The best way to spend the bright, sunny, beautiful days is to spend them out in nature. But there are some things that may ruin our plans of enjoying outside activities. Warm weather is pleasant not only to people, but to animals, insects and plants, as well. Spring is the time when nature becomes alive, and it seems like it wants to make up to the several months of a sleep. So with so many things being active outside, and increasingly so in summer, what are those that we need protection from? Today we’re not talking about mosquitos or ticks and the dangers of Lyme Disease. This one is far more cunning, we can rarely see it and it is everywhere. It is present throughout the spring, summer and even autumn. What I’m referring to are plants, or to be more precise, their pollen. Let’s see what can we do to protect ourselves from allergies and how to reduce allergy symptoms.
Many people are allergic to the pollen of many plants, while others have allergic reactions to certain ones. Allergic reactions to pollen can be mild, with just a burning sensation in the eyes or a runny nose, or it can even worsen into a skin rash and worse yet, anaphylactic shock.
In order to reduce allergy symptoms, we need to understand the mechanism behind those allergies. Our immune system relies upon neutrophils, a type of white blood cells, to quickly respond to the injury, and start fighting the infection by causing inflammation. People allergic to pollen live with their immune systems in overdrive, and due to the heightened reaction to pollen, neutrophils cause airways to become narrow. This can result in a stuffy nose or it can even block the airways entirely. Please refer to our last article where we went into more detail about the causes of allergies.
What can we do to reduce allergy symptoms?
There are certain things we may do to reduce pollen exposure, like close the windows during the pollen season, change our clothes immediately after we get in from the outside, frequently washing our face and hair, use a vacuume cleaner with a good HEPA filtration system (vacuuming with a bad filter will only put more dust and pollen in the air), etc.
But when it comes to allergies, there are two important routes to help us reduce allergy symptoms. One is to make our airways clean, and the other one is to prepare our immune system for the allergy season.
There are many medicated nasal drops and sprays on the market, but not all of them are good. Even the best ones may cause some additional problems, and one of them is that we become dependent on them and continue using them even after the pollen and allergy are gone. But there are natural ways to reduce allergy symptoms like saline nasal sprays or Neti-Pot rinsing.
Saline nasal spray is available over-the-counter or you may make it yourself. Most of the over-the-counter saline nasal sprays are isotonic, which means that the salt concentration is the same as in the human body. The hypertonic ones have a higher concentration of salt, but both are good for nasal rinsing.
Neti-Pot rinsing is another kind of natural nasal remedy that can reduce allergy symptoms. This method comes from Ayurveda medicine. This pot is very similar to the teapot but it has a bit more of a prolonged spout, for easier rinsing.
You can prepare the saline solution yourself or get it over-the-counter. If you decide to make it, be sure the water you use to dissolve the salt is pure. Therefore, you should either use distilled or boiled and cooled water. Start small with the amount of salt, 1 or 2 teaspoons, and see how the results are. This is because more salt can cause irritation in the nasal cavity and sinuses, which you already have plenty of due to the allergy.
How can we prepare our immune system to reduce allergy symptoms?
We are what we eat. This means that our nutrition affects every aspect of our bodies. This is especially true for our immune system.
One certain ingredient can actually affect how our immune system reacts to allergy triggers. That is quercetin. Quercetin acts as a natural antihistamine.
Antihistamines are the chemical compounds used in drugs prescribed to fight allergies. Histamines are released in our bodies and they are responsible for inflammation. So, by acting like a natural antihistamine, quercitin can actually help in the stabilization of histamine release. Therefore, it reduces the inflammation, thus lowering the swelling and in turn can reduce allergy symptoms.
Some good natural sources of quercetin are apples, peppers, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, cruciferous veggies, etc.
According to www.draxe.com, there are many more benefits of taking quercetin and supplements may also be used for more concentrated levels.
Locally grown honey
The concept of using locally grown honey as a way to reduce allergy symptoms is at the core of immunotherapy. Similar to anti-allergy vaccines, by adding small doses of pollen, we improve our immune reaction to it. Locally grown honey contains the pollen of many local plants.
One study showed significant improvement in allergy symptoms in subjects who used honey, as opposed to the control group.
More studies like this one are needed for further confirmation of the results, but so far, this natural method of reducing allergy symptoms is promising.
Supplementation as a way of improving the immune system
As we mentioned earlier, our immune system is responsible for the allergic reaction to pollen. So by “teaching” the immune system how to respond to pollen, we can actually reduce allergy symptoms.
How do we do that? We do it by adding thymic proteins to our supplement program. Thymic proteins stimulate the production of CD4 cells, which improve the healthy response of our immune system, avoids overstimulation and allergic reactions.
An unrivaled supplement for adding thymic proteins is BioPro-Plus. It is an all-natural supplement which restores the natural function of the immune system by not only boosting it but improving it.
Seasonal allergies make certain parts of the year barely tolerable to some of us. So we can do two things:
- Move away for a couple of months, or…
- Fight back, and reduce allergy symptoms with natural methods.
(If moving away, make sure not to run into some other seasonal allergen!)
If we chose to stand up and fight, we have saline rising, quercitin, locally grown honey and BioPro-Plus at our disposal. They hold benefits far beyond reducing allergy symptoms, as they improve quality of life over all, as well.