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Allergies and Smoke Related Sinus Issues
If it isn't enough that the rabbit brush is in bloom, with sage soon to follow, the Wood River Valley still has smoke in the air. All of this disturbs and infects our sinuses, bringing on sneezing, watery eyes and headaches.
Rabbit brush in bloom
Sagebrush and rabbit brush are wind-pollinated shrubs that produce large amounts of pollen. These plants are the most significant cause of allergies after ragweeds and grasses. Breathing in just a few molecules of an allergen such as sage can trigger a reaction. The body mistakenly identifies this as a threat and kicks the immune system into overdrive. The side effects come fast and furious: coughing, itchy eyes, runny nose and excessive sneezing.
The culprit is an over-reacting antibody called immunoglobulin E, which causes the release of histamine.
Talk to a health care provider, wellness practitioner or come see us at NourishMe, and/or try some of these remedies:
Use local honey and pollen
Bee pollen helps because it has more than a dozen vitamins, 28 minerals, 11 enzymes and co-enzymes, and 14 fatty acids. As well your local bees collect pollen from local flowers. That pollen will end up in small amounts in the honey produced. By ingesting that honey on a regular basis, you can build up immunity to the pollens from the flowers in their local region. It's sort of like a vaccine taken little by little.
Use a Neti Pot
Irrigating the nose can help soothe upper respiratory allergies by removing irritants that become lodged in the nose and cause inflammation. We have lovely Baraka handmade ones at NourishMe along with the salt infused rinse to be used with the pots. Using a neti pot helps to relieves pain, pressure and congestion by liquefying the excess mucous in your nasal passages and flushing it out. And it keeps the cilia (basically, tiny hairs) in your nasal passages moving so they flush out bacteria, allergens and other irritants. Congested or dry sinuses are a breeding ground for infection.
Drink Peppermint Tea
Allergy sufferers throughout the centuries have turned to peppermint tea to provide relief for clogged-up noses and irritated mucous membranes. Peppermint's essential oil acts as a decongestant, and substances in peppermint contain anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial constituents.
Steam, clean and wash
Boil up some water, put in some drops of essential oils such as Pinon, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Tea Tree and even Lavender, throw a towel over your head and breathe deeply. Diffusers are an excellent way to keep the healing oils wafting in your home or office. After you've been hiking or biking in the woods, wash thoroughly and wash your four legged friends. They carry pollen around on their coats.
Stinging Nettle is used commonly for allergies, as is quercetin, which is a strong anti-inflammatory, feverfew, goldenrod, eyebright and butterbur that works as a leukotriene inhibitor, blocking some chemicals that trigger swelling in nasal passages.
The most commonly used homeopathic remedies for allergies and the symptoms they're meant to address include:
- Allium cepa - sneezing, burning nose and eyes, tears
- Arsenicum album - stuffy, runny nose, sneezing, wheezing
- Euphrasia - burning tears, nasal discharge, swollen eyes
- Ferrum phosphoricum - inflammation, runny nose, watery eyes, tickling cough
- Gelsemium - dry nose, sneezing, flushed face, chills
- Natrum muriaticum - white nasal discharge, sneezing, watery eyes, loss of taste and smell
- Nux vomica - dry nose, sneezing, tickling throat, headache
- Pulsatilla- congestion, nasal discharge, itchy mouth
- Sabadilla - watery nasal discharge, sneezing
As for the smoke, which has lowered our immunity, we recommend staying indoors particularly smokey days and if you are a smoker consider quitting. For some recipes to help, check out Bear Medicine Herbals,
for different herbal remedies. Look for these herbs
- Licorice Root - Helps to harmonize all ingredients in the formula.
- Mullein Leaf - Great herb for toning the mucous membranes found in the respiratory system.
- Pleurisy root - This herb helps to stimulate drainage of the lymphs.
- Lungwort Lichen - Does well to support tissue in the lungs and is quite soothing.
- Elecampane Root - Both relaxing and stimulating.
- Chlorella - Acts as a heavy metal cleanser to help remove toxins.
- Wild American Ginseng Root - A restorative tonic that is also adaptogenic.
- Mullein Flower - Soothing effect to the lungs.
- Lobelia - Aids in relaxing the lungs.
- Ginger root- Wonderful lung stimulant.