In our part of the world the flowers and blossoms are coming alive and the grass is “greening up.” It’s a beautiful time of the year in the deep south! But this time of the year can also bring misery to allergy sufferers. I’ve always had terrible hay fever BUT I have to say for the first time in my life my allergies are doing so much better and I welcome the relief! I believe that when I went on my healing diet to get a handle on the Autoimmune issues I was having and by healing my gut and remaining off of inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy it has been a major contributor to my allergies getting better. I am still occasionally bothered in some situations though so I take natural precautions when I know I will be immersed in pollen which will burden my system. I have found these to be a HUGE help to me and they are all natural solutions. Here is what I do:
Stinging Nettles do more then sting….
I love stinging nettles or just simply called nettles. They are a great antihistamine! You normally find these out in the woods and if you brush up against them you will know it because it gives you a stinging sensation. They are amazing for allergies though. You can either make an herbal infusion by placing one ounce of nettles into a quart jar and fill it very carefully with simmering water. Place a metal knife in the jar before pouring the water. It keeps the jar from cracking. I also use a jar made for canning as it is better able to handle extreme temperatures. Allow this to steep overnight or for a least 4 hours and sip on it throughout the day with a little raw honey if you choose or with no sweetener at all if you are watching your sugar consumption. This also helps to give you energy and may support healthy iron stores as well. This can also be obtained in capsules.
Quercitin helps the wheeze….
I tend to have issues with my lungs and so when I have allergy problems it will generally involve a slight wheeze in my chest. I am so glad I found Quercitin! Quercitin is a flavanoid in fruits and vegetables. Apples and berries are rich in this antioxidant. Quercitin has evidence revealing that it could have a bronchial dilating affect on the lungs and anti- inflammatory benefits as well. It can affect blood levels just like grapefruit can so it is best to take a supplement with caution if you are taking medication as it could affect the strength of your medicine. Most people are very safe consuming ample amounts of fruit and veggies that contain quercitin with no ill effect and great benefits!
Pump up the Vitamin C when having a flare up…
There have been several European studies that reveal the antihistamine effects of Vitamin C on the body. It works by destroying the molecular structure of histamine, thereby decreasing the amount of histamine that might be in the persons body. Research published in the European Respiratory Journal in 2010 suggested that when consuming fruits high in Vitamin c the amount of asthma attacks suffered by the group of 8 year olds was reduced. There have also been other studies done that show a reduction in allergic rhinitis in adults. Eat lots of high Vitamin C fruits during allergy season and consider supplementation of a highly absorbable Vitamin C during peak season.
Essential oils work and smell good too….
This recipe really helped me out last year when we were riding around in my husbands convertible and I was literally getting covered with pollen. Ugh! I applied this and I can vouch for the fact that it did work for me. Here’s the recipe: Obtain a 10 ml amber bottle with a roller and place 20 drops of a good grade of lavender essential oil, 20 drops of lemon oil and 20 drops of peppermint oil. Fill the rest of the bottle with some sort of carrier oil. Fractionated coconut oil is great but you can really use any sort of food grade oil. Apply a couple of swipes of this to the neck or on your wrists and simply take deep breaths of it when having an allergy attack. This really helps and I carry it in my purse during allergy season to have on hand.
Prevention is key….
I know that nobody wants to live in a glass bubble but you can take some preventative measures to help. I was tested for food allergies and steer clear of those so I don’t stress my immune system. I also keep a good eye on the pollen counts which you can get on any weather app. If the count is up high the windows stay shut as much as I hate to do that. One of my biggest allergens is to grass so I am one of those people you see cruising on the riding mower with a dust mask. It really helps!! The neighbors may stare but when you reach a certain age you really could care less who looks at you funny! Ha! I’ve also heard that pollen tends to stick to hair very easily so putting hair up in a ball cap when working outside might help if you are not going to shower as soon as you get inside. Also, I pull out my old friend the nettie pot and rinse the pollen out of my sinuses and nose when I’m having some symptoms. These are all very easy precautions to take but I have found them to make a very big difference in the Spring time for me.
Of course, taking care of yourself by getting plenty of rest, hydration and eating tons of good healthy veggies and fruits will give your immune system that extra boost so things don’t get out of hand. I hope some of these suggestions help! I have found these things to all be very helpful for myself and my family.