Ten Effective Ways To Relieve Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

By Karen Davis, ND.

Allergy season is here and, thanks to this past winter’s warmer than normal temperatures, more tree, grass, and weed pollen than usual is floating around in the air. If you are one of thousands of people in the D.C. metropolitan area who suffer from the sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes associated with seasonal environmental allergies, you’ll be happy to know that there are some very effective natural approaches that will give you some relief.

Rather than reaching for the prescription or over-the-counter medications, which can be too drying, may make you feel drowsy or may deplete some of your nutrient stores, try implementing some of the following to balance your immune system and ease your symptoms:

Drink more water

Consuming half your body weight in ounces of water will thin mucous secretions and hydrate your mucous membrane tissues. See: Guide to Water Filters

Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods

Add more anti-inflammatory foods, such as ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and hempseeds. These foods, along with fish oil supplements, are excellent sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid which can stomp out inflammation in your nasal passages.

Minimize your consumption of mucus-forming foods

Cut back on mucus-forming foods such as dairy products, red meat, fried and processed foods, wheat, eggs, and chocolate. Not only do these foods wreak havoc on an overly taxed immune system but they promote inflammation, the very thing you are trying to avoid.

Irrigate your nostrils using a neti pot

Use this mini-teapot, which can be found at most health food stores, allowing you to wash out pollen trapped in your nostrils. Make a solution of approximately one teaspoon of noniodized sea salt per pint of warm water and rinse your nostrils at least twice daily. The neti pot comes with directions on how to perform the nasal irrigation, and while it takes a little practice, this procedure is a highly effective at relieving nasal and sinus inflammation.

Apply a pinch of non-petroleum jelly

Dab a small amount of non-petroleum jelly just inside the opening of your nostrils to catch and neutralize the effects of pollen.

Change your clothes

Change clothes immediately upon entering the house. Pollen is easily trapped in clothing and in your hair. So you might need to wash both more often than usual. Also, use a HEPA filtering system to minimize pollen, dust, mold spores, and other particulate matter that may exacerbate your symptoms.

Use quercetin

This bioflavonoid, naturally found in onions, grapefruit, and red wine, inhibits the body’s release of histamines, resulting in decreased runny noses and watery eyes.

Try Stinging Nettle

The leaves of this herb have been found to quiet allergy symptoms very effectively.

Consider Butterbur

Very popular in Europe, this herb, which has recently entered the American market, contains Petasines, a chemical which quells inflammation and allergic response, just as effectively as Allegra and Zyrtec, according to two recent studies.

Finally, please note that greatest key to successfully managing allergy symptoms is to start treatment at least two to three weeks before allergy season begins. So, for those of you with late summer and fall allergies, start thinking about preparing now.




Karen Davis

Karen Davis a licensed naturopathic physician in Fairfax Virginia, specializes in the prevention and management of disease with the use of non-invasive therapies.

Say hello to Dr. Karen at Neck Back and Beyond



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