I still see many of my clients suffer from high pollen count, and allergy are brutal way to spoil the pleasure of being outside, when good weather is finally with us. So here we go again.
Allergy Prevention 101
First and foremost, eating foods high in vitamin C, quercetin, and inflammation-busting omega-3s can prevent allergies. But what you eat can be just as important as what you DON'T eat.
I found that avoiding dairy completely was the only way to completely shut down any tendency towards inflamed sinuses and congested nasal passages during allergy season. Sorry to say for muffin, bread and croissant lovers, wheat doesn't help either. Sugar is also inflammatory, so I tend to avoid it as much as possible, but especially during allergy season. That means added sugar, like in sweetened beverages. It's no good for your immune system, and no good for allergy sufferers.
Eggs (arachidonic acid in eggs is pro-inflammatory)
Food to Eat:
Foods high in Vitamin C:
Dark leafy greens
Yellow bell peppers
Papaya (also rich in inflammation-fighting enzymes)
Foods high in Quercetin:
Capers (highest concentration of all these foods)
Foods high in Omega-3s:
Wild, cold-water fish (like salmon, sardines)
Mast Cells -- Allergy Symptom Promoters
Mast cells are those cells lining your nasal passages, sinuses, and airways that secrete histamine in response to airborne allergens.
Take a Mast Cell Stabilizer
So, the best way to prevent allergy symptoms is to take a mast cell stabilizer when you feel allergy symptoms coming on, or better yet, even before they start. And for your benefit, I've linked effective products to this message.
At the first signs of sneezing, take Buffered Vitamin C 1000mg, and repeat every 4 - 6 hours. To this, you can add Quercetin 500mg 2 - 3 times per day. This combination works great for quieting unruly mast cells.
If you have a runny nose with lots of sneezing, I find that nettle leaf can provide immediate relief with its anti-histamine properties, but without the unpleasant side-effects of the OTC remedies. You can drink it as a tea from the dried leaves of the stinging nettle plant. As a supplement, take Nettle Leaf 500mg 2 - 3 times per day.
Other natural symptom relievers that stabilize mast cells and have an anti-inflammatory effect to reduce the pressure of inflamed sinuses include:
Xlear - a natural, steroid-free nasal spray that is proven to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages. Use as directed.
Bromelain - an enzyme derived mainly from the pineapple core. Take 1000mg between meals on an empty stomach, at least two hours after a meal or one hour before the next meal.
Butterbur - this anti-inflammatory is also used to help asthma symptoms. Take 150mg 3x/day.
Boswellia - another potent anti-inflammatory phytonutrient. Take 300mg 3x/day.
And for a quick pick-me-up nasal passage refresher and opener, try a small dab of peppermint oil at the base of your nostrils. I offer the strongest peppermint oil in a roller bottle, just ask me on your next Reflexology/Reiki session. You can also open up the nasal passages with a steam inhalation infused with a few drops of essential oil of eucalyptus. Place 4 cups of water in a pot, add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil, and bring to a boil. Place a towel over your head and lean over the pot, inhaling the steam while using the towel to trap it around your face.
Also, don't forget the utility of a neti pot or saline wash to simply wash out all the airborne allergens sticking to the insides of your nasal passages that are causing the symptoms in the first place. Same goes for the eyes. Isotonic sterile saline eye drops provide immediate relief for red, itchy eyes when the pollen count is high. Optique 1® by Boiron is a safe blend of homeopathic ingredients that work naturally to relieve minor eye irritations caused by airborne irritants, such as pollen, dust or ragweed. It can be used throughout the day without any risk of overdosing. Finally, there's relief for dry, itchy, burning, red eyes without the rebound effect of all those OTC vasoconstrictors or astringents that only provide temporary relief. Sabadil is also another one of Boiron's homeopathic products to help relieve allergy symptoms.
And if you still have symptoms, even with these natural remedies, or need further guidance, don't hesitate to make an appointment to see me. Session on SOQI bed with Far Infrared light may be another effective way to address the inflammation caused by seasonal allergy.
Yours in Health Naturally,
Irina Breslav, MS, ARCB
Sources: Dr. V. Pedre, MD