As the temperatures start to rise and spring is in full swing, there is an increased level of pollen in the air that can greatly impact our sinuses and our immune system. Whether you experience seasonal allergies for only a few days or the entire season, there are ways to minimize the symptoms we might experience through supplementation and daily practices.
It’s important to first understand what we are experiencing when allergies affect us. When large amounts of pollen are in the air, coming into contact with proteins found in the pollen can cause an inflammatory immune response. This can result in blocked sinuses, itchy watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Luckily there are a few ways we can prepare our system for the increase in pollen and aid our system in coping with this reaction.
One way we can prepare our systems for a rise in pollen is to expose ourselves to the proteins in small amounts before we are exposed more greatly. We can do this by consuming locally produced honey, which contains traces of the proteins found in our area. Local bee pollen can also be consumed in small amounts to desensitize and strengthen the immune system in order to have a lesser reaction.
Another practice found to help reduce immune response is to routinely rinse the nasal cavity when pollen is present. A common device used for this practice is known as a neti-pot. It is crucial that clean, sterilized water or a saline solution is used when rinsing as to prevent any infection or harmful organisms from entering the nasal cavity.
In addition to these we can soothe our symptoms through drinking tea that contains ginger or stinging nettle. Ginger has a compound called gingerol, which has great anti-inflammatory properties. Its affects are strongest in fresh ginger. Stinging nettle contains antihistamines, which can lower the inflammatory response your body has which can make the season much more bearable for those that suffer.