Simple Allergy Season Tips
1. Researchers are finding that stress is one of the largest aggravators of many chronic illnesses. Short-term stress can intensify symptoms while long-term stress may degrade the immune system overall. Unfortunately, allergies can trigger stress as well, resulting in a vicious cycle of stress and allergies. Being proactive about stress relief can reverse this cycle and turn it in your favor. Exercise, sleep, and methods of relaxation such as meditation can reduce stress and help inhibit allergy symptoms.
2. Opt for a natural remedy. Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) quickly became one of the most popular herbal remedies for allergies after clinical trials showed butterbur to be as effective as leading antihistamines. When using butterbur, be cautious of side effects and be sure to use a standardized extract that is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (a chemical found naturally in butterbur that is toxic to liver and kidneys).
3. Adaptogens and related herbs have shown useful in relieving allergies with limited side effects or interactions. With similar properties to adaptogens, high-quality andrographis has been shown to:
a. Support a healthy immune system to fight off allergens
b. Assist healthy breathing and help open the sinuses and airways
c. Support sinus health
d. Reduce stress
4. Exercising and cardio have multiple benefits for relieving allergies. Exercise helps move fluids throughout your body, decongesting your sinuses and flushing allergens from your body. It gets your blood flowing, preventing inflammation by keeping allergens from building up in the bloodstream and attacking your cells.
5. Exercise also helps reduce stress by releasing endorphins – “happy chemicals” that are produced to buffer against pain and stress. These chemicals help you feel better and have been shown to enhance the immune system’s response, providing better defense against allergens. Exercise provides one of the simplest keys to overall wellness. If you’re exercising outdoors, however, be sure to shower after to rinse off any stow-away allergens from your skin.