Be prepared for the springtime assault
The leaves on the trees and the bulbs we planted last year are not the only companions that spring offers. Allergies come along with these new beginnings, and while many people turn to antihistamines for relief, there are natural remedies that can help you embrace the outdoors fearlessly.
Astragalus stimulates the immune system as it eases allergy symptoms. Studies show the greatest benefit of this traditional Chinese medicine is that it provides relief from that annoying runny nose
Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, breaks down proteins in swollen tissues—like inflamed sinuses—and can help prescription antibiotics work better. Look for bromelain in supplement form.
Garlic has years of research behind it supporting its use for springtime allergies and sinus congestion. Garlic cloves may give a boost to the immune system and fight coughs, earaches, and bronchitis, making it especially popular during spring allergy season.
Ginkgo biloba, one of the oldest and longest-living tree species on Earth, has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for more than 5,000 years. This anti-inflammatory herb may help relieve coughs and allergy symptoms.
Quercetin is an antioxidant found in almost all herbs and plant foods. It eases allergy symptoms as it halts the growth of cells that secrete histamine, but it doesn’t cause drowsiness like antihistamines. For maximum effectiveness, take this ingredient in supplement form several weeks before your allergies typically kick in.
Don’t let the name scare you! Nettles, when cooked or dried and eaten as a vegetable, provide an antihistamine. Nettles may also be boiled and made into tea, added to soups or stews, or taken in supplement form.
If eaten daily during allergy season, yogurt can help reduce grass pollen allergies, according to research from UC Davis.
Found in our Health & Happiness magazine.