Eliminate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Naturally
Eliminate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Naturally
Here we are again! It’s spring and we are excited to get out and enjoy the comfortable warmth of the sun, the new growth of plants, the blooming of flowers, and perhaps some spring foraging.
However, upwards of 30% of adults in the U.S. deal with the dreaded symptoms of allergies, and 40% of children do.
While a comprehensive program is needed to eliminate allergies, you could also use a variety of herbs, and supplements to decrease the symptoms, severity, and duration of the symptoms that occur from seasonal pollen.
Common symptoms of allergy sufferers include:
- Nasal Congestion
- Runny Nose
- Watery Eyes
- Itchy, Irritated Eyes
- Sore Throat
Allergies and Asthma Correlation
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Allergies and asthma often occur together. The same substances that trigger your hay fever symptoms, such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander, may also cause asthma signs and symptoms. In some people, skin or food allergies can cause asthma symptoms. This is called allergic asthma or allergy-induced asthma.”
An allergic response is the immune system’s reaction to what it deems as a threat, the allergen. Common environmental allergens include pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust mites. Often these become more prominent as our earth wakes up from its winter slumber and plants start their process of reproduction, the dust gets shuffled around as we start our spring cleaning, or the warmth makes mold more prevalent.
Unfortunately, for some with the chronic condition asthma, encountering common allergens can pose a more severe threat and deeper measures should be taken to prevent an asthma flare, as well as increase the quality of life of the person with asthma during spring. Many of the natural alternatives to allergies suggested in this article can be even more beneficial for those with asthma.
Supplements that Soothe Allergies
Supplements are nutrition-based products that are meant to fill the nutritional gaps in our diets. The fact is most of us struggle with getting in all the nutrients we need to fully support the body. Many of these nutrients support the body through seasonal changes, for example, Vitamin D is a helpful supplement to take during the winter season in places where getting adequate sunlight is challenging. Vitamin D is necessary for a healthy immune system!
The following are a few supplement suggestions for those wanted to prevent or decrease allergy symptoms.
Magnesium and Allergies
In a study published in the Journal of Asthma of 55 patients, it stated: “that the group taking 340 mg (170 mg twice a day) of magnesium, for 6.5 months versus the placebo group had better bronchial reactivity and better subjective measures of asthma control and quality of life.”
Another study in Brazil found that the participants that took 300 mg of magnesium along with Flonase and prescriptions as needed, had significantly improved bronchial reactivity compared to the participants that did not take magnesium.
Magnesium’s effects on Allergies
- Fights inflammation.
- Improves lung function.
- Decreases histamine levels in your body.
- Relaxes the smooth muscles that line your airways by opening them up.
- Can help reduce the bronchospasms that typically occur in an asthma attack.
80% of humans are deficient in magnesium! Magnesium has been argued to be the most important mineral in our body. Not only does magnesium help regulate calcium, potassium, and sodium, but it’s essential for cellular health and a critical component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body. So many people suffer needlessly from something as simple as a deficiency in magnesium, and our body butter is an easy way to remedy this issue. Our skin is our largest and most efficient organ for delivering vital minerals and nutrients, which is why trans-dermal magnesium (on your skin) is preferred over magnesium oral supplements where most of the nutrients are lost.
“In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 60 subjects, aged 6-18 years old, were given either Pycnogenol or a placebo. After three months, the Pycnogenol group had significantly more improvement in lung functions and asthma symptoms. They were also able to reduce or stop their use of rescue inhalers more often than the placebo group.”
Pycnogenol comes from the bark of a European pine tree, so it is sometimes referred to as pine bark. It is also considered to be an antioxidant, protecting the cells from internal and external damage. My favorite pycnogenol supplement comes from Pure Encapsulations and can be purchased here through Full Script at a discount. *
*You must create a free account on Fullscript to be able to purchase
I also like to use Allerplex from Standard process for seasonal allergy relief, it can be found under the Fullscript link above as well.
Vitamins Good for Allergy Sufferers
Good nutrition is also key to avoiding seasonal allergies! Vitamins, A, B, C, D, and E are all important to the reduction of allergy symptoms.
Vitamin A & Allergies
This vitamin found in organ meats, salmon, cod liver oil, eggs, butter, and several other animal sources strengthens the mucous membranes and aids in the digestion of proteins.
You can also find vegetable sources of vitamin A, however, it is best to consume these with fat, since vitamin A is considered a “fat-soluble” vitamin, meaning it is absorbed and stored in the fat cells. An alternative is to supplement your diet with 25,000 units of emulsified vitamin A daily until symptoms are cleared.
B Vitamins and Asthma
- According to this study, Vitamin B-12 may reduce the severity and frequency of allergies and asthma attacks.
- Pathogenic acid, or B5, has been reported as helpful in reducing excess mucus, stuffiness, or other allergy symptoms, especially when taken before bed, helping you to wake up clearer.
- A 5-month study was done with vitamin B6 and researchers found vitamin B6 led to significant improvements in asthma symptoms and a reduction in the dosage of bronchodilators and cortisone.
This simple water-soluble vitamin has been shown to reduce histamine levels by 38%! Water soluble means it dissolves in water and is not stored in our cells. While there are risks to overdoing vitamin C (loose stools are a sign), supplementing vitamin C along with other bioflavonoids like quercetin is a great natural alternative for allergies.
This fat-soluble vitamin helps to regulate the immune system and can reduce inflammation, which may then reduce the effects of histamine release. Histamine is the chemical released by your body as a part of the immune response when it comes into contact with the invader, aka the allergen. Vitamins that support the immune system and healthy inflammatory responses are all beneficial in one way or another.
My favorite Vitamin D with K2 is from seeking health and can be found HERE.
Another fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin E has been shown to have potent antihistamine properties. According to this study, “Vitamin E increases n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and decreases n-3 PUFA, an effect that diminishes asthma and allergic diseases.” However, more research on its uses for allergies and asthma is needed.
Find it hard to get in all the vitamins and minerals you need through your diet? Roots and Leaves Allergy-C Tea is a blend high in these helpful vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and antihistamines. It is safe to consume regularly, hot or cold, and of course, it’s tasty!
Herbs that Help with Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies & Asthma
As an herbalist, I always look to my apothecary for plants that can help me prevent and heal common ailments. Below are a few key herbs that I would go to for allergy symptom prevention.
Goldenrod and Allergies
Goldenrod contains 3 key plant compounds that are beneficial during allergy season: saponins, quercetin, and kaempferol.
According to this study, Saponins exert a wide range of pharmacological activities including expectorant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antifungal, antiparasitic, and many others, and plants rich in saponins, like Panax ginseng or Glycyrrhiza glabra, have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times.
Antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol in goldenrod help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules created by the body as a natural byproduct or from exposure to toxins that live only a fraction of a second but wreak havoc on cellular health causing disease. Antioxidants neutralize these unstable molecules and should be consumed every day.
Nettle the Natural Antihistamine
Nettle has a long reputation in the herbal community for use in cases of asthma and other respiratory conditions. It has been called nature’s antihistamine, meaning it blocks the histamines that trigger the allergic response. Nettle also has anti-inflammatory properties and can suppress many allergies related symptoms, like runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion. Nettle leaf is also the base herb in my Allergy C+ Herbal Tea!
This study concluded that “curcumin is effective and safe as an add-on therapy for the treatment of bronchial asthma”. Curcumin is the active compound found in turmeric root that decreases inflammation and oxidative stress in the airways.
Salt Caves and Salt Inhalers for Allergy Relief
The last natural remedy in this article on natural remedies for allergy relief is sea salt. Many clinical studies have reported sea salt’s ability to improve symptoms of COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, allergies, and sinusitis. The benefits of Himalayan salt include antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, additionally, it loosens excessive mucus, removes pathogens, and reduces immune system sensitivity, which is beneficial for autoimmune disorders.
While I love the experience of going to a salt spa, like the one I visit in Columbia South Carolina, Shvaas Spa, you can gain many of the benefits of Himalayan Sea salt by using a small inhaler like this one. Modern Alchemy’s Himalayan Salt Inhaler has been a mainstay in my life for treating my allergy symptoms. You can use code: Rootsandleaves for 10% off of the inhaler from Modern Alchemy.