Nearly everyone has allergies. Some are more severe than others. And some allergies trigger bigger allergic reactions than others. For allergy sufferers, the symptoms can range from mildly annoying to downright unbearable.
The allergic response occurs when your body comes into contact with an allergen (such as pollen). Your immune system identifies the allergen as a threat and releases a chemical called histamine to try and rid the body of the foreign substance.
When your immune system releases histamine, it can trigger a variety of unpleasant and sometimes debilitating symptoms. These include:
- Runny nose and nasal congestion
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
- Sore throat
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pressure
- Migraines and headaches
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty breathing
When allergy symptoms go unaddressed and your nasal passages are left inflamed and clogged, this can lead to further medical conditions like a sinus infection. It can also exacerbate repertory distress and put unnecessary stress on your heart.
Common Allergy Causes in Santa Rosa
There are a variety of common allergy triggers including dust and dander, mold, and the air quality index. In the Santa Rosa area, allergy symptoms are most commonly caused by:
- Tree Pollen (including Bay, Big Leaf Maple, Black Oak, Blue Oak, Buckeye, Canyon Oak, Douglas Fir)
- Grass Pollen
- Ragweed Pollen
6 Food and Herbs that Naturally Flight Allergies
Traditional Western Medicine has developed a wide range of medicines that can help block the body’s release of histamine. Unfortunately, these chemically manufactured drugs can also cause a plethora of side effects, including, but not limited to:
- Further allergic responses
- Chemical dependence
Luckily, there are a variety of allergy remedies that can help naturally treat and reduce your symptoms.
Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is an herb that grows on a shrub-like plant in northern Asia, Europe, and parts of North America. The extracts from this herb have been used to help treat everything from stomach cramps and asthma to migraines and allergies.
Just how effective is butterbur? A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that butterbur was as effective as cetirizine, the active ingredient found in the popular allergy medicine Zyrtec.
Turmeric is another flavorful addition that can dress up a dish. It’s common in cuisines such as Indian and Thai. But it’s also been shown to offer substantial health benefits.
It’s loaded with an active compound called curcumin. In a 2013 published in Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine curcumin is reported to have beneficial health properties like “anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, immunostimulant, antiseptic, and antimutagenic.”
Thanks to the anti-inflammatory nature of this spice, it’s often used to help with arthritis. This same property makes it a strong defense against auto-immune responses, such as allergy symptoms. By helping to reduce swelling and promote circulation, it can relieve headaches and promote healing.
There seems to be a theme in tasty spices and herbs. Rosemary is another delightful addition to the kitchen and your health. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Restorative Medicine looked at how to treat allergies and asthma. It found that rosmarinic acid, a potent compound in rosemary, offered both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to patients.
When it comes to everything from tomato sauce to salad dressings, garlic is a tasty addition. But it’s also good for your health. Recognized as a potent anti-inflammatory, garlic can help boost your immune system and fight allergies.
Garlic power comes from quercetin, which naturally lowers histamine. In a 2016 study, researchers looked at the top allergy-fighting supplements and drugs and found quercetin was one of the common ingredients.
Quercetin, which is shown to reduce inflammation, is also found in other foods including:
- Apples (with the skin on)
- Red grapes
- Red onions
- Black tea
Like poison ivy, stinging nettles are often best left alone when you’re out in the woods. The stems and leaves are indeed covered with “stinging hairs” that aren’t pleasant when they come into contact with your skin. But don’t disregard this plant altogether.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in a variety of foods, including:
- Flaxseed oil
Research shows that incorporating omega-3s into your diet can help regulate airway inflammation, reducing symptoms for asthma and allergy suffers.
Allergies in Santa Rosa
Like all areas of the country, seasonal allergies in Santa Rosa are at their worst during spring when pollen is at an all-time high. Thanks to our region’s lush farmland and natural spaces, residents in our area are particularly susceptible to seasonal allergies.
While you’ll likely be unable to avoid pollen altogether, reducing your exposure when pollen seasons are at an all-time high can help reduce your allergic response. Ways to do so include:
- Keeping windows closed during the morning when pollen counts tend to be at an all-time high.
- Driving with your windows closed to keep excess pollen from flooding your vehicle.
- Washing your hair at the end of each day to avoid sleeping in pollen.
- Washing your clothes after each wear to avoid spending excess time in pollen.
Naturally Reduce Your Allergies with Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a safe, gentle, and effective way to help change your body’s immune response to different pollens. By introducing microscopic doses of natural substances, your body can gradually build up a tolerance and recognize that these substances aren’t a threat.
The practice was originally developed by a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. Since then, the fundamental ideas and principles have been fine-tuned to help patients battling acute and chronic illnesses.
During spring, when pollen is at its peak in Santa Rosa, CA, seasonal allergy symptoms can do a number on your health. Learn how to treat them naturally.
Especially during the spring and summer, allergies can be overwhelming and make life incredibly uncomfortable. Luckily, allergy suffers can find substantial relief from natural remedies.
In Sonoma County, with our lush countryside and fertile farmland, seasonal allergies are extremely common. Luckily there are a variety of changes you can make to your diet that can offer natural allergy relief.
Naturopathic health care with compassionate integrative doctors who understand your unique medical needs.