By Candice Minch
Red itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing and sneezing……Is this happening to you and/or your loved ones? Allergies do not just show up with foods and the onset of spring will bring airborne allergens called spring allergies.
We are now enjoying our (later than usual) spring and the last thing we want is to be held back by spring allergies! Our family suffers from spring allergies that range from moderate to intense reactions. There are a number of tried and tested remedies to take on the allergy-causing particles in the air from the grass, plants and trees that surround us. We have all heard of these remedies ranging from antihistamines to decongestants. It’s just not fun when you have to continually explain that the sneezing and runny nose is not a cold or a flu and declare “don’t worry, it’s just my allergies”.
The symptoms can be especially difficult for children who want to be outdoors playing, going to the park and participating in outdoor sports/teams.
Alternately, here are some natural remedies listed below that may help to battle spring allergens. Thanks to webmd.com for their input.
Top Ten Tips – Natural* Remedies for Spring Allergies:
1. Butterbur is an herb (comes from a European shrub) that has shown potential for relief from seasonal allergies. The butterbur extract called Ze399 has been shown to reduce symptoms as effectively as over-the-counter and prescription drugs such as Allegra and Zyrtec.
2. Quercetin is a flavonoid found naturally in onions, apples and black tea. It has anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to block histimines. Perhaps more of these in your diet during the spring season might provide that extra boost to ward off stuffiness and sneezing.
3. Stinging nettle comes from the roots and leaves of the stinging nettle plant (Urtica diocia) in newer and has been used by some in a freeze-dried stinging nettle leaves form to treat allergy symptoms. There has not been much research to date on this potential remedy.
4. Nasal irrigation is a simple process that uses a combination of warm water, a quarter- teaspoon of salt and a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda may assist in clearing out mucus and opening the nasal passages. You can use this method by way of a squeeze bottle or a neti-pot (a device that looks like a small teapot).
5. Acupuncture has its fans who support it as allergy remedy, yet studies on the subject have been mixed. Researchers advocate a large clinical trial for a better understanding of the merits of acupuncture to fight spring allergies.
6. Immunotherapy for allergies, also commonly known as “allergy shots” involves exposure of the allergen in small amounts to the immune system. Continuing with larger amounts of the allergen over time, will serve to teach the body to not see the allergen as foreign invader and develop a tolerance to it.
7. Keeping Yourself Clean is a preventive and for some an effective way to deal with the spring season allergens. Start with increasing your showers and most importantly having your shower at the end of the day, when allergens may be present on the body and hair. Cleaning clothes more frequently will also help to keep allergens at bay.
8. Keeping your Surroundings Clean can be accomplished by keeping windows and doors closed, more frequent vacuuming and dusting of shelves and bookcases where pollen can collect.
9. Avoid outdoors during high pollen levels is best to minimize your allergy reactions. If possible, stay indoors when it is high, especially in the mornings when pollen counts peak.
10. Air Purifier /air conditioning are also good defenses to minimize air borne allergy particles.
While the above is not guaranteed to eliminate spring allergy symptoms, it is a natural way to minimize the debilitating effects of spring time allergies. Our family benefits from practicing the “clean routine” both personally and with our surroundings. We can benefit from natural solutions and use over-the-counter remedies as needed. The spring is a wonderful time of renewal and growth. The natural remedies offered can help to make this time a healthy and active one for all ages!
* Any use of natural remedies that include herbs and plants should be confirmed with a medical doctor to ensure there is no interference with prescribed medications.
Candice Minch is a mother of a child with severe allergies, lives on the West Island, blogs at
www.allergyexplosion.com with an upcoming book release called Allergy Explosion.
The information on this site should not replace professional medical advice. You should always consult your doctor and allergist with any questions about foods to avoid, allergic reaction and all medications. West Island Blog and AllergyExplosion is not responsible for any consequences or adverse effects due to the use of any suggestions, tips or products that are mentioned on this site.