6 Ways to Take Control this Allergy Season
Yay! It’s spring! The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and everyone is starting to shed a couple layers of clothing as the sun comes out. Soon enough you’ll be surrounded by pastel colors, April showers, and the sweet smell of may flowers. Ah. How lovely! But not so fast; for many people, spring sucks. Why? Those pesky things called seasonal allergies (to pollen, dust, and the like). It seems that the majority of the population deals with these buggers. But what are they and how can we help our bodies out, naturally? Allergies are caused from an over reactive immune system. (Darn immune system… so dramatic.) Symptoms appear after you have eaten or inhaled something that your immune system thinks is attacking the body. It goes straight into defense mode to stop the attacker – this is what causes allergy symptoms.
SO instead of being drugged up for 3 months straight, what can WE do to help alleviate the annoyances of allergy season? Actually, we can do a lot…
As if you haven’t heard that the majority of the country is severely dehydrated, staying hydrated during allergy season is even more vital. Drinking lots of water can help combat many sinus related allergies by thinning out the mucus. It also helps your immune system, which can have complications doing its job when you don’t get enough H2O. Always start with the basics, and water is definitely a necessity. Also, make sure the air in your room isn’t too dry. Using a humidifier can help keep your sinuses hydrated and makes it easier to fight off the dust bunnies. En guard, unworthy bunnies!
Nix the Dairy
Dairy is delicious and has tons of nutrients that are important for our health. However, it has been known to make mucus stickier (ew) – which is no bueno for allergies. In technical terms, dairy contains arachidonic acids which increase the production of leukotrienes. These guys restrict the bronchial tubes, which makes it more difficult for air to get through. In turn, this increases the production of phlegm and mucus which just makes our allergies worse.
Unfortunately for the dairy lovers out there, dairy also plays a key role in weakening the immune system. Between the casein (in large amounts) and saturated fat (which we should limit in our diets, anyway), our immune system is weakened because there is simply too much for our bodies to properly digest. Yogurt, however, is the only dairy product that will not affect your allergies. The high amounts of probiotics actually strengthen the immune system. So get your yogurt on!
Soak up the Sun
Vitamin D is what we’re after here. In a recent study by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, it is suggested that vitamin D may boost allergy control. Since allergies are a symptom of our body’s immune system over exaggerating to potentially harmful things that enter the body (say, pollen), it makes sense that by boosting our immune systems and getting the appropriate amount of vitamin D, we could control our symptoms.
Spring Cleaning… seriously…
There is a reason we call it “spring cleaning,” guys. This is the time when we should clean out all the mold, pollen, dust, and other random airborne particles sticking around our houses (carpet, air ducts, the couch… just clean everything). Seriously giving our living space a good rub down can help us breathe easier and alleviate some allergies. Turns out spring cleaning isn’t just about decluttering your overflowing desk and donating clothes you don’t wear anymore… mind. blown.
Quercetin, Bromelain… what?
These may sound like extremely regal names from the 15th century, but they’re actually extracts that you need to add to your diet. Let’s break them down.
Quercetin: flavonol found in fruits, veggies, leaves, and some grains. Quercetin has been found to slow histamine release (a chemical that is released when exposed to allergens).
Bromelain: a protein extract from fresh fruits and other plants, but mostly abundant in pineapples. It has been used to reduce inflammation of the nose and sinuses, and has been used for hay fever.
Both of these extracts, although already found in plants, are more successful when supplemented because of the potency. So pull some double duty and load up on fruits and veggies, in addition to adding these supplements to your diet.
Butterbur is an herb that has been shown to be just as effective as some allergy medicines with nasal allergies. In a study published in the British Medical Journal, it was judged to be “safe and efficacious,” having alleviating symptoms in among 90% of the participants! Look for this awesome herbs the next time you’re in the supplement aisle for some natural relief!
Spring can be a brightly colored and beautiful season! So go ahead and smell the flowers! Now you have the knowledge to naturally beat those pesky allergies this season. Do you have any natural allergy remedies you’re dying to share with us? Tweet us! @BioTerraHerbs #naturalremedies #goherbal