Ahhh, Spring Allergies?
The grass is turning green, the flowers are starting to bloom, the buds on trees are turning to that spring green we all look forward to seeing…. There’s nothing like spring! Even though you might look forward to spring after a cold New England winter, spring allergies can put a damper on your excitement. The good news is, there are some things you can do to help your body handle the allergens and still enjoy the beauty of spring.
Make yourself and your home more allergy-friendly:
Allergens are part of the dust makeup of your home, so make a clean home a priority. Remove your shoes at the door, vacuum and dust frequently, and wash your sheets and bedding regularly. A good quality air filter from a company such as Austin Air or Dyson can help filter out allergens and other irritants from your indoor air supply.
Washing your face and hair before bed can help keep your sheets cleaner for longer and keep allergic triggers away from your nose, ears, eyes, and mouth.
Help Your Body clear Congestion:
Try a Neti pot saline rinse- use a ceramic or porcelain pot. Fill the Neti pot with warm, sterile (or previously boiled and cooled) water and dissolve 1/4 tsp non-iodized salt. Run a full Neti pot through each nostril. You can add a few drops of an herbal booster. I like the Neti Salt and Neti Wash Plus by Himalayan Chandra, available on their website or through Amazon. Do this 1-3 times per week during allergy season.
Try a steam inhalation- bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add 5 drops of Eucalyptus, Thyme, or Rosemary essential oils. Make a “tent” over the pot by placing a towel over your head and breathe in through the nose to tolerance. Do as needed for nasal and sinus congestion.
Try hot and cold compresses- place a hot compress on your face over your sinuses and let it sit there until it cools. Then apply a cold compress for 30 seconds. Repeat about 3 times and end with cold.
Teas and nutrients that may support your body during allergy season:
Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) tea- Mix 1 tablespoon herb per 1 cup of water. Steep for 15 minutes and strain. You may choose to drink 1 cup twice per day.
These nutrients may support a healthy inflammatory balance and reduce irritation in the sinuses and respiratory system:
- Vitamin C – an antioxidant, which may stabilize mast cells’ release of histamine
- Quercetin – a flavonoid, which may stabilize mast cells’ release of histamine, and support capillaries and blood vessels
- Bromelain – a proteolytic enzyme, which may stabilizes mast cells’ release of histamine, and degrade inflammatory proteins
- N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine – an antioxidant, which may stabilize mast cells’ release of histamine, and break down mucus
- Stinging nettle leaf – a nutrient-rich botanical which may stabilize mast cells’ release of histamine
Products like Aller-Aid, Aller-C, and D-Hist combine some of these nutrients and may be helpful with allergy symptoms.