Spring has sprung and so has allergy season!
If you have been feeling congested, sneezing or have extra sinus pressure, your first thought may be that your symptoms are Covid-related. The timing of these symptoms now could also mean that you are experiencing allergy symptoms.
Seasonal allergies begin when your body reacts to allergens like tree pollen and grass. For some individuals, spring can be a nightmare!
If you have been a long-time user of Claritin or other over-the counter medications, you may wish to consider some natural alternatives. It is often difficult to predict which remedies might work better than others but they are worth trying. The earlier symptom management begins, the better success there will be in finding the best remedy.
Besides symptom management, one of the focuses of natural treatment is to modify the immune response. This means supportive treatments act to lower the body’s response to allergens and also decrease histamine release.
What are your options?
Vitamins – Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. It acts to stabilize mast cells (immune system cells) that release histamine. Histamine causes allergy symptoms. Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Herbs – Stinging Nettle has a long traditional use for treating allergies. There are liquid extracts available as well as teas and capsules. When allergy symptoms are severe, combination herbals can be used. The most potent forms are often found in liquid form. Herbs generally are found in low-dose alcohol preparations. If they are well tolerated, this if often the best form. The only down-side is that they require frequent dosing throughout the day. Echinacea and goldenseal are often included in these formulas.
Mushrooms – Astragalus, reishi and schisandra have not typically been used for alleviating allergy symptoms. However, some patients find mushroom blends to be helpful for decreasing an excessive immune response.
Homeopathic remedies – Allium cepa and Histaminum are some options in this category.
Other natural supplements include bromelain (an enzyme from pineapple) and also quercitin (a flavanoid in many plants and foods). These supplements have a long tradition of assisting with allergy symptoms.
With so many options available, consult with your Naturopathic Doctor to see which remedy may be appropriate for you. Some remedies may conflict with certain medications, and some individuals may actually have allergies to certain herbs! A plan and review of lifestyle factors are your best strategy for surviving allergy season.