SPRING is an anticipated time of renewal, but beautiful blooming flowers and trees produce airborne pollen and, consequently, sniffing and sneezing. While roughly 35 million Americans live with seasonal allergies, there are various proactive and integrative approaches to lessening symptoms and, ultimately, appreciating spring’s splendor.
- Eat as clean as possible and avoid processed foods.
- Embrace an anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, cold water fish, fish oils and leukotriene inhibitors.
- Eat foods rich in natural bioflavonoids and antioxidants, most notably Vitamin C, which can be found in citrus fruits, berries, dark green leafy vegetables and red/yellow bell peppers.
- Consider an elimination diet, a trial of removing foods, such as dairy. Seek the advice of a physician prior to implementing this regimen, however.
- Drink green tea, as it contains catechins, which serve as natural antihistamines.
If possible, it is best to begin taking herbal remedies and supplements before allergy symptoms are present.
- Best used for prevention, prior to allergy season. Superior to medication in inhibiting cytokine release from human mast cells.
- 500mg, 1 -3 times daily
Nettle Leaf (Stinging Nettle)
- Eclectic Institute or Planetary Herbals. Freeze-dried nettle preparation is essential, as this preparation offers the benefits of antihistamine and mast cell stabilization. Safe in pregnancy.
- 300-350mg of freeze dried extract, 1-3 times daily.
- Provides effective and safe relief of hay fever and is now a first-line recommendation for prevention of allergy-triggered migraines. As effective as Zyrtec, and with fewer side effects.
- 50-100mg twice daily.
Neti Pot for Nasal Irrigation
Using a Neti Pot can improve nasal symptoms and reduce the need for medication.
- Salt, non-iodized
- Baking soda
- Distilled (or boiled) water
- Clean jar to store solution
- Neti Pot (these are inexpensive and found at most drug stores)
Pour 8 ounces of distilled water (or water that has been boiled for 10 minutes) over 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda. Stir well until salt and soda have dissolved. Solution can be stored for up to 24 hours in a clean jar. Following the instructions included with your Neti Pot, use 1-4 times daily.
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