Right about now you may notice an increase in sniffles and congestion. Pollen can wreak havoc on our systems—and impact our spring activities. To learn more about how to better enjoy the season and quell symptoms, we turned to nutritionist Anne R. at our Santa Fe store.
Change your diet
“Certain foods can excite the immune system and cause a stronger histamine response,” says Anne. Dairy is a common one, and if you’re allergic to it, it can exacerbate allergies to all other elements. That’s why it’s a good idea to limit your exposure to common food allergens (such as soy, wheat and corn) during the height of allergy season.
There are a variety of homeopathic remedies geared toward the allergens in your region. Allergena offers a zoned approach in their formulas, offering micro doses of common allergens (such as juniper and chamisa in New Mexico, says Anne) so that your body gets used to the offending pollen and learns to adjust to it without a histamine response. “For some people homeopathy works great, and if it doesn’t, we try something else,” says Anne.
“Nettles and quercetin are very effective,” says Anne. These bioflavonoids naturally help mute the histamine response. You can find them in Xymogen AllerDHQ, which also includes antioxidant NAC, bromelain and rutin (available in stores). Ortho Molecular D-Hist uses a similar combination of ingredients to effectively stop histamine production before it starts.
Get anti-inflammatories on board
“If you take an anti-inflammatory on a regular basis you’re more likely to mitigate your histamine response,” says Anne. For allergies specifically, she recommends Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Sinus Support, which features turmeric along with quercetin and stinging nettles for additional histamine support.
Find relief for acute symptoms
There are a variety of supplements that can help quell sneezes, a runny nose and itchy eyes. One of Pharmaca’s best-sellers is Plantiva AllerDx, which uses a Traditional Chinese Medicine combination of herbs to get your back on your feet quickly. For localized congestion relief, try Flonase, or for more severe symptoms, a daily over-the-counter medicine like Zyrtec can be helpful.