Spring is here! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and the flowers and trees are blooming. While all that is lovely, if you're one of the many people who suffer from seasonal allergies, blooming plants probably don't excite you. Spring can easily become the worst time of year.

Taking allergy medicine is expensive and unnatural, not to mention the side-effects – some make you drowsy and others make your head spin. You're basically trading one ailment for another. Part of being green is reducing your dependence on chemicals by switching to natural products and this is a perfect opportunity to do just that. This year, instead of heading straight to the pharmacy, why not go green by trying some natural remedies? Here are five ways to beat the pollen with Mother Nature's assistance.

1)      Local honey is said to prevent allergic reactions to pollen. While there isn't much science behind it, the concept does make sense. Honey is produced by bees that create it from pollen. The idea is that if you eat a tablespoon or so of raw local honey per day, your body will build up a tolerance to the foliage that surrounds you and as a result, your symptoms will subside.

2)      Apple cider vinegar is a remedy that is used to treat many different conditions – including allergies. The belief is that apple cider vinegar reduces the production of mucous and cleanses the lymphatic system. You can either take one teaspoon by itself or mix it with a glass of water. Doing this three times a day is said to instigate symptom relief.

3)      A neti pot is recommended as an allergy remedy by both conventional and homeopathic doctors. Doctors suggest that allergy sufferers use a neti pot for sterile saline nasal irrigation to flush the sinuses of allergens. The only obstacle is – you have to be brave enough to irrigate your sinuses.

4)      Butterbur is an herbal supplement made from the root, leaf or bulb of the butterbur plant. Some studies have suggested that using butterbur leaf extract for liberation from allergy symptoms might be just as effective as over-the-counter antihistamines.

5)      Acupuncture has been said to have many medicinal benefits, including the alleviation of allergy symptoms. Medical studies have shown mixed results. However, the positive results have been promising for allergy sufferers. The only true downside to this form of treatment is the amount of time it takes before seeing results. It can take 2-4 months for patients of this ancient medicine to begin feeling improvements. But it may be worth it. It is said that this treatment can be so effective that it can eliminate the need for other avenues, such as antihistamines.

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