Fairfield County Edition

6 Natural Ways to Overcome Seasonal Allergies

For many, the warmer weather of spring comes as a relief. But for those with seasonal allergies, the warm weather also means additional pollen, ragweed and other outdoor irritants. Here are six ways to naturally reduce symptoms and overcome allergies. 

1.  Lower Stress Levels 

Studies show that seasonal allergy sufferers are likely to have more severe symptoms after completing a stressful activity or during periods of high stress. Stress raises cortisol, which is the “fight or flight” hormone. When that hormone is elevated, the body has more severe reactions, including to allergens such as pollen. 

To reduce stress levels, consider practicing meditation, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy or any mild physical exercise that can be soothing, such as yoga. 

2. Check Allergens at the Door

If allergic to outdoor substances, such as pollen,
do everything to not track those allergens indoors. Change into different clothes upon arriving home and wash the ones worn outside. Also take a relaxing shower or bath, making sure to wash hair to remove any trapped pollen or allergens.

3. Keep it Clean

Consider investing in a HEPA filter to improve the home’s air quality. Breathing quality indoor air is critical for good health. Remember to regularly vacuum to suck up lingering allergens. Plenty of effective cleaning solutions can be made with natural everyday ingredients like vinegar. Proactively removing allergens from the home will help keep allergy symptoms at bay.

4. Take Antihistamines

Most allergy sufferers know what antihistamines are, and have probably already taken some. There are also natural antihistamine products. Though most over-the-counter antihistamines are synthetically manufactured, there are several antioxidants found in nature that block histamines in a similar way. For example, quercetin is a common natural solution that is found in apples, onions and other produce. It is also available in a concentrated supplement form. 

5. Stay Hydrated 

Drinking plenty of water helps thin out mucus in the nasal passages, which helps flush everything out faster. Hot beverages like tea and broth also help hydrate; they have the added benefit of steam, which can also help open up nasal passages. 

6. Eat Right for Your Type 

Eating a healthy diet is an important step in making sure systems in the body are running smoothly and efficiently. A poor diet can cause inflammation. Inflammation makes it even harder for the body to effectively combat invaders such as allergens. 

There is no one diet that is best for everyone. Factors such as blood type and genetics come into play. However, a good place to start is eliminating processed foods and eating organically when possible. 

Dr. Robert Brody is a naturopathic physician at Personalized Natural Medicine in Newtown. Connect at BrodyND.com or Facebook.com/BrodyND

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