Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies + Spiced Granola!

5 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

I didn’t suffer from seasonal allergies until I moved to New York city.  As you can expect, I am not a fan.  Thankfully my allergies have been fairly mild; nothing more than a few sneezes, a pesky runny nose and eyes that start to itch at night.  Still, relief is much desired and not from a pill.  Last year I found relief in a fantastic herb; and this year I’m going even more in-depth in my pursuit of natural remedies for seasonal allergies.  Why choose a natural remedy when you can easily pick up a box of Zyrtec at the drugstore?  Natural remedies don’t just cover up the problem, but many work to strengthen our body’s defense before the pollen attack begins.  On top of that, these natural remedies come side effect free; that means no drowsiness!

1. Stay extra hydrated!
With Spring comes warmer weather, longer days, pretty flowers and pesky pollen.  Spring also brings rain showers, let them be a reminder to shower your insides with a lot of filtered water!  Staying hydrated is essential for relieving seasonal allergies. Believe it or not, the majority of us are dehydrated and suffer from the ill effects of this condition. In a healthy and properly hydrated system histamine is produced to defend the body when there is a foreign invasion of a virus, bacteria or pollen.  By making you sneeze and initiating a runny nose, the histamine is able to expel the invader from the body. When we are dehydrated our bodies produce too much histamine, and allergic reactions are triggered unnecessarily.  Drink plenty of filtered water to stay hydrated, and to keep your bodily functions balanced.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice into your water for some allergy fighting Vitamin C.
2. The Magic of Bee Pollen 
Though it’s not exactly vegan, I’m a big fan of local bee pollen for it’s incredible healing properties. You know that dusty stuff you see on flowers, the pollen? There are two types of pollen: one that is blown by the wind and is responsible for seasonal allergies, and another that is collected by honey bees, then synthesized to create the delicious granules we call bee pollen. Bee pollen is Nature’s multivitamin. It contains all 22 of the essential amino acids and is 25% protein. It also contains over a dozen vitamins and over two dozen minerals; even 11 enzymes and fatty acids. Bee pollen is high in quercetin, a flavanoid found in many foods and known for its ability to lower the bodies histamine response. That means less sneezing and fewer runny noses. 

Local bee pollen works best. It acts as a natural vaccine against airborne pollen, by building up your body’s defense. Look for bee pollen with the widest variety of color; this indicates that the pollen has been taken from a wide variety of flowers. It is recommended to start taking bee pollen at least a month before allergy season strikes, so that you’ll have time to build up your defenses. Start with a small dose, 1 teaspoon per day, then work your way up to a maximum 1 tablespoon a day. It’s delicious and goes well in smoothies and with granola. Check out the recipe below! 

Why do I recommend bee pollen if it isn’t vegan? As you might’ve heard, decline in bee populations has become a very serious issue. Beekeepers help to fight this colony collapse by keeping bees; at an industrialized scale, the factory-farming of honey, pollen, and other bee byproducts has its own issues. That’s part of why I favor local beekeeping. Leave me a comment letting me know your approach to this issue. It can be a tricky subject!
3. Brave the Stinging Nettle
When you rub up against a Stinging Nettle plant it’s going to hurt!  Despite it’s terrible sting, Stinging Nettle does have a nice side.  This herb was the first natural remedy I tried to cure my own allergies; so I can attest to it’s effectiveness.  Stinging Nettle acts as a natural antihistamine to alleviate allergy symptoms, especially runny nose and sneezing.  It can be taken as a tea, a tincture or in pill form. The most widely recommended is Stinging Nettle tea that has been brewed for a long time.  Look for the tea at health food stores.  Alternatively, the tincture is a great option and easier to travel with.  Add a dropper full of tincture to a glass of water and sip it down; Maxx thinks it tastes like herbal tea : ) 
4. Make it Hot!
This has got to be the tastiest way to combat seasonal allergies.  By adding some spice to your food this allergy season you can alleviate congestion. Spicy foods will thin mucous secretions and clear nasal passages. If you’ve ever eaten wasabi or too much cayenne pepper,  you’ll know what I’m talking about. This allergy season, spice up your food with cayenne pepper, ginger, fenugreek, wasabi, and spicy condiments.  Curry, chili, and spicy salsa will all help you kick your congestion.
5. Pass the Omega-3 
Yes, the much talked about Omega-3 fatty acid can even be helpful for relieving seasonal allergies by strengthening the immune system and lowering the body’s histamine response to allergens.  Omega-3 is a fatty acid essential to human health.  Our bodies do not produce Omega-3, so we must attain the proper amount from food or supplements.  Omega-3 fatty acid works as an anti-inflammatory agent, thus reducing inflammation in the sinuses caused by histamine response, a.k.a allergic reactions.  It also boosts the immune system, giving your body the extra strength it needs to fight allergens and ward off infection. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acid include fish (salmon, halibut, and tuna), walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds.  As a vegan, it is important to eat a diet in which this healthy fat is present.  I make sure to eat plenty of walnuts, chia seeds and flax seed oil; all delicious, healthy and safe sources of allergy beneficial Omega-3 fatty acid.  Replace olive oil with flax seed oil in salad dressings, and eat walnuts everyday!  

Start your day off strong with a few glasses of water with lemon and this super allergy fighting granola which combines bee pollen, cayenne pepper, and walnuts.  Plus it’s gluten free and 100% raw! 


Spiced Granola
(makes 2 servings. Allergy fighters are in bold.)
1 cup buckwheat (soaked, sprouted and dried)
1/2 cup coconut shreds
1/2 cup walnuts (OMEGA-3)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (OMEGA-3)
1-2 tablespoons bee pollen (NATURAL VACCINE, QUERCETIN, AND VITAMINS)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (DECONGESTANT AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (ANTI-INFLAMMATORY)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup goji berries (VITAMIN C & RESTORES NORMAL FUNCTIONING OF IMMUNE SYSTEM)
dash of salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
 Mix all ingredients together.  Eat as is, or with non-dairy milk or yogurt : )
  • Donna

    Your post is wonderful…I have successfully “cured” my birch tree pollen allergy with local bee pollen and raw honey!..I cannot wait to try your spiced granola…but is there an acceptable substitute for the walnuts? I am unfortunately allergic to them…hazelnuts or flax seed or almonds? Thank you for continuously giving and sharing your culinary knowledge and creativity..it is so appreciated!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14339637872852520953 Marsha Hallet

    Thanks so much for the interesting and well-timed natural cures for seasonal allergies. I’m off to pick up some bee pollen so I can make your gorgeous granola. The acacia trees are doing me in!

  • http://compassionatecuisine.wordpress.com/ Márcia Gonçalves

    Interesting article , I didn’t know about these natural remedies :) Thanks !

  • http://www.healthyfoodietravels.net/ Kiri W.

    Oh wow, what a granola treat! :) I’d love this, and I don’t even have allergies.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11504948204624142238 Jenné

    Thanks! I hope this helps :)
    Donna, try hemp seeds in place of the walnuts! I usually add them to my granola too, and they’re a wonderful source of Omega-3. Flax oil sprinkled on top would be good too.
    All of the vegetarian foods I recommend for Omega-3s provide ALA (one type of omega-3)only. For best results, think about taking an omega-3 supplement that contains DHA and EPA.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01549774687334791659 Kim Bee

    This is wicked cool. I’ve never seen bee pollen before but then I’ve never looked. I need to check this out.

  • http://howtomakesweetpotatofries.org/ how to make sweet potato fries

    Let me give score to my self. I don’t like drinking (have no idea why) so I don’t hydrate too much. I don’t take bee pollen but take 2 spoon of honey everyday. Never found stinging nettle near home. I like hot and spicy foods (I love chili). I don’t take omega 3 everyday.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05252528689535462349 mjskit

    Over 30 years ago when I moved to NM I found out what allergies were. The juniper pollen in the spring had me clogged up until July! Then a local told me to start using local honey. The following spring, I had no allergies! Since I put honey in my tea I get several doses a day and I now swear by it. :) I did not know the info about Omega-3 and allergies. Very interesting post and great looking granola! Congrats on the Top 9!

  • http://burntapple.com/ burntapple.com

    I love your recipe, and I love the flavor combinations. I like how you add what the ingredients do to help fight allergies on the ingredient list. Congratulations on your top 9!

  • http://www.culinarythymes.com/ alyce culinary thymes

    Great post and tips. Thanks!

  • http://www.beyondbeautifulskin.com/ Laurisa

    That recipes looks delicious! Definitely going to try it…and I’ve been taking my bee pollen for the past month and haven’t experienced any allergy symptoms!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05121575310182113619 victory

    I see here that you suggest using the bee pollen before the season begins. Is there any benefit to using it after the season begins?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12280591539709488613 Steph

    Hello,
    Does taking honey or bee pollen still help if it is already past the one month “prior” to spring or allergy season by the time you eat it?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11504948204624142238 Jenné

    Hey Steph! You can try taking it now, but it might be too late. It’s still really tasty and full of nutrients. The season should be ending soon :)