Aah, spring! The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming… and you can’t leave the house without tissues. To the rescue: simple, at-home, natural allergy symptom relievers that will have you feeling better fast!
Sinus pain? Press here.
Firmly massaging along your hairline using small, circular motions cuts sinus pain by 62 percent in two minutes, say doctors at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Connecticut. Pain researcher Caroline Smith, M.D., says stimulating pressure points along the hairline triggers the release of painkilling endorphins, plus helps open and drain congested sinuses for fast relief.
Scratchy throat? Gargle citrus.
Gargling with diluted lemon juice soothes a scratchy throat in 30 seconds. Do so three times daily, and Australian scientists say you’ll ward off allergy-triggered throat troubles entirely. Lemon compounds (limonins) ease inflammation and speed the healing of damaged throat tissues. To do: Squeeze lemon into a cup of water, then gargle.
Sneezing? Sip spirulina.
Adding 1 tsp. of this blue-green algae to a smoothie (or taking a 2,000-mg. supplement) daily reduces symptoms like an itchy nose and sneezing by up to 70 percent, suggests a study in ISRN Allergy. Thanks goes to carotenoids, compounds that calm immune cells in your sinuses and curb their production of a symptom-triggering trouble maker called IgE. Try: Life Extension X-R Shield (LifeExtension. com/ww). Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
Tired? Make a fist.
Allergies can triple the risk of restless sleep. Thankfully, ending each day tensing and relaxing your muscles (like when making a fist) lessens the risk of overnight awakenings by 67 percent, boosting morning pep by 45 percent, suggests research in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Study co-author May Tan, Ph.D., says this spurs the release of sleep-deepening brain waves. To do: In bed, breathe deep while tightening and relaxing major muscle groups, from your toes to your neck.
Trying to prevent a flare-up? Rx with red grapes.
Eating two cups of red grapes daily cuts your risk of allergy symptoms by 70 percent, Greek scientists say. Grape skins brim with natural antihistamines called polyphenols that quash flare-ups before they start.
Using OTC meds?
Taking Zyrtec or Claritin? Do so before bed, and University of Texas scientists say you’ll better block your body’s natural 5 AM surge in symptom-triggering histamine.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.