Finally, spring is here! Daffodils and crocuses are showing off their colors, and everyone is glad that winter is behind us. Well, almost everyone. Those with seasonal allergies are perhaps not so excited. Inquiries about seasonal allergy relief have started coming in, and I am reminded that in the South, pollen season is well under way.
For the most part, the beautiful spring flowers are not the culprits when it comes to causing misery—the pollen from these plants is relatively large and they depend on insects, like bees, for pollination. But trees, like birch (pictured right), maple and alder, have tiny pollen that’s so small they do not require insects for pollination—the wind will do very nicely! Needless to say, it is very difficult to protect yourself from pollen blowing in the air, and who wants to stay cooped up all spring? At the same time, it’s advisable to open your windows only briefly and to frequently dust and vacuum, so the home remains relatively pollen-free.
In sensitized individuals, pollen enters the body via the airways and causes an immune reaction, which results in the release of inflammation-causing histamine. Histamine is responsible for the watery eyes, runny noses and itching. It can even cause rashes in some patients. That’s why antihistamines are commonly employed to treat seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, one of their major side effects is that they can cause drowsiness, and for some patients, that is not acceptable; they may seek a more natural approach to address their allergy symptoms rather than merely mask them.
My advice to patients is to keep your airways free of pollen, especially at the end of the day. It’s helpful to garble with a lukewarm saltwater solution and rinse the sinuses. A Neti pot is rather useful for that purpose. As I mentioned earlier, pollen causes inflammation in people with allergies—for that reason, an anti-inflammatory diet, consisting of an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and fish, can be helpful. Homeopathic treatments are not associated with the drowsiness that conventional antihistamines can cause, and they have the advantage that they do not mask allergy symptoms but rather call on the body’s own healing forces.
The central tenet of homeopathy is, “Like cures like.” For runny noses, Sinus Allergy Formula is indispensable. It’s ideally taken at the very onset of allergies, so everyone can enjoy the brand-new season, with not a sniffle in sight