[S]pring is such an amazing season, as the winter is finally starting to let go of it’s hold on us and summers is starting to peak its head out of hiding we can start shedding the layers and are getting ready for some major Vitamin D saturation. There is such a sense of freedom, walking outside with nothing but a light jacket on and daring to go sockless after a long winter of parkas and fighting with your child about why they must wear their snow pants for the 100th time. However, it is not just sunshine and rainbows for everybody, for a lot of people it is also the season of itchy watery eyes and the relentlessly runny nose.
Unfortunately, pollen is almost impossible to avoid, and anti-histamines are a very convenient remedy, but if you are looking for some more natural approaches to reducing the symptoms of Hay Fever this year, I may have some options for you.
[O]ne key element in helping you make it through allergy season is to make sure that your body is in great shape by keeping it in balance. You want to make sure that you are getting enough sleep and exercise which will give your body sufficient energy to go into combat mode. Also, make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet full of fresh whole foods, including lots of greens and fresh fruit, good healthy fats like avocados, nut butters and olive oil and that you drink plenty of water. You can also help to support your gut health by taking a good pro-biotic and drinking lots of bone broth. By doing all these things you will help to reduce inflammation in your body and increase your immune health this will aid your body to fight off seasonal allergens more effectively and reducing your symptoms.
So, you could just lock yourself in the house until spring is all over, don’t go outside, don’t open the windows basically just pretend that outside doesn’t exist. Okay… clearly that is a little extreme, but there are times of the day when pollen is more active and scheduling your day around these times may help. Pollen counts are generally higher early in the mornings and in the late evening as pollen rises as the day heats up in the morning and settles in the cooler temperatures of the evening. So mid-day should be better cause less allergic reactions however, there are some days where the pollen count is just high all day and it may be make sense on those days to just stay indoors as much as possible. Also, as tempting as it is to hang your clothes and sheets outside to dry pollen attaches itself to clothes and then there is no getting away from it.
Quercetin has been proven to help reduce the symptoms of allergies and can be found in a lot of plant foods such as coniferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, onions and citrus fruits and can also be taken in supplement form. This isn’t a quick fix however like anti-histamines as it needs time to build up in your system and it is suggested that you start taking it a few weeks prior to spring starting.
Another recommendation I have heard is to take a teaspoon of local raw honey daily. The logic behind this is it will help you build up immunities to the pollen from the area. As honey is made from the pollen from local plants you would be ingesting a small does of the specific pollen that is creating a reaction in your body. If nothing else, it could be used a healthier sugar replacement for your morning coffee.
I hope that spring brings more joy than suffering for you. It has been a long drawn out winter and I am so ready from sunshine and warmth. Let me know what you do to deal with seasonal allergies and if you have any different recommendations.