Allergy Valley

“You’ll do great in this town!” a friend told me when I first moved to the Pioneer Valley.  “Everyone has allergies!”

Oxeye Daisy Flowers

 

Allergy Valley
I love this little slice of the country.  The way the seasons take hold of the Valley, and turn it into a totally new place every few months is astounding.  The spring explosion of green is one of my favorite times of year

.
Except for all the nose blowing and eye rubbing that is.  It seems unavoidable around here— either you suffer from allergies or someone around you does.
If you are like a lot of people, you are thinking about stocking up on over the counter allergy pills right about now.  These medications are great in a pinch, but they can have some troubling side effects such as anxiety, low libido, foggy brain and depression.   Luckily there are natural alternatives that can help you use less medication, or not need it at all.
Housekeeping
Have you ever come home from work one day and found that your house is a complete mess? You don’t remember being particularly slovenly, you just figured you’d tidy up tomorrow… for the past few weeks.
Allergy symptoms can sneak up on you like a messy house.  It seems that they hit you suddenly when the pollen comes out.  The truth is that they have been brewing for some time.  Luckily there are some simple steps you can take now, before the buds are even on the trees, to decrease you allergy symptoms this season.  There are three main approaches that will help you decrease your symptoms.
1.  Lower Inflammation 
Allergies happen when your body reacts to something relatively harmless (such as tree pollen or dust) as if it is a horrible invader.  Your body is on red alert!  What you can do right now is start to re-train your body to have a more toned down response to these allergens.  Here are some simple steps to decrease inflammation:
Fish Oil:  This is an extremely effective long term strategy.  You will not see results right away, but you should see results, especially when combined with the other steps in this article. Take 3,000 and 5,000 mg a day.  You can substitute krill oil for fish oil if you prefer, though the dose may be slightly different.
Nettles: Nature provides us with abundant nettles during the time of year when allergies are at their peak. The part of nettles that helps with allergies is also the part that gives you a little sting.  You can eat nettles (they are chock full of minerals and are very nutritions), drink nettle tea or take them in capsule form (freez
e dried is best).  It is probably a good idea to start drinking nettle tea or taking it in capsules right now, and move to eating them in a few weeks when they start to come out.  My favorite way to eat nettles is to make a delicious nettle pesto. Click here for the recipe.  
2.  Decrease Mucous
One of the main symptoms of allergies is a stuffy nose and clogged sinuses.  Here are some ways to decrease mucous a
nd breath easier.
Dairy and Sugar: One of the best ways to decrease these symptoms is by avoiding the foods that tend to cause congestion.   Dairy and sugar are the number one foods that will cause a snotty head.  Gluten is up there too.  Some people will also have this reaction to citrus, but not everyone.  If these don’t work, you might be one of the folks who has a reaction to a less common food.  I’ve seen a people react to all sorts of foods I wouldn’t have suspected, such as garlic and onions.  If you are having difficulty figuring out what you are reacting too, you may need to go on a more thorough elimination diet or get a food allergy test.
Nasal irrigation:  Rinsing sinuses with saline water can clear mucous and flush out allergens so that they cause fewer problems.  Click here for a tutorial on nasal irrigation.  
3. Reduce Allergens in Your House
Your home should be your sanctuary.  As much as you can, keep allergens outside the house.
Shoes Off: Take off your sho
es at the door to prevent allergies from being tracked in.
Clean Pets:  As often as possible, wipe down your pets with a damp towel when they come inside. Most dogs and cats don’t mind this if you are gentle.
HEPA Filter: Get a HEPA filter for your bedroom so that the air you are breathing while you sleep is as allergen free as possible
What Else? 

Following these simple steps can make a big difference in your allergy symptoms.  If your allergies are particularly bad, or if you have other health problems that are making things difficult, you made need some additional treatments and more individualized support.   If this sounds like you, please feel free to click on the link in the side bar
to set up a free phone consult to find out how you can can have an allergy free Spring!

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