- Eric Webb American-Statesman Staff
Learn everything you can about your enemy, so that you might destroy it.
Cedar season begins in mid-December and typically ends by March, and Austin recently saw its the highest levels of Ashe juniper pollen so far this winter. That’s all well and good for nature, but for your poor sinuses, it’s a death sentence once the wind knocks all that pollen out of the trees and into the world. Sneezing, watery and itchy eyes: You know the drill. A drill, coincidentally, is a good way to describe the feeling of what’s invading your skull.
You’ve probably heard the usual tips for keeping cedar fever in check — antihistamines, don’t forget to take showers, stay inside if you can help it — but perhaps there’s a better way. We asked readers on Facebook to share their own remedies, and they had some creative approaches to fighting back against the yellow scourge of Central Texas.
- Samuel Velez’s solution is to consume the power of his opponent. “Eat the raw cedar berries in increments and you’ll be cured forever,” he writes. Eat one berry the first day, two berries the second day and so on until the seventh day. After that do it all backwards. The berries should be swallowed like a pill, he notes.
- Elizabeth Abadie Green is a fan of Texas Knows Allergy Relief drops, and NeilMed Sinus Rinse (”in the shower,” she notes) and “tea with local honey.” That honey tip was echoed by several readers and is a common home remedy.
- Jenny Hill is into the BioAllers Tree Pollen homeopathic treatment for allergies, which she says is available at Central Market or People's Pharmacy. “Before I found it, cedar pollen used to make me so miserable I thought I might have to move out of Texas,” Hill says.
- Other store-bought remedies that seem to save our readers include Cedar X drops on the wrist (recommended by Kathyann Thompson Adams), Herbalogic Easy Breather and TexaClear.
- Not exactly an easy fix, but Todd Wulfmeyer recommends “healthy gut flora, no sugar, an immune system at peak function due to nutrition, sun exposure and exercise.”
- “Allergy shots!” Laura Villanueva says. “Best decision I've made in my life.”
- When in doubt, flush it out. Brenda J. Culver recommends a Neti Pot, with a “gallon of sterile water and sinus wash packets.”
- If you still want to go the pharmaceutical route, many readers said they rely on ol’ faithfuls like Zyrtec, Claritin-D and Flonase.
Alas, if none of those elixirs or rituals bring you relief from cedar fever, you can always laugh through the tears. Perhaps follow the lead of Carlos Moreno, who says you should try tequila and “moving out of Austin.” And this one might not be the environmentally friendly (or legal) option, but Mark Whitehead has a point: a “chainsaw and a bonfire” would definitely cut to the chase.
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