It’s fall and pollens and mold spores are blowing in the wind. If ragweed, sagebrush, Bermuda grass, or even decaying leaves bring on allergy symptoms, there are a variety of natural remedies for effective relief. We checked in with Santa Fe Pharmaca practitioner Christine Wagner for tips on how to put an end to your fall allergies. (f you’re unsure whether you’re experiencing allergy symptoms or the onset of a weather change-induced cold, here are a few ways to differentiate the two.)
1. Boost your immune system
Itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing are all ways our bodies react to annoying allergens. Our immune system detects these allergens as foreign substances that must be attacked. A healthy gut is the key to keeping our immune system strong to combat allergens, and probiotics can help keep our healthy gut bacteria thriving (learn more about how probiotics support a healthy immune system here). Scientists have found that a certain strain of probiotics called BB536 is especially helpful in your body’s defense against airborne allergies, says Christine. People who added BB536 probiotic and yogurt to their diet had significantly fewer allergy symptoms.
- Try Jarrow Dophilus EPS vcaps with 8 strains of probiotics, including BB536. No refrigeration is needed, making it perfect for travel.
2. Zone in on regional allergens
Every part of the country has specific plants that cause allergy symptoms in the region. One of the best ways to keep allergies at bay is to prevent the allergens from causing a reaction by proactively conditioning our bodies, says Christine. She recommends homeopathic remedies that desensitize us to local allergens—they are especially effective if taken regularly for a few months before allergy season, but can be used at any time.
- Try Allergena Allergy Relief with specific formulations covering allergens in regional zones for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico & Arizona, California & Nevada or Oregon & Washington. There’s even an Allergena Allergy Relief for Pets that can alleviate your furry ones’ symptoms, too.
3. Fix it fast
When you need to stop allergy symptoms quickly, turn to natural solutions like stinging nettle, quercetin and NAC (N-Acetyl L-Cysteine), Christine says. Nettle reduces sneezing and itchy eyes, quercetin is a natural antihistamine and NAC helps break down mucus.
- Try Ortho Molecular D-Hist Natural Capsules which include stinging nettle, quercetin, NAC and mucus-busting bromelain (or D-Hist Jr., in a chewable tablet for kids). For stuffy noses from allergies or colds, Christine also recommends homeopathic remedy MediNatura Reboost Decongestion Spray, which is safe for adults and kids to use several times a day, and homeopathic eye drops like Similasan Allergy Eye Relief Eye Drops (just remember to discard after a month since there are preservative-free).
4. Sip some tea
Ease symptoms and boost your immune system with a soothing tea like those made with stinging nettle, elderberry, licorice or peppermint. Green tea is another good choice, as scientists have found that an antioxidant called ECGC in the tea blocks histamines that cause allergic reactions.
- Try Republic of Tea Organic Double Green Matcha Tea or Gaia Herbs Bronchial Wellness Tea, with peppermint and licorice to open sinus passages, and thyme to soothe scratchy throats.
5. Neti for your nose
If you’re often outside during windy, high pollen-count days (especially in the morning when counts are the highest) it’s a good idea to use a neti pot daily. Rinsing your nasal passages with salt water is a great way to wash out pollen and mold-spore allergens before you even start having symptoms. (Check out Pharmaca’s handy neti pot how-to here).
- Try making your rinse with Himalayan Chandra Neti Pot Salt, a pure, pharmaceutical-grade salt for gentle cleansing with your neti pot.