Woman's World

Stop spring allergies with ginger!

You can sense it in every budding leaf and unfurling flower—spring allergy season is almost here. Luckily, no matter how long you’ve had allergies—or how bad your symptoms usually are—today’s newest remedies can help!

- —Brenda Kearns

Cut troublemak­ing ✓ inflammati­on with MSM

A daily 2,000-mg. to 3,000-mg. dose of this natural sulfur compound helps soothe even severe spring allergy symptoms for 90% of people in two weeks, say Oregon Health and Science University researcher­s. When your immune system encounters pollen, it produces a flood of symptomtri­ggering inflammati­on; MSM helps to quickly reduce it, before it can make you miserable. Try Life Extension’s MSM ($9 for 100 capsules, Lef.com/ww). ■ Bonus: MSM is also a powerful, natural painkiller that can ease even chronic muscle and joint aches 62% in three months, Indian researcher­s report. ● Important: Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.

Clear your sinuses ✓

with ginger

Including 1/2 tsp. of ground ginger in your daily diet could cut your congestion, itching and sneezing as much as 65%, reports The Journal of Nutritiona­l Biochemist­ry. Ginger’s active ingredient (6-gingerol) calms immune cells, so that pollen is less likely to trigger production of symptomtri­ggering histamine, says study coauthor Yuki Ueno, PH.D.

Maximize your ✓ meds with a timing trick

Symptom-triggering inflammati­on in your throat and sinuses generally peaks between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. each morning, UCLA research shows. That means that if you take your allergy- taming supplement­s or meds at bedtime, they can work overnight to prevent early- morning inflammati­on, making it easy to control all day! University of Texas doctors say this one simple step could make your allergy symptoms far more manageable in as little as 48 hours. ■ Tip: Starting your allergy medication two weeks before your symptoms usually begin makes spring allergies easier to tame for nine in 10 patients, Harvard research shows.

Banish symptoms ✓

with berries

Berries are a treat and a treatment! That’s because the plant pigments (anthocyani­ns) that give them their cheery hues are also powerful natural antihistam­ines. In fact, Columbia University studies suggest that the more berries you eat each week, the lower your risk of developing any spring allergy symptoms. And if you’re already feeling under the weather? Eating three cups weekly could reduce your symptoms 35%.

Protect your airways ✓

with citrus

Citrus is nature’s top source of bioflavono­ids and vitamin C—a nutrient duo that can cut your spring allergy symptoms 40%, if you consume three cups weekly year-round, shows Arizona State research. These nutrients increase your production of glutathion­e, a compound that blocks airway inflammati­on, helping you breathe deeply without bothersome symptoms like tickling, coughing or wheezing.

Calm your ✓ immune system with milk thistle tea

Sipping three cups of this mild herbal brew daily helps reduce allergy symptoms 25% in as little as two weeks, suggests research in the journal Otolaryngo­logy–head and Neck Surgery. Milk thistle lowers your production of an immune system protein that triggers unpleasant symptoms whenever pollen is in the air, the study authors say. One option: Alvita Milk Thistle tea ($7 for 24 tea bags, Amazon.com).

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