Aaaaaaaah-choo! If this sounds like you this season, you're not alone. More than 35 million Americans suffer from some type of seasonal allergies, causing sneezing, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes as a result of the pollen coming into the air from trees, grass and flowers. You can head to your local drugstore for some over-the-counter solution to your wheezy problems, but wouldn't you rather head to the farmer's market?
There are a number of remedies to allergies that come right from Mother Nature herself - appropriate, seeing as the cause of the allergies does, too. Here are some ways you can stop that sneezing the natural way.
Natural remedies are the bee's knees
You may think you'd want to run away from anything having to do with pollen when you have seasonal allergies, but many people have found local honey to be a helpful solution to their wheezing and sneezing. The New York Times reports there is no real scientific basis for this trend, but many people believe that eating local honey can act like a vaccine, providing immunity because the pollen from the bees is transferred to the honey they produce.
Even if the evidence supporting this idea are purely anecdotal, it appears it is strong enough for many to give it a shot. If nothing else, adding a spoonful of honey to your tea each day might soothe an itchy, dry throat!
'C'-ing the symptoms disappear
Brightening up your plate with fruits and vegetables might prove effective in making your head feel clearer. Look for fruits that have high levels of vitamin C - this antioxidant has antihistamine benefits and may help your body minimize allergy symptoms. Munch on red peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and citrus fruits to get plenty of this powerful vitamin.
Knowing what to stay away from
While boosting your immune system is a good idea in the fall, you might want to avoid certain produce that might cross-react with your pollen allergy and make symptoms worse. ABC News reports that certain fresh fruits and veggies can confuse your immune system - so if you're allergic to pollen, your body thinks a plant protein in the food is an irritant that triggers what is called a "cross-reaction." To prevent this, always cook your food.
You might also want to avoid melon, banana, cucumber, sunflower seeds and herbal supplements containing echinacea if you have ragweed or other weed pollen allergies.