Allergies ruin Spring for many Canadians. While most people are excited to see grass, leaves and flowers, those of us with “Hay Fever” know they signal weeks of misery to come. Before you head to the drug store to stock up on allergy medication, you may want to try some natural alternatives.
When you have an allergic reaction, histamines are released and inflammation occurs. There are foods and natural supplements that offer antihistamine properties and reduce inflammation without the side effects of manufactured medication.
Note of Caution: It’s important to discuss the addition of natural supplements with your doctor to avoid interactions or contraindications.
- Flavanoids: Colourful fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and bell peppers. Flavanoids act like antihistamines and also contain carotenes, which promote anti-inflammatory activity. Pigments reduce IgE production, a protein that causes your reaction to pollen.
- Garlic and onions also retard the inflammatory reactions of allergies.
- Vitamin A: Can help control allergic reactions.
- Vitamin C: Fights free radicals, boosts the immune system and relieves the symptoms of allergies.
- Herbal Compounds: Green, chamomile, nettle, milk thistle or ginger teas offer natural antihistamines, as do seaweed, garlic, thyme, fennel and basil.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Calm allergic reactions.
- Quercetin and Pycnogenol: Inhibits the release of histamine by the mast cells. Found in citrus fruits, broccoli, capsicum, berries, onions, garlic, tea and apples.
- Bromelain: Pineapple contains Bromelain, offering anti-inflammatory properties and improved absorption of quercetin and pycnogenol.
- Pycnogenol is a pine bark extract used to treat congestion, wheezing and coughing. It can reduce bronchial spasms and inflammation of the airway.
- Eating local, unpasteurized honey throughout the year can help build a tolerance to local pollen allergens.
There are supplements that offer a combination of the above natural allergy treatments. My personal favourite is Rainbow Light Allergy Rescue. I’ve been taking their natural multi-vitamins for several years and now I add the allergy formula every Spring.
These natural remedies for Spring allergies could eliminate symptoms, or at least boost the effectiveness of drug store remedies. You may find yourself picking flowers this Spring instead of running from them!
??? Have you discovered any natural secrets to controlling Spring allergies? Please share them in the comments below.
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