Category Archives: spring cleaning
Spring is here, the flowers are in bloom, and it’s a beautiful sight, except for those who suffer from allergies. Allergens such as pollen can cause all sorts of symptoms for allergy sufferers, such as itchy eyes, congestion, and sneezing. Many people take prescribed or over-the-counter medicines that help allergy symptoms, but some of these medicines can cause side effects that are worse than the original problem. For a more natural solution to ease mild, spring-time allergy suffering, here is a list of 10 home remedies that may be helpful:
- It’s hard enough to avoid allergens outdoors, so try not to bring them into your home, too. Keeping windows and doors shut during allergy season can help keep pollen out of your house. Eliminate any cross breeze by shutting off fans that circulate air in and out of the house. Indoor air purifiers/HEPA filters are a great added step to keep your house as allergen-free as possible.
- While being outdoors it is difficult to avoid allergens, so one great step is to wear eye protection. Wearing sunglasses (with side shields) or goggles while outside will keep pollen and other allergens from landing in your eyes and causing swelling or itching.
- Taking a steaming-hot shower has two major benefits for allergy sufferers: First, the steam soothes sinuses and clears nasal passages. The second benefit is that the shower washes away pollen and allergens from the skin and hair, preventing the spread of contaminants into your home.
- Peppermint tea has essential oils that act as an anti-inflammatory, decongestant, and mild antibacterial. A nice warm mug of peppermint tea can help alleviate irritated nasal passages and a sore throat.
- For those who don’t want to take a shower every time they feel congested, a steam bowl is a simpler way to get similar results. Fill a large bowl with steaming water (add eucalyptus oil for added relief), place a towel over your head, and take deep breathes of the eucalyptus steam.
- Another way to clear your nasal passages is to use a saline nasal rinse. There are many different methods of delivering the solution into your nasal cavity, but the basic concept is to flush out the congestion and keep the passages dry.
- For those who can handle spicy foods, wasabi and horseradish are great for clearing your sinuses. Allyl isothiocyanate is the ingredient in these two foods that activates your sinus and tear ducts to promote mucus flow. Also foods like walnuts, flaxseed, and cold-water fish, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, are great for fighting inflammation when eaten regularly.
- There are a variety of herbs and supplements which have been studied for allergy relief, such as spirulina, goldenseal, and eyebright. The plant extract butterbur has had strong results with reducing airway inflammation, as well as bromelain, which is an enzyme found in pineapple. The stinging nettle is a plant with natural antihistamines, which can be extracted, consumed through tea, or absorbed a variety of other ways.
- Consuming locally produced honey on a regular basis is thought to build up your body’s immunity to local pollens. When bees transfer pollen from your region into honey and you eat it frequently, it can slowly inoculate you against regional pollens.
- Since you spend a third of your life in bed sleeping, it is important to protect yourself from allergens in your bedroom. Dust mites are microscopic pests that live in warm, humid environments and feed on discarded human skin cells, therefore your mattress and pillow are an ideal location for them to live and thrive in. The excrement and buildup of dead dust mites can be the cause of allergic sensitivity. To protect yourself from being exposed to dust mites and bed bugs, consider purchasing OMI’s certified-organic cotton Bed-Bug and Dust-Mite Pillow and Mattress Barrier Covers. The tight micron weave prevents these pests from invading your mattress and multiplying, giving you peace of mind and a healthier night’s sleep. Here is a link to view more information about our barrier covers:
Spring is finally here! After an unusually bizarre winter with the “polar vortex” swirling around the east and the dry skies in the west, we’re all ready to enjoy the pleasures of springtime. The sun is shining, maybe a little rain is still falling, but warm weather is here, hopefully to stay!
Here is a list of 10 things to do, get outside… enjoy the weather and your family and friends.
1. Read outside on a blanket in the sun
2. Go fishing with your buddies
4. Make these beautiful spring centerpieces, using simple glass jars and lemons for a touch of color!
6. Plan a “staycation” with these cool ideas
7. Take pictures of wildflowers
10. Make a fairy garden like this one!
As I threw my sheets in the washing machine last night, I caught myself wondering if I wash my sheets enough. At once every two weeks it already feels like I am always changing my bedding, but I did a little research anyway on the recommended time between washing sheets anyway, to see what the world has to say on the subject.
You wouldn’t think it would be a very hot topic, but everybody seems to have very different and (strong) views on washing sheets. Some people are religious about washing them every week, while others don’t see the point in changing out bedding but once a month. There are the fanatics out there that change their sheets several times a week, and studies have even found Western cultures in which changing the sheets only three times a year is the norm.
If you only wash your sheets once a month and you sleep an average of eight hours a night for 30 nights, that’s 240 hours on your sheets every month, or the equivalent of wearing the same clothes for 10 days straight (with fewer mustard stains, I would guess).
Your body, even straight out of the shower, will slough off dead skin cells (which attract dustmites), hair, dirt, oil, and sweat. And when it comes off of you, that means it’s staying in your bed. (Just writing that out makes me rethink my every-two-weeks sheet-changing regime. A change to once a week is definitely in order!)
On mornings when you don’t change your sheets, pull your covers back when you get up and let your bed air out while you shower or eat breakfast. And even though it may feel like just another thing to do in the morning, taking a couple of minutes to make your bed will make it that much sweeter to climb back into it at night, plus it will help keep dust and pet hair out.
I keep extra sheet sets in my linen closet to make for an easier change on sheet day. I can pull the old sheets off and put the new ones on right away, so if I don’t get to laundry that day, it’s not a big deal. Avoid storing sheets in plastic containers, which can trap moisture and help with the growth of mildew.
Frequent washing will break down even the highest quality sheets. Replace them when you see obvious signs of aging, such as stains, faded patterns or fraying hems.
When you decide it is time for a new pair of sheets, check out the new set that OMI has added to our bedding collection! The Pearl Organic Sheet Set is a 300-thread-count beautiful sateen weave in GOTS-certified organic cotton. They come in a creamy ivory color, and all sets include pillowcase(s), one fitted sheet and one flat sheet. (Twin and Twin XL include one standard pillowcase, Full and Queen sizes receive two standard/queen pillowcases, and Eastern and California King sets include two king-size pillowcases.) Check out our previous blog Introducing the Pearl Organic Sheet Set, and for more information on how to purchase a set of our beautiful sheets find your nearest retailer HERE.