Sunday, May 1, 2011

allergies: natural remedies

I started a post at the beginning of this month talking about allergies. It wasn't something I struggled with as a child, so I'm relatively new to the whole "allergy" thing that happens to me every Spring. But in my adult years, it seems every year has been getting worse for me. To check out the last post on a few natural remedies and other great blogs that talk about facing allergies the natural way see here.

Anyways, today's post is in response to what my allergies have been doing these past few weeks and what I am learning. I would like to say there are two things happening that are both important factors to why I have been getting sick so often. (lately my allergies always develop into some sort of infection which ultimately makes me very sick). The first is the natural aspect of things....I don't always eat what I should and I don't get enough fluids like I should and I'm usually on very little sleep. The more and more I study pasteurization (especially milk products) the more I see how it can compromise the immune system, making me even more vulnerable to sickness. (please don't comment on pasteurization since this is not what this blog post is about). Also the lack of sleep is huge to not only maintaining health, but in order for our immune system to recover and build antibodies its pivotal we get the rest our body requires.

But I can't blame it all on natural things occurring. I personally know its a spiritual battle as well. Without a doubt every allergy break out, at its worst, always happens after we are facilitating the 24 hours of prayer and worship weekends. Last month's was developed into a sinus infection and felt it moving to my lungs 2 weeks in. not scary for me, just more annoying than anything. And this month, literally a few hours from going into the weekend i again felt the tension behind my eyes, puffiness behind my face as my chest began to feel heavy again. Oh no! Gotta be kidding Lord! Needless to say, I believe in the power of prayer and certainly knew that this was a spiritual battle I must fight. So I prayed, I rebuked, I was steadfast walking in the truth of being whole and healthy. I had some friends praying for me as well. And though I've seen nothing happen physically in my body, the brighter side of things is I've been learning a WHOLE LOT about what I can be doing naturally to help my body recover faster. In the meantime I do think there are some things God is wanting to teach me in all this.

Anyways, back to the main thing I wanted to share. The past 24 hours have been very unpleasant. I was on two hours of sleep due to a full weekend with full blown allergies at its worst. My poor children....i was just asking for grace all day so i wouldn't act stupid. But as a result I've done a really good job these last 24 hours taking care of myself. I wanted to share some things I've done because this morning I literally woke up a different person! It's the best results I have had in a 24 hour period thus far! Whether it was prayer or the remedies - I'd like to think its both!

here's what I did:

1. I stayed away from sugar (including fruit juices) and grains during this time, and pretty much "tried" to stay away from pasteurized milk (I'm getting raw milk soon, wish I had it now - oh well).

2. I ate a raw sweet red pepper - these delicious veggies have Vit A and 3x the amount of Vit. C as a cup of orange juice...and since I think orange juice can be counter-productive for your immune system I wasn't drinking it.

3. I took Vit. D3 supplement - I knew I had been deficient, but didn't have any castor oil on me. I did spend some time out in the sun with the girls, but found my allergies getting worst so i resorted to a quick fix with the supplement this time. I usually don't do vit D supplements.

4. I wanted probiotics, so I've been drinking Kefir. I actually have been drinking this alot lately because of being pregnant. I tested positive for the Strep B with the first two pregnancies and because I don't take the antibiotics during labor, Kefir is found to naturally reduce the risks of the culture growing irregular. (More on that later, as I plan to blog more on kefir in the future).

4. I had some organic chicken stock stored up in the freezer that I had made a couple weeks ago. I turned into a spicy garlic chicken oregano soup with cayenne pepper to help clear my sinuses. Woo! Was it hot.....but I enjoyed it and it was still yum! (I should totally post the recipe it was that good!)

5. I took a nettle leaf supplement. You can also do nettle leaf as a tea. Most people are allergic to its pollen in the spring, but not its leaf and actually getting chlorophyll from this can help my body produce a antihistamine naturally.

6. Drinking tea. I've been reading a lot of the benefits of fermented teas, but this time around I just went with a respiratory mix of licorice root, eucalyptus leaf, fennel fruit, peppermint leaf, calendula flower, ginger and pleurisy root. I use to hate the taste of the tea, but its really grown on me and I've found it to be very good now. Thank you Wegmans! I also add locally harvested RAW honey to it.

7. And sleep - well unfortunately my youngest kept me up last night until 3:30am and awoke this morning at 6:30am, so I am still working on this one. Sleep and rest have been the BEST things for me in the past, so I wasn't too happy about it, to say the least, when I awoke this morning. But God has certainly given me A LOT of grace. Can all the mothers out there say AMEN?!

i have to admit though, I still had my cup of coffee this morning because of a headache that came about from not drinking it yesterday. I find that coffee does interfere with recovery, despite the argument of how many antioxidants are in it....i don't drink it black and so it's really no good for me.

Today my chest feels clear, I'm not blowing my nose nearly as much, my head is lighter and my face isn't puffy. Looking at me you wouldn't know at all what i had faced the last 24 hours.....Praise God!

All that to say....WOWZERS! Today I feel really good. I was so excited to share the news with you I just had to let you in on the secrets of what I've learned about natural remedies. And I found this time to be more pleasant than the apple cider vinegar shots (which works, just taste awful). ;-)

So, what do you do when you face the discomfort of allergies or being sick?

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