In Chinese Medicine, we take into account the root and the branch of disharmony. In the case of seasonal allergies, its imperative to treat the symptoms as well as the causal pattern(s). Immune system imbalances are often at the root of seasonal allergies, affecting the whole and more specifically the lung, large intestine, spleen and stomach meridians.
Seasonal allergies are a common problem for many people. They occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to pollen, mold spores, or other allergens that are present in the air during certain times of the year. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes and throat.
How to Fight Seasonal Allergies
One of the most effective ways to manage seasonal allergies is by avoiding exposure to allergens as much as possible. This may mean staying indoors when pollen counts are high or wearing a mask when doing outdoor activities such as gardening or mowing the lawn. Other strategies include keeping windows closed during peak allergy season and using an air purifier with a HEPA filter to trap airborne allergens.
In addition to these preventive measures, there are also various over-the-counter medications available that can help alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms.
A few recommendations to alleviate symptoms and strengthen immunity to help fight seasonal allergies include:
- Eating fresh, seasonal foods in their natural state – vegetables, whole grains, fruits and proteins that are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Dark leafy vegetables and summer greens are a perfect transition into the season. Avoid inflammatory foods, such as fried foods and those high in refined, processed sugars.
- Exercising – all kinds bolster the immune system.
- Reducing stress through breathing exercises, moving the body, meditation and deep sleep.
- Taking a small teaspoon of locally harvested honey is thought to inoculate against native pollens and reduce seasonal allergies.
- Using a Neti Pot or Saline spray – when used daily as directed, the saline stream from a pot or spray rinses pollens and molds and loosens mucus of the nasal passages.
- Taking a brief, hot showers – washes away allergens from the skin and hair and clears the passages.
- Taking steam baths and facial steams – the steam helps open and clear the airways and with a drop of Eucalyptus oil– a natural anti-inflammatory – helps heal the mucus membranes.
- Changing clothes after being outside for several hours and before sitting on the furniture.
- Avoid swimming in chlorine pools or hot tubs – can exacerbate allergy symptoms
- Deep cleaning the home & consider a HEPA air filtration system. Research shows that cleaning home air ducts has minimal effect on allergen counts, making air filtration devices a much better investment.
- Turning off your cell phone – research shows that one hour of continuous cell phone use can exacerbate peoples’ allergic responses to dust and pollen.
- Massaging the medial wrists and stimulating acupressure points LU7, LI11, St36 and SP6 can help against seasonal allergies.
- Utilizing acupuncture to vitalize the immune system, address underlying conditions, and reduce inflammatory responses to allergens.
- Checking with a healthcare practitioner to identify a hormone imbalance, chronic stress responses, and food sensitivities.
- Vitamin C – a gentle antihistamine
- Vitamin D – reduces allergic reactions to mold
- Quercetin – flavonoid that prevents histamine release
- Probiotics – reduces antibodies that trigger allergic reactions
Herbs in capsules, tinctures or as a tea
- Stinging nettle
- Chrysanthemum flowers and cassia seeds
- Butterbur (do not take if allergic to ragweed)
In conclusion, seasonal allergies can be annoying and disruptive. However, there are ways to minimize their impact on our lives, such as by avoiding triggers, taking appropriate medications, and using preventive strategies. Allergy sufferers should also talk to a doctor if they have any questions or concerns about their symptoms or treatment. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that while seasonal allergies may be a nuisance, they can usually be managed effectively with the right approach.