Allergies

Seasonal Allergies – Hydration is Your Hero!

One of the best things you can do to stave off and help relieve those seasonal allergies is to stay hydrated.

Those itchy eyes, the runny nose and sneezing that make us miserable are due to a natural product of our endocrine system. Histamine is actually our friend and is there to help defend against and get rid of pollutants, viruses, bacteria and pollen. However, dehydration can throw histamine out of balance and cause elevated levels. As a neurotransmitter, the primary role of histamine is to regulate thirst and the body’s water supply. When dehydrated, histamine production kicks in to preserve the water remaining in the body. It plays a role in the contractions of bronchial muscles and tries to restrict water loss by constricting the bronchioles which can lead to asthmatic symptoms. Increased histamines, out of control and trying to push out perceived threats, make us miserable with the sniffles, watering, sneezing and itchiness.

By staying well hydrated, you can help keep histamine production in check and flush out the irritants in your system. Proper hydration helps to thin mucus in the nasal passages and encourage sinus drainage. Sinus congestion leads to dry mouth and going for extended periods without protective saliva increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, another great reason to reach for more water.

Increasing the amount of water you drink is a big part of minimizing seasonal allergies. Adding a packet of re:iimmune to that glass of water adds balancing electrolytes which help the body retain water. It also contains the amino acid L-Glutamine which aids in hydration by assisting cells to absorb water quicker and helps to rebuild healthy tissue in your intestinal wall. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol and other known diuretics is also a good idea. How much water should you drink? Eight glasses a day is the standard response but another way of thinking of it is based on your body weight. Divide your weight in half and that will give you the number of ounces of water you should be drinking each day to maintain proper hydration.

Indoor Plants That Help Clean the Air

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Not only do indoor plants cheer up a space, some varieties can even help remove pollutants from the air! Unfortunately, a variety of household and consumer products contain ingredients that create noxious gases that can build up in an enclosed space. During the colder months, when we can’t open the windows as much to get fresh air, we are exposed even more to these chemicals and gases. Benzene, Formaldehyde, Xylene, Toluene and Ammonia are all such irritants. The good news is that certain types of easy to grow indoor plants are capable of cleaning the air and adding them to our living spaces can make our homes much healthier.

Aloe Vera

This one’s a no brainer when it comes to choosing plants for the home since they are incredibly easy to grow and they provide relief for sunburn and skin irritation. On top of that, they produce a good amount of oxygen and are champs at filtering formaldehyde.

Boston Fern

The best choice for fighting formaldehyde is the Boston fern. Although drought tolerant (for those of us who are forgetful waterers), the fern thrives in humid conditions so it’s a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

Peace Lily

Many cleaning products contain chemicals that irritate our lungs. The peace lily does a great job of ridding the air of these pollutants and it produces beautiful white flowers. Bonus!

English Ivy

If someone in your home suffers from asthma, benzene can be a real threat and trigger attacks. English ivy is the one of the best choices among indoor plants for filtering benzene out of the air.

Spider Plant

NASA did a Clean Air Study in which they named the spider plant as one of the best houseplants for air purification. The link will also give you some other indoor plants they found to be effective at filtering the air. Spider plants are great option for the frugal among us as they sprout many babies or offshoots which enables you to fill your home without spending a lot of cash.

Natural Remedies in the Fight Against Fall Allergies

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-10-47-01-am

Last time, we talked about understanding the main culprits behind fall allergies and different ways to prevent them. Today we’ve got some suggestions of natural helpers to relieve your symptoms!

Raw Local Honey

Not only is it yummy but it also relieves symptoms of seasonal allergies as it contains the local pollen that is causing those allergies. Adding a couple of teaspoons into your day each day helps you to build up a tolerance. It’s a good idea to do this year round.

Pineapple

Sweet and juicy relief! Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which helps to reduce swelling in the nose and sinuses.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Well known for giving your immune system a boost, it also helps in breaking up mucus and supports lymphatic drainage. When you are feeling that runny nose coming on, try mixing one tablespoon each of Apple Cider Vinegar, fresh lemon juice and local honey mixed with water to get some relief.

How Can re:iimmune help?

As we discussed in the last post, staying hydrated is one of the most important steps to take in preventing and relieving symptoms of fall allergies. You want to flush all that nastiness out of your system! Our isotonic Clinical Strength Hydration® formula also contains zinc, which helps adrenal fatigue caused by stress. Stress worsens the symptoms of both seasonal allergies and the common cold.

Other Supplements and Essential Oils

Other supplements to add into your routine include Spirulina, Stinging Nettle and Quercetin, all of which help stop the release of histamines.
Some folks find relief by using a combination of different essential oils. Remember that essential oils should typically not be applied directly to the skin. Instead, they should be added to a carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond or grapeseed oil to avoid irritation. Lavender, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities to aid in your allergy relief. One common way to get their benefits is by adding a few undiluted drops to your bath or shower to breathe in as you wash that pollen away! Check out essentialoilbenefits.com for more ideas and essential oil recipes.

Coping with Fall Allergies Naturally

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-10-37-21-am

Suffering from fall allergies? The main culprit of the seasonal sniffles is ragweed. We feel its wrath during the spring and then it typically begins to release its pollen during the warm days of August, lasting all the way into October. Because it can travel for hundreds of miles in the wind, even if it doesn’t grow where you live you may still be suffering the effects. Today we’ve got some ideas for you on how to prevent and deal with your fall allergies.

Know Your Enemy!

If you do suffer from ragweed allergies, you should also minimize the following foods in your diet as they may exacerbate the symptoms: bananas, melon and zucchini. While we just sang the praises of chamomile in a recent post, those suffering from fall allergies may want to step away from the chamomile tea for a time too. Chamomile belongs to the same family of plants as ragweed. So as you might guess, it can also worsen your allergy symptoms.

Clean It Up!

One of the best things you can do to ease and prevent fall allergies is to rid your home of dust and allergens as much as possible. While we all want to save a little money and turn the air conditioner off, open windows let that pollen you are trying to avoid into your home. So keep an eye on the allergy index/pollen count and on those days, you may want to consider keeping the windows closed. Also, many people use humidifiers to help with breathing, but dehumidifiers may actually be better if you are sensitive to dust or mold as both flourish in humidity.

Don’t forget to clean up outside. Mold is another huge trigger for fall allergies and it flourishes in damp spots outdoors. Take the time to clean up those rotting leaves and your sinuses will thank you.

When you come back inside, leave those shoes at the door! Shoes track in pollen, dust and germs. Leaving them at the door and going shoeless in the house will help cut down on cleaning and protect you from illness and worsened allergies.

Wash it Away!

You know we’re all about hydration! Staying hydrated helps keep your system in top shape and will help to decrease allergy symptoms of dry throat and a runny nose. Add some re:iimmune to that water and you’re body will receive hydration support and the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics. These keep gut flora in balance which helps make your system stronger against susceptibility to allergies. Many people also find relief in flushing their sinuses with a neti pot. Showering regularly will also help keep the pollen at bay and relieve symptoms.
Tomorrow we’ll also share some other natural helpers in the battle against fall allergies, such as specific foods and essential oils. Check back in with us!

Fall Cleaning for Optimum Health

 

ab419c7393152926b6bf8edb3135b4bc

While spring is typically the season when most people think of doing a big house cleaning, there are many important reasons to do the same in the fall. We’re all ready to cozy up and refresh our nests so that we can be comfortable, prepare for the holidays and keep healthy in the long winter ahead! Here are some things to keep in mind as you do your fall cleaning. . .

Bed Pillows

One of the biggest battles in a home is fighting against dust. Did you know that dust is comprised mostly of dead skin cells that we are constantly shedding? Getting rid of dust on furniture is something to do quite often to help with your breathing and allergies. Several times a year it’s a good idea to rid areas that aren’t often thought about. Bed pillows also collect dust, mold spores and other allergens. It’s best to clean your pillows three to four times a year and while we’ve got fall cleaning on the brain, it’s a perfect time to take care of them.

Add a half cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent and if concerned about dust mites, eucalyptus oil is a great addition as well. To help keep your pillows fluffed up, put a couple of tennis balls into old socks and toss them in the dryer with the pillows.

Speaking of Dust

Don’t forget your walls, ceilings, curtains and overhead fans while doing your fall cleaning. It’s always a good idea to start high when cleaning and work your way down to the floor. It’s no fun to get all the dust up out of corners and off of surfaces and then look up and realize you’re going to have to knock down all that dust up high onto those newly clean surfaces. After cleaning those high areas, wait a few minutes for the dust to settle before you continue cleaning anything else. It’s always fun to spend a few minutes daydreaming and watching the dust spores fall through the sunshine as they settle. Do you remember doing that as a kid?

After daydreaming, it’s back to reality and it’s time to think about having the air ducts in your home cleaned by a professional. You yourself can change the air filter in your furnace to keep things running smoothly and to keep the air in your home clean and healthy.

‘Tis the Season to Purge

Fall is a great time to get rid of unnecessary clutter. Think about going through your closets and selecting clothing and coats for donation. The holidays are just around the corner so it’s also a good time to go through children’s toys and pare down before the gift deluge hits.

Another area to look at is the kitchen. Go through the fridge, freezer and pantry and use up or get rid of those things that have expired or are about to go bad. Don’t forget the spice drawer! Spices tend to lose their potency over time. Some good guidelines…

Ground Spices: 2-3 years

Dried Herbs: 1-2 years

Whole Spices, Seeds and Extracts: 4 years

Check out Treehugger.com. They have some great ideas for what to do with those expired spices, so don’t throw them out just yet!

Very few of us really LOVE to clean but we love how the house feels when it’s all done! So put on your comfiest clothes and bliss out to your favorite tunes. Before you know it, you’ll have a cleaner and healthier home which will lift your spirits and make the next season much merrier and brighter.
Check back next week when we’ll share some great natural ingredients for home cleaning!