Spring and Summer. Well, fall and winter too. The dreaded allergy seasons are among us. I have had seasonal allergies my whole life. I was on a prescription allergy medication as a child that tasted so disgusting, I usually locked myself in the bathroom and spit it out. I hated taking it. I didn't get to spend much time outdoors because my allergies would flare up. It was a miserable childhood. I will never forget the summer I had hay fever... I don't wish that upon anyone.
As I've *ahem* aged and learned more about the immune system and what causes sensitivities and allergies. I have found ways to naturally reduce my seasonal allergies and eliminated the use of prescriptions or over the counter drugs. The biggest factor for me was to focus on my nutrition. The more nutrients my body had each day the more it could repair itself on the cellular level. As my cells got stronger, my body was able to fight off allergens better. Cats are still another story but I'm not a fan anyway...
Today I just want to share some things you can do for free to help yourself and your family breathe a little easier.
1. Ditch the scented candles and air fresheners. I know, I know. We are attached to our candles. They give us warm fuzzies. They remind us of our childhood. They bring back memories. Seasons are supposed to smell certain ways. But synthetic fragrances can be just as harmful as second hand smoke. They linger in our homes causing breathing difficulties. Personally, I've had to ask friends to blow out candles and there have been some homes that have given me a headache because of the abundance of air fresheners. Once you eliminate, you won't go back. Trust me on this one. For a more natural smell, try making this from the Happy Health Truth or diffusing your favorite essential oil. (PS-I'm not an oil person but I hear it's amazing...)
2. Change your hand soap. Along the same lines of candles and air fresheners, these products have synthetic fragrances added that can add to your breathing issues. Opt for an unscented version. Remember, you don't need it to have anti-bacterial properties either. Washing your hands with warm, soapy water is all you need to effectively fight germs.
3. Go unscented in the laundry room. When you wash your clothes with scented detergents and fabric softeners, your body is in constant contact with those smells. Just think, you wash your clothes, towels, and sheets. Your skin is the largest organ on your body and absorbent. You are constantly ingesting that synthetic fragrance into your body in some shape or form. Many brands make an unscented version.
"Physical reactions to fragrances are categorized as (1) Respiratory – allergic and non-allergic asthma, reactive airway dysfunction syndrome, (2) Neurological – migraines, nausea, dizziness, mental confusion,(3) Skin – irritation, sensitization, and (4) Eye – tearing, inflammation."
Those three ways listed above are great ways to get started and are cheap or free. I know many of us use these products and we LOVE the smells. They are comforting. I get it! I used to use everything but have felt a dramatic difference since changing brands or eliminating. If you are an allergy sufferer or even have any of the symptoms listed in the quote above, I strongly encourage you to just try eliminating some fragrance from your life. Box up all those scented goodies and just put them in a closet for now. You don't have to say goodbye yet. Try these simple steps for 90 days to see if your nose feels a difference! You might be pleasantly surprised!