A blog by runners. For runners.

Natural healing: allergies


Allergies got you down? Me too. Puffy eyes, runny nose, itchiness, you name it, I’ve got it. All the advice I’ve see tells me to keep the windows closed, not to let my indoor and outdoor dog sleep in the bedroom (yeah, right), and to not spend time outdoors in the morning. Pretty much avoid all the things I love: fresh air, dogs, and morning running.

Naturally (no pun intended), I’ve been looking into some proclaimed holistic remedies. Here are a few I’ve found – hopefully they help you get back to your running without having to bring a box of Kleenex with you.

  1. Try a little ginger: Ginger has antihistamine properties. Mix 2 cups of hot water with 1 inch of peeled ginger and a slice of lemon. Let the ginger and lemon steep for 20 minutes before drinking. Repeat 2 to 3 times a day.
  2. Eat more quercetin: Quercetin helps to prevent mast cells from releasing histamine, which is what causes you to sneeze and itch. Quercetin is found in citrus fruit, broccoli, apples, and onions. To get enough to be effective, you’ll need to buy quercetin pills from your local health food store. It is recommend you take quercetin supplements 4-6 weeks prior to allergy season so it may be too late in some parts of the country to really help.
  3. Neti pots: Neti pots are a little hippie but some find great relief with them. They are little pots, with a long spout, used to rinse the sinuses of allergens. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with warm filtered water. Stand over the sink and place the spout against the right nostril. Tilt your head and allow the water to drain out the left nostril. This might be a little uncomfortable at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really quite easy. Use half the water on one nostril, then switch the spout to the other side.
  4. Acupuncture: Several years ago, I did a couple rounds of acupuncture for a recurring injury. Although the idea of being stuck with tiny needles seemed odd, I did find it rather relaxing. Acupuncture has been known to provide some relief for allergy sufferers. There is some debate over how many treatments are needed and visits can be expensive but if you’re really suffering and curious it might be worth the investment.

Although none of the above may cure allergies altogether, trying a little ginger tea or using a neti pot in conjunction with your allergy medicine may bring on a little relief during this sneezy time of year.

Written by Lisa Chase / Photo by Bianca Strzelczyk