Spring is here, bringing with it flowering plants – and allergies. If you are one of the 50 million Americans itching for allergy relief this season, you are not alone! With a variety of natural remedies available, you may want to skip the pharmacy and look to Mother Nature instead.
Our immune systems are designed to combat pathogens and other foreign invaders that zap our strength and energy.
However, due to high stress levels, dietary habits, and environmental factors our immune system is overly sensitive.
When the immune system overreacts to allergens – pollen, dirt, pollution, animal hair, and mold to name a few – it mobilizes with full force, producing severe allergic symptoms: sinus congestion, itchy, watery eyes, running nose, and an aching head. Sound familiar? Try the following tips to help you breathe in the fresh air and see the blue skies more clearly!
Keep an allergy-free home
One of the key factors in treating allergies is to get rid of the substances that overstimulate the immune system. Dehumidify and air out your home regularly.
Use the air conditioner and central heater sparingly as they tend to permeate the home with dust and particles collected in their ducts.
Fungal colonies, dust mites, and pollen collect in the house.
Clean floors regularly, and opt for solid wood or stone floors instead of carpets, which collect tremendous amounts of dust and bacteria.
Prevent mold by using vinegar to disinfect the surfaces that often get wet and humid. Also, keep beds, bedrooms, and couches off-limits to pets.
Bee free from allergies with herbs and supplements
Eating one teaspoon of local, unfiltered, and unprocessed honey daily can do wonders for allergies. Also, bee pollen supplement may help alleviate allergies.
Stinging nettle is used in medical traditions worldwide to reduce inflammation, and has been successful in alleviating allergies.
Research shows that nettle blocks the action of inflammation-inducing immune cells. When looking for stinging nettle supplements at your health food store, choose the leaf part of the plant to fight inflammation.
Magnolia flowers, xanthium, mint, dandelion, Chinese basil, siler root, and schizandra all have allergy-reducing properties.
Take in tea form or try in a traditional Chinese herbal formulation called Allergy Tamer, which balances the immune system and relieves allergy symptoms.
Cultivate allergy-free air
Toss the chemical cleaners, perfumes, and hair sprays if you want to breathe better. Try to minimize cooking fumes and do not smoke. Keep car windows closed and set the air conditioner to use re-circulated air.
To get your beauty rest, keep pets away from the bedroom, beds, and couches. Leave the plants and flowers to the florist, as they sometimes harbor mold that exacerbate your allergies.
Avoid pesky pollen
To minimize pollen and allergen exposure, wash your clothes and shower as soon as you come in from the great outdoors. Outside pollen counts are usually highest between 5 am and 10 am so spend as little time as possible out of doors during this time of day.
Spice up your resistance
If you enjoy some fire in your dishes, then you are in for a happy surprise: spices can thin the mucous secretions that are so often a byproduct of allergies. Use more cayenne pepper, hot ginger, fenugreek, onion, and garlic in your cooking so that you are free to smell the roses without the symptoms!
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com.