Sabrina Granniss, IBCLC
Spring Cleaning Home and Body
The sun is shining and the weather is warming up in my neck of the woods in CT. Along with the welcome weather shift, comes the season of allergies for many people. How do you handle the allergy season?
Commonly used medications have negative effects not to be ignored. That doesn't mean you need to suffer through! There are lots of ways to support your body through the season of allergies. Of course, the long term and most sustainable changes come from looking at your body as a whole. We need to evaluate our internal and external environment and do some spring cleaning for both.
Diet matters! Eating a whole foods diet cutting out processed foods is where it’s at. Oh, and since it’s spring, why not start a garden so you can grow some of that delicious organic plant food yourself. Include lots of herbs in your garden. They not only add wonderful flavors to your meals, but contribute vitamins and minerals to our bodies. Digging in the dirt has been shown to contribute to a healthy gut and better mood. Even if you live in a dense area, many areas have a community garden near by or you can utilize container gardening. Enjoy that sunshine and fresh air while you’re digging in your garden. Notice how it elevates your mood.
In your home there are many ways to spring clean. No, I don’t mean vacuum and dust and organize all the toys the kids have in various areas of your spaces. I am talking about products you use. Go through every room! Our bathrooms, laundry area and under the kitchen sink should have products that are friendly to the environment and our health. Products with heavy perfumes are creating toxic air in our homes and it’s time for them to go. An essential oil diffuser is a nice alternative. Take time to learn about them to know which oils are safe for babies and for your pets.
Our skin absorbs all we put on it so what we put on it needs to be safe. Environmental Working Group is a site to bookmark and go to for all your products to check out their safety. They have helpful guides for everything from food to toothpaste, to baby products to sunscreen to make-up to cleaning products, you get the point. It is one of my favorite resources ever!
Of course, sometimes we don’t feel our best and our bodies need a little extra support. Elderberry is a big booster for our immune system. Zinc is helpful for keeping away that cold trying to take hold and a lot of us are deficient in it as well. Using herbs to steep a tea can soothe our throats, calm our bellies and boost our immune system. Try a little licorice, nettle, raspberry leaf, chamomile and lemon balm blend. Yum and super fun to make. Hey, did you know you can grow these in that garden we talked about earlier? After harvesting, dry your herbs and then let the kiddos help massage the herbs, breaking them up into a big glass bowl and mix it all together. They will enjoy sipping the tea even more! All the herbs mentioned are kid safe and breastfeeding safe.
Once you start to build your new medicine cabinet of natural, organic foods, herbs and supplements that support the body you will be contributing to health rather than contributing to harming the body with the effects other allergy medicines like Singulair can cause.
Of course, there are many more natural modalities to consider as tools in your toolbox of health. I look forward to exploring them more in other posts. For now, happy spring cleaning!!