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Natural Awakenings Boston

Natural Ways to Reduce Summer and Fall Allergy Symptoms

Jul 30, 2012 11:05PM ● By By Colleen D. Chausse


New Englanders wait a long time for the warm days of summer. Unfortunately, those who suffer from seasonal allergies may not fully enjoy the season. From July to October, plants such as ragweed can trigger allergy symptoms long after the spring culprits of blossoming trees, flowers and grass have ceased causing problems.

An allergy is considered an error in the body as it overreacts to harmless substances. To defend itself, the body releases increased histamine via mast cells, creating those annoying allergy symptoms of itchy eyes, runny and stuffy noses, sneezing, and congestion. It’s hard for many people to embrace summer activities under these conditions, but the good news is that there are several strategies for reducing summer allergy symptoms. Here is a list of natural methods to try:

--Go to the ocean. Because allergy symptoms can cause physical and mental fatigue, many who are affected may choose to stay indoors. But the air quality in such places as beaches, waterfalls, and mountains (after a lightening storm) is beneficial to allergy sufferers due to the presence of negative ions. These electrically charged particles are nature’s way of removing airborne allergens and contaminants such as dust, dander and mold spores, leaving cleaner air behind.
--Avoid window fans, as they can draw pollen into the home. Opt for air conditioning when weed pollen counts are high.
--Roll up windows in the car and use air conditioning instead.
--Supplements and herbs such as quercetin, stinging nettle and butterbur have been shown to reduce allergy symptoms by stabilizing and reducing mast cell action and histamine release.
--Use a neti pot.  Neti pots have been used for centuries to rinse and irrigate the sinuses.   Pollen, mold spores, pet dander, dust and dust mites are lightweight and are easily trapped in the nasal passages. Using a neti pot is an effective way to cleanse the nasal membranes of irritating pollen and other allergens.
--Long-term and permanent relief methods provided by highly trained professionals include Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT), acupuncture and Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET).

With a few simple strategies in hand, even allergy sufferers can enjoy the balmy, long days of summer and time spent outdoors.

Colleen D. Chausse, BS, RN is owner and practitioner at Mass Allergy Relief Center, located at 594 Marrett Road in Lexington. For more information call 781-274-7700, email [email protected] and visit