It appears that our long, rainy winter may be finally over. Spring has sprung with its beautiful flowers and the sun is finally peaking through the clouds. Along with the glorious blooms, come the familiar allergy symptoms that include itchy, watery eyes, stuffy nose, and sometimes even hives. There are plenty of over the counter medications that help reduce allergy symptoms, but come with their own side effects, and don’t completely address the underlying cause of the allergy. There are some great natural solutions to help reduce the overall symptoms and need for these medications.
Balance your gut flora. A healthy immune system starts with a balanced gut micro biome. Every mucous membrane in your body is colonized by a unique group of microbes. These microbes help our system tolerate foreign proteins and allergens. In order to be sure you are getting enough of these healthy bacteria you need to incorporate fermented foods in your diet such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut to name a few. You can also take a high quality probiotic.
Reduce your overall allergy exposure. Reduce your exposure to other allergens that you can control in your environment such as allergens in your home and your food. Keep windows closed in early morning when the pollen is at its peak levels. Consider an air filter to eliminate irritants that may be in your home. Keep you house as dust free as possible. Pay special attention to the bedroom, as it is where you spend most of your time when you are home. Keep bed linens clean and remove any dust or carriers of dust that may be in your bedroom. Wash your hair in the evening to remove pollen that may have collected in your hair during the day. Also investigate food sensitivities and allergies. Have an ND help direct you through a food allergy elimination diet. Eliminate those suspected foods to take extra burden off of your immune system.
Eat bioflavonoid rich foods. The allergic reaction is due to the rapid release of histamine from the cells, bioflavonoids prevent that release. Some great food sources that have the largest amounts are red bell peppers, citrus, garlic, and spinach.
These are a few places to start making an impact on allergy relief from a Naturopathic standpoint. There are many herbal formals, nasal sprays and rinses, and methods to reduce inflammation that can be catered to each patient. Contact me if you need a more individualized solution to your allergies this spring.