Control Your Seasonal Allergies Naturally

By Dr. Keri Marshall

Sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose are common responses to allergens. Photo: mcfarlandmo via a long winter, the budding of trees and spring flowers is a greatly anticipated time of year for many people. However, for allergy sufferers, it can be an unwelcome time when sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes prevail. Being proactive with your health during allergy season can help prevent most symptoms and make springtime a time to be outdoors planting your garden and enjoying some warm sunshine.

During allergy season, the body has a tendency to produce higher levels of histamine. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that is released from mast cells when the body is exhibiting an allergic reaction or immune response. Histamine dilates blood vessels and increases blood vessel permeability. This can lead to visual signs in the body such as localized swelling, warmth, and redness. Histamine also irritates nerve endings that can lead to itching and pain. The bump and redness immediately following a mosquito bite is a good example of this reaction, which can occur seconds after the body is challenged by an allergen. If you are a person whose body "over-reacts" to bug bites, then it is likely your body has a tendency towards inflammation and allergy.

There are several things you can do to support your body in an effort to normalize histamine levels and regulate overall bodily inflammation. Fruits such as blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and mango contain a good amount of bioflavonoids. These phytochemicals help to stabilize mast cells in the body and decrease overall histamine response, thus reducing inflammation.

The Nettle plant is a perennial herb well known for its stinging hairs on the stem and leaf. Nettle leaf has a great number of naturally occurring nutrients, including chlorophyll, protein, ascorbic acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K1, potassium, and zinc, and these nutrients work together to promote the health of skin, bones, and joints, and they encourage healthy immune and respiratory systems. Nettle leaf also contains flavonoids such as quercitin and rutin that help to maintain healthy levels of histamine in the body by increasing histamine efficiency.

Also, try taking a daily dose of vitamin C during allergy season. Research shows that 1 gram of vitamin C each day can help to reduce overall histamine levels in the body.

There are also a number of foods that tend to increase histamine levels in the body such as strawberries, tomato, chocolate, wine, bananas, and shellfish. These foods should be limited or avoided altogether during allergy season.

Lastly, try using a HEPA air filter. It can reduce dust in the bedrooms and main living areas of your home, and also eliminate circulating pollen that enters through open windows. Be sure to keep windowsills wiped down in the bedroom, and sweep under the bed regularly. Keep in mind: The bedroom should be the most dust-free room in the house—after all, it's where you will have the most concentrated period of breathing throughout the day.

By Dr. Keri Marshall| April 01, 2010
Categories:  Blog

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Dr. Keri Marshall

Dr. Keri Marshall

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