Spring has finally sprung in the Western Hemisphere, but alongside the beauty of brighter mornings and blooming blossoms, there’s the small matter of seasonal allergies to worry about. It’s estimated that upwards of 36 million people in the US alone suffer from hay fever when the cold winter abates, and anyone who does can testify to the fact that it can really dampen springtime spirits. Here’s what you need to know about seasonal allergies, and how to treat the pesky things naturally.
Seasonal allergies tend to be triggered by pollens or mould spores from grass, trees and weeds—which naturally occur more during changes of the season; particularly springtime. Ultimately, many of the symptoms present themselves as super similar to those of the common cold—sneezing, watering eyes, runny nose, itchy eyes, mouth, nose or throat, fatigue and a stuffy nose to name but a few.
What determines whether or not you will suffer, and the extremity to which you might, can come down to the immune system. Essentially, allergies happen as a result of the immune system overreacting to an external factor—in this case, a change in the environment and increase in air pollen.
1. Keep your gut happy
Boosting your gut microbiome is essential whilst fighting seasonal allergies, as holistic health practitioners believe that the fundamental issue with allergies is inflammation. Upping your probiotic, fermented food intake with things like sauerkraut, collagen-rich bone broth, kefir and kimchi can work to really heal your gut in the long-term; although is unlikely to make much of an impact in the short-term, thanks to the fact that the average gut of an adult can take anywhere from one and two years to fully heal.
Adaptogens are having a moment right now; as people are using them to address everything from stress and anxiety, to sleep and immunity. The best ones to take for allergies are:
Ashwagandha is an excellent remedy to combat seasonal allergies as it helps boost immunity, reduce stress levels and is also an anti-inflammatory agent.
Asian ginseng or red ginseng, as it’s commonly known, helps strengthen the immune system and overcome stress levels resulting from physical and mental exhaustion—making it a great pick for treating allergies.
Holy basil can help to lower cortisol levels, thereby increasing the body’s immunity.
Astralagus also boasts of anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties. It is also known to symptoms of seasonal allergies such as hay fever.
3. Support your biofilms
Biofilms are thin, slimy films of bacteria that stick to mucous membranes throughout our bodies, including our gut and sinuses, and contribute to seasonal allergy symptoms such as sinus problems when their composition is made up of pathogenic, rather than beneficial bacteria.
Supporting your biofilms is a great way of supporting your body through allergies; and you can do this by taking digestive enzymes, as these help to break down biofilms. You can also try taking colostrum supplements as the protein in colostrum, lactoferrin promotes healthy biofilms by inhibiting pathogens.