As Spring approaches, so do allergy symptoms for many of us. Allergies are on the rise in the general population. This is because our immune systems are severely stressed and overburdened from exposure to not only airborne pollens but also the growing number of pollutants, chemicals, medications, food additives, toxins, and irritants in the environment. Furthermore, with the addition of the COVID pandemic, the effect has become magnified. Using holistic approaches to address allergies, can prove to be beneficial. Furthermore, holistic strategies can be used alone or along with more traditional medical management of Spring/Summer allergies.
Classic Spring/Summer allergy symptoms include watery/itchy eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, sinus congestion, headache, sore throat, throat clearing. Our bodies can become worn out fighting the allergens and coping with the histamine response that our body produces to ward off the allergy triggers. As a result, it is easy to become fatigued due to the stress on the body.
The traditional approach to addressing allergies is to use a combination of allergen avoidance strategies along with over-the-counter and prescription medications. For example, a typical treatment plan might include a combination of saline nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants, and intranasal steroids. If you have allergies, you are probably well versed in these strategies, therefore, I won’t spend time here discussing these.
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about some of my favorite holistic strategies for addressing allergy symptoms. There are many holistic strategies for beating allergy symptoms. Furthermore, holistic strategies can be used alone or combined with traditional approaches. Following are some of the holistic approaches I often recommend.
Allergen Avoidance & Environmental Control
The more you can avoid the triggers that are causing your particular allergy symptoms, the better off you will be in maintaining a level of comfort in your body. Furthermore, avoidance of allergens along with environmental control can reduce the severity and frequency of allergy symptoms. Here are some common ways to reduce contact with Spring/Summer allergens.
Reduce Exposure to Outdoor Pollens
Reducing outdoor exposure to tree, grass, and weed pollens can be difficult but also helpful. Pollen counts tend to be higher on dry, sunny, windy days. It can be beneficial to watch the pollen count predictions. I use an app called My Pollen Forecast – you can find it HERE. Pollen.com is another helpful app. It can be found HERE. Pollen counts vary from day to day. Some days pollen can be ultra obvious, and on other days, not so much. Watching the pollen counts in your area beginning in the early Spring, can be so helpful in planning to reduce your exposure.
Keep Windows Closed
Keep windows and doors of your house and car closed as much as possible. Pollen and airborne allergens can slip through even fine mesh screens. It is best to keep the windows and doors closed completely during high pollen count days.
Use Air Conditioning
Air conditioners filter the air that comes in from the outdoors. This air filtering effect can significantly improve indoor air quality for allergy sufferers. Additionally, air filters or air purifiers are another way to improve air quality. HEPA filters are especially beneficial for reducing allergens in the home.
Take a Shower
Make it a habit to take a shower, wash your hair, and change clothing after outdoor exposure to allergens. This is especially helpful on high pollen count or low air quality days. Taking these measures removes pollen from the hair, skin and clothes and can dramatically reduce exposure to allergens.
Avoid Nonspecific Triggers
Nonspecific triggers can make it more difficult for your body to deal with the Spring/Summer pollens and airborne allergens. Nonspecific triggers are:
Rapid Changes in Temperature
Nasal Irrigation or Rinses
Nasal rinses can be very helpful for allergy sufferers. Importantly, research backs nasal irrigation or lavage for managing runny nose and congestion symptoms caused by seasonal allergies. You will find information on how to do this safely at home HERE.
Wear Your Mask
Although mask mandates for the pandemic are coming to an end, masks can continue to be helpful for those who suffer from Spring/Summer allergies. For this reason, don’t be afraid to continue to wear yours on high pollen count days.
Herbals & Botanicals
Quercetin + Nettle leaf both have mast-cell stabilizing activity, helpful for minimizing allergic responses in the body. Nettle tea is a favorite of mine! Nettles are in bloom in early Spring. You can pick them fresh in the forest or sometimes find them at local farmers markets. Alternatively, you can take nettles in supplement or homeopathic form. You can read more about nettles and find a recipe for nettle tea HERE.
Echinacea is a botanical that supports immune function. Core Echinacea by Energetix is a favorite. Core Echinacea is a botanical extract that helps maintain normal immune response and microbial balance. Most importantly, echinacea contains polysaccharides and flavonoids that assist with the normal function of the immune system.
XenoForce is another herbal favorite of mine. XenoForce is an herbal nutritional blend with antioxidants, zinc, and high levels of vitamins A and C. It helps maintain normal immune function. Additionally, XenoForce contains echinacea, black cherry bark, licorice root and organic ginger root. XenoForce also helps support normal respiratory and digestive function.
Reishi mushroom is immune modulating and anti-inflammatory. It works by promoting balance in the body and directing specific action against allergic runny nose symptoms. My favorite Reishi product comes in a tincture form. It is called Core Mycelia Blend. Core Mycelia Blend is a blend of traditional mushrooms. This blend includes reishi, cordyceps, turkey tails, maitake, and shiitake mushrooms that assists with maintaining normal immune response. Additionally, Elder berry and raspberry juices were added to create a pleasant-tasting liquid botanical blend.
Vitamin C contains anti-inflammatory immune support. Buffered Vitamin C is one of my favorite products. It contains Rosehips, a high potency encapsulated form of ascorbic acid in easy-to-dose veggie capsules. It provides the benefits of vitamin C, and it is well tolerated by the digestive system. Another favorite is Aller-C which provides vitamin C and additional flavonoids for anti-inflammatory immune support.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (such as fish oil or flax seed oil) can reduce inflammation and support the immune system. I often recommend dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids from flax, walnuts, and wild caught fish such as salmon. Ideally, eating some of these daily is very beneficial. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be taken in supplement form such as fish oil capsules. I am a big fan of Thorne Super EPA Pro which I get at Wellevate.
If fish is not an option or preference, Phyto EFA is a plant based form of omegas. It comes in a tincture form. Phyto EFA is a plant-based, vegan blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It contains Ahiflower® seed oil and algal oil to help maintain normal immune response, heart health, and brain development. This unique combination provides a sustainable, non-GMO source of short and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Furthermore, it provides five bioavailable essential fatty acids (EFAs) that help maintain a balanced omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
Vitamin D provides powerful support for immune function. I personally use Vitamin D in a couple of different forms. I take it in a capsule form. But I have come to love the spray form by Energetix called D3-K2 LipoSpray. It is so easy to use, and readily bioavailable. D3-K2 LipoSpray® is a synergistic blend of the prohormone vitamin D3 and the fat-soluble vitamin K2. These work together to regulate calcium uptake and routing as well as help maintain the integrity of the skeletal, dental, and cardiovascular systems. Coconut oil allows the active ingredients (the fat-soluble vitamins D3 and K2) to be more easily absorbed. Furthermore, D3-K2 LipoSpray is pleasant tasting and easy to use.
Adaptogens such as Ashwagandha can help reduce stress and inflammation in the body and support immune function. My absolute favorite is Core Ashwagandha by Energetix. It is a tincture that is so easy to use and is beneficial in so many ways. First of all, Core Ashwagandha is a spagyrically prepared botanical extract of ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera). Secondly, the root contains steroidal compounds, alkaloids, and amino acids. Together these provide adaptogenic support, balance the stress response, support neuroendocrine function, provide antioxidant protection, support normal sleep patterns, promote mental clarity and memory, and promote vitality and general well-being.
Homeopathic tinctures can be very helpful in reminding the body how to fight off triggering allergens. One of my favorite tinctures is Aller-chord A by Energetix. Aller-Chord A is a homeopathic combination formula. It is designed to address symptoms associated with hay fever and airborne allergies. Furthermore, the formula assists with both recent and long-standing symptoms. Aller-chord A addresses symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, irritated eyes, coughs, nasal congestion, skin rash, nasal discharge, headaches, hoarseness, itching throat, eyes, and skin.
Gut Health is Critical
Most of our immune function comes from the gut. An unhealthy gut due to a permeable lining, bacteria or yeast overgrowth, or bacterial imbalance, compromises our immune function. One way to help support optimal gut health and immune function is by taking quality probiotics. My absolute favorite is Flora Synergy, and I have been taking it for many years. Flora Synergy® contains the spore form probiotic Bacillus coagulans and prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS) to help support normal immune and digestive response. Unlike other probiotics, these bacteria remain in spore form until they reach the small intestine and aid in maintaining intestinal microflora balance.
Food Sensitivities May Be Contributing
Our Body Is A Highly Complex System
Our bodies are made up of a multitude of systems. These systems work in coordination to provide a complex and intricate mechanism that allows for optimal health if not disrupted. If our body is challenged in one area, then other areas are impacted. Therefore, if disruption to one system occurs, the body functions in a less than ideal state. And this, in turn, has the potential to create a decline in health.
An Overly Challenged Body Does Not Perform As Well
Our bodies face an overabundance of challenges. Challenges arise from many sources including, for example:
bacterial and viral threats
If the body is overly challenged, it’s functions are likely disrupted and compromised. For this reason, those who suffer from allergies, should be mindful of threats and challenges the body is facing. An over compromised body is less likely to fully address allergies. For this reason, allergy symptoms may be more severe, frequent, or bothersome. I believe food sensitives are one area that should be addressed if you suffer from allergies.
Food Sensitivities Can Over Challenge the Body
Many of us live with food sensitivities that we are not even aware of. Yes, some can be quite obvious, but others can remain below the threshold of our awareness. For this reason, I often recommend food sensitivity testing or an Elimination Diet for those who suffer from allergies. By addressing food sensitivities and eliminating foods that trigger inflammation, our body becomes better equipped to fight seasonal allergies. You can read more about Elimination Diet in my blog article HERE.
An Integrative Approach Is Best
An integrative approach blends traditional western medicine treatments with holistic and more natural strategies. For this reason, it can be a very powerful approach to addressing allergies. Furthermore, an integrative approach can encourage a very deep level of healing inside the body. In conclusion, by addressing Spring/Summer allergies with some of the above holistic strategies alone or in combination with a more traditional approach, you are likely to find the body responds positively. For allergy sufferers, this can be very good news, and hopefully will improve the quality of health during the Spring and Summer seasons!
Check With Your Provider
You should always check with your health care provider to discuss your personal health situation and allergy symptom management before trying any of the above recommendations. You can work with me personally to address your allergies if you live in Washington State. Schedule a free 15 minute telephone consultation to determine whether my services are a good fit for you. Find out more HERE.
A Note on Supplements
If you sign in to my dispensary at Wellevate, you can get a discount on good quality and responsibly sourced supplements. There is NO obligation to purchase, however, it might be helpful to look around to become familiar with their high quality brands. Quality is extremely important when purchasing supplements. I use only companies I trust. Access my dispensary HERE.
I have personally used most of the Energetix products mentioned in this article. You can find out more on their website HERE. Most importantly, I have high regard for the Energetix company and the quality of the sourcing and processing they use to manufacture these amazing healing products. For this reason, I have used their products in my own healing journey for over 10 years. Energetix products are available for purchase through Valencia & Sage, LLC. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want you to have the best Spring and Summer ever… despite allergies! I hope this article has been helpful in that regard! Take care, and HAPPY SPRING! Kimberly
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