Health Care Lifestyle Thought Leadership

Seasonal Allergies and Holistic Relief

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As we head into prime spring allergy season, uncomfortable and annoying allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and itching may be impacting your quality of life. In this blog post, we will explore some holistic remedies that may be worth examining to help you find relief.

Irrigate Your Sinuses

Doing a saline nasal wash or nasal rinse regularly can help clear away pollen and other allergens that may have found their way to your sinus passages. This practice can also moisten your sinus tissues keeping them less prone to inflammation and infection ultimately helping you to breathe easier.

You can find a neti pot or sinus rinse bottle (e.g. Neil Med) that comes with saline powder at your local pharmacy or health food store. With clean hands, mix the saline powder with water according to the instructions. It’s best to only use distilled, boiled, or filtered water for the nasal wash and to thoroughly clean your neti pot or to prevent infection.

Once you’ve filled up your neti pot or sinus rinse bottle, position your head over the sink and irrigate your sinuses on each side while tilting your head to allow water to drain from the opposite nostril. Blow your nose and repeat on each side until your neti pot or sinus rinse bottle are empty.

Nasal irrigation is not recommended for those with an active ear infection, increased pressure in one or both ears, a complete nasal blockage, or history of surgery on your ears or sinuses.

Clear the Indoor Air

The air inside your home can also make your allergy symptoms go crazy due to a build up of pollen, dander, mold, and dust. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, filtering your air with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter may be able to remove up to 99.97% of these triggering airborne particles.

Avoid and limit cold, dry air exposure. Using a humidifier to keep your house at 40-50% humidity may help, provided that the humidifier is kept clean and filter is changed often.

Consider Supplementing

Quercetin, a polyphenol found in foods such as onions, broccoli, apples, berries, and herbs, is known for its anti-allergic properties. Laboratory research has demonstrated its ability to stabilize mast cells that release histamine release and decrease inflammation in the immune system.

A dose of 100 to 250 mg of quercetin three times a day, ideally between meals, may be effective. Quercetin is contraindicated in people with kidney disease, people taking medications that affect liver function, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Stinging Nettle is a nutritious herb that can be used as a tea or taken as a dietary supplement for allergy support to reduce the amount of histamine the body releases from mast cells in response to an allergen. Nettle tea, tincture, and capsules are primarily made from the leaves, flower, and stems of this perennial plant. It grows in the wild and can also be carefully foraged (it’s called stinging nettle because it has small, stinging hairlike needles on the underside of its leaves) and cooked up like spinach – cooking deactivates the stinging properties.

A dose of 500 mg of encapsulated freeze-dried nettle per day as a dietary supplement may be effective. To enjoy as a tea, make with 1 tablespoon dried nettle leaves to 2 cups boiling water. Steep the leaves in the water for 10-15 minutes. Strain off the leaves and enjoy hot or cold.

Stinging nettle is contraindicated in people taking blood thinners, blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, diuretics, lithium, and sedatives.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to allergies and tends to be the lowest in the spring. If you haven’t had your vitamin D level checked, now would be a good time to ask your health care provider to do so to ensure that a vitamin D deficiency is not compromising your immune system playing a role in your symptoms. If your levels are low, you may benefit from supplementation since it can be hard to obtain adequate vitamin D intake from diet alone. Some food sources include wild salmon, tuna, mushroom, and milk and plant milks that have been fortified.

Before starting any new dietary supplements or herbs be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider whether they may be a good option for you.

Try Acupuncture

From immediate relief to long-term care, acupuncture can be an effective approach to treating allergy symptoms. Below are some of the ways acupuncture assists in improving and regulating the bodies response to allergies.

One main benefit of acupuncture is its ability to regulate the immune system. Acupuncture can regulate the immune response, reducing hyper-reactivity and overactive histamine reactions.

Allergies often involve inflammation and irritation in the eyes, nose, and sinuses. Acupuncture helps reduce inflammation, easing symptoms like sinus congestion, runny nose, and itchy eyes.

Relief is usually what we look for when combating allergies. Acupuncture can stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, which helps alleviate allergy symptoms such as headaches and sinus pressure.

By promoting relaxation and opening the airflow, acupuncture may help ease breathing difficulties associated with allergies, improving overall respiratory function.

Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to the body, aiming to address underlying imbalances in the body that contribute to allergic reactions rather than just treating symptoms offering long-term.

Consulting with your physician or working with an allergy specialist is recommended. However, there are many ways to treat your allergies naturally. Call the Whole Health Institute to schedule your visit with one of our experts today at 913-632-3550.

About the Whole Health Institute

Whole-person, integrative medicine is focused on healing you in mind, body and spirit. It's more than fixing what’s wrong. It’s about celebrating what’s right and making sure you’re on the path to a healthier, stronger you.

At AdventHealth Whole Health Institute, located in Overland Park, Kansas, you’ll find care that puts you at the center of every decision and every treatment recommendation. Care that pulls from many proven care philosophies, approaches and treatments.

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