What is the number one health reason that patients dread spring?
Seasonal allergies, hands down.
For many folks, the first thing that comes to their mind during spring isn’t pedicures and bare feet, picking fresh strawberries and blueberries, gardening and sunshine…
…it’s allergies: puffy eyes, sneezing attacks, runny noses and difficulty breathing.
Well that stinks.
But I’ve got your back! Because I don’t want you to drug up on antihistamines and watch your lovely spring season go by in a blur of grogginess.
(And, did you know that long-term antihistamine use isn’t that great for you anyway? It’s been correlated to increased risk of dementia in the elderly, among other long term hazards.)
This season I am not letting allergies bring you down, because spring is such an exciting time of renewal and awakening and I want you outside enjoying this spring time every single day, not hiding from it.
So instead, here are 8 things you can do RIGHT NOW
to decrease allergy symptoms this spring without the Rx:
1. Wash your hands like it’s going out of style.
Every single time you touch a door knob, your car door, your shoes, and hand railing… well, in the spring time, you can be sure you just loaded your hands up with pollen.
Innocently scratch your nose or rub your eyes and you just inoculated yourself with it. Without meaning to, you have just made sure that the rest of your day is going to be spent dealing with your seasonal allergy symptoms.
Wash your hand every single time you can, and especially when you come in from being outside, even if it was only to walk from your car to your front door.
And while you are at it, be sure to shower at night to rinse every speck of pollen off of you as well, even if you prefer morning showers. Crawling into bed without showering (even if you change your clothes and have fresh sheets on the bed) means you are in contact with pollen for hours on end, all night long, because there is just no way to get all of the pollen from the outside air and surfaces (and your car, and doorknobs, and stair railings, and shopping carts, etc…) without washing it off with soap and shampoo.
If you don’t wash your hair nightly, you probably should, at least during allergy season if allergies are bothering you. Start by putting fresh sheets so your bed so your bed is pollen free and switch to showering at night all spring long.
Combined with frequent hand washing, I promise from this one switch alone you will notice a huge difference. You may even want to consider sleeping with a hepa-filter air purifier running by your bed for additional benefits.
2. Keep your sinuses open.
After showering nightly (as discussed above) rinse out your nasal cavity too so you are truly pollen and particulate free before crawling into bed. Many many folks swear by flushing their sinuses out with saline. Even just misting your nasal membranes with a nasal mist will keep them hydrated and cleansed… just mist thoroughly and then blow your nose to blow it all out!
If you feel the congestion and pressure building, you may want to go one step further and use a colloidal silver nasal spray. Use for a two week period of time to help boost your immune response and prevent any sinus irritation from progressing into a full blown sinus infection.
Once your sinus inflammation has calmed down, go back to just gently irrigating your sinus cavity with a Neti pot, a sterile saline spray, or Allercleanse nasal spray and enjoy less sinus congestion and reactivity all season long! I have the Allercleanse spray waiting for you as a part of my Seasonal Allergies Protocol here.
3. Local honey.
Consuming local honey is the holistic equivalent of getting allergy shots — micro exposure to local pollen producing flowering plants but without going to the doctor, without the expense, and without sticking metal into your skin.
Who needs that?
By taking some locally produced honey each day, you are giving yourself a very small exposure to the local flowering plants that grow in your area and give you your seasonal allergies.
It’s the same principle that allergy shots use, but you are letting the honey bees do the work of gathering pollen from around your area and creating delicious honey out of it for you to enjoy.
I’ve got a great way for you to take your honey, if you like hard candy.
Just boil a cup of honey over medium heat until it reaches the hard crack stage (375 degrees F â€” you’ll need a candy thermometer to measure this) and then pour into a cookie tray that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
Once the honey hardens, you can flip the sheet over and remove the hard candy, and break it into small bite sized pieces.
Suck on a honey candy a day and you’ll not only be in heaven taste-wise, but you’ll be reducing the severity of your seasonal allergies naturally.
4. Burn beeswax candles.
Every evening at dinnertime, I light beeswax candles and let the natural scent of beeswax fill the air.
Not only is this an amazing, calming, lovely evening ritual, but breathing in the beeswax candle scent is another simple way to expose yourself to local seasonal pollen and become more resistant and less allergic to them. Just like with the honey, the bees have done all the work of finding pollen sources from all around the area in your part of the world and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the glow!
If you are crafty, you may enjoy creating your own candles from local beeswax, but any pure beeswax candles will do.
Burning a locally sourced beeswax candle by your beside (extinguish before going to sleep!) and sleeping all night in that room is a very simple way to desensitize yourself to seasonal allergies.
Grounding directly reduces the inflammation in your body, yep, even in your sinuses. Direct contact with the earth can reduce your nasal congestion and inflammation, and is an important way to combat your seasonal allergies.
During spring, a time when you want to stay indoors to get away from outdoor triggers the most, it’s important to have an indoor way to stay connected to the earth and continue to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of grounding.
There are lots of options for indoor grounding, including grounding wrist straps, grounding mats, grounding hot water bottles, grounding mattress panels to sleep on, and much more. Find a complete selection of the grounding products that I have personally developed and tested right here:
6. Anti-inflammatory supplements.
The thing with allergies is that they are worse when your entire body is hyper-stimulated and over worked. When a cup is already full, it only takes a few drops of water to get it to overflow and spill! That’s how it is when your mast cells are already destabilized and on a hair-trigger to release histamine at the tiniest pollen exposure.
When your body is full of toxins from the environment, diet, and lifestyle, it only takes a few specks of pollen to kick your immune system into over-reacting.
You can take holistic, all natural supplements that keep your mast cells more stabile and less reactive. That means less over all histamine release and less allergic symptoms. Additionally, you can take supplements that help decrease whole-body inflammation. My favorite three anti-inflammatory supplements are:
- Omega 3 fatty acids, well known to decrease whole body inflammation.
- Quercetin, a natural anti-histamine, this supplement stabilizes your mast cells and keeps your body from being so reactive to environmental triggers
- Bromelain, made from pineapples, reduces allergic sensitization
- Curcumin, which is a powerfully anti-inflammatory and made from the spice turmeric
- Diamine Oxidase, which is an anti-histamine supplement that blocks histamine release in the gut (from food triggers) which can be an important piece of the puzzle in keeping the entire body in a less reactive state. If you have tried some of the other natural anti-hitstamine supplements without success, add on Diamine Oxidase and see the difference it can make.
You can get Quercitin, Bromelain, Curcumin all in one pharmacy grade supplement — my favorite introductory ant-allergy supplement: A.I. Formula from Pure Encapsulations. You can also add on Diamine Oxidase by taking Histamine Block by Seeking Health.
Both of these supplements, plus Allercleanse nasal spray are waiting for you in my Seasonal Allergy Protocol here:
7. Address the underlying energy of allergies… safety issues.
Allergies are your body’s way of being hyper-vigilant and on alert.
Your body feels like it’s doing it’s best for you… reacting to foreign stimulus and trying to get rid of it through sneezing and mucous and watery eyes.
The problem is that your body is reacting to something that isn’t a danger… it is â€œoverâ€ reacting… being triggered by something that is natural, not a threat to our well being, and not worth reacting to.
So the bottom line for your body is that it is in hyper-vigilant mode… patrolling and on alert when it doesn’t need to be. It is overly concerned for your safety.
If you can address your fears and safety concerns appropriately, your body will not need to be in hypersensitive mode and will not feel the need to over-patrol.
Whatever keeps you from feeling safe — in relationships, at work, in your home — address it. Living in fear for prolonged period of time is very stressful and many people who have been under stress or through a trauma start to develop food sensitivities and allergies (including drug allergies and even seasonal allergies) that they never had before.
In fact, the incidence of allergies of all types is increasing world wide. And this is exactly why. Because if we are living in a hyperviligant state — emotionally or energetically — our body responds physically by increasing it’s sensitivity and hyper-vigilance. The result is that new allergies begin to pop up, and current allergies worsen.
Whether you have to quit a job, leave an abusive relationship, install a security system at home, or simply get a dog to feel safe… do it. You can further your healing work by addressing trauma with a therapist or counsellor, or with me directly in my next Trauma Recovery & Resiliency Online Class.
8. Consider your seasonal allergies a blessing.
Medical studies suggest that folks with allergic rhinitis are actually more likely to outlive the rest of us. Allergic rhinitis patients have a decreased risk of heart attack, a decreased risk of stroke and over all a significantly decreased risk of all-cause mortality!
â€œThey were basically half as likely to die during the study period,â€ says Dr. Crans Yoon, after following over 200,000 allergic rhinitis patients for a 7 year period.
Presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2014 conference, Dr. Yoon found that people who tested positive for allergies were less likely to suffer cardiovascular events. In fact, allergy sufferers had half the mortality rate of non-allergic folks. Half!
People with allergic rhinitis had a:
- 25% decreased rate of heart attack (acute myocardial infarction)
- 19% decreased rate of stroke (cerebrovascular event)
- 49% decreased over all mortality risk
I have a very dear friend whose family suffers from a hypersensitive allergic response to the environment and to certain foods. I’ve often reminded her to view this hyper-vigilant state as a positive thing… as studies in the past have shown that the immune system of patients with hyper-vigilant immune systems aggressively fight off disease and even have lower rates of some forms of cancer.
And this study just confirms this further… a strong immune response keeps us healthy and living longer. There is a very clear correlation between allergic rhinitis and decreased heart attack, stroke, and risk of death.
I literally scour the medical literature each week to find these kinds of gems and give them to you here, on my blog.
The bottom line?
- If you can view your seasonal allergies as a positive adaptation, you’ll struggle against them less.
- If you struggle against them less, they will have less of a negative impact in your daily life.
- In addition, there are so many things you can do to lessen their impact on your life: increased hand washing, nightly showers, hepa-air filtration in the bedroom, natural supplements that decrease reactivity, consuming local honey, burning beeswax candles, indoor grounding, addressing stress and healing trauma.
Instead of viewing your immune response to seasonal allergens as a burden, feel the power and strength of your immune system as it goes into action on your behalf.
Here’s to a beautiful spring…