Natural Treatments for “Allergy Season”
People who suffer from seasonal allergies may dread the reawakening of spring, however, people suffer with allergic symptoms year round, and arming yourself with the proper nutrition and tools in your arsenal will make “allergy season” a breeze. If your symptoms start as soon as the beautiful spring weather starts, taking steps to reduce your susceptibility months ahead of time can help to modulate the immune response, thus stopping allergies before they start.
True allergies (IgE-mediated response) and other hypersensitivity reactions, are due to an overly aggressive immune response triggered by ingesting certain foods, touching certain substances, or inhaling irritants such as pollen or animal dander. Allergies or sensitivities to pollen, spores, mold, and dust (also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis) affect the respiratory system and are usually the most difficult to control.
From a naturopathic viewpoint, hypersensitivity reactions are an indication that your “cup has runneth over” and are often associated with stress on adrenal, immune, and digestive functions. Natural treatments are used to support and improve those functions and to alleviate reactive symptoms such as hay fever, skin rashes, fatigue, headaches, and more.
Attending to your overall good health can reduce your body’s burden and help ease allergy symptoms, and good health starts with nutrition. Food is medicine, and what you put in your body matters. People sensitive to airborne allergens may also be sensitive to certain foods and common household products. An Elimination Diet, food sensitivity panel, and/or NAET (an allergy identification and desensitization technique) can help identify foods and other substances that are causing symptoms while greatly improving overall health. If you’re interested in exploring these methods further with more individualized treatment, make an appointment with our in-house Naturopathic Physician Dr. Nicole Pierce here!
The following are general recommendations for symptom relief during “allergy season” and beyond. The idea is to reduce inflammation and “lighten your load” to reduce the burden on your system so you’re less likely to overreact to benign external stimuli.
This advice is not meant to replace a comprehensive plan of care for life-threatening, anaphylaxis-inducing allergic reactions.
Drink 1/2 of body weight in ounces of water and herbal tea daily (e.g., a 160 lb person would drink 80 oz of water).
Eliminate food sensitivities: Elimination/Reintroduction diet, NAET
Optimize digestion: bone broths, fermented veggies, kombucha
Flavonoids: apples, berries, red grapes, red onions, capers and black tea
Dark, leafy vegetables
Anti-inflammatory and decongestant foods: onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne, horseradish
Locally-produced RAW honey and bee pollen. We carry local Hot Eric honey!
Probiotic-rich foods (yogurt, kefir, unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and tempeh) and prebiotic-rich foods (asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, oatmeal, honey, onions, dandelion greens and roots, chicory roots, maple syrup, dark chocolate and legumes). Try our Root Brew or Root Chai!
Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines. Plant sources include flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and algae).
Alcohol, caffeine, and dairy products
Food colorings (tartrazine)
Hydrogenated oils and trans fats
Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals
*You can find these high quality supplements in the shop and our online store!
Bioflavonoids (e.g., quercetin, catechin, and hesperidin): N