- Natural Seasonal Allergy Relief
- Firstly, what are Seasonal Allergies?
- How are Seasonal Allergies Diagnosed?
- What are the Most Common Seasonal Allergies?
- Find the Root Cause of Your Allergy Issue
- Natural Seasonal Allergy Relief Products
- Examine the Foods You’re Eating
- Amazon Fresh Products
- Support Your Diet with Supplements
- Recommended Seasonal Allergy Supplements
- Recommended Seasonal Allergies Supplements
- Look to Your Environment
- Get Your PDF on Charcoal Detox
Natural Seasonal Allergy Relief
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, making it the 6th most chronic disease experienced in the country. From watery and itchy eyes, to an asthmatic cough, repetitive sneezing, and more – for most, the symptoms of allergies are non-life-threatening, but for some, their allergy could prove to be fatal.
If you’ve noticed a sharp increase in the number of seasonal allergy-sufferers over the past few decades, you’re not wrong. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, seasonal allergies and asthma impose significant health burdens, with an estimated 10–30% of the global population afflicted by allergic rhinitis (or hay fever) and 300 million people worldwide affected by asthma.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, or know someone who does, then you’ll want to keep reading our in-depth guide which provides a comprehensive look into how you can naturally ease or overcome seasonal allergies (rather than just masking the symptoms with over-the-counter medication).
*Note: The following content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Firstly, what are Seasonal Allergies?
According to Peter J. Delves (PhD, University College London), seasonal allergies result from exposure to airborne substances (such as pollens) that appear only during certain times of the year – particularly during the spring, summer, or fall.
The symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
- Itchy skin
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy or watery, bloodshot eyes
- Red and swollen eyelids
- Coughing and wheezing
How are Seasonal Allergies Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of seasonal allergies is based on symptoms plus the circumstances in which they occur (i.e. only during certain seasons). Sometimes, a patient’s nasal discharge is examined to see whether it contains eosinophils (a type of white blood cell produced in large numbers during an allergic reaction). More commonly, however, a skin prick test is performed, where a drop of each extract is placed on the person’s skin, which is then pricked with a needle. This test can help confirm the diagnosis and identify the specific allergen.
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What are the Most Common Seasonal Allergies?
Many people with allergies often have more than one type of allergy. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the most common indoor/outdoor allergy triggers are:
- Tree, grass and weed pollen
- Mold spores
- Dust mites
- Cat, dog, and rodent dander
Here’s the dilemma though: on a daily basis, there is no doubt whatsoever that you will come in to contact with at least one of these triggers – whether it’s the pollen from trees and grass you have surrounding your home or the dust that accumulates unknowingly in every crevice of your workspace.
Seasonal allergy triggers can’t be avoided, but by taking on the information within this guide and incorporating the following practices into your life, you will at least be able to regain control of not just your health, but your life too.
Let’s get started…
Find the Root Cause of Your Allergy Issue
Before you go any further on your seasonal allergy-busting journey, you need to determine exactly what is causing your allergy in the first place. While it may seem easier to simply mask your allergy symptoms with over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestant products, this will only compound the problem over time.
As we mentioned earlier, there are a few ways a health practitioner can find the root cause of your allergy, whether it’s via testing your nasal discharge, performing a blood test, or – the most common of all – performing a skin prick test. Thankfully, adults and children of any age can be tested for allergies.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America sheds some more light on this test, explaining:
“In prick/scratch testing, a nurse or doctor places a small drop of the possible allergen on your skin. Then the nurse will lightly prick or scratch the spot with a needle through the drop. If you are allergic to the substance, you will develop redness, swelling and itching at the test site within 20 minutes. You may also see a wheal. A wheal is a raised, round area that looks like a hive. Usually, the larger the wheal, the more likely you are to be allergic to the allergen.”
It's important to mention, however, that a positive reaction to a particular pollen allergen does not necessarily mean that a person has an allergy. Health care providers must then compare the skin test results with the time and place of a person’s symptoms to see if they match.
In some cases, patients may have a skin condition or be taking certain medications which will interfere with the skin test. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, this is where a Specific IgE Blood Test comes in handy, as it involves a sample of blood being withdrawn, before being sent to a laboratory where the allergen is added to your sample. This allows the lab to measure the number of antibodies your blood produces to attack the allergens, which will assist them in determining if the allergen is causing your symptoms or not.
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Examine the Foods You’re Eating
If you suffer from the usual symptoms of seasonal allergies, particularly sinusitis, then it can prove helpful to look at the food you’re consuming in your day-to-day life. When you start eliminating food groups such as sugar, dairy, and wheat, pay attention to your symptoms – do they get better or remain the same?
Certain foods or drinks can interfere with our body, making the traditional symptoms of seasonal allergies much worse. Joseph E. Kelleher, MD, a specialist in allergy and immunology at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, explains:
“For some people, dairy products can cause mucus to thicken up, and that may cause sinus pressure and congestion…To keep the mucus produced in your sinuses flowing smoothly, you need to drink enough water.”
Here are 11 other food and beverages you should be avoiding if you suffer from sinusitis-related symptoms:
- Refined sugars
- Spicy foods
- Gluten foods
- Fruits such as bananas, papaya, and oranges
You see, the major issue with the items on this list is that many of them create more histamine in your body—adding to what's already an increased amount if you have any allergies.
As Dr. Huml, certified clinical nutritionist, explains: “If your body is irritated or doesn't like a substance, it will make more mucus in an attempt to get that substance further away from irritating the cell lining.”
While this list of foods and drinks to avoid (particularly during seasonal allergy flare-ups) is bad news for food lovers, it motivates you to think about how you feel next time you happen to eat one of these items. Do you experience any new symptoms or are your current symptoms worsened in any way? We recommend keeping a food diary and documenting this each day.
Now, how about foods and beverages that you should eat? The following may protect you from seasonal allergies, or at the very least, decrease your symptoms (according to Eat This, Not That!):
- Almond milk
- Raw brussels sprouts
- Green tea
- Wild pink salmon
- Boiled carrots
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Support Your Diet with Supplements
While we’re on the topic of diet, it’s important to note that along with the common ingredients listed above, you should also be supporting your immune system with natural supplements. You see, unlike over-the-counter medicine, natural supplements work to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system and treat the true cause of the allergies.
Those store-bought pills, however, might work for the short-term, but they provide nothing other than a Band-Aid for your symptoms. Plus, they also have a number of undesirable side-effects, including drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhoea, or reduced coordination, judgement, or reaction speed.
Look to the following natural supplements instead:
According to Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D, “Elderberries are mainly used as a natural medicine to boost the immune system. Because of its high concentration of antioxidants…the elderberry fruit is effective in fighting against certain viruses including the flu, H1N1 (swine flu), and even HIV/AIDS. It has also been shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of sinus pain, back and leg pain, sciatica, nerve pain, and chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as seasonal allergies.”
Many of the nasty allergy symptoms come from inflammatory issues, like swelling and irritation in the nasal passages, eyes, and throat, however ginger can help reduce these symptoms naturally. According to Healthline, ginger has been proven to contain antioxidative, anti-inflammatory phytochemical compounds. Healthline explains: “now, experts are exploring how these compounds may be useful for combating seasonal allergies. In a 2016 animal study, ginger suppressed the production of pro-inflammatory proteins in the blood of mice, which led to reduced allergy symptoms.”
Nettles (also known as stinging nettles) are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Although there is not a lot of evidence to support using nettle lead purely to rid yourself of seasonal allergies, the ingredient is frequently used to help treat muscles and joints, arthritis, and eczema either through topical creams, teas, or capsules. If your allergies leave you feeling inflamed or with an eczema-like rash, it is recommended that you discuss nettle leaf as a potential treatment with your doctor first.
According to Jennifer Brett, N.D., from How Stuff Works, “Yarrow's astringent action is helpful in some cases of allergy, in which watery eyes and nasal secretions are triggered by pollen, dust, molds, and animal dander…[It] has a drying effect and can be used as a decongestant. Sinus infections and coughs with sputum production may be improved by yarrow, especially when mixed with equal parts goldenseal.”
Recommended Seasonal Allergy Supplements
Chamomile tea is recognized throughout the world as a natural antihistamine, but did you know one or two daily cups of chamomile tea, sweetened with honey, can provide immunity toward many common allergens? Just keep in mind that if you’re allergic to ragweed, chamomile may in fact do the opposite for your seasonal allergies, prompting you to have allergic side effects instead.
Oregano oil is known for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, as it contains several potentially healing compounds, including carvacrol, thymol, and terpinene. According to Healthline, this makes it a popular herbal remedy for cold and flu symptoms, much like those that are also caused by seasonal allergies, such as blocked or runny nose, headaches, sore throat, cough, fever, and body aches.
Herbalist Hillary Hilliard confirms thyme can be extremely helpful when it comes to treating coughs, congestion, and sore throats as it is an expectorant and antimicrobial. She recommends steeping 1-2 teaspoons of fresh thyme to make your own tea, or buying commercially prepared tea bags.
We all know that coconut oil boosts the immune system, but did you know that it’s also really effective in treating the symptoms and causes of seasonal allergies? According to Louise Baillie, Hayfever Advisor, coconut oil can help soothe hay fever symptoms. She recommends dabbing a little coconut oil around the edges of the nostrils, as this can actually help trap pollen before you breathe it in. "This is a great hack if you know you’re going to be out and about near green spaces, but you can also apply your barrier balm before you go to sleep to help reduce night-time and early morning symptoms," she says.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Some research shows ingesting ACV can provide anti-inflammatory effects, including lowering blood pressure and reducing the effects of blood sugar and insulin spikes associated with starchy meals. As mentioned earlier, the body’s response to allergies results in inflammation, therefore many believe apple cider vinegar can provide positive results.
Recently, researchers from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida found that a probiotic consisting of both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria helped to alleviate hay fever symptoms and improved quality of life during allergy season.Read more: If you’re specifically looking to treat seasonal allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion, check out our Top 10 Nasal Congestion Relief Products in 2020 and Top 10 Nasal Congestion Treatment in 2020.
Recommended Seasonal Allergies Supplements
Look to Your Environment
Dust mites, pollen, mold, cockroaches, and dander from pets are all the most significant causes of seasonal allergies, so it comes as no surprise that for many, their home is only fueling their health problems. Your home should be a sanctuary of wellbeing, not a living space for allergens, so it’s also vital that when trying to overcome your seasonal allergies, you look to the environment around you too.
If you have pets, there’s certainly no reason to get rid of them. Instead, change up some of your habits at home to effectively eliminate their dander and fur. Invest in a vacuum cleaner that’s especially for pet owners and allergy sufferers and vacuum your entire home multiple times per week. If you can afford it, why not pay for a professional, top-to-bottom clean of your home quarterly or bi-annually? Your health will thank you for it!
It probably goes without saying, but you should also keep your pets out of bedroom areas – especially away from the bed. Our sheets and mattress is already a breeding ground for dust mites thanks to the many skin cells we shed each and every night, and doesn’t need the addition of pet dander and fur too.
Aside from investing in an allergy-specific vacuum cleaner or a professional, deep clean, there are also some other things you can do to eliminate dust mites from your surroundings. Clean your bed sheets regularly using an anti-allergen washing product (either in powder or liquid form) and make sure you dry them using high heat, as opposed to on your clothes line. Clothes dryers can reach temperatures hot enough to effectively destroy dust mites, giving you peace of mind and a more restful sleep.
Also ensure that you’re dusting household surfaces regularly using a cloth that traps the dust mites as you wipe so they don’t become airborne, only to resettle again. Additionally, you can buy cleaning products specifically designed for eliminating dust mites, making your cleaning routine even more effective.
Getting Rid of Dust Mites
It doesn’t matter how neat and tidy your home is, you’re bound to get the odd cockroach take up residence there – particularly during the hotter months. In fact, between 78% and 98% of homes in urban areas have cockroaches, so even if you don’t see them with your own eyes, you’ll want to act. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to keep these pests away:
Mold is caused by excess moisture in your home, particularly from leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames. According to the Florida Department of Health, people with allergies may be more sensitive to mold than others. If they come into contact with mold, they may experience symptoms, such as:
- a runny or blocked nose
- watery, red eyes
- a dry cough
- skin rashes
- a sore throat
Getting Rid of Mold Growth
Think just because you’re indoors that you’re not being exposed to pollen? According to Allergy Asthma Technology, pollen often enters the home through open windows. While the best method of keeping pollen out is keeping the window shut, this isn’t always ideal. Thankfully, there are effective filters (like a HEPA Medical Grade Air Purifier) that capture pollens so they will not enter through an open window. They will capture over 99.9% of the pollens that pass through them, so it’s a great investment for seasonal allergy sufferers.
If you find yourself wanting to enjoy time outdoors, but experience severe reactions to pollen, wear a high-quality face mask that will keep you from breathing in pollen. You can also purchase masks with HEPA filters which are incredibly effective.
While up to 30% of the global population is said to suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s promising to realize that we CAN find relief from both our allergy causes and symptoms. If you regularly find yourself struggling with allergy side effects such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, itchy skin, and a blocked or runny nose, there are a number of small lifestyle and diet changes you can make to regain control.
Start by seeing your doctor about undertaking an allergy test to truly get to the cause of your problem. From there, you can begin to nourish your immune system through a healthier diet, along with herbal remedies such as elderberry, ginger, nettle leaf, yarrow, chamomile, oregano oil, thyme, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and probiotic.
Lastly, it’s important that you look to the environment around you to further control your seasonal allergies, including both in your home and outside of it. Invest in proper, anti-allergen cleaning products, as well as a thorough, professional clean of your home either quarterly or bi-annually. Get on top of issues such as pet dander / fur build-up, as well as cockroach control and mold removal, and look into purchasing and installing a HEPA Medical Grade Air Purifier for true peace of mind (and greater wellbeing!).
Educate yourself in all matters relating to your seasonal allergies and in turn, you will make the best decisions for your health. There’s a lot of hype out there surrounding viruses and other serious illnesses, but through looking after your immune system, recognizing negative thought patterns and emotions, and getting enough sleep per night, you’re giving yourself the greatest chance at a long and healthy life.