If you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer, you know that few things can drain the joy out of warmer weather like the misery of red, itchy eyes, continuous sneezing and post-nasal drip. At least one out of every five Americans suffers from allergies. Pollen from trees, weeds and grasses are the primary culprits behind seasonal allergies.
Allergies differ from other forms of sickness in that they are the result of an overactive immune system. Upper respiratory allergies develop when a foreign particle is inhaled and makes contact with the nasal mucosa. This allergen then interacts with an antigen-presenting cell. If the immune system is out of balance, a whole cascade of inflammatory cytokines ultimately trigger a histamine response, and the result can make spring uncomfortable for many. Luckily there are natural options that can greatly decrease the symptoms of allergies.
Avoid highly inflammatory foods such as sugar and wheat that can irritate an already compromised system. Proper identification and elimination of other reactive foods will decrease the threshold; so when the pollen flies, it will not stress the immune system as much. Green leafy vegetables, bone broth, fermented foods, lemon and garlic are all good anti-inflammatory food choices. Eating foods rich in quercetin such as cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli or cauliflower), onions/shallots, green tea and citrus fruits can also be helpful. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the release of histamines and helps to naturally control allergy symptoms.
High quality supplements can make all the difference in combating seasonal allergies. There are many healthy and effective alternatives to OTC and prescription medications. Some of the best herbs for allergies include albizia, Chinese skullcap, echinacea, butterbur, stinging nettle and goldenseal.
Acupuncture can be particularly useful if you are suffering from multiple allergies since it works to quiet the areas of the immune system that are overstimulated by exposure to multiple irritating factors. Also, the beneficial effects of chiropractic adjustments on the nervous system are well documented, so it’s not surprising that many chiropractic patients report a reduction of allergy symptoms when treated regularly for vertebral subluxations. Seeing a practitioner that can integrate multiple therapies known to help allergies (chiropractic, acupuncture, and nutrition), often leads to the most successful results.
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