OOPS! This post somehow never got published when I wrote it a few months ago in the beginning of allergy season! Oh well...here it is!
Attack of the Pollen? Allergies aren’t the Bees Knees.
Is your car covered in pollen and sneezes are getting the best of you? Spring is upon us and allergy season is in its peak! Below are some simple steps to reducing exposure and symptoms of spring allergies.
1. Shake it off!
The first step in improving symptoms is decreasing our exposure to the particles that are causing the problem. How? All of the pollen in the air settles in our clothes, on our hair and ends up on pillows and linens. Wear hats and sunglasses when you are outside. When you get home, rinse off and change clothes. Also, remember that sneezing is our body’s way of clearing out our respiratory passages! Nasal washes such as a neti pot or saline rinse can help keep mucus membranes pollen-free. Make sure to wash your hair before bed and change sheets frequently. This helps reduce the time that we are exposed to the nasty little pollen invaders in the first place.
2. A clean home is an allergen-free home
Keep on top of spring-cleaning and consider buying a portable air purifier to place in your bedroom. Think of the time we spend sleeping. We want to make sure that our surrounding environment is low in dust and allergens to give our bodies a break at night. Limit the time that the windows are open during the peak afternoon hours when pollen is dancing in the air.
3. Local honey, truth or myth?
You might have heard that eating raw local honey helps introduce pollen from our immediate area into our body to send a message to our immune system to recognize these critters and decrease our allergic response to them. One study found that consuming local honey does not decrease spring allergies because the sticky heavy pollen collected from the bees’ knees is different than the light pollen floating in the air. However, some clients swear by this approach. The decision is yours.
4. Decreasing our allergic response.
Studies have found that limiting stress, reducing food sensitivities and prioritizing our health helps strengthen our immune system and decreases our body’s frustrating response to allergens. In addition, some supplements such as quercitin and vitamin C may help by reducing the amount of histamine our bodies produce in response to an allergen.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has a long medical history and one of its star qualities is its ability to reduce allergic rhinitis if taken prior to spring for allergy prevention. Researchers think this may be due to nettles’ anti-histamine properties. The leaf and stem can be taken as a dried tea or in capsulated form. This is one to remember to start taking next year before spring approaches!
In Spring flowers and everything green!
- Analisa Jahna, N.D.