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1. Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle has a long history of medicinal usages, including pain relief and relief for insect bites. Making a stinging nettle infusion for you or your little one to sip is another way to stave off allergies and hay fever in particular. Scientists believe nettle may be able to reduce the amount of histamine being released in the bodies of allergy sufferers. Stinging nettle teas are available, but this infusion looks simple and healthy.

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2. Neti pot

Neti pots offer one of my favorite ways to flush out (literally) some of the allergens that get in our noses and sinuses by using warm water mixed with a saline solution. Neti pots are gentle and guaranteed to make your kid laugh. Seriously, what is funnier than pouring water into one side of your nostril and having it come out the other side? Neti pots may be a bit of a challenge for very young kids, but older ones will quickly get the hang of these simple tools that have been used for hundreds of years. Be sure to use filtered water or simply boil tap water and then let it cool. Definitely make sure whatever water you are using is not too warm — scalding the inside of your child’s nose is not the goal here.

RELATED | Mom Knows Best: Net Pots for Kids

apple cider vinegar

3. Apple cider vinegar

Who would have guessed that an allergy symptom fighter was right in your pantry? Along with being one of Hippocrates’s favorite cure-alls, apple cider vinegar has been reported to reduce allergy symptoms caused by pets and other environmental factors. You can take a small shot of about a teaspoon of this vinegar, but kids will likely find it easier and much more pleasant to mix a dose (of about 1/2 tsp- 1 tsp) with a glass of water and chug it that way. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the mixture is also recommended. You can do this dose a few times a day for more benefit.

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4. Raw, local honey

If you pick up a bottle of honey in a bear-shaped jar at the grocery store, you are likely getting a processed product with honey sourced from all over the world. If you want to fight allergies, give raw, local honey a try. The idea is that local honey comes from local bees who have feasted upon local pollen to make said honey. Acting a bit like a natural vaccine, the honey is thought to help build immunity to those who consume it. Please, don’t give honey to babies under one year of age.

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5. Healthy diet, especially foods that are high in quercetin and Vitamin C

Scientists are still researching the role of quercetin and Vitamin C as effective, natural antihistamines in supplemental form. In the meantime, get them naturally in the form of tea, apples, berries, dill and cilantro (for quercetin, a flavanoid) and bell peppers, citrus fruits and broccoli (for Vitamin C.)

Try some dietary suggestions from Ayurveda, a thousand year-old traditional medicine and lifestyle method practiced originally in India. For allergies, avoid oily and deep fried foods as well as cold food and dairy. These foods are all believed to hold up the digestive process and leave you with extra mucus. Including warming spices such as cinnamon and ginger, eating lots of leafy greens, and drinking lots of warm water is recommended. Another suggestion is putting drops in the nostrils to form a barrier against allergens. Cured sesame oil is typically used for this process, called nasya, but extra virgin olive oil can also be subbed in.

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6. Essential oils

Essential oils are a wonderful natural addition to your parental tool belt. Lavender essential oil is commonly used in baby and kid products for its calming effect, but it’s also cleansing, which helps reduce pollen and allergens. Peppermint and lemon also have similar cleansing properties, so consider diffusing any or all of these essential oils in the home. The delicious smell will be a bonus. We dab a bit of eucalyptus oil mixed with a carrier oil (such as olive oil) on our necks and chest when we or our kids get congested in the wintertime, since it is known for its respiratory benefits. You can add some to a bath or shower or even swipe some onto the bottoms of little feet before bedtime to keep allergy symptoms at bay.

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