Last year we brought you a post that helped educate you about cedar fever. It very explicitly only existed to bring some unnecessary bar room trivia to your life and to hopefully give you a few minutes of entertainment and laughter through sneezes and allergy-induced tears.
This year we decided to be a little more helpful and offer up a few tidbits to actually help you through the next few weeks of cedar and get you actually breathing, so that you can once again be the happy Austinites that we know and love. Here are just a few more natural remedies that we’ve picked up from other locals who have been battling cedar for years.
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As a founding member of the vocal trio Keeper, it’s particularly important to Erin Jantzen to ensure that her voice doesn’t suffer due to allergens. Her go-to remedy is Allergena, a homeopathic remedy that creates remedies based specifically around regional allergy zones. For Central Texas, Allergena has a tincture for Texas Cedar Fever (not at all surprisingly, it’s currently sold out on their website) and for Texas Trees. Jantzen picks hers up at HEB, but it’s also available at Central Market, Whole Foods, and Wheatsville Co-Op, among others. Of course, it’s not always a cure-all. “When the cedar is really high, I’ll still use Flonase, but if you build up on the drops it helps a lot,” Jantzen said.
Get Spa Quality Relief
Recent trips to some of Austin’s best spas during that initial onslaught during late December of 2016 revealed a couple of helpful tips, as well. At the Three Springs Spa at Omni Barton Creek the staff handed me warm towels with a couple of drops of menthol oil for me to bury my face in as I awaited my treatment. That, along with relaxing in their steamy sauna and tub area really helped to clear my head. Their January specials also include a Winter Herbal Remedy — an Herbal Poultice Massage that relieves skin, muscle, and sinuses of winter’s achy ailments.
At Travaasa in West Austin they even offer an allergy relief add-on. If you’re heading out there for the weekend, or looking for an afternoon getaway, including this treatment that really soothes and opens up your sinuses definitely offers some relief. It’s only temporary, but if you suffer greatly, even temporary can be beneficial.
From the Professionals
Independent massage practitioner Sonya Benjamin of Bodywork by Sonya also has her own suggestions for allergy relief:
“Many of my clients become congested while lying facedown on my massage table, especially during allergy season. My go to for offering any quick relief from congestion is peppermint oil. I place a tiny bit on both temples and a little behind the ears. This not only helps relieve congestion of the nasal passages, but it will also help ease those pressure headaches that attend that little allergy party in your face,” Benjamin said.
She also has a remedy that works to help get ahead of the seasonal allergy curve:
“For my other clients that just have seasonal allergies and want to catch it before it starts, I always suggest my favorite preventive, anti-inflammatory called Golden Milk. This will aid in lowering inflammation, which is the root cause of most ailments in the body.”
1 cup dairy-free milk (Dairy only exacerbates congestion)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coconut oil
dash black pepper (needed to activate the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric)
raw local honey to taste
Acupuncture can be a great way to try to address ongoing allergy problems. Consultations with your acupuncturist will likely lead to a series of treatments, as well as recommendations for herbal accompaniments. Many local acupuncturists can treat allergy issues (a simple Google search of “Austin acupuncture for allergies returns plenty of results of practitioners addressing this issue specifically).
From Austin Acupuncture:
There may be no cure for allergies, but acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can provide real and lasting relief from the symptoms, and, in a few cases, our patients have reported that they no longer suffer from allergies at all following their full course of treatment. No two cases are alike, however, and you are encouraged to work closely with our acupuncturists to find the best combination of acupuncture and herbal formulas to help you.
And if you just want to feel a tiny bit better about your suffering, just know that Austin is far from the worst in the country when it comes to allergy suffering, according to this list.
Good luck! We wish you a very clear-headed remainder of the cedar season. Did we miss some of your favorite remedies? Let us know about them in the comments so that everyone can benefit from your tried and tested cedar wisdom.