Allergies + singer = struggle bus.
I’ve had allergies my whole life, to the point of just not singing in the peak pollen weeks of spring and fall. When vocal rest and tons of water aren’t enough, natural remedies are the healthiest way to go. Fortunately, most of these are super easy to incorporate into your lifestyle and budget.
- Add Turmeric. This herb can be found in liquid, tea, or capsule form. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory. (Inflammation = swelling = one of the symptoms of allergies we don’t like.)*
- Add Ginger. Similar to tumeric, ginger is an anti-inflammatory. You can find it in tea, add fresh ginger to some hot water, or if you can stand it, you can eat fresh or dried ginger straight.*
- Steam. Yup, place yo’ face over a pot of boiling water. Or, if you need steam frequently and don’t like standing over a stove for minutes at a time, you can get a fancy portable steamer like this:
- No Dairy. *sob* Like most dietary information out there, science is undecided as to whether or not dairy increases phlegm and inflammation in your body. However, when I got my tonsils out, my surgeon told me no dairy for two weeks because of those exact reasons. Recently, I’ve cut out all dairy from my diet and it’s been a huge success. My allergy symptoms are less severe and I find myself clearing my throat far less often. (Believe me, this was the last thing I wanted – I love ice cream, cheese, and butter in extraordinary quantities. But I love feeling better and being able to sing, too.)
- Gargle. Grandma knew what she was doing when you were sick as a kid. Salt and some warm water will help soothe throat irritation. Gargle on high pitches to raise the larynx a little and get your cords closer to that soothing warmth and healing salt.
- Add probiotics. Probiotics are good gut bacteria (pro=for the benefit of; biotic = relating to living things #wordnerd). Lots of science says that a lot of our allergies actually come from an imbalance in our digestive systems. By replenishing our guts with good bacteria, our immune system apparently functions more reasonably. Be sure to research the right quantity and type of probiotic for you if you go this route.
- Other natural remedies out there. There are SO many other options. Just be really careful and double-check everything. Make sure that the remedy doesn’t dry out your cords. There’s a common natural remedy circulating that claims you should eat local honey to build up an immunity to pollen. When I tried this, it made my allergies worse than they’d ever been in my life. Research agrees local pollen is not the best for everyone. So just be cautious, check multiple sources, and check with a doctor before deciding to follow something!
*PSA: Trader Joe’s has a Ginger-Turmeric tea. It’s like they created it for allergy-ridden friends like us.
Any natural remedies that have or have not worked for you in the past? Comment here and let’s help each other out!