Fall is approaching and with it comes boots and hoodies, crackling fires and hot tea, blankets and pumpkin spice…and seasonal allergies. I suffered from severe fall allergies all my adult life. As September arrived I stocked up on over the counter decongestants, allergy relief meds and ibuprofen. By Thanksgiving my eyes were usually so irritated I could not wear my contact lenses. And cough drops? I carried bags of those at all times to help stifle coughing fits.
Thankfully, allergies are in my past. I am entering my third autumn without trepidation, because I’ve implemented these tips for avoiding seasonal allergies, naturally.
What causes allergies?
Allergies occur when the body reacts, or shows sensitivity to an antigen. This time of year, one in five people show a heightened sensitivity to pollen, mold and fungus spores, and ragweed. The body’s response can range from mild sniffles, itchy eyes and a dry cough, to skin rashes and hives, sinus congestion, runny nose, headaches and respiratory distress.
Allergy symptoms occur when the body responds to allergens by producing a chemical called histamine, which works to counteract the allergen. The immune system causes the allergic reactions by producing Immunoglobulin antibodies that result in widespread symptoms.
Eliminate foods that create inflammation
Lessening and ultimately avoiding seasonal allergies is a two step process: eliminate foods that weaken the immune system and then support the immune system so it can work properly.
A healthy immune system can handle allergens without creating symptoms in the body. An immune system that is already overwhelmed by a body fighting inflammation and viruses can’t handle anything more.
These foods cause inflammation in the body and should be avoided, especially during allergy season:
• eggs • gluten • canola oil • soy • corn • dairy products • MSG
Dairy products create mucus in the body. Continuing to consume dairy products while fighting allergies is akin to throwing gasoline on a fire. Eggs, all eggs, feed viruses in the body such as Epstein Barr and strep, which weaken the immune system and create inflammation by way of their toxic wastes.
Strengthen the immune system
Eliminating inflammation-causing foods allows the immune system to quiet down. Eating nutrient rich, alkalizing foods strengthens the immune system, allowing it to handle allergens when they invade the body, without creating symptoms.
Include as many of these foods as possible, daily:
• wild blueberries • lemon/limes • celery • garlic • sweet potatoes • leafy greens • cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli • onions • oranges • cranberries • raw local honey
Buy wild blueberries frozen and add to fruit smoothies. Sip on lemon or lime water first thing in the morning. Follow with the miracle drink, celery juice. (Read more about why celery juice is so good for the body.) Add extra garlic to recipes. Raw honey is crucial and it needs to be purchased locally. Bees carry local pollen. Consuming it in the honey helps the body to build up a resistance to pollens. Replace cow’s milk with coconut or almond milk in recipes and drinks.
Supplements to support the immune system
Finally, support the immune system with these health boosting supplements:
• turmeric • nettle • Ester C • elderberry syrup
Turmeric is one of the most powerful inflammation fighters available. Take it in capsule form or create Turmeric Milk, made with coconut milk, to sip on at night.
Stinging nettle naturally controls histamine. Take it in capsule form or purchase dried leaves to brew hot tea.
Ester C is a powerful form of vitamin C, taken in capsule form. Elderberry syrup boosts the immune system, relieves cold and allergy symptoms, and calms a cough.
Daily regimen to avoid allergy symptoms
Prepare for allergy season beginning in late August or early September by doing the following daily:
• Avoid inflammation causing foods.
• Eat immune boosting, alkalizing and inflammation fighting foods, as many as possible.
• Take turmeric and Ester C capsules (follow dosage instructions on the bottle) or drink a cup of turmeric milk.
• Take a spoonful of raw organic honey, locally produced, and a spoonful of elderberry syrup (I buy unsweetened syrup).
• Drink a cup of nettle tea, or take a nettle capsule.
After many years of losing seasonal allergy battles, it feels so incredibly good to know that I can enjoy fall without misery, and without the use of drugs. Food is my medicine. And I am the victor.
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