Natural Supplementation for Warm Weather Allergies
As the weather warms up, many New Englanders begin to suffer from warm weather allergies that bring on bouts of sneezing, congestion, itching, stinging and watery eyes. When there is heavy rain during the spring, as there has been this year, plants can grow more rapidly, leading to an increase in pollen output and causing allergy symptoms to last longer into the summer and even the fall months, creating discomfort for many.
Preventing allergy symptoms before they hit is easier than dealing with symptoms that have already started. If we can get out ahead of problematic allergy symptoms, this will allow us to make the most of spring and summer so we can enjoy outdoor activities and leisure time spent with family and friends. By utilizing various supplements, including the ones listed below, as well as other natural remedies, individuals can further help prepare themselves for the allergy seasons to come.
How do we defend ourselves from the allergy onslaught? All too often, it is with powerful drugs like antihistamines that are simply a stop-gap to dry sinuses rather than alleviate the condition in the first place. Warm weather allergies are triggered by the body’s chemical overreaction to pollen. When thinking naturally, it is important to consider supplements and vitamins to try and improve the body’s immune system and achieve a more healthy overall balance.
Here are three things to consider for helping with seasonal allergies:
• Quercetin, which is found in most supplements for seasonal allergies, may prevent the body’s immune system from producing histamines that directly result in common allergy symptoms like itching, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. A strong antioxidant that also may assist in decreasing overall damage to cells, Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that helps give plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables color.
• Vitamin C may tamp down histamine activity more naturally over time; it also is believed to strengthen the overall immune system, which, as mentioned above, may be impactful in the long run in preventing seasonal allergies. Found in citrus fruits, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and strawberries, Vitamin C may be effective when taken throughout the day, but in small doses.
• Bromelain is a warm weather supplement and allergy combatant that most are not familiar with. It is a combination of enzymes found in natural juices, as well as in the stems of pineapples. Bromelain’s special mixture of enzymes may help temper the immune system, to prevent allergic reactions. Supplementing with Bromelain during the warm weather months may reduce nasal swelling, thin out mucus and make it easier to breathe overall. It may actually help prevent allergies by addressing the root cause—a hyperactive, oversensitive immune system.
This is not a complete list of potential supplements, natural products and other remedies utilized in easing symptoms of seasonal allergies. Remember to always consult a physician or a pharmacist before taking any new vitamin, supplement or natural remedy. When having these discussions, it is important to ensure that you are using the right therapy and taking the proper dosages at the right time.
It may take a while to achieve the right balance and everyone’s body is different, but once the solution is found for seasonal allergies, the spring and summer months can be enjoyed to the fullest.
Raied and Saad Dinno, brothers, are registered pharmacists and co-owners of Acton Pharmacy, Keyes Drug, in Newton, and West Concord Pharmacy. Beth Gardner, director of health and wellness at the three pharmacies, contributed to this article. Learn more at DinnoHealth.com.