This picture even makes our sinuses stuff up! Spring allergies are just around the corner and every year we hope it won't be "as bad", or we swear we'll "get on top of them this year". It's never that easy, but hopefully we can provide you with a few tips to help you muscle through.
This time of year, we all want to open our doors and windows and air out our stuffy homes. Unfortunately this is a "how do you do and welcome" to allergens into your home. Try to save these airing out moments for right after it rains when pollen count is at it's lowest. (If you have a mold allergy, this may not be an option)
Outdoor mold spores play a major role in causing most mold allergy symptoms. Like pollen, mold spores are airborne and become abundant in the warmer weather months. Unlike pollen, which typically is released in the greatest numbers early in the day, mold spore release depends three factors: 1) type of mold present, 2) heat and 3) humidity. “Dry air” spores such as Cladosporium or Alternaria release the most spores during the afternoon hours when the weather conditions are hot and dry. “Wet air” spores, such as Ascospores and Basidiospores release the largest numbers of spores during pre-dawn hours when there is high humidity.
Stress hormones wreak havoc in the body and especially in the immune system, making seasonal allergies even worse. Consider methods of stress management such as meditation, taking time out for self-care and avoid overcommitting your schedule.
Nettle reduces inflammation in the sinus cavities. It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage and aids in preventing allergy attacks.
Consider buying an air purifier with a HEPA filter to clean pollen, molds and dust from your home or office [I keep mine in the bedroom in the summer time and in the living room during the winter to cut down on dust from the woodstove].
Pollen counts in late summer are highest between 5am and 10am, so schedule your gardening and other outdoor activities with this in mind.
Try to irrigate your sinuses on a regular basis to rinse out any allergens hanging out up there, perpetuating your symptoms.
We all know plants produce oxygen, but they also help remove pollutants from indoor air. Some hard-working plants include bamboo palm, Boston fern, Dracaena, English ivy, peace lily, rubber plant and spider plant.
Many studies link the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with reduced incidence of allergies. Probiotics can help stimulate production of immune enhancing substances, hinder growth of pathogenic and boost the immune system.
Quercetin---which is found in apples, berries, grapefruit, onions, cabbage, tea and red wine---is a potent flavonoid. Quercetin increases immunity and decreases reactions to certain foods, pollens, and other allergens. It is best taken with Bromelain, , which enhances absorption of quercetin and reduces inflammation. [Sauerkraut is basically probiotic cabbage, so win-win!]
-Take a shower before bed to wash away any allergens that may be on your skin or hair.
-Stay indoors on dry, windy days when allergens are being kicked up and blown about.
One more fun (to me) fact!
If you are allergic to ragweed, do not eat cantaloupe. It contains some of the same proteins as ragweed.