Every spring, do you get itchy or puffy eyes? Sneezing and runny nose? Itchy throat or ears? Cough, irritability and fatigue? If you answered yes to any of these, you may have seasonal allergies!
What is Seasonal Allergies?
Also known as hay fever, seasonal allergies occur when mold release their spores or pollen is released by trees and plants. When this occurs, 10-30% of individual’s immune system in the United States react and release histamines which causes the typical allergy symptoms (UpToDate).
Have Allergy Symptoms? What you can do to help!
Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) has been studied to show anti-histamine effects without any side effects (Bielory, 2014), however this is a short term herb, meaning you should not take it long term and herbs are medicine, so like any medicine, ask your doctor about your seasonal allergies and if Butterbur is right for you.
Tinofend (Tinospora cordifolia) is another herb that is great for seasonal allergies. In a double-blind randomized trial, they found that it significantly improved symptoms of itchy nose, sneezing, and nasal discharge compared to placebo (Bader et al; 2014).
Why You Don’t Want to Take Over the Counter Pharmaceuticals
When it comes to seasonal allergies, the first treatment that may pop into your mind is Claritin! But Claritin, and all the other pharmaceutical drugs have many side effects that can cause long term damage to our body. According to Lexicomp, Claritin has a huge warning associated with hepatic and renal impairment, not to mention a giant list of drug interactions. But now that you know there are ways to treat your allergy symptoms naturally, you don’t need to take drugs like Claritin! There are so many more things that you can do to help with your symptoms, but everyone is unique, so make an appointment with your Naturopathic Doctor to get a specific treatment plan that is right for you!
Prevention is the best cure!
What’s even better than having a natural solution to your season allergy symptoms, free of awful side effects? Its not getting it from the first place… and guess what! There’s a way! Try these simple things 1-2 months before allergy season!
Things you can do to prevent seasonal allergies:
- Eat 1 tablespoon of local honey every day 1-2 months before allergy season! You need to make sure it is local, so you’re consuming the pollen that is in the honey that is around you so your immune system can be exposed to them and not react to them when the full blown allergy season begins.
- Add probiotics into your diet! You can either take probiotic supplements or add probiotic foods to your diet such as yogurt or pickled veggies like kimchi.
- Exercise! In a study, they found that steady moderate exercise significantly decreased circulating IgE (immune cells that increase with allergy) concentration in volunteers wiwth known allergy compared to those who did not exercise (Aldred et al; 2010).