too many happy hours probably weren't doing my immune system any favors.
So my first plan of attack was to reestablish my healthy habits. IВ recommitted to my nightly eight hours, filled my fridge with clean foods, and decided to go cold-turkey on alcohol for a few weeks. Hiking, my preferred method of exercise, was out of the question until I could handle going outdoors again, so I opted to stream easyВ workouts at home.В And FWIW, I also deep-cleaned my entire apartment-to get rid of dust and any other potential irritants (especially since I have a lot of indoor plants), but also becauseВ I never underestimate the impact that a tidy, stress-free, tranquil environment has on my body.В
Step 2: Filling Up on Vitamins8G Essential Greens Booster $19Shop
ConfessionВ alert: I'm notВ the best at taking my daily vitamins, which is not exactly ideal when you follow a plant-based diet. I always forget! But that wasn't going to fly while I was sick, so I doubled down onВ that habit andВ kept my supplements in eyeshot on my desk as a reminder.
Cool fact about vitamin C: Studies show that getting 2000 milligrams a day can reduce histamine levels by up to 40%. That's powerful stuff! So while I took a variety of vitaminsВ each day, I focused especially on filling up on vitamin C both through my diet andВ with my handy 8G tablets, which I usually just popВ into my water bottle.В
Step 3: Fighting Pollen With PollenSunfood Spanish Bee Pollen $15Shop
It sounds counterintuitive to consume pollen when that's exactly what is torturing your body, but bee pollenВ is magical stuff: In addition to being an antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and evenВ beneficial against cancer, it's also an anti-inflammatory and an antihistamine.В I sprinkled a tablespoon in my smoothie every morning for extra relief.
Step 4: Drinking Silver Particles (It's a Thing, Promise)Source Naturals Ultra Colloidal Silver $11Shop
I've seenВ a few wellness experts mention this natural remedy lately (not to mention its benefits for skin), and figured now was as good a time as any to placate my curiosity. The tonic, which contains silver particles suspended in liquid, isВ purported to help fight unwanted bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Because research on its efficacy is limited, many Western doctors warn against takingВ it excessively (it says right on the bottle not to take it for more than 10 days at a time).В I stuck with a few drops in a glass of water each morning for a week, just to bolster the rest of my anti-allergy routine.В
Step 5: Boosting My Immune System With ACVFire Cider Fire Cider $26Shop
Is there anything that apple cider vinegar can't do? In addition to being the ultimate beauty multitasker (move over, coconut oil), it has an array of health and wellness benefits, too, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties chief among them. It's for this reason thatВ my go-to tonic whenever I'm feeling under the weather includes ACV, along with other cayenne pepper, maple syrup, lemon, ginger, and sometimes garlic-all ingredients that offer a natural immune boost and instant sore throat and sinus relief. Don't feel up toВ gathering all these ingredients up at home? Try this handy bottled brew.