Did you wake up this morning with itchy, watery eyes? How about consecutive sneezes? Sore throat? Runny nose? This could very well mean that you have seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis/hay fever. You’re surely not alone because 26 million Americans are affected by seasonal allergies. When spring allergens such as pollen from oak, maple, juniper trees, or grass drift through the air and reach your nose, your body overreacts. See, the body is under the impression that the allergen particle is a harmful invader to the body, so your immune system gears up and sends help by releasing an excess of histamine and tryptase, chemicals which trigger the response of more immune cells to the site. This all results in the symptoms listed above, and while these symptoms do indicate the arrival of springtime, they shouldn’t stop you from conquering your day. We’re here to suggest some natural remedies to keep you feeling energized and healthy, despite the season change.
- Stinging Nettle: An herbal remedy which works by helping to block the body’s natural production of histamine and may reduce symptoms of hay fever, such as sneezing and itchy/watery eyes.
- Quercetin: Naturally found in apples, tea, onions, red wine, and grapefruit, quercetin may help reduce the body’s inflammatory response by inhibiting the release of histamine.
- Vitamin C: Naturally found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, and cantaloupe, vitamin C may have antihistamine properties.
- Yogurt: Probiotics found in yogurt play an important role in supporting the immune system and may help to reduce flare ups from allergens.
- Pineapple: Contains bromelain which may help relieve nasal swelling.
- Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids which may help reduce inflammation.
- Spicy foods: Hot peppers, jalapeno peppers, and cayenne powder may help to clear nasal airways.
(1) Harvard Health Publishing. “The Secret to an Easier Allergy Season.” Harvard Health, Harvard Health Publishing, Jan. 2017, www.health.harvard.edu/allergies/the-secret-to-an-easier-allergy-season.
(2) Mallone, M., Tsai, G., & Malone, M. (2018). The evidence for herbal and botanical remedies, Part 1. Journal of Family Practice, 67(1), 10–16. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=127234470&site=ehost-live
(3) Moyad, M. A. (2008). Conventional, Complementary, And Alternative Options for Seasonal Allergies. Urologic Nursing, 28(3), 227–228. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=32826693&site=ehost-live
(4) Turner, L. (2017). Allergy Survival Guide. Better Nutrition, 79(4), 56–59. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=121853809&site=ehost-live
(5) Tweed, V. (2012). Seasonal Allergies. Better Nutrition, 74(4), 8. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=74131722&site=ehost-live