Posted by : Chad Bradford /
Ditch the side effects and get better results with natural remedies this allergy season
Itchy? Sneezy? Wheezy? Hard to breathe easy? Yes, spring is in bloom and unfortunately for 1 in 5 Americans so are our allergies1. Spring should be a fun time of year where we celebrate the dawn of warm weather, but it can be a miserable time for people with allergies. Pollen is the most common allergy trigger with tree pollens being highest in spring, grasses in summer, and weeds in the fall2.
An allergy occurs when a foreign substance enters the body, and the immune system marks it for elimination by producing the chemical histamine which causes watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and swelling in our sinuses3. These reactions are how our body eliminates allergens. We usually want this to happen with actual toxins, but with seasonal allergies, the immune system has become hypersensitive to substances that pose no real threat4.
Fortunately; research shows us there are a multitude of natural remedies that can help lower immune hypersensitivity and reduce allergy symptoms5. Here are some of our most effective remedies:
- Nettles are the number one anti-allergy herb. Nettle has been used for hundreds of years for everything from high blood pressure to seasonal allergies. Recent research shows that nettles contain a histamine-like compound that binds to our body’s histamine receptors and prevents real histamine from interacting with them, preventing inflammatory reactions much like modern medications but without the side effects6.
- Butterbur is a less well-known anti-allergy herb but one of the most powerful. In one study of 580 patients 90% experienced significant allergy relief in just one week7. In other studies directly comparing butterbur to Allegra and Zyrtec butterbur was found to be equally effective without side effects8,9. Butterbur blocks inflammatory compounds like leukotrienes which are produced along with histamine by overactive immune cells10,11.
- Quercetin, Bromelain, and Vitamin C are a classic trio when it comes to seasonal allergy relief. Quercetin is an antioxidant that stabilizes the immune system and downregulates the production of actual histamine receptors12. Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory enzyme that not only helps quercetin absorption but reduces swelling in sinuses and lungs13. Vitamin C helps with detoxification of histamine. In one study vitamin c alone dropped histamine levels by 40%14!
- One of the most overlooked areas for seasonal allergy relief is diet. A lot of healthy foods like tomatoes, spinach, citrus fruits and others cause histamine production15. Further, specific foods such as wheat16, sugar17, and dairy18 can be inflammatory and keep our immune system on high alert. Reducing the body’s dietary histamine load and eliminating inflammatory foods can dramatically reduce seasonal allergies19.
- Hidden environmental allergen exposure is often the culprit in pesky allergies that don’t seem to respond to other treatments20. Consider dust-proofing your bedroom by installing a HEPA filtered air purifier. Regularly dusting, changing airconditioning filters, and covering mattresses and pillows with plastic can also reduce exposure. Be sure to check for hidden mold in bathrooms and living areas as well21,22.
Whether you suffer from seasonal or ongoing allergies, we hope these natural remedies can help you enjoy the spring season.