8 Natural Ways To Relieve Allergies

0 comments

Spring! More sunlight, more flowers, more green things and more allergies. Great but not great… Why is it that you get such annoying symptoms in spring? And what can you do about it. From plants to supplements and simple changes to your daily routine, these are some of the best natural ways to relieve allergies.

Why Do Allergies Flare Up In Spring?

Some of us are more prone to allergies than others, so spring can be a difficult time. Spring seasonally brings more warmer weather, this means many plants release their pollen in response to the warmth and the extra daylight. Here in Aotearoa, we also get quite windy days in spring which means it spreads the pollen around making it difficult for some people to avoid. This time of year also means your pets are starting to shed some of their hair, dust is stirred up - all things that can trigger a response if you are sensitive to allergies.

Allergy symptoms include:

  • Rhinitis (runny) or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Red, itchy and watery eyes
  • Even itchy skin for some people
Often it feels like the winter ills and chills but in warmer weather, which can feel very unfair.

natural-ways-to-relieve-allergies

What Is An Allergy?

What is an ‘allergy’? We know that some people have life threatening allergies (like to fish and nuts) that can result in anaphylaxis. People require adrenaline to counter the allergic reaction which is why they carry Epi pens. But what is going on in the body?

With an allergy - the body encounters a ‘foreign body’ like pollen and surmounts an immune response. Our immune system thinks the pollen will harm us so reacts by releasing histamine - this release increases inflammation and results in those annoying symptoms. For those that have life threatening allergies this reaction can be severe causing the throat to close up and heart to race as the body is allergic to the substance it has been exposed to.

Seasonal allergies or hay fever symptoms are caused by the immune system’s over reaction to the environment, and are annoying but very unlikely to be life threatening. The good news, however, is that there are some natural ways to help relieve these types of seasonal allergies.

natural-ways-to-relieve-allergies-pollen

Natural Ways To Relieve Allergies

Seasonal allergies can be a funny thing to work around, some years are worse than others and some people can go a few years with no real symptoms and then be hit with terrible symptoms that can feel quite debilitating.

Conventionally you can take anti-histamines that stop the histamine effect within your body. You can also take antihistamine nasal sprays but they have a short timeframe that you are allowed to use them for. This is not helpful when seasonal allergies can last for months.

Naturally people have opted to use plants that support an anti histamine reaction. Some plants that we love that naturally help relieve the symptoms of allergies are:

  • Elderflower
  • Ribwort
  • Peppermint
  • Nettle

 

Elderflower

Elderflower has been traditionally used to reduce runny noses or catarrhal deafness (that awful blocked hearing you can get from too much mucus). You could find and pick some of your own in early summer as that is when these bright white flower heads are out. We use elderflower in our Defense Elixir.

elderflower-natural-allergy-relief

 

Ribwort

Ribwort can help to reduce runny noses and support healthy sinuses.

Peppermint

Peppermint can help reduce excess mucus and also support healthy sinuses.

fresh-peppermint

Nettle

Nettle helps support healthy histamine levels. Nettle is great, especially when you are suffering with seasonal allergy issues. This plant has antiallergic properties and is rich in chlorophyll which all help to support a healthy immune system and response. Nettle is very versatile, you can bake with it or have it as an overnight steep.  In our Daily Boost Tonic we have paired the amazing nettle with vitamin C rich rosehips to help support healthy inflammation levels. 

 

daily-boost-tonic-nettle

You can find nettles pretty much everywhere but do be careful! Our native nettle is very toxic - please make sure you are foraging and using only nettle (Urtica dioica or Urtica urens) before you use it! You could use nettle as a natural way to relieve your allergies. Try make a tea blend and have that daily, or as smoothie base. Or even get a tincture from a herbalist to help support symptomatic relief.

nettle-allergy-relief


Quercetin

Another natural way to relieve allergies is the supplement quercetin. Quercetin - is a flavonoid that works like an antioxidant to reduce the inflammation you are having to the ‘foreign body’. You could consider taking a supplement to help relieve your allergy symptoms. 

Quercetin is found in foods such as:
  • Apples and berries
  • Black tea (which is astringent which means drying - helpful when you have runny noses etc)
  • Green tea 
  • Broccoli
Although if you are suffering from seasonal allergies you can increase these foods, but also consider a higher dose supplement as the amount of quercetin in these foods may not be enough to help.

apples-quercetin-allergies


3 More Ways To Naturally Relieve Allergies

 

  • Saline nasal sprays can also help as it flushes out the pollen and dust and ideally stops the reaction setting in. You can make your own or buy them from pharmacies or health stores.

 

  • If you have pets - vacuum a bit more. I know - that seems cruel too but it can really help reduce the environmental triggers.

 

  • If you have really bad seasonal allergies - consider avoiding going outside in the early morning as this is when pollen is often released - same goes for really windy weather. If you can’t avoid it - you can place some balm inside the lining of your nose to stop anything from travelling up.

pet-allergies

Seasonal allergies can be very annoying but spring is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the sun, the colours of the plants and did we mention the SUN? So hopefully this has helped you arm yourself with some natural ways to combat seasonal allergies and allows you to venture outside a bit more. I say this as a fellow seasonal allergy sufferer.

Skye MacFarlane - Naturopath/Medical Herbalist for Wild Dispensary

AdviceUse as directed. Discontinue if any irritation arises. If symptoms persist see your health care professional. 

 

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
Yay! Now check your inbox to confirm your subscription
This email has been registered
ico-collapse
0
ic-cross-line-top
Top
ic-expand
ic-cross-line-top