Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is a common allergy, resulting in itchiness, congestion and discharge of the mouths, eyes, ears, and nose, sneezing, bronchial irritation, and swollen mucus membranes. Though hay fever is not truly a fever, its symptoms can resemble one. The best strategies for allergies include avoiding the allergen, strengthening the immune system, and easing the symptoms.
Common offenders are tree pollens (cypress, elm, hickory, juniper, maple, oak, poplar, privet, sycamore, and walnut), mold spores and the pollens of marsh elder, ragweed, amaranth, sagebrush, and tumbleweed. Grasses that often pose problems are Bermuda grass, orchard blue, red grass, and Timothy. Most garden plants and wildflowers are pollinated by bees and other insects and are less likely to produce allergic reactions. Each type of pollen causes its own antibodies to be produced. The main antibody involved in hay fever is Immunoglobulin E (IgE).
Diet To Follow
Eat a wholesome diet focusing on green leafy vegetables and dark orange vegetables like carrots and winter squashes for their beta-carotene and flavonoid content to strengthen the mucus membranes of the respiratory system. Pungent foods such as garlic, ginger, and onions help open nasal passages. Avoid foods that can create extra phlegm such as wheat, dairy, and sugar.
Precautions To Be Taken
Pollens tend to be highest in the morning, so plan excursions in the afternoon or evening when possible. Hanging bedclothes outside to dry may increase one’s exposure to pollens. Install an air filtration device. If you do use air conditioning, clean or change the filters at least twice a year. Keep windows closed when pollen counts are at their highest, from 5 to 10 a.m., in the evenings, and on hot breezy days.
Rain can bring blessed relief. Bathe before bed to wash off airborne allergies. If you find yourself in the midst of a pollen allergy attack, take a shower to wash away pollens. Using a neti pot with one teaspoon of non-iodized salt in a pint of water can help relieve symptoms, as it tightens, cleans, and cools congested membranes. Splashing the face and eyes with cold water several times daily reduces congestion and promotes drainage of histamine from tissues.
Regular exercise, dance, martial arts, meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis, and acupuncture can help one cope with allergies. The Sun Salutation is excellent for opening respiratory passages. Humming, singing, and chanting help increase circulation to the throat and sinuses and can help improve allergies that affect the respiratory system.
Herbs Useful In Cure
Look for herbal allies containing some of the following botanicals:
- Eyebright herb contains flavonoids that strengthen mucus membranes of nose and eyes.
- Ginger root is anti-inflammatory and improves respiratory capacity.
- Licorice root is soothing for irritated respiratory passages.
- Marshmallow root moistens dry tissue.
- Mullein leaf reduces inflammation of the trachea and soothes irritated tissues.
- Nettle herb dissolves mucus in the lungs.
- Vitamin C lowers blood histamine levels, detoxifies foreign substances, and strengthens adrenal glands.
- Quercetin – a flavonoid – has a significant anti-inflammatory activity, inhibiting both the manufacture and the release of histamine and other allergens.1
- Pantothenic acid supports exhausted adrenal glands that cope with the stress of allergies and when are functioning, are more capable of producing their own natural anti-inflammatory cortisone.
- Vitamin B6 is diuretic and can relieve some of the swelling and fluid retention associated with allergies.
Finding the right homeopathic remedy can also bring great relief. A homeopath can help you find the remedy that best matches your concerns. You can also find remedies in natural food stores that combine some of the most common remedies – remedies that are made from local plant pollens that help one be less sensitive to local allergens.
|↑1||Lakhanpal, Parul, and Deepak Kumar Rai. “Quercetin: a versatile flavonoid.” Internet Journal of Medical Update 2, no. 2 (2007): 22-37..|