Seasonal allergies can put a damper on the beauty of spring flowers in bloom and green landscapes — especially for the 35 million Americans who suffer from them yearly due to high pollen counts in the air. So, this is the time of the year when many of you may find anti-histamines become your wingman.
Every spring, many of my patients walk into my office blood shot, teary eyed, sniffling, and stuffy. Their seasonal allergies can be very debilitating to day-to-day activities and the medications can be sedative. In my practice, I offer people natural solutions to carry them through the spring and help them actually enjoy the season of renewal.
Natural therapies for seasonal allergies are geared towards three basic goals:
- Enhancing the liver’s ability to detoxify
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing histamine levels
These tools provide relief without the extra chemicals, are non-sedative, and address the underlying cause of the liver’s inability to properly detoxify.
Our liver is our body’s filtration system that traps toxins entering the body through our respiratory system, digestive system, and skin. It is arguably the hardest working organ, as it’s constantly converting hazardous material into safer compounds to be excreted.
Our liver filters two quarts of blood per minute, extracting 99% of viruses, bacteria, environmental toxins, and more before recirculating it through the rest of the body. Pollen is considered an external offender by the body, so the liver packages it to be excreted as well.
Once filtered, these toxins need a way out. Our body’s three exit strategies include the skin, urinary tract, and digestive tract. If these areas are not optimally functioning, they will recirculate back to the liver. Seasonal allergy symptoms are a result of the liver’s inability to keep up with the workload it is dealt.
Here are five strategies for dodging seasonal allergies:
1. Pour a Cup of Nettles Tea
Nettles tea remains my number one seasonal allergy weapon. Nettles is an herb that specifically grows in the springtime for situations like allergies. It is highly nutritive to the liver, and studies have shown its ability to reduce histamine levels. For most of my patients, this alone does the trick.
I usually prescribe 3-4 cups per day in the form of tea instead of capsules because the hydration helps flush toxins more efficiently. You can brew it ahead of time and drink it hot or cold.
2. Decongest – Bromelain & Quercitin
Bromelain is a compound found in pineapples, and quercitin is a compound found in various fruits and vegetables. These antioxidant compounds combat congestion in the nasal cavities and chest by stabilizing immune cells and reducing inflammation. These both typically come in the form of capsules.
3. Up Your Fiber
The average American gets a total of 15 grams of fiber per day, where primal predecessors were getting upwards of 120 grams of fiber per day. Fiber assists in regular bowel movements and also binds to toxins for excretion. Increasing your daily intake of vegetables, seeds, and whole grains improves detoxification and chronic disease in the long term.
4. Adequate Hydration
By drinking plenty of caffeine-free fluids, your body is better able to flush toxins from your system. To determine hydration repletion, the general rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Herbal teas (including nettles tea mentioned above) can count towards your daily water goal. For every cup of caffeinated beverage you consume, it’s best to add an extra cup of water to compensate for dehydration.
5. Break a Sweat Daily
This can be a double-edged sword for allergy sufferers. You may want to exercise outside, but you have a flare up every time you try. Consider exercising indoors until you have a handle on your allergies. Our skin is our largest organ and sweat is a great vehicle for excreting toxins. Aside from exercise, dry saunas are another tool for enhancing detoxification if you have the access.
The content presented above is for informational purposes. Please consult with your doctor if you are interested in implementing any of these suggestions to ensure it is safe for your personal health care needs.
– Dr. Thalia Farshchian, N.D.
Dr. Thalia Farshchian is a Naturopathic doctor. As an expert in women’s health, digestive conditions, hormone conditions, autoimmune disease, weight loss, and environmental medicine, Dr. Thalia’s extensive health toolbox includes herbal medicine, diet and nutritional supplements, lifestyle modification, intravenous therapy, bio-identical hormones, and conventional medications when necessary. You can follow Dr. Thalia on her Web site, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (@DrThaliaND) where she regularly posts her medical insights, recipes, and latest findings in healthy living.
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.