Ah, that first scent of spring: warmer weather, fresh smelling flowers and a new season of life filled with opportunities. For some, however spring brings several weeks of itchy eyes, stuffy noses, sneezing, coughing and hives -- symptoms of the dreaded seasonal allergies. Allergies occur when molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants. The uncomfortable symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to the harmless pollen and our body releases chemicals, including histamine to fight off this perceived threat.
Getting To The Root Cause
Understanding where seasonal allergies stem from is the key to overcoming and treating them at the source. Since we know that allergies occur from an overreactive immune system response, then keeping our immune system healthy and strong is at the root. Over 70% of our immune system is found within the gut microbiome, therefore when our gut is weakened, so is our immunity. Some of the most common gut offenders are poor diet, stress, antibiotics, and toxins, which cause the gut lining to become permeable and excessive inflammation in the body. When the gut is chronically left inflamed, the effects of seasonal allergies will be amplified. So how do we fix this?
Natural Remedies For Healing Allergies
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Foods, such as gluten, corn and dairy are known to cause inflammation in the body, which contributes to a leaky gut and puts the immune system in overdrive. In order to calm down the immune system, a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, wild caught fish, organic protein sources, and healthy fats will be the most beneficial. These foods along with probiotic-rich foods, like sauerkraut will aid in healing the gut, which then boosts the immune system.
2. Consider Quercetin
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid which moderates histamine production and release. It is present in a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and apples with the skin on. It can also be found in supplement form, as shared below.
3. Consume Honey & Bee Pollen
It may sound a bit strange, but consuming small amounts of raw organic local honey or adding bee pollen to your smoothie has been shown to reduce the severity of allergies. Ingesting low levels of the current pollen helps you desensitize and boost your immune system. This is the philosophy behind homeopathic remedies.
4. Protect Your Home
Consider purchasing a HEPA air purifier for your home. Additionally, always keep your windows and doors shut to avoid airborne pollen from entering. Pollen tends to be the most present in the earlier parts of the day between 5:00am and 10:00am, as well as on rainy, windless days where the pollen moves slowly.
5. Lavender, Lemon & Peppermint Essential Oil
Lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine oil. Peppermint oil helps to open the breathing airways due to the menthol. And lemon aids with post nasal drip and the upper respiratory system. Diffuse these 3 oils together for a seasonal support blend, or dilute them with a carrier oil and apply to the chest. Additionally, you could drop them in your shower to vaporize with the hot steam.
Recommendations for Naturally Fighting Allergies:
AllerCaps is a comprehensive herbal formula for detoxification of hypersensitivity reactions. Common hypersensitivity reactions include itching, watery eyes, runny and congested nose and sinuses, sneezing, respiratory concerns, headache, skin reactions (itchiness, rashes, etc) and rapid heartbeat. It supports healthy mast cell health and histamine response.