The arrival of spring normally indicates the end of the miserable cold winter weather and the beginning of warmer days and more outdoor activities. But, for some people, spring is a time of misery as the increase of flowering plants sets off their hayfever, sinusitis and other allergy reactions. During spring, pollen can be the major trigger for the allergic response that causes hayfever; other triggers or allergens may include grass, dust and animal dander. These allergens irritate the nasal passages causing inflammation, increased mucus production and symptoms such as itchiness, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose and congestion.
Besides hayfever, some people can also suffer from sinusitis during spring. Sinusitis is a painful condition involving inflammation of the paranasal sinuses (hollow spaces around the cheeks and eyes). It may be an infection and is commonly accompanied by headaches, pain and mucus congestion. Sinusitis if left unresolved, may lead to chronic infections lasting weeks or even months.
In allergic conditions like hayfever and sinusitis, one aspect of the immune system becomes overactive and leads to excessive immune activity causing all the signs and symptoms experienced by allergy sufferers. Standard treatments for allergies, hayfever and sinusitis include steroids, antihistamines and decongestants. All of these can provide symptomatic relief, but unfortunately, do little to address the underlying immune imbalance.
Natural treatment for hayfever, sinusitis or seasonal allergies involves reducing inflammation, restoring balance to the immune system and supporting long term immune health.
Here are what you can do naturally to manage your body’s response to allergens and reduce the allergic reactions or symptoms:
· Use natural herbs and nutrients that can help manage the symptoms of sinusitis, hayfever and seasonal allergies, as well as restoring balance to the immune system. These herbs and nutrients include Quercetin (vitamin-like compound which calms the immune system down), Albizzia (traditional Ayurvedic herb for the relief of the symptoms of allergies), Atractolodyes (a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to support healthy immune function) and Perilla (a herb for maintaining healthy immune balance).
· Almost 80% of your body’s total immune system is present in your digestive system. Improve the health of your digestive system by reinoculating your digestive system with “good” bacteria. These beneficial bacteria or probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactics send calming messages to the immune system and help reduce the allergic responses that have been generated.
· Keep yourself well by making healthy lifestyle changes. Eat a healthy diet, high in nutrients and essential fatty acids. Minimise intake of red meat, refined starches and sugars. Have fish as your primary source of protein. Consume a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Drink appropriate amount of pure water (ideally 6-8 classes a day), and most importantly, exercise regularly and have fun.