It may still be cold outside but Spring is just around the corner. While we may love the site of flowers blooming and colors changing from brown to green, this is also the time that allergies may begin.
The time to address Spring allergies is before they begin. First, we should try to reduce the body’s toxic load by identifying and eliminating food as well as dust and household allergens. The body will be less likely to react to pollen and other outdoor allergens. Sometimes eliminating or decreasing consumption of mucus producing foods such as dairy, soy and wheat can be helpful. For enhanced detoxification, we should also support our liver and other organs of elimination.
Herbs that can help accomplish this elimination include: dandelion root, milk thistle, red clover, burdock and calendula. Herbs known for their anti-allergic properties include: stinging nettles, albizzia, plantain, eyebright and elder flowers. Herbs specifically supportive of the respiratory system include: mullein and elecampagne. Vitamin C, quercetin and fish oil are supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties and may help in reducing allergic symptoms. Most of these herbs and supplements can be found at your local health food store.
Nasal rinses help keep the nostrils clear of allergens that trigger sneezing and coughing. A neti-pot, similar to a mini teapot, can be filled with salt water and used to flush the nostrils of allergens. A few drops of cold-pressed sesameseed oil placed in the nostrils a couple times a day may also be helpful.
In addition to the herbs and supplements using of an eyewash maybe helpful for itchy red eyes. Boil water to help sterilize it and pour over the eyebright loose herb or tea bag and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain out the herb and allow to cool. Rinse eyes as needed to help eliminate irritation.
Finally, although it is tempting to open up windows and spend more time outside, you may want to decrease your exposure to the outdoors, at least on days of high pollen counts.
This information is for education purposes only and should not be used in place of medical care. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Dosages of herbs and supplements can vary depending on age, weight, etc. Consult an herbalist or other health professional for more info.
For additional information and appointments call (202) 251-2995