Nat­u­ral ways to fight fall al­ler­gies

Porterville Recorder - - HEALTH -

As the days be­come shorter and the weather cools down, a new crop of al­lergy symp­toms can arise, turn­ing the au­tumn sea­son into one marked by sneez­ing, scratchy throats and itchy eyes. Med­i­ca­tions can al­le­vi­ate such symp­toms, but al­lergy suf­fer­ers may want to in­ves­ti­gate some nat­u­ral ways to beat al­ler­gies.

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Al­lergy, Asthma & Im­munol­ogy, rag­weed is one of the more com­mon trig­gers of au­tum­nal al­ler­gies. Rag­weed con­trib­utes to “hay fever,” which is a term to de­scribe al­ler­gic rhini­tis that oc­curs as a symp­tom of rag­weed pollen in the air. Rag­weed re­leases pollen in mid-au­gust, and it can con­tinue to be prob­lem­atic un­til a deep freeze ar­rives.

Other sources of fall al­ler­gies in­clude leaf mold and pollen that is present on fallen leaves. This gets cir­cu­lated when peo­ple be­gin to rake or blow fallen leaves. Class­room pets and chalk dust in schools (although chalk­boards are largely a thing of the past) are other au­tumn al­ler­gens.

The good news is that many nat­u­ral reme­dies work just as ef­fec­tively as over-the-counter med­i­ca­tions in re­gard to com­bat­ting rag­weed and pollen prob­lems. Here’s how to beat the fall al­lergy blues.

• Stay away from pollen.

Stay away from pollen and pre­vent it from be­ing tracked in­doors. Re­move shoes when walk­ing through the door. Take off clothes worn out­side and laun­der them promptly, show­er­ing to wash pollen off of the body. Use an air con­di­tioner or keep win­dows closed when the pollen count is high.

• In­crease omega-3 fatty

acids. It is well doc­u­mented that fatty acids are good for brain health and car­dio­vas­cu­lar well­be­ing. But these acids also may help with al­ler­gies. A Ger­man study linked foods high in omega-3 fatty acids with the abil­ity to fight in­flam­ma­tion, which is a hall­mark of al­lergy suf­fer­ing. Foods that are high in fatty acids in­clude wal­nuts, flax, eggs, and cold-wa­ter fatty fish.

• Rinse off pollen. Use a

mild cleanser to rinse the eye­lids and eye­lashes of pollen, as this is where it tends to con­gre­gate af­ter be­ing out­doors. Use saline spray to clear nasal pas­sages of ex­cess pollen as well.

• Take nat­u­ral sup­ple­ments.

A study pub­lished in the jour­nal Clin­i­cal and Ex­per­i­men­tal Al­lergy found par­tic­i­pants who used tablets of the herb but­ter­bar showed sig­nif­i­cant al­lergy re­lief af­ter only one week. Se­lect herbs from rep­utable man­u­fac­tur­ers who cer­tify them.

• Use eu­ca­lyp­tus oil.

This oil is great to have in the house to help clear up si­nuses and pro­vide nasal con­ges­tion re­lief. Mix a small amount with co­conut oil and rub onto the chest. There also is some ev­i­dence that adding a few drops of eu­ca­lyp­tus oil to cleans­ing prod­ucts can help kill dust mites around the house.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF METRO

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