Spring can often mean allergies!
While it still feels a little like winter here in Melbourne today, I can feel the energy shifting! As the season of winter has come to an end, the weather of spring is only slowly appearing and blooming out the sunshine.
Spring is all about freshness, new beginnings, re-birth, creativity, detox, cleansing, getting shit done and generally doing more!
It’s time to come out of the internal hibernation of winter and open up to new beginnings and clarity, whether it’s with your health, relations, business and life!
Physically springtime can mean for a lot of people allergies and sensitivities to pollens, grasses, trees, weeds and also then sometimes a secondary reaction to some foods as your immune systems maybe weakened.
Allergies can release more histamine in the body, causing inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages and chest causing excessive mucus production and other symptoms such as sneezing, itching nose and throat, tightened chest, watery eyes and a clear, runny nose. It can also leave you feeling exhausted, fatigued, with headaches and brain fog.
Like all illness there is usually an emotional component underneath the physical elements of hay fever and allergies. The emotional issues may be due to experiencing hostile feeling of invasion or offensive partner, from family, work or your environment. You may be suppressing emotions from a controlling, dominated or insecure childhood.
Due to personal boundaries issues, you may feel very offended by people who have invasive personalities. Problems in your life may often feel impossible to resolve. You may not have been successful at accessing your personal power and manifesting your desires in life.You may also tend to dwell on issues you cannot change, causing you to feel helplessness. You often find safety in the things that you are allergic to foods, people or environments and you know that aren’t good for you.
To assist with the emotional and physical symptoms, here are two acupressure points that you can rub to assist:
LI20 – at the base of the nose on the side
BI2 – edge of the inner eyebrows
Hold each for 2-3 minutes and apply comfortable pressure. Can be done a few times per day. Please google the points is you can’t locate them.
Food can also assist with physical symptoms. So before you reach for anti-histamine medications this spring, there are a number of foods, nutrients and herbs that can alleviate hay fever and allergies.
- Kiwifruit and Vitamin C: Kiwifruit contain more vitamin C gram for gram, than oranges (especially the yellow kiwifruit variety). Vitamin C is an effective natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory, and it also supports healthy immune function and protects from secondary respiratory conditions. Kiwi fruit also contain bioflavanoids, antioxidants that complement vitamin C’s effect in the body and are potent anti-histamines and anti-inflammatories.
Try taking a vitamin C supplement with bioflavonoids or rose hips at a dosage of around 2g of vitamin C and 1000mg of bioflavanoids a day. Other good food sources of vitamin C and bioflavonoids include acerola cherries, citrus fruits, strawberries, red capsicums, chilli’s, blackcurrants, broccoli, papaya, guava, mango, thyme, parsley, spinach and kale.
- Pineapple: Pineapple is a rich source of bromelain, an enzyme with strong systemic anti-inflammatory effects, which helps decrease mucosal inflammation and nasal congestion.
- Turmeric: Commonly used in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine, this spice contains curcumin, a phytochemical with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that are comparable to steroidal and nonsteroidal drugs.
Curcumin has been found to have anti-allergy properties, which inhibit the release of histamine.
Turmeric is most often used in dried form, but try fresh turmeric, which looks similar to a small ginger root. Peel a section and grate, then add about two teaspoons to rice dishes, stir-fries or soups. Just make sure you wear gloves as turmeric stains.
- Onion: Having an onion a day can help keep your hay fever at bay, if you can tolerate them. Onions are packed with the flavanoid quercetin, a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine.
Eat red onions raw and tossed through salads, or on sandwiches or in cooked dishes. Quercetin is also found in apples, kale, red grapes, berries, cherries and parsley.
- Licorise and Nettle Teas: Studies have shown that Nettle Tea can help relieve inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and ease nasal congestion, sneezing and itching. Drinking Licorise Tea can also alleviate symptoms. Licorice root has a soothing effect and helps to reduce irritation of the respiratory system.
- Vitamin A: which are easily found in orange foods, green fruit and many vegetables. The vibrant colour of carrots, pumpkin, apricots, mango and papaya indicates high levels of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Green leafy vegetables and herbs like kale, spinach, rocket, parsley, coriander among others, are also an excellent source. Vitamin A is important for healthy mucous membranes throughout the respiratory tract. It also helps promote healthy immune function, prevent secondary respiratory infections and reduce inflammation.
- Horseradish and Garlic: Horseradish is a pungent root vegetable which acts as a decongestant, helping to clear nasal passages. Grated fresh horseradish root adds a lovely kick to roast meats and vegetables. Garlic helps clear nasal congestion and its potent antibiotic properties help prevent secondary respiratory infections in chronic suffers. It is also a good source of quercetin, a natural anti-histamine.
- Ginger: Make yourself a fresh veggie juice with a good slice of fresh ginger. Ginger is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce nasal swelling and associated hay fever symptoms. A good fresh juice combo is carrot, celery, beetroot, apple and ginger. You can also add in some green “leafies” such as parsley, mint, kale or spinach. Fresh ginger can be added to curries and stir-fries, and is delicious made as a hot or iced tea.
- Avoid Certain Foods or Low Histamine Diet: Limit or avoid cow’s milk and other dairy products as they can increase the production of mucus in the respiratory tract and exacerbate hay fever nasal congestion. Try alternatives such as rice, almond, quinoa and coconut milks. Avoiding inflammatory foods like gluten and processed sugar can also dramatically reduce symptoms. You may also like to trial a low histamine diet and see if this assists with your symptoms.
- Probiotics: Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria, and taking them can help boost our intestinal tract, so a daily dose of probiotics can help hay fever sufferers restore a more balanced immune response too pollens. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria in our gut, our immunity is likely to be compromised, leaving us more susceptible to developing allergies and illnesses. Taking a probiotic supplement can assist symptoms, along with consuming fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickled sprouts and vegetables and miso.**Note: make sure you get a good quality probiotic (they are not all equal) and consult with a health professional is always recommended, so you are treating the root cause and not just the symptoms.
- Supplements: There are supplements that you can purchase to assist that contain many of the foods mentioned above, plus additional herbs that can help relieve symptoms and great alternative to anti-histamines (although diet is always the best form). Brands to consider are Bioceuticals, Metagenics, Oriental Botanicals and Ethical Nutrients.
- Essential Oils: I use essential oils a lot and they are fantastic for assisting with hayfever, allergies and sinus congestion. The oils I recommend for allergies are lemon, peppermint, thyme, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, ginger, fennel, chamomile and grapefruit.
Ways to use essential oils for allergies include:
* Diffusing them into the air or bedroom to help relieve congestion and assist with sleep
* Applying them to the skin (always diluted). I use my Immune Support Essence roller for ease and convenience.
* Using them in your bath or shower
* Breathing them in directly from the bottle
Remember to use food as your medicine first! A healthy gut microbiome and dealing with my emotional and mental load was what healed my own allergies.
If you do suffer from allergies or hay fever, getting to the root cause of the issue is vital. Kinesiology can really assist with gaining insight and awareness into what is happening on a physical, emotional and soul level.
Ready to be free of hay fever and allergies for good? Simple click HERE to book a session with me.