Excited that the nice weather is here, but terrified about your spring time allergies? You are not alone! Millions of Canadians suffer from the annoying itchy watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and fatigue that accompany seasonal allergies. As naturopathic doctors, this is something we see quite frequently in practice. Patients are sick of having to take over the counter allergy meds and they start looking for alternatives which generally brings them to our office. Here is a list of some of our favourite allergy treatments:
1- Quercetin: A component that is naturally found in the skin of onions and apples can be extremely beneficial. Quercetin is rich in flavonoids, a natural anti-histamine.
2- Probiotics: We often think of probiotics for the digestive system; however they play a very important role in balancing out the immune system and help to decrease the hyper-reactivity that accompanies allergies.
3- Neti Pot: Doing a neti pot rinse daily is a great way to rinse out the sinuses and nasal cavity to help flush out any of the allergens and irritants that might be contributing to your symptoms.
4- Nettle Tea: Having a few cups of nettle leaf tea per day can be quite helpful to ward off allergy symptoms. Nettle leaf is a natural anti-histamine agent.
5- Manage stress: For some people stress can have a detrimental impact on your allergies. Stress can significantly influence your immune system making allergies symptoms much worse. Treating the stress directly can be as beneficial if not more effective than simply treating the allergies.
6- Stay hydrated: Water can help to decrease the feeling of congestion by thinning out mucus secretions. Just another good reason to make sure you are getting 2L per day.
7- Vitamin C: Acts as a natural anti-histamine helping to ward off those nasty symptoms. We generally recommend starting this before allergy season hits and continuing it until pollen levels have subsided.
8- Clean up the Diet: This is hands down the number one recommendation we make to all of our patients. We generally suggest eliminating dairy and sugar to start and to see if that offers some relief. Dairy and sugar tend to be very mucus producing and mucus forming and when we are trying to eliminate allergies, we want to decrease that as much as possible.
We will also suggest determining your own unique food intolerance’s and to consider running a foods sensitivity test. Speak to your naturopathic doctor to learn more about this.
Hopefully these tips will give you some relief this spring and allow you to enjoy the nice sunny weather!