By: Dr. Kaitlyn Clarke, DC, CNS
Springtime in Long Island is officially here! If you’re one of the 24 million Americans who struggle with Seasonal allergies, the nicer weather and springtime blooms come with a love/hate relationship. Springtime flowers and blooming trees is bitter sweet as it comes with a hoard of sneeze, watery/itchy eyes and stuffed up sinus inducing pollen. If this sounds like you, we feel your pain and we hear you! (Literally- we hear you sneezing and sniffling from down the street). Use these #WellnessWednesday tips to help you relieve your seasonal allergy symptoms!
Eat local honey. Studies show that consuming local, unprocessed, seasonal wildflower honey can serve as a helpful adjunct to controlling allergy symptoms. Consuming local honey utilizes the same theory that allergy shots use; giving small, repeated exposure to the allergens (pollen that bees carry on them back to the hive). Honey collected from local hives contains the pollen of the surrounding areas that circulate in the air and can cause allergies, hence why it’s important to consume local, unprocessed honey. Studies have shown that supplementing with 1-2 tablespoons of honey daily before and during allergy season helps ease allergy symptoms and decreases the need to take OTC antihistamines. [1,2,3]
Supplement with the following flavonoids antioxidants, herbs and enzymes. All found in our favorite blend: Natural D-Hist from Ortho Molecular Products :
Stinging nettle - Promotes immune system balance, specifically in mucosal passages.
Quercitin: stabilizes Mast Cells, thereby decreasing the release of histamine
Bromelain: enhances absorption of above supplements, and also helps breakdown large protein complexes that cause a hyper immune, allergic response
Vitamin C: provides seasonal comfort for allergy sufferers by deactivating histamine.
Essential Oils: Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon - you can use this well known blend internally or diffuse throughout your room to ease seasonal allergies. The combination of these essential oils is known to assist in clear breathing and promote respiratory health by decreasing allergy related inflammation and preventing enlargement of mucosal cells. [5, 6, 7] Since the production of essential oils is not regulated, it is important to get your oils from high quality sources.
Water: Water can be your best friend and a simple solution to mitigating Allergy symptoms!
Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces to stay properly hydrated
Take nighttime showers to rinse that pollen off before going to bed and breathing it in all night. This simple change can be a big help if you notice your allergy symptoms are worse when you first wake up!
Create a habit of using a sinus rinse with saline. Sinus rinses have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. We’ve adapted this practice into forms more commonly known as the neti pot or According to the FDA: “Sinus rinsing can remove dust, pollen and other debris, as well as help to loosen thick mucus. It can also help relieve nasal symptoms of sinus infections, allergies, colds and flu. Plain water can irritate your nose. The saline allows the water to pass through delicate nasal membranes with little or no burning or irritation.”  Using a saline rinse can significantly reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms in both children and adults, and is an especially useful treatment in populations where antihistamines may be deemed unsafe for use (pregnancy, lactating women, children).  If you are in the middle of a flare up of allergies, try using a sinus rinse 3 times a day for more immediate relief. Excessive use of sinus rinses however, can leave you more at risk for infections, so don’t overdo it! It is recommended to use up to 3 times a week for prevention of more severe allergic symptoms, and management of mild symptoms.
As always, these tips may not be for everyone! Contact us or your health care professional to help you figure out if these are good options for you.