Skip a Painful Allergy Season By Acting Now!
The first day of spring is right around the corner and for many of us that means short sleeves, bike rides, fresh blooms… and unbearably uncomfortable allergies.
But having seasonal allergies doesn’t mean we need fall victim to the face-swelling, mood-ruining side effects every season. There are ways to combat seasonal allergies naturally, making it possible to potentially avoid OTC medications altogether.
How to protect yourself from allergies
The mistake so many of us make is waiting until allergy season is upon us, when our last resort for instant relief is an over-the-counter medication that contains dangerous ingredients and likely only provides temporary relief, at best.
The trick is starting early! By getting a head start, it’s possible to build the anti-inflammatory defenses necessary using proven, all natural herbs and/or supplements that provide unmatched allergy relief.
Those who have taken these proactive steps towards combating seasonal allergies (myself included) report incredible results, and can often skip OTC allergy medications altogether once spring is in full swing.
A Proactive Regimen to Fight Allergies
As with most natural remedies, these ingredients need anywhere from 3-6 weeks to build up in your system, so it’s recommended you start your allergy prevention regimen in March/early April so that the ingredients have sufficient time to build up your anti-inflammatory defenses.
Here’s three natural solutions that are proven to help reduce allergy-related inflammation and ease your allergy suffering:
Reportedly the most effective all-natural defense against seasonal allergies, quercetin is a powerful bioflavonoid that has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms by stabilizing the cell wall of a very specialized cell called a mast cell. Mast cells contain the allergy-provoking compound known as histamine. When the body encounters an allergen, the mast cells are triggered to release histamine, which in turn causes our allergy symptoms. Over-the-counter allergy meds work to block the effects of histamine once it is released, while quercetin helps to prevent it from being released in the first place.
If you want to further increase the effects of quercetin, find a product that combines it with bromelain, a unique extract from pineapple. It is not totally understood how they work together, but it is likely due to the strong anti-inflammatory effects possessed by bromelain.
2. Stinging Nettle Extract
In the Pacific Northwest where this plant grows abundantly, stinging nettle leaf is revered for its anti-allergy properties. This is one of the most effective substances in the natural pharmacy for relieving allergy symptoms. Several human clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing symptoms associated with classic hay fever. As with quercetin, it is best to start supplementation several weeks before your symptoms start.
This patent extract, derived from the bark of the maritime pine tree, has strong antioxidant properties that seem to play a significant role in reducing allergy symptoms. A small, randomized, placebo controlled study conducted in 2010 showed that pycnogenol was effective at significantly reducing allergy symptoms vs. a placebo with no significant side effects. Like the other supplements mentioned, there was a positive correlation in regards to longer pretreatment times. Subjects that started taking pycnogenol 5-7 weeks prior to pollen exposure had better outcomes.
4. Local honey
While less studied than the three solutions mentioned above, local honey has long been touted for its ability to reduce the severity of allergy season. Local honey often contains small particles of allergens that later cause millions to suffer. It’s theorized that introducing these particles in the miniscule amount found in local honey can later reduce the inflammatory reaction you have when exposed to the full force of spring pollen.
If you suffer from uncomfortable allergies every year, you may want to consider introducing one or more of these supplements to your regimen so that your body can start to reinforce your natural defenses to protect against inflammation. Have you ever tried these allergy solutions? What were the results?