IS YOUR BODY READY TO FIGHT?
Spring is right around the corner. It is one of the most beautiful season of the year…said no allergy sufferer ever! If you suffer from seasonal allergies, your life kind of goes on a hold for these couple of month. The only thing that is really active, is your runny nose!
We are bombarded with advertisements about hundreds of antihistamines promising you a ‘normal’ life. Anything is better than constant sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and congestion, so most of scamper to buy these products. I used to do the same until I started asking myself: isn’t there another way?
I know the suffering all too well. I had seasonal allergies, along with its cousins, asthma and food intolerances, up until a few years ago. That’s when I embarked on this journey to reset my body from inside out and am glad to inform you that it worked! I can really truly enjoy the beautiful outdoors in spring without medicating myself.
If I can do it, so can you. And it is really simpler than you think.
All you need is knowledge, commitment and persistence. I can help you get the knowledge, but the commitment and persistence is your own responsibility. So, let’s get started!
WHAT ARE SEASONAL ALLERGIES
Allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies, hay fever, are one and the same. It develops when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to something in the environment that typically causes no problems in most people.
The term hay fever is a misnomer since you don’t have to be exposed to hay to have these symptoms, neither do you have to have a fever.
Allergic rhinitis generally takes two different forms:
- Seasonal: Symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis can occur in spring, summer and early fall. They are usually caused by allergic sensitivity to airborne mold spores or to pollens from grass, trees and weeds.
- Perennial: People with perennial allergic rhinitis experience symptoms year-round. It is generally caused by dust mites, pet hair or dander, cockroaches or mold. Underlying or hidden food allergies rarely cause perennial nasal symptoms.
In here, we will focus on seasonal allergies only.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes, mouth or skin
- Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion
- Sinus headaches
- Puffy swollen eyelids
- Fatigue (often reported due to poor quality sleep as a result of nasal obstruction)
WHY DO WE GET ALLERGEIS?
Seasonal allergies are developed at the onset of spring season. This is because they are triggered by outdoor allergens, such as pollens from grass, trees and weeds which are abundant in the environment at that time of the year.
According to the research, hay fever in fact all types of allergies are on the rise. There are multiple reasons that can be given for this rise, however, the most common ones are as follows:
- Climate Change
Rising Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are wreaking havoc in our environment so much,so they are directly affecting our health. This simple chart shows how the rising CO2 levels are increasing the production of grass pollens to the point our bodies are getting overwhelmed by the unnatural balance.
- Hygiene Obsession
Hygiene is the habit of cleanliness which are conducive to preventing diseases and maintaining health. Personally, proper hygiene is a make-it or break-it for me when it comes to friendships and relationships. I can’t stand the company of dirty and unhygienic people. But when it crosses to obsession, it becomes a problematic issue.
When we are constantly disinfecting ourselves and our bodies, we make the most common elements of our environment like strangers. Our bodies do not recognize them as friendly parts of our environment and start attacking them as foreign and harmful agents.
Some of the harmful practices that lead to this are:
- Excessive use of anti-bacterial soap
- Excessive use of disinfecting wipes on our bodies and surfaces around us
- Lack of outdoor activities / limited exposure to Nature
- Children not playing in dirt (which is a cornucopia of environmental microbes, if kids are exposed to them, they will be immune to many diseases; think of natural immunization)
- Weak Immune System
I have been harping about the immune system quite a lot lately. I am a firm believer that most of our common ailments including seasonal allergies are directly tied to the health of our immune system. If our immune system is strong and working properly, our quality of life will increase tremendously,and we can overcome many prevalent conditions like hay fever, allergies, cold, flu etc.
I have discussed this in detail in the article Hack Your Immune System.
Good hygiene makes a difference between life and death. But obsession to hygiene can also become an issue of quality of life. Balance is the key here!
HOW TO PROVIDE RELIEF
Hay fever has the most annoying symptoms. They really drain you and leave you incapable of day to day activities. But it really doesn’t have to be this way! And you don’t need to take daily pills to achieve that freedom.
These are some of the things you can do to provide immediate relief.
Let’s start from inside out, focusing on the fuel of the body—the food.
Foods to Avoid
These are the foods you need to avoid all year round and especially so during the allergy season. Most of these foods cause inflammation and exacerbate your allergies.
- Alcohol, especially beer should be avoided at all costs.
- Caffeine; it is taxing on your kidneys and adrenals which are responsible for detoxing your body and strengthening your overall system, which is key to resetting your immune system. Now, small amounts of caffeine in herbal and green teas is ok but strong caffeinated beverages like coffee should be avoided as much as possible.
- Conventional dairy (processed cow milk / yogurts / cheeses). Milk is considered a dampening food and should be avoided at all costs if you are suffering from allergies.
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed / refined / junk food
- Melons, dampening food and should be avoided
- Bananas, also a dampening food
Foods to Consume
- Raw local Wildflower honey is probably one of the best gifts you can give yourself against allergies. Local honey is made by bees collecting nectar from the local flowers. It contains exactly the pollen that your body is reacting to as allergens. When you eat local honey, it immunizes your body against these ‘allergens’ and it stops treating them like enemies, hence attacking the problem at its very roots. This is also a long-term cure and should be consumed daily, one teaspoon in the morning and one teaspoon at night. Remember the keywords: raw, local, wildflower, organic!
- Hot & spicy foods opens up your arterial airways, helps drain the nasal passage and makes breathing easier.
- Bone broth is great at strengthening your immune system. Thus,it is a long-term cure and should be consumed year round.
- Probiotics like fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi are a great way to provide immediate relief.
- Pineapple, kiwi, papaya and ginger root contain enzymes which reduce inflammation.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 tablespoon in a cup of water can really help relieve symptoms. It is also rich in Vitamin C which strengthens the immune response in the body.
- Raw green vegetables
- Colorful fruits; incorporate as many fruits in your diet as possible.
- Nettle Tea: 6 teaspoons to 6 cups of water. Sweeten with some honey. Good for allergies and adrenal glands so not only does it provide relief, it actually helps heal and reset the system.
- Honey + Bee Pollen + Royal Jelly: Mix them together and take a spoon twice a day. Make sure that you get these products from a local bee farm so it helps your immune system stop reacting to pollen and plants in your environment as irritants and accept them as friends, not foes.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, a small piece of fresh ginger, and a pinch of hot pepper (cayenne or chili pepper) and consume it twice daily. You can make enough for 2 to 3 days and store it in a cool dry place.
- Moringa: It a very rich plant with the potential to treat hundreds of ailments. Moringa is rich in nutrients and helps the body properly absorb the nutrients. Therefore, it can be very helpful in strengthening the immune system by helping the body make use of the nutrients that are being consumed. You can consume it as tea, oil, or in capsule form.
The supplements which help relieve allergy symptoms and should be taken by everyone suffering from allergy symptoms. They not only provide relief, they help strengthen the body to keep allergies at bay in the future. Therefore, take them year-round as a long-term cure, instead of when the symptoms arrive.
- Spirulina: alkalizes the body and helps bust inflammation in the body. This is why it is highly recommended to take before and during the allergy season.
- Quercetin: naturally found in onion, garlic and some citrus fruits. It is amazing in reducing histamine reactions in your body.
- Butterbur: Relieves sinus headaches and pressure around the forehead.
- Vitamin A: supports the immune system and keep it working properly.
- Zinc: It is an essential mineral for your immune system.
- Bromelain: is an enzyme found mainly in pineapples. It is an inflammation buster and relieves sinus headaches, swollen eyes and itch.
- Vitamin C 1000 mg
- Vitamin D3 1000 IU
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CURE
Let’s be honest…allergies cannot be cured in a day or two. You will have to be disciplined and give your body what it needs meanwhile protecting it from what harms. You will need to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits to help your body fight allergies and preventing them from recurring.
GOOD LIFESTYLE HABITS TO FIGHT ALLERGIES
- Stay hydrated; drink at least 3L of water daily.
- Limit pollen exposure during the allergy season in order to not stress your body unnecessarily.
- At the first sign of allergies, wear a medical mask to limit inhalation and exposure to allergens.
- Wash your hands often; wash your hands and face as soon as you return from outdoors.
- Spend more times outdoors year-round as it will expose your body to microbes in the environment until your body starts accepting them as friends as opposed to enemies that illicit an allergic reaction. However, as I mentioned earlier, have mercy on yourself and don’t spend too much time outdoors during the pollen season.
- Shower before bed; cleanliness is very important in your fight against allergies
- Wash clothing, bedding, and towels regularly.
- Wipe down pets; if you have pet allergies, don’t stress your body unnecessarily. You can live without pets, but you won’t be able to live without your health.
- De-clutter; the more things you have in your environment, the more places dust, pollen, and other allergens have to hide and stress your immune system.
- Use a high-quality air filter to purify the air you breathe.
- Change your air-conditioning filters on regular bases.
- Use a humidifier or de-humidifier depending on your environmental needs.
- Check your home and office environment for any mold and mildew as they can wreak havoc on the health.
- Make sure to breathe from your nose and not from your mouth. Proper breathing alone can be the difference between wellness and ailment.
- In extreme cases, if your asthma and allergies are exacerbated by your environment and you cannot control it, move to a better, healthier environment.
There, you have it!
I know how miserable allergies can make you. I suffered for years. But I also know you can get rid of them. I have been allergy-free for years now and couldn’t be more grateful.
Eat well, eat real food, incorporate healthy lifestyle habits, take supplements to boost your resistance and strengthen your immune system, and very soon you won’t ever have to take another antihistamine medication.