It has been a long time in coming, but spring is finally making somewhat of an entrance in the Pacific Northwest. The weather is still rainy and cool, but the days are longer and the sun is actually making an appearance more frequently. I don’t know why this surprises me every year, but my good old allergies start to kick in at the first bloom of springtime. I think because winter, even though it’s dark and gloomy, does afford me a respite in the allergy department.
Tree, plant and grass pollen are filling the air, with the accompanying symptoms of sneezing, sniffling and swollen eyes. My sinuses seem eternally stuffed up, resulting in that oh-so unattractive mouth-breathing at night. I know that 24-hour non-drowsy allergy medications are available, and I do take them from time to time. I don’t want to become dependent on medications though, preferring a more natural approach since it’s so ongoing.
What to do, what to do? First thing, I am a committed neti pot user. I religiously use it every day, and have been for years. There is nothing quite like flushing out the nasal passages with salt water! Once you start, it’s hard to stop; the instant clean feeling is quite amazing and quite addictive. It’s perfectly natural though – I don’t think I am in any danger of having to go to neti pot rehab – well, at least I hope so!
I learned something new recently: that applying petroleum jelly to the inside of your nostrils will trap pollen in your nose. So, of course, I had to try this. Being the natural, eco-conscious gal that I am (well, try to be), I really don’t like the idea of putting a chemical by-product up my nose, so I am using the Alba Un-petroleum Jelly, which is the same consistency of petroleum jelly but is made from pure plant oils and all natural waxes. It helps keep the inner lining of the nose moist too, which just feels better.
First thing in the morning, and a couple times a day, I spray saline nose spray up my nose. I use it to augment the action of the neti pot, and is more of a quick, nasal-moistening fix. I find it works even better if I spray, wait 5 minutes, blow my nose and then spray again. This seems to work more effectively for a quick nasal cleanse.
Yes, I do take allergy medications every now and then. But since I’ve been practicing the more natural methods, my medication use has greatly lessened. I haven’t had a sinus infection in years either. I used to get them twice a year (fall and spring), with the resulting antibiotic use to clear it up. I hate antibiotic use because it throws the body all out of whack. I’m glad to be rid of having to take them anymore.
So gurgle, snort, spray and line your nasal passages! They will love you for it!