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Reduce Your Allergies Naturally
by Kami McBride

This time of year can be tough for those of us who suffer from allergies. Before you reach for the Benadryl, you might consider trying some natural remedies.

Turmeric Honey
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It removes excess mucus in the sinuses and helps to heal the respiratory tissue. When you feel your allergy symptoms coming on, you can eat one teaspoon of Tumeric Honey 3-4 times a day.

How to make:
In a clean glass jar put 6 tablespoons uncooked honey and 4 tablespoons powdered turmeric. Stir until the turmeric is well mixed into the honey.

Elderflower Tea
Anytime you have a runny nose, think about drinking elderflower tea. If you drink this tea throughout allergy season, it will help to reduce itchy eyes and a runny nose.

How to make:
3 cups water
3 tablespoons dried elder flowers
Let steep for two hours. Strain out the flowers, re-heat and drink 3 cups a day.

Saline Nasal Rinse
If you have allergy symptoms, do saline nasal rinses to tighten and tone your mucus membrane and help to reduce the inflammation.

How to make:
1 cup warm water
1/2  teaspoon high quality salt
*Requires a Neti Pot (Based on an old Ayurvedic technique known as jala neti. Buy one at your local natural foods store or online.)

Mix the salt and warm water together and then put it into the Neti Pot. Let the warm water go all the way back into one side of your nose through your nostril and let it drain out of the other side. Do this on both sides. If you have never done this or cannot visualize what I am talking about, read the directions on the box and ask around to see if you know someone that can show you how to do it. This simple technique is a life saver if you have acute allergy symptoms; you can do this one to three times a day. I often put 30 drops of golden seal tincture in the warm water and salt mixture to help get rid of acute allergy symptoms.

Nettles Infusion
A couple of months before your allergies usually begin, start drinking Nettle infusions and you'll minimize symptoms.
1 quart room temperature water
4 tablespoons dried nettles

How to make:
Let the nettles and water sit overnight in a quart glass mason jar. In the morning strain the herb out and drink the quart of nettles infusion over the next two days. The shelf life of this tea is about two days unless the weather is hot, in which case you may need to keep it in the refrigerator when you aren't drinking it at night. You can drink 1 to 3 cups of nettles infusion a day for several months. Over the years I have watched many of my clients eliminate their spring allergies by drinking Nettles throughout the time they would normally have allergies.

Medicinal Mushrooms
Build your immune system and reduce inflammation by taking a regular dose of medicinal mushrooms. Reishi is one of the best mushrooms for this. It can be taken in capsule or tincture form to reduce systemic inflammation and allergic reactions.  Available at your natural foods store.

Nourish Your Beneficial Bacteria
The beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract play an important role in your inflammatory response. You can reduce the severity of allergic reactions by increasing the integrity of your gastrointestinal tract. Take a high quality probiotic (probiotic is the general name for a beneficial bacteria supplement) especially if you have a lifestyle that compromises your beneficial bacteria. Beneficial bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics, prescription and over the counter medications, stress, birth control pills, chlorine and excess coffee and sugar consumption. Another way to nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract is to eat fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, kim chee, whey, whole plain kefir and whole plain yogurt. These foods contain the beneficial bacteria that feed your gut. Half of the immune cells in your body are found in the digestive tract. Keeping your immune system strong and your allergic reactions to a minimum require a strong digestive system full of healthy beneficial bacteria.

Love Your Liver
Your liver helps to mediate the inflammatory response to whatever you are allergic to. The liver has more than 600 different jobs, including figuring out what to do with any chemicals and pesticides you put in your body. If the liver is backed up and bogged down with daily toxic exposures, it is less able to help you with your allergic reactions. Don't underestimate the negative effects of accumulated exposure to daily chemicals in your household. Everything adds up and gives the liver extra work to do. Read the labels on all of your body care products, you may be shocked at how many chemicals you are putting on your body. Make a commitment to using all natural body care items. I am talking about detergents, the soap you wash with in the shower, your shampoo, shaving cream, lotions, make up, hair care products, etc. The personal care industry is unregulated and many of these products contain known cancer causing ingredients. If you have allergies, don't stress out the liver by using body care products with chemicals.

Eliminate Foods that Promote Inflammation
Read your labels and let go of any foods that have ingredients that increase inflammation in the body such as: nitrates, sulfites, MSG, food colorings, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified foods, preservatives, and pesticides. All of these substances can increase your susceptibility to inflammation and allergies. Take a look at all the foods in your pantry and throw away the things that contain these ingredients.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water is an important aspect of any allergy elimination program. Ideally, you should drink half your weight in water. So if you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 oz of water. To make sure you drink enough water, measure it out first thing in the morning. Be familiar with how many ounces your water container holds and set aside your allotment of water before your day begins. If you don't drink plenty of  water, then the body creates more mucus to counteract the dryness.

Kami McBride is an inspiring teacher that has helped thousands of people learn to use herbal medicine in their daily lives in ways that are healthy, safe, and fun. She offers a popular course, Cultivating the Herbal Medicine Woman Within. Learn more at www.livingawareness.com

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