6 Natural Supplements for Summer Allergy Relief
The warmer months are always fun. People get outside more, have get togethers, enjoy nature and the longer days. One of the few downsides to all this outdoor goodness is allergies. When everything is blooming and growing the pollen and other airborne allergens can be a problem for some people. Sneezing, itchy eyes, fatigue, congestion and coughs are common symptoms that can take some of the fun out of the great outdoors. So what are allergies and what can you do to manage them?
What causes these reactions?
Allergic reactions are caused by your immune system which is in place to protect you from life threatening bacteria, viruses and the like. With allergies, your immune system perceives a dangerous threat to your body in something like pollen or mold and goes the defensive which creates the uncomfortable symptoms of sneezing, coughing and congestion. You may also feel foggy and fatigued. People who have allergies have a hyper alert immune system that perceives a threat in substances that other people’s immune systems don’t. This can be caused by the immune system being stressed in some way. Stress, chronic low grade infections, or toxicity can all stress the immune system to the point where it can’t take any more stimuli and starts perceiving threats everywhere. When you have a cold your allergies can also get worse or when your allergies are acting up your defenses against other illnesses can be lowered. Your immune system only has so much energy and having too many stresses on it can lead to poor health.
What can you do?
So what can you do to help your immune system stay strong and healthy? There are common sense things like get enough sleep (7-8 hours a night for adults, more for children), stop smoking, eat healthy foods, and exercise. Those four things alone are the basis for staying healthy in every area of your life. Reducing your stress if you can by meditating, changing situations at work or in your personal life if need be and taking more time to relax are also helpful. You can also help boost your immune system and treat allergy symptoms by taking supplements.
- Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for your immune system. It not only helps boost your immunity but it has mild anti-histamine effects as well. Taking Vitamin C with Methoxyflones is particularly helpful for people with allergies.
- Butterbur is a European herb that has been shown to have impressive results in clinical studies. Taking a tablet 4 times a day was shown to have the same results as an over the counter anti-histamine drug without the side effects of drowsiness.
- Saline nasal spray infused with a tonic of goldenseal and stinging nettles has been used to relieve sinus irritation. A saline nasal spray with a small amount of probiotics added can also be a big help especially if you aren’t sure if it’s allergies or an infection.
- Quercetin is a flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties and can reduce congestion and irritation.
- Perilla seed extract is also a good remedy for allergy symptoms including sneezing, cough and runny nose and eyes.
- Homeopathic remedies and be very helpful as well. You can get them with combination remedies that cover a range of irritants or in a more specific remedy such as for weeds, or trees or pollens.
- Although acupuncture isn’t a supplement it should be mentioned as well. Acupuncture treatments have been shown to help a wide variety of health concerns even allergies.
One other important consideration that goes along with helping your immune system stay healthy is avoiding certain foods or herbs that may be a stress or irritant to your system. Dairy products often cause excess mucus and can increase congestion symptoms. Herbs such as Chamomile and Echinacea are related to other plants that are often allergens and for some people may make allergy symptoms worse. Also, if you know you have a sensitivity or allergy to some foods make sure you don’t eat them. Your body’s immune system will be stressed by dealing with those allergens and won’t have the energy to fight off the airborne allergens as well. Food can also help though if it’s the right kind of food. Spicy foods are known to thin out mucus and clear sinus congestion so eating a good healthy dose of spice can help.
When dealing with allergies, think in terms of helping your immune system stay strong first and then treating symptoms second. This will go a long way towards helping you manage your seasonal allergies and still enjoying the summer!