Breathe Easy With These Natural Fixes
New research from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor finds that a simple saltwater solution can offer relief from symptoms. "It's perfect for postnasal drip or if mucus has become thick or dry, causing congestion," says lead author Melissa A. Pynnonen, M.D. Dissolve a quarter of a teaspoon each of kosher salt and baking soda in a cup of warm water. Using a bulb syringe, squirt bottle, or neti pot ($36 at netipot.org), squirt this solution into your right nasal passage while leaning over a sink. Then tilt your head to the left, allowing the water to drain out of your left nostril; repeat on the other side.
Taken in tablet or caplet form, this bioflavonoid, found in foods like red wine, tea, and apples, has anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine found that quercetin helps block the production of symptom-causing histamines. A 1,000-milligram tablet, taken one to three times a day, is enough to alleviate allergies, says William S. Silvers, M.D., a professor at the University of Colorado.
These antiinflammatory fatty acids may alleviate symptoms in hay fever sufferers, reports a study in the journal Allergy. Silvers recommends having a serving of cold-water fish, such as salmon or mackerel, walnuts, ground flaxseed, or a fish-oil supplement at least three to four times a week.