Do you suffer from sneezing, wheezing and post-nasal drip? Itchy-watering eyes, scratchy throat or congestion? You may be experiencing an allergic reaction . Allergic reactions to pollen, molds, dust, pet dander, smoke and pollution are common and cause inflammation which results in these annoying symptoms. Some allergic reactions can lead to more serious conditions such as Asthma or exacerbate others like Bronchitis. Many people suffer from what we call "seasonal allergies", about 35 million of us in the USA alone! If you are included in this group of not so lucky folks, you know there are certain times of the year, in certain locations, when your symptoms are worse and other times when you are free and clear to enjoy the outdoors without a trail of tissues behind you. Well, would you like to hear the good or the bad news first?
What can be done about it? Here are some suggestions which might help avoid reaching for the medicine cabinet.
1. Eat a plant-based diet. Plant based diets will not only help lesson the load of greenhouse gasses we pump into the atmosphere but often switching to a whole foods- plant based diet can alleviate many types of allergies. Eating a plant-based diet from a variety of whole foods will help restore the good bacteria in your gut (think probiotics) which helps fight inflammation and congestion caused by certain allergens.
2. YOGA can help. Yes, according to Sara Gottfried, MD and yoga instructor, practicing yoga regularly may reduce inflammation in the body and certain exercises such as Nadi Shodan Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing, supported backbends, and Downward-facing Dog can help relieve stuffiness, increase relaxation and soothe the muscles in between your ribs which get fatigued from pushing air past your clogged up nasal passages.
3. Drink lots of water. Increasing fluids, especially water and certain soothing teas will loosen phlegm and thin secretions. Rooibos tea in particular has been proven to help relive common allergy symptoms.
4. Use a neti pot or one of the other nasal irrigation solutions available today. The practice of washing your nasal and sinus passages with saline solution is widely accepted as a treatment for cold and allergy symptoms.
These are just a few suggestions. Many people head straight for the corticosteroids, antihistamines and other
medications. What do you find gives you relief from allergy and cold symptoms?