My allergies begin with the trees. Well, that’s on top of the cat…How about you?
We are not alone. According to the CDC, 19.2 million Americans were diagnosed with “hayfever” in 2018—that’s almost 8% of the adult population.
Hayfever, of course, is not a fever brought on by hay. There is no clue how it has come to be an official designation promoted by our government, but there you go: allergic rhinitis maybe doesn’t have the same ring.
Almost any irritant which causes us to have runny eyes, nose, itchy-sneezy experiences qualify us as “hayfever” sufferers—whether it’s pet dander or air pollution, or pollen.
Technically, I guess it’s all air pollution. If a body doesn’t like it, we can consider it pollution, right? And pollen, dander, petrochemicals, etc., which float through the air, qualify as air pollution.
So we have our terms straight. Now what?
The first question is: Are our foundations in place?
And by that, I mean, are we offering our body clean air, clean water, clean food?
Can we install air filters? Water filters? See my recent blog for more on the waterside of things.
I use Air Doctor filtration devices in our house—oh, boy, do they capture what the dogs stir up. Their filtration is so powerful they capture particles as small as mold mycotoxins. I am not an affiliate of the company, promise, just a satisfied customer—they’re worth checking out—and there’s usually a $300 off deal somewhere.
Clean food is also something I cover in my recent blog—basically, my invitation is for us to eat as close to the source as possible.
Not close to the manufacturing plant, silly.
Close to the earth. As least processed as possible. Except for those occasional things like chips made of cassava and coconut…cooked in a healthy oil such as unrefined palm. Occasional. Just saying.
When our bodies are clean, they can deal with environmental insults like pollen and pollution. It makes sense, right?
If I drive my car when it is all gunked up, it doesn’t go very far or very frequently. Gotta keep the engine clean.
The second question: Can I add specific foods which support the body in dealing with allergens?
Sure. Red onions, capers, red apples, red grapes, cruciferous veggies. All have a fantastic antioxidant called quercetin which has been shown to modulate histamine reactions. Histamines—yes, those things which cause our respiratory runniness.
Our bodies produce them to protect us, and sometimes they produce more than we would like.
Other helpful foods are garlic, lemons, and fermented foods. Probiotics help our guts which, in turn, help our immune systems, which, in turn, can work on reducing our allergic reactions.
Keeping these reactions in check with foods is in our best interests—just taking an antihistamine is like adding fresh oil to the car's dirty oil. It makes things work better for a bit, but we are just avoiding the real problem long-term.
The third question: am I doing all I can to minimize the sugar flowing into my body?
Yes, we circle around it, and we face it head-on. When our body is busy dealing with sugar, it cannot be expected to reduce itchiness and sneeziness when using its precious minerals to manage the situation.
So. Do your best to stay within the guidelines of 6-9 teaspoons of sugar a day by avoiding packaged foods and juices.
Fourth: Apple cider vinegar! Neti pot! Sure take a swig of ACV—the cloudy kind, raw and organic—in a shot glass of water. Stimulates digestion and supports many health-promoting functions in the body. And use a teaspoon of warm salt water in a Neti pot to flush your nasal passages to help thwart an allergy attack.
And finally—a fifth approach: Raw, local honey. The jury is out on the science of whether the pollen in local honey really supports our bodies, but there is enough anecdotal evidence that it may be worth trying. Local is crucial—it’s got to be the same pollen you are being exposed to. And it takes a while to help if it’s going to.
Try taking a tablespoon each day for two weeks before you think you’ll need it. Build up the amount slowly—that’s a hefty dose of sugar!
I almost didn’t suggest it because of that. I don’t personally take honey medicinally because of the high sugar content, but it’s better—in my mind—than taking an over-the-counter medication if it helps!
Just cut down the sugar somewhere else! Use the honey in place of things you might be enjoying anyway. Yes, we can!
Five simple things to avert the worst of the seasonal offerings of the trees, flowers, weeds, grasses—on top of the animal dander and random toxins floating around us.
Let me know your thoughts. What do you do to deal with your allergies?