In springtime, the trees are blossoming, the flower buds are opening and the grass is green and lush. There is beauty all around, yet for the 50 million Americans that are living with allergies, the spring can be one of the most challenging times of the year. Allergic rhinitis — or hay fever — is common no matter what age you are and can also develop later in life. Managing your allergies and easing the symptoms can be done naturally — without the need for harsh chemicals that damage the environment. Then, you can enjoy the beauty of spring when life is thriving and nature blooming.
Many of the allergens that affect people in the spring originate in your home. House dust mites in particular are one of the most common triggers for not only allergic rhinitis, but also asthma. They multiply quickly in spring time. These minute little bugs are only ⅓ mm long, but can cause some serious skin rashes and breathing difficulties. They feed off your dead skin cells — dust. If you consider that every day you shed 1.5 grams of skin every day, this is enough to feed a million hungry dust mites. The only way to get rid of these little critters is to clean. The most common places that they accumulate are in carpets, bedding and furniture. They burrow themselves deep into the cloth fabric and can only be removed by cleaning and washing. Deal with the source of the problem by dusting, vacuuming and mopping – then you will improve the symptoms of the allergy.
Pollen that is produced by trees, grasses and plants in springtime can cause big problems for those living with allergies. The pollen is released into the air to help fertilize other plants in the area. When it gets into the nose, the immune system goes into overdrive and sees this as an unwanted presence. It then produces histamines into the blood to attack the allergens. Unfortunately histamines give you itchy eyes, a runny nose, a cough and the other symptoms that we commonly associate with a pollen allergy. There is nothing that we can do about dealing with the source of the pollen, which can travel many miles on the wind from the actual source. Species like the willow in particular, spread feathery catkins far and wide during spring, which can be particularly problematic if you are living with allergies.
You can get antihistamines and other allergy medication from your pharmacist or doctor, however, there are natural ways to deal with this too. Nasal irrigation using distilled water, a little salt and ¼ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda will help remove the pollen, so that your body doesn’t produce histamines. Butterbur is a herb that can be used to reduce the symptoms of pollen allergies — scientific studies have found that it contains a natural chemical extract called Ze339 which counteracts the symptoms of the histamines.
Research has also found that the herb is just as effective as over-the-counter antihistamine medication. Quercetin is another natural ingredient that is proven to help the fight against pollen allergy symptoms, it also helps to boost the immune system. It is a powerful antioxidant that is found in apples, berries, black tea, grapes, peppers, onions, broccoli and red wine. Upping your intake of Quercetin is easy, just drink the wine in moderation.
Some of the causes of spring allergies are unavoidable, in particular pollen and other airborne spores. You can however treat the symptoms of these allergies naturally, without the need for harsh chemicals that have side-effects. These eco-friendly remedies are easily found and definitely won’t damage the environment.