Living Close to Nature


Monika Rakowski

Monica Rakowski

Nature's way to beat allergy season

Spring is here, which means allergy season isn't far behind.

There are plenty of over-the-counter allergy pills to choose from, however they come with side effects. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness,constipation,stomachupset, blurredvision anddry mouth/nose/throat. If you want to avoid these uncomfortable side effects, there are plenty of other methods that will ease your symptoms.

Local raw honey

Since the bees were landing on your local flowers, raw honey from your community will contain the pollens that you breathe in every day. Start eating local raw honey 4-6 weeks before allergy season hits. This will help your body build up an immunity towards your local pollen.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is the ideal home remedy for many conditions, including hay fever. It breaks down mucus and phlegm in the body, which is helpful during allergy season. Holistic practitioners recommend adding two teaspoons of ACV and two teaspoons of honey to water. Drink this three times a day throughout the season.


Nature tends to grow the plants we need when and where we need them. Nettles are no exception. Although farmers and hikers may hate their sting, nettles are vitamin powerhouses. Nettles are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, magnesium, manganese, zinc and chromium, just to name a few.

The best way to fight allergies with nettles is to take the dried leaf in capsule form. You can buy them online for under $10. If you’re more of the DIY type, you can take advantage of our peninsula's abundance of nettles. Pick and dry the leaves yourself, then grind them up and put them into your own capsules. Just make sure to wear gloves!


Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that stabilizes mast cells to keep them from releasing histamine. Start taking this powerful supplement 4-6 weeks before allergy season begins to prevent allergy symptoms. Although you can find Quercetin in broccoli and citrus fruits, it is difficult to consume the amount needed to prevent allergies. Try supplementing with capsules. Take up to 500 mg twice a day for up to 12 weeks. Avoid Quercetin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Neti pots

Neti pots originally come from the Ayurvedic tradition, and are now becoming mainstream here in America. Neti pots look like tiny tea pots and can be purchased at most drug stores for about $10. The idea is to fill the pot with a saltwater solution and run it through the nostrils. This flushes out the mucus and pollens from the nasal cavities.

To make the saltwater solution, mix one teaspoon of salt with a pint of lukewarm distilled or previously boiled water. Over the sink, tilt your head to the side and pour the liquid through your top nostril. The fluid will run through your nasal cavity and out your bottom nostril. Do this daily. When symptoms subside, cut back to three times per week.

The dreaded allergy season is on its way. With some planning and preparation, you can ease your allergy symptoms nature's way and avoid the consequences of OTC medicines.

Monica Rakowski owns KP Indoor Garden Store in Key Center and blogs at