Spring has arrived in Australia, bringing with it blooming flowers, lush greenery and the undeniable itch in your nose and burning eyes. Here’s what you can do about seasonal allergies.
Sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes, and congestion can put a damper on the joys of spring, and with the ABS reporting a sizeable 19% of Aussies affected by allergic rhinitis, we promise you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can help alleviate these symptoms and keep you sniffle-free – now these aren’t a replacement for proper medical care and there are a number of beneficial medications on the market, but we decided it was worth exploring a few holistic effective ways to combat seasonal allergies that are so easy to add to your routine.
Local honey is exactly what it sounds like – honey sourced locally. It’s usually from a beehive within a 40-80-mile radius of where you live. Hailed as a powerful remedy for allergies, it contains small amounts of local pollen, which can help your body build tolerance to the allergens in your environment. Consuming a teaspoon of local honey daily, especially during the weeks leading up to allergy season, may help reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Quercetin is a natural compound found in many foods, including onions, apples, and berries. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate allergy symptoms by stabilising mast cells, which release histamines responsible for allergic reactions. Incorporate quercetin-rich foods into your diet to reduce the impact of seasonal allergies.
Butterbur is an herbal remedy that has shown promise in relieving allergy symptoms. Studies have indicated that butterbur extract can be as effective as some antihistamines in reducing symptoms like sneezing and nasal congestion. However, consult a healthcare professional before using butterbur to ensure its safety and proper dosage.
Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome with probiotics may improve your body's ability to tolerate allergens. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut can promote gut health and potentially reduce allergy symptoms.
Avoidance and Environmental Control
Minimise your exposure to allergens by keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons, using air purifiers with HEPA filters, and showering and changing clothes after spending time outdoors. Additionally, avoid drying laundry outside during allergy season, as pollen can cling to clothing and exacerbate symptoms.
Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile, ginger, and peppermint, have natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Drinking these teas regularly may provide relief from allergy symptoms.
Dietary Adjustments + Limiting Added Sugar
In addition to quercetin-rich foods, consider reducing your intake of foods that can exacerbate inflammation, such as processed foods, sugary snacks, and excessive dairy. A balanced, anti-inflammatory diet can support your immune system's response to allergens, while a high sugar intake can lead to chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can weaken the immune system and make it more reactive to allergens, making it more prone to reacting to harmless substances, such as pollen or pet dander, leading to allergy symptoms. Too much sugar can negatively impact the gut microbiome, the community of bacteria and microorganisms in the digestive tract. A healthy gut is essential for a well-functioning immune system, and imbalances in the gut microbiome have been linked to an increased risk of allergies.
Seasonal allergies don’t have to disrupt your enjoyment of spring – along with the range of new medications available on the market, there are also some pretty impressive natural remedies. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new remedy, especially if you have severe allergies or underlying medical conditions. By taking a proactive approach and incorporating these natural strategies into your routine, you can embrace the beauty of spring in Australia while keeping allergies at bay.
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