Spring time. Element of air. First breaths springing forth. Spirituality, the image of air/ being in spirit. Feelings of renewal. Spring cleaning. Birds come back out and things start blooming. So when we talk about self care for this season:
- Lots of slow stretching, our bodies have been tight and now is a good time to get the oxygen flowing in our blood to wake up all our organs and stir the brain.
- Breathing exercises. Since traditionally the element for spring is air, doing some good breathing exercises is a great idea.
- Decluttering. There’s a reason why spring cleaning is such a widespread thing. These days it’s not just about clearing out our closets, dusting forgotten corners, and readying the garden for the season. These days we have an extra opportunity to clear out our inbox, the millions of photos from our phone, and the more technological clutter that creeps into our lives.
I think living in the Pacific Northwest, with such intensely rainy grey dark winters, I always am still somehow amazed when Spring is here. It's kind of like there's a big confusing dark storm and then BOOM! blossoms and flowers everywhere. I don't know if it's just me, but I think since moving here I'm struck more by how sensitive I am when Spring arrives- there's almost a whiplash. So though Spring might feel like a push forward right away, it's also important to take care.
Along with this change of season, often comes uncomfy allergy symptoms for some of us.
Please remember that every body is different, and allergies are unfortunately a reality that takes trial and error, but hopefully the things that have worked for me can help you, too.
1. Probiotics. From everything I've read, it looks like the reason why probiotics help, is because they help balance the general inner ecosystem, so when there is an onslaught of foreign allergens and anything the body reads as toxic, the balanced inner ecosystem helps. Basically this means that probiotics should always be taken regularly to keep the body and immune system functioning at top-notch. Also, make sure you get on a good quality probiotic. Get one that is actually kept refrigerated! I know there are some shelf-stable probiotics out there, but I definitely notice a difference when I'm on the good ole' live probiotics that are kept alive in the refrigerator.
2. Regular drinking of water and allergy-easing herbal tea. I blend and sell this one!
3. NETTLES! Gosh I cannot encourage this enough. For the past few years since being in the Pacific Northwest, my allergies have been worse than ever, and I notice a significant difference when I take Nettles + Quercetin capsules.
4. Eyebright/Euphrasia. The other thing I've struggled with a lot, is really itchy irritated eyes from allergic response. Last year I found out about Euphrasia, homeopathic remedy style, and it really does help. This remedy, in conjunction with some good homeopathic eyedrops, and I'm good to go!
5. Eyedrops. Pretty self-explanatory. I like the brand called "Similasan."
6. Apple cider vinegar. Besides for having probiotics (assuming you get the good stuff that has the "mother" in it!), ACV contains compounds that help balance the PH of the body, and in turn has been shown to be a wonderful remedy for allergies.
7. Bee products. Pollen, honey, propolis. Obviously only if you're not allergic to bee products! But if you're cool with them, they do have natural occurring antihistamine properties- especially if you get pollen, honey propolis from a local beekeeper. Bees are magic and their medicine is nuanced for their local habitats.
8. Since allergies is your body's way of expressing its feeling of being invaded by something undesired, it's important to keep things extra anti-inflammatory when your system is already compromised by histamines. I hate to say it, but gluten and dairy are two of the main inflammatory culprits in this way. I have a lot of experience and studies under my belt within the holistic nutrition field, and I'm not one who preaches any one particular diet, but during allergy seasons, it makes sense to avoid food products that the body would usually be able to process more easily.
9. Due to all I just wrote in #8, adding in herbs that support the liver, ease inflammation and heat, and support the immune system as it manages the histamine reactions, is also helpful. I just released a tincture blend that I find perfect for this combination of goals. Check it out!
Here are some products that I make that will be supportive during this season: