Allergies - Spring Hayfever or Allergic Rhinitis

allergies-hayfeverAround this time of year people can get more problems with allergies. Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, mild headache or sinus ache and an itchy nose that just won’t stop being a nuisance.

Allergic rhinitis is common as the spring comes and the warmer weather brings many flowering blossoms. Some of the common allergens are actually dust mite in household dust and cat dander so as we clean up the place spring cleaning there may be more pollens, dust and cat fur flying around creating a sneeze!

One of the biggest contributors that I see towards the tendency to be allergic is actually the fact that over the winter months our Vitamin D levels drop and without a good healthy level of Vitamin D our body shifts over to a more allergic state and so we are more prone to sneezing and allergies.

The medical treatment for nasal allergies is often anti-histamines or steroid based nasal sprays or anti-allergy nasal sprays that try to stabilise the “mast cells”. Mast cells are a special white cell that bursts and releases histamine into our system when we are exposed to an allergen.

The interesting thing is that zinc as a mineral can really help stabilise these mast cells. Zinc as you know is rich in pumpkin seeds, oysters other sea based shellfish and nuts and seeds. If allergies are a real problem for you each year you might like to consider taking between 15-20mg or more of zinc with a meal each day to help stabilise your allergy response systems.

A good dose of granny’s cod liver oil over winter also helps prevent allergies. Cod liver is rich in Vitamin A which helps prevent allergies and has a smallish dose of Vitamin D in there too.

Remember that Omega oils are also anti-inflammatory and act like a natural steroid so a boost of fish oil or fresh walnut oil or any of your favourite healthy oils can help settle you nose. Coconut is a lovely creamy one to add to your dishes and meals.

Spring is a good time to get into some fresh green or fruit smoothies which are rich in carotenoids (plant pigments most well know is betacarotene) or fruit quercetin (rich in apple skin, berries and red grapes) that act as anti-allergy substances in your body preventing the release of histamine.

Ideally a tropical smoothie of pineapple (bromelain) and other organic spray free ripe fruits will help you stabilise the nasal irritation and settle it down.

Spring is also a good time for natural worming remedies such as more garlic in the diet and the health food store preparations with black walnut and other natural anti-worm preparations. An itchy or irritated bottom, tickle in the throat at night and more allergies may be a sign you need to de-worm yourself and the family.

Those are some simple tips. There is plenty more that can be done with herbal remedies specific for allergies and really making sure your Vitamin D and minerals are at a good level.

Remember that coffee puts some stress on your detox systems and dairy and gluten can be quite irritating to the gut and body systems so you might like to do a bit of a “low stress diet” where you go gluten, diary, sugar and alcohol free with perhaps less or no coffee and just green or liver cleansing teas while you get in plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and sea minerals or sea vegetables and sunshine to help settle down your system and cleanse for the spring.

Happy spring cleaning!