Dealing with Allergies

   Warm days are upon us The trees and flowers are bursting into bloom, and you’re spending more time outside enjoying the sun. But hours later you start to sneeze and cough, your eyes water, and soon you have other cold-like symptoms thanks to common allergies. Here are some tips for natural relief:

You may have heard the old wives’ tale that eating a spoonful of honey a day will cure your allergies. Well, it won’t cure them but it can significantly decrease your susceptibility to local allergens. Eating small, regular doses of local honey or bee pollen supplements can help your body build up a tolerance to pollen allergens, reducing the havoc they wreak on your sinuses. You can find locally produced honey and bee pollen at farmers markets in your area, as well as in many organic chain markets. It’s important that you choose local honey. The top three imported honeys in the US comes from Vietnam, Argentina, and India. You can be sure their pollen is going to different than the ones here. (For really local honey, try Springerville farmer’s market or Bee Chama honey from Southwest Feed in Socorro.)

In your diet, avoid melons, bananas, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, chamomile, and any herbal supplements containing Echinacea, as these can make symptoms much worse. Garlic and ‘butterbur’ may help relieve or ward off symptoms. Apples, broccoli, and cauliflower are also known to help as these tend to be low in histamines.

    Onions, peppers, blueberries, and parsley all have quercetin. Dr. Elson Haas who practices integrative medicine, says quercetin is a natural plant chemical that can reduce histamines, which are part of any allergic reaction.

Nasal rinses can wash out the allergens that get in your nose. Irrigation with squeeze bottles, sterile water and saline solution will moisturize your sinuses. Some experts think the treatment is even more effective than medication! This is a cheap and easy way to alleviate allergy symptoms.

A recent study found that eucalyptus oil and frankincense oil are effective to reduce symptoms when used in laundry and rubbed on the chest.

Also check out local herbalists. In New Mexico, we have The Cactus Company in Quemado or Ember’s Herbs in Socorro, which specialize in local treatments for allergies.

If all else fails, visit your doctor to see what kinds of relief are available.   ●◊●

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