Spring is a bittersweet time for anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies. Nice as it is to finally see everything blooming around us as the breezes turn warmer and the days longer; it’s no walk in the park—literally—if you’re plagues by constant sneezing fits and watery eyes!
Fortunately all is not lost when it comes to this season and those with allergies. There are things that you can do to help treat and even prevent seasonal allergies so that you can spend more time enjoying the warmer weather and pretty scenery without a fistful of tissues.
According to American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), there is a link between allergies and weak immune, adrenal, and digestive functions. A few changes in your diet may help prevent the onset of seasonal allergies. They recommend eating a diet that’s moderately low in fat and high in complex carbs, along with drinking half of your body weight in water. Adding leafy greens, orange and yellow vegetables, and more onion, garlic, and ginger will help to boost your immune system and help ward off allergies.
Even if you aren’t able to entirely prevent seasonal allergies, there are plenty of things that you can do to treat them so that you can avoid or at least lessen your symptoms. Instead of avoiding flowers and the outdoors, try the following:
• See an allergist to pinpoint your specific triggers so you know what to avoid and what you can enjoy
• Check the pollen forecast and make the most of the times of day with the lowest pollen counts
• Enjoy that oh-so-spring smell of rain on hot pavement because a good rainfall actually clears pollen from the air
• Leave the spring chores like weeding and mowing the lawn to someone who doesn’t have allergies
• Nip symptoms in the bud by taking allergy meds before they start when you have special plans or just know you want to spend the day outdoors
• A quick shower and change of clothes after you’ve been out will get the pollen off of you and prevent symptoms indoors
• Vacuum regularly to keep allergens to a minimum in your home and car
• Over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications can offer quick and long-lasting relief from symptoms so that you can enjoy your day, so talk to your doctor about your options
We already talked about how tweaking your diet can help to prevent allergies. If you’re looking for other natural ways to treat your seasonal allergies, then you might want to give these herbal remedies a try. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians also recommends drinking a tea 3 or 4 times a day made of one or a combination of the following herbs:
• Gingko biloba – This is a natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties
• Dong quai - is used – This is an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory
• Milk thistle – It helps reduce allergic and histaminic reactions and is an anti-inflammatory
• Eyebright – It reduces congestion and mucus and works on watery eyes and sneezing
• Red clover – Boosts the body’s resistance to allergens
Between avoiding your allergens when possible, being on top of the forecast, and using natural and conventional remedies to stop your symptoms before they start; it really is possible to get on top of your seasonal allergies so that you can enjoy the season.
There’s more information on allergies available here.
Adrienne is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and fitness for more than a decade. When she's not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.
• Lewis, Lisa ND, LAc. Natural Treatments for Your Seasonal Allergies. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). Retrieved on March 20, 2014, from http:// www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=117
• Mayo Clinic Staff. (July 2012). Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on March 20, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/ seasonal-allergies/art-20048343
• Keep Your Green Thumb, Avoid the Red Nose. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). Retrieved on March 20, 2014, from http://www.acaai.org/allergist/news/ New/Pages/whatsnew_gardening_allergies.aspx