Hello, hay-fever — Goodbye, summer!
That’s how I felt when I was younger. I’d be trapped indoors whenever someone would cut their grass, and pollens were not my friend. Common symptoms of seasonal allergies plague more than 2.5 million Canadians every year.
Seasonal allergies cause symptoms such as:
- Itchy/runny nose
- Itchy/watery eyes
- Tight/itchy throat
- Tightness in the chest/coughing
- Itchy ears
Seasonal allergies less commonly cause symptoms such as:
The length of our pollen season in North America has been extending over the last two decades. Global warming means it’s taking longer each year before our first frost in the fall and extending the pollen season.
The allergy symptoms that many suffer through during this time are due to inflammation caused by the release of histamine, which our bodies produce as a first response to foreign pathogens. Histamine has many pro-inflammatory actions — from a strong effect on blood vessels and their diameters, to bronchial smooth muscle constrictions, to stimulating itching sensation, and more.
But, don’t lose hope! With knowledge comes power.. the power to take back our summer!
Many studies have been done in relation to natural products and their effectiveness for seasonal allergies. Some of my favourites are:
- Stinging Nettle
The leaves of stinging nettle create a histamine antagonistic reaction on the cells of our bodies. This means that the leaves of this prickly plant can help reduce, as well as prevent, the inflammation caused by histamine.
I still try and drink nettle tea during the winter to bulk up my immune system for the spring/summer.
- Astragalus Root
Astragalus may assist those whose allergic reactions are caused by weed pollens. If your nose is your main complaint when it comes to allergies, you’re in luck! Astragalus can alleviate the symptom of a runny nose. Astragalus also protects against oxidative damage and reduces the inflammatory response of the body, helping to boost the immune system.
If you tend to get a summer cold, and you have seasonal allergies, you may want to try the St. Francis product Deep Immune for Allergies. They also have a kid friendly version if it’s a little one you know who could use some help.
This plant, native to South Asia, has been touted for thousands of years for its healing properties. In the western world it is growing in popularity as a super food because it contains many nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and proteins. It been studied for many ailments including allergies, and has been recognized for its potential to slow the process of anaphylaxis in rats. For humans an extract of the moringa plant has shown to reduce sneezing and nasal irritation.
Looking to alleviate congestion in relationship to your allergies? This blue green algae may be the ticket! Spirulina is also known as a superfood for its dense nutrient content as well as its immune modulating abilities.
This nutrient can be found in formulas of mixed tocopherol vitamin E supplements, generally used for greater immunity. A study with rats found that after 4 days of dosing with this specific form of vitamin E that the rats we less likely to have symptoms associated with asthma.
Homeopathics are always a personal go-to. I prefer homeopathics because the body is very adaptable and if you are on a single nutrient for a long period of time your body can become resistant to its effect, leading you to need more to see the benefits. At Healthoholics, we stock a supplement for allergies called Allergy Rf, a chewable homeopathic tablet that tastes like vanilla, and is targeted toward our seasonal allergy qualms.
Allergies don’t have to be the end of fun in the sun!
With what we know about our world today, there is lots we can do to support our bodies through allergy season. We have so many options at our fingertips!
Let us know in the comments what natural remedy has worked for your seasonal allergies!