Allergy Season is Back!

Allergy Season is Back!

The snow is melting, the birds are chirping and excitement is in the air… along with the pollen, dust, ragweed and the other common enemies to those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies. Each year, a lot of us look forward to getting out to smell the roses, but then end up hiding inside with our tissues, antihistamines and misery, overcome with itchy, watery eyes, post-nasal drip, sneezing, headaches, joint pain and more!

This year… let’s try something different!

There are numerous natural remedies that can help relieve some of our painful and annoying allergy symptoms. Read below for some simple ideas to get started with…

Vitamin C

As your immune system goes in to shock with the return of allergy season, do yourself a favor and nourish it by increasing your intake of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is an important essential nutrient which has been shown to have some antihistamine effects in high doses. This nutrient helps to regulate our immune system – which is in a very heightened state when experiencing an allergic response.

Some easy ways to increase your vitamin C intake is to start your day with a Vitamin C rich smoothie, such as one of these:

http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2014/04/vitamin-c-immune-booster-smoothie/

http://www.crunchycreamysweet.com/2014/03/31/vitamin-c-booster-smoothie-recipe/

http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/super-c-smoothie

Not a smoothie person…? Vitamin C is available in a wide variety of fruits and veggies, so up your intake, but beware that this particular vitamin is easily destroyed in the cooking process so enjoy yours raw to get the benefits of this powerhouse immune supporter.

Another option to introduce higher levels of this nutrient in to your daily routine is through a taking a high-quality buffered Vitamin C supplement.

Quercetin

Quercetin is a type of plant-based chemical, known as a flavonoid, which has been demonstrated to have several helpful qualities that can reduce the symptoms of the seasonal allergy sufferer.

Quercetin can reduce histamine in the body, inhibit inflammation and can act as a bronchodilator thereby opening up airways to promote easier breathing patterns.

It is available as a dietary supplement, however is also plentifully available through daily intake of delicious and healthy foods. To cash in on the benefits of Quercetin, increase your consumption of dark-red and blue fruits such as cranberries, black plums, blueberries and cherries (try some Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate). Some more great sources of nature’s antihistamine are raw onions, capers, hot green chile peppers, red leaf lettuce, kale and broccoli.

As with many foods, in order to get the most nutrient value out of your meals, it is best to eat these raw… So, before reaching for your over-the-counter’s this Spring, try having a large Quercetin-rich salad with a side of berries for lunch!

Herbal Teas

Herbs have been a great alternative to regular medicines for many different ailments… but did you know that they can help with your allergies as well? Sipping a cup of hot herbal tea can help clear your sinuses and ease sore throats – and also relieve stress. Reducing your overall stress can help to strengthen your immune system and lower your overall allergic reactions. Here are a couple of naturally caffeine-free teas that zero in more specifically for allergy relief…

Peppermint Tea:

Peppermint has the properties to be a natural nasal decongestant. It also is naturally anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help with respiratory problems and headaches.

Licorice Root Tea:

Licorice Root is a widely overlooked herb that has a variety of benefits to the body. In the respiratory system, it has a soothing and healing action, reducing irritation and inflammation and has an expectorant effect, useful in irritating coughs. It has an overall antiallergenic affect in the system and can also help improve the immune system and resistance to stress by supporting your adrenals.

Rooibos Tea:

Rooibos has a great flavor, and even more important, it contains two bioflavonoids called rutin and quercetin. These compounds can block the release of histamine, a chemical the body produces in response to allergens.

Ginger Tea:

Ginger is a natural antihistamine, so it relieves allergy problems in the sinus. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can provide relief to any aches accompanying a bout of allergies.

Still in pain and need some relief?

Move Physical Therapy can help reduce your symptoms of headaches, neck pain, sinus pressure and more through their advanced manual therapy techniques. If you are suffering from these allergy symptoms in addition to your orthopedic issues, let us know so we can help bring you some relief!

This year, as Spring comes and our bodies begin to react to the allergens in the air, try reaching for a natural remedy before your over-the-counter medicine. Please keep in mind, if you are suffering from severe symptoms, it is best to check with an allergist regarding your condition and prior to taking any supplements.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and pain-free Spring!

Jes Caruso, LMSW, SFG