March Health Tip – Allergies

It is that time of year when allergies start coming on.  The air is dry, at least here in Colorado, and there is a fair amount of wind which brings the dust, molds and plant pollens.  Of course, all these pollutants can cause irritation to the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses resulting in sneezing, sinusitis, coughing, hay fever and more.


The tendency is to turn to over-the-counter drugs or prescription drugs for relief; unfortunately neither of which are healthy for your system.  Before you go that route, why not try nasal irrigation?  Ayurvedic medicine practitioners and yogis have been irrigating the nasal passages and sinuses for centuries.  Not only is it simple to do but the results are amazing.


I have spoken with clients who started irrigating regularly and found that not only did they have less problems with allergies but have also found that they get far less colds.  I decided to try it myself and was so impressed with the results that I started telling everyone I knew that suffered from allergies about it.   Now the positive comments just keep coming.


Scientific studies show that there are no side effects and it is very safe and effective to do regular nasal irrigation.  In addition, it has been demonstrated that a consistent practice helps to moisten the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses.  This sure beats drugs in my book!


So what is the best way to do it?  You can use a baby aspirator and warm water with a touch of sea salt.  I started doing it this way and it worked fine.  Eventually I decided to purchase a Neti Pot and found it much more effective.  A Neti Pot is small and looks somewhat like a teapot.  You mix a dilution of warm water and a small amount of sea salt in the pot.  Make sure the salt is fully dissolved before you use it.  When ready, simply place the spout into one nostril.  Make sure that there is a seal between the pot and your nose.  Then simply tip your head to the opposite side, over a sink, and allow the liquid drain out the other nostril.  Repeat on the other side.  It is that easy.  The main thing I’ve experienced is to use only a little salt or it will irritate the nasal passages.  I use about 1/8 teaspoon to 8 ounces of water.  During allergy or cold season, it is ideal to do this twice daily.  The same applies if you have a tendency towards sinusitis. 


If you can’t find a Neti Pot at your local health foods store, here is a great place to purchase one.


There is one other thing I do that can be helpful with allergies.  This is something that takes a long time to work and is somewhat subtle but worth doing.  That is daily use of honey gathered in your local area.  You want to use about 1 tablespoon per day but you need to make sure it is not heat processed and local.  I have been doing this for about 4 years now and I do find it helps somewhat but not when allergy season is really upon us.  At that time I add the use of the Neti Pot daily!


If you suffer from allergies give both a try!  Happy breathing.

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