Depending on where you live, you may be in the thick of allergy season as you read this post through with red, puffy eyes. Humans tend to enjoy living in beautiful, verdant places. Unfortunately, the more natural beauty you surround yourself with, the more pollinators and other allergens will become airborne in the spring.
Many wonder if there’s a way to train one’s own immune system to chill out during allergy season. After all, allergies are simply our body reacting to “invaders” that pose no threat to our health. Our bodies create antibodies for these harmless allergens, which go on to fight them just as they would a bacteria or virus. The effect on the allergy sufferer is therefore very similar to that of a bacterial or viral illness – aches, pains, coughing, sneezing, and even fever.
For this reason, some people seek to “vaccinate” themselves against allergens. Using injections and capsules filled with pollen and other allergens, physicians are able to slowly and steadily pump the brakes on the overactive immune response of an allergy sufferer. However, many common allergies, such as mold, have no approved immunotherapy of this type, leaving sufferers with the only experimental treatment.
This leaves those of us who experience hay fever symptoms to find other methods of dealing with the issue. Allergy medicines like Benadryl can alleviate the worst of the symptoms, but they tend to leave the patient drowsy and unproductive during the day. So what about the world of herbs and traditional plant remedies?
Quercetin is one of these. Found in onions, broccoli, and fruits, quercetin is a very active chemical in the body. Essentially, it supports the efficiency of the immune system while suppressing inflammatory effects that lead to sneezing and congestion. You can get a quercetin supplement from Allergy Research Group.
Nettle is another plant that has been used as a medicinal aid to support a healthy response to allergens. Specifically, the use of nettle may help to support people who experience negative symptoms from allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis occurs as a result of pollinators from hundreds of different plants, nettle included. 20% of people around the world experience these symptoms during their local growing seasons. Symptoms tend to include major nasal congestion and sneezing, but can also include skin issues like hives, rashes, and itching.
A form of immunotherapy similar to the ones described earlier in this piece, nettle is ingested in late winter and early spring as a way of allowing the body to get used to the presence of these allergens in small doses, before the air becomes thick with fresh, natural allergens in the middle of spring. This and other Seasonal Support supplements are also available from Allergy Research Group, or Utzy Naturals allergy support product, Allurtica Seasonal Support.
It’s unlikely that any of these methods will give you perfect relief from allergy symptoms. In this case, you’ll have to work to control your environment. For example, if you tend to spend a lot of time inside, run the air conditioning (as it will purify the air) but don’t run it aggressively (as AC dries out the air, which will further inflame your sinuses). Make sure to drink lots of water. If possible, take a vacation during the worst part of allergy season (somewhere like the beach, where you can get a break from airborne allergens).
If all else fails, talk with your doctor. If even this doesn’t fully clear up your allergies, just repeat the mantra that “this too shall pass.” Allergies come for us all in one form or other. Seasonal allergies may be terrible, but at least they are “seasonal” – here one day and gone the next.