It is springtime! The trees are budding, the violets and crocuses are peeking out of the ground, and daffodils promise a colour of cheery yellow soon to appear. We are excited to start our gardens and sit in the warmth of the sun once more. But for many, this time also brings runny noses, congested sinuses, scratchy throats, headaches, postnasal drip and just downright fatigue; allergies. Not fun!
As all of this pushing forward of plant growth is happening, pollen fills the air to help pollinate the plants, which is the rite of spring but a problem for allergy sufferers. Allergies can be a misery, and just getting through the day is exhausting. So what to do? Many over-the-counter medications will stop these symptoms, which is a welcome relief; however, Nature has provided a few helpers as well.
In the spring, I take a teaspoon of bee pollen on yogurt each morning which adds a crunch to the mixture, which is quite tasty. Also, I use honey in my coffee, and if the post nasal drip gets bad I take some usnea to deal with it. If you decide to use the bee pollen, please always start off slow by adding a few grains to see if you can tolerate it; for some people, the pollen is an allergen in itself. Bee pollen can cause severe reactions so be careful. Probably best to not give bee pollen to children or pregnant women just to be on the safe side without first checking with their health practitioner.
Raw unpastuerized honey is best to use and if you can source both your bee pollen and honey locally it is considered to be the better choice. However, I have used whatever was available, and it has worked. Also, never give honey to children under one year of age.
Keeping the air quality free of allergens in the house is advised. There are air filters available to add to your existing furnace as well as stand-alone purifiers. Worth every penny! We are fortunate to have an air purifier on the air source heat pump we use to heat and cool the house keeping our house somewhat allergen free.
Drinking nettle tea two to three times a day can also be a big help. Use saline sinus rinses once or twice daily assists in keeping the nasal passages clear of the offending pollen.
Being aware of what triggers your allergies is helpful. If you mow the grass and your allergies get worse, well, probably best to use a good mask or better still have someone else do the work! Seasonal foods such as strawberries can bother some people. Enjoy them without overindulging. Use your common sense.
Building up the immune system is key to controlling your allergies. The truth is your immune system is overwhelmed by the pollen in the air, and the allergy symptoms feel like your cup floweth over with phlegm; this is your body’s response to the allergens. Eating fermented foods and other probiotic foods such as yogurt can help support your immune system. Getting enough sleep, managing your stress levels and eating a good diet also assist your overall health.
Your emotional and mental attitudes may come into play unbeknownst to you. For example, if you feel stressed and overwhelmed in life, your immune system picks up this information and starts to react to everything that comes along. If you think your life is spiralling out of control, this too affects your immune system. Trying to keep your inner dialogue to ideas of ‘I can manage’ and ‘this too shall pass’ will have a positive impact on your immune system functioning better. I know this sounds so simple but give it a try and see. Finding tricks to deal with your stressors or, better yet if possible, reduce or get rid of them. Tough right now in the middle of a sixth wave of Covid for sure! See more information below.
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