health · natural

When I stopped taking allergy medicine…

I have taken one of the common allergy medicines for as long as I can remember. So long that I can only vaguely remember going to the allergist and having my back pricked over and over again and itching like crazy.

My body has always seemed to build up a resistance to medicines. I fought with digestive issues, diagnosed as lactose intolerance around age 13 after years of discomfort, cramps, etc. But I could only take lactaid-type medicines for a month or two before I would need to up my dosage, going well beyond recommendations. The same thing happened with allergy medicine. Every time I went to the doctor for my physical, my allergy medicine was no longer working and I was having to take an extra pill or two a day to get through without sneezing, sinus issues and watery eyes. They’d switch me from Claritin to Allegra, Allegra to Zyrtec and back again.

Shortly after I got married, I started getting more and more into health. I wanted to change our diets, incorporate bone broths and other nourishing foods into our diet, eliminate toxins in our cooking, cleaning and beauty products, etc. A big thing was my desire to cut out unnecessary medications. I started to look into allergy relief since I wasn’t on a successful long-term allergy management regimen anyway, and I came across various different methods. The top five seemed to be:

1. Local, raw honey

2. Neti pot or other saline nasal rinse

3. Essential Oils

4. Air purifiers

5. Stinging nettles

I decided to try a combination of some of these. I bought a salt lamp for my desk. I started taking nettles in supplement form, and I started taking a tablespoon of local raw honey every morning. Within two weeks, I wasn’t even taking allergy medication anymore. Within a year, I wasn’t even having to be strict on my new allergy regimen. I stopped taking the nettle supplement once I found out I was pregnant. Some say nettles are a great supplement when pregnant and the tea I drank throughout my 2nd and 3rd trimester had nettles in it, but I worried with the tea and a supplement it would be too much and like modern medicine, when it comes to natural medicines, I prefer to err on the side of caution. Even with just the local honey and using the salt lamp whenever I remembered to turn it on, I was doing better than I had when I was on allergy medicines.

It is now spring in the Midwest and allergy season is in full swing. I will be honest, after giving birth I got wayyyy off track on pretty much everything and haven’t been keeping up on my local honey. I had a few rough days with runny nose, itchy eyes, and after getting back to taking one TBS of honey at least every other day, I only had those few rough days and was back to normal.

Why I don’t use a Neti Pot – partly because I’m lazy and it seems labor intensive. But mostly it’s because of the episode of House where the patient hadn’t been using the Neti Pot correctly and had microbes or spores or something growing that were making him very sick. My dad swears by using a saline spray, but I have never really used one regularly.

Why I don’t use essential oils – I really like essential oils and I have a small collection that I use every once in a while, but I didn’t start purchasing oils until shortly before I became pregnant and as I said earlier, I err on the side of caution so I used them very sparingly throughout my pregnancy and I use them rarely now since I have a nursling under 1 who is in direct contact with my skin a substantial amount of time. I have heard wonderful testimonials about the “allergy trio”, peppermint, lemon and lavender, but I haven’t tried them yet myself.

Disclaimer: Please remember I am not a medical professional in any way. Any health advice is based on my own personal experience and research but should not take the place of your own research and consultation with a medical professional.


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