9 Ways to Combat Spring Allergies
Allergy season is here. And if you are one who suffers from allergies, you know just how irritating the pollen from trees, grasses and weeds can feel when they trigger an immune response from you.
These allergic responses may indicate you have a compromised immune system. Your immune system goes into hyper-drive responding to the allergen, or particles that are foreign to your body. A whole cascade of chemicals are responsible for making you suffer from allergies, but histamines are the most commonly known. Histamines cause the airway to constrict and cause the tissues to release fluid. As a result you may encounter hives, runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing and a sore throat or cough.
9 Health Tips for Springtime Allergy Relief:
1. Foods are Powerful Medicine
Since foods can be your body’s most powerful medicine, it is important to eliminate high allergy foods from the diet. High allergy foods are especially challenging for the body when the immune system is already in high gear.
An anti-inflammatory diet will help improve spring time allergies. Foods to avoid are mucus forming foods, especially dairy. Grains can also be very inflammatory for the body. Some great allergy fighting foods include those rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as wild caught salmon, grassfed meats and eggs, walnuts, and flax oil. Probioitics are also beneficial for boosting your immune system.
2. Quercetin Helps
Quercetin is a flavonoid that reduces histamine levels. It is a mast cell inhibitor. Mast cell produce histamine and result in the allergy symptoms. Quercetin also heals the gut and is anti-inflammatory. Foods with high levels of quercetin are apples and onions.
Try making a homemade applesauce with fresh apples, diced ginger (excellent anti-inflammatory) and cinnamon stick.
Designs for Health makes a helpful supplement called HistaEze™ which contains quercetin, nettle leaf and vitamin C. This can be ordered directly from The Lamb Shoppe’s Designs for Health E-Store or purchased at our shoppe.
3. Vitamin C
Take at least 1000-3000 mg daily of vitamin C. Note that too much vitamin C will give loose stools, so if needed take less. Rose hips are loaded with vitamin C, so go ahead and add these to that homemade apple sauce too. Rose hips are available in the dried herb section at The Lamb Shoppe.
4. Nettle Tea or Tincture
Mother Nature has a way of balancing itself. While pollens are filling the air, a natural remedy is growing nearby—Stinging Nettle! Nettles have amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.
Early spring is the perfect time to pick fresh Nettle and make your own infusion from it. Simply pick the young Nettle plants (you may want to use gloves) and loosely fill a quart jar with the fresh greens. Then fill with hot water. Cover and steep for at least 1 hour. Drink this tea daily during allergy season. Try to drink 1 quart per day for maximum benefits. Not only will this provide natural antihistamines, it is loaded with vitamins and minerals.
In addition, you can steam fresh Nettles and eat them as a steamed green. I love making nettle soup with homemade chicken broth. If picking fresh Nettles is not your forte, you can use dried Nettle leaf (1 cup per quart jar and steep for at least 6 hours, strain and drink). The Lamb Shoppe also has Nettle tincture which can easily be taken as drops under the tongue. Call 320-587-6094 if you want us to mail out a Nettle tincture for you.
5. Neti Pot/Saline Spray
For a traditional way to clear out the sinuses, try this easy method. The neti pot is a small pot designed with a special spout used to irrigate the sinus cavity. If you are new to this, just tilt your head to the side and pour the solution in one nostril until it flows out the other, repeating the process on the opposite side. Although it may be uncomfortable at first to put water in your nose, after you have mastered this technique, you will find it works very well. Prepare a saline rinse with distilled water and a little unrefined sea salt. If you have a tendency to develop sinus infections, try adding a drop of colloidal silver or Lugol’s iodine. If the neti pot seems too daunting, try using a saline nose spray. It is made the same way, but you spray it in your nose instead. All of these items may be purchased at The Lamb Shoppe.
6. Local Raw Honey
Many people use local raw honey to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. Make sure your source is local and that it actually is raw. Raw honey will tend to crystallize and be thick. Take one teaspoon a day and see if it helps you. The Lamb Shoppe has local raw honey.
7. Adrenal Supportive Herbs
Adrenal supporting herbs are typically adaptogens. Adaptogens strengthen the body by making you more resilient to the negative effects of stress. Examples of adrenal supporting herbs are Holy Basil, Ashwaganda, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Schizandra, Reishi Mushroom, and DGL Licorice.
A really nice supplement for adrenal support is Adrenotone which contains a combination of standardized herbs and nutrients which are known for rejuvenating the adrenals. .
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of those incredible foods that helps almost everything. It is a fermented product and is alkalizes the body while providing good amounts of potassium and other minerals. If you are using apple cider vinegar for allergy relief, take it consistently and add a bit of raw honey and lemon juice to make a healthful, good tasting drink.
9. Melaleuca, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint or Eucalyptus Essential Oils
Studies have shown that some essential oils can be beneficial for seasonal allergies. Try diffusing one or more of these oils in the air. Melaleuca or tea tree oil has been found to reduce swelling due to histamines. A 2012 study showed that topical application of lemon oil resulted in a reduction of mast cells. Apply one drop of peppermint oil of the base of the neck two times a day. Lavender or Eucalyptus maybe diluted and applied to the sinuses and the bottom of the feet.
(Submitted by Carolyn Rinkenberger)