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Allergy season is upon us… or is it? Many people tend to have more allergy symptoms in the spring time. The flowers are blooming and there is more pollen and plant life entering your nasal pathways. Allergies can be a pain and make you want to stay inside more if they get too bad. This isn’t the time of year to ignore your outside urges though! After a long winter indoors (especially if you live in the cold snowy north) it’s healthy to get outside, move and be active.

In order to understand how to naturally reduce or completely remove allergy symptoms we need to first understand what causes them and then find solutions to help create the opposite effect in your body. Allergens from the environment typically in the spring (pollen, plant compounds, weeds, flowers) all engage allergic reaction symptoms first and foremost in the nasal pathway which cause sneezing and difficulty breathing through the nose.

The body reacts to the allergen using your immune system as a fighter of what are seen as foreign invaders even though these natural pollens and allergens are from nature. Your nasal pathways and sinuses get clogged with the pollen and allergens so cleaning nasal pathways helps as well. One tip that I have heard from naturopaths and holistic medical professionals also is that the liver needs to drain better so that pollens and allergens won’t get as clogged in the body and cause sniffling, sneezing and watery eyes.

So this means that your nasal pathways, immunity and liver health are all factors that directly correlate to allergic reactions. Instead of taking flownase (which will dry your nasal pathways out and have other side effects) you can use natural plants and plant compounds to improve nasal flow, immune response and liver health.

5 Ways To Reduce (or completely remove) Allergy Symptoms

1. Open Up Nasal Pathway & Sinuses: Certain spices work really well to open up nasal pathways and clear the sinuses very well. Why spend money on chemical products when you can just add a few specific spices to your diet? Fennel, Anise,  horseradish, mustard, wasabi and cayenne all help to open sinuses and clear nasal pathways.

2. Boost Allergen Immunity: Eat more vitamin c rich foods. Vitamin c rich foods help to reduce the release of histamine in the body. Most allergy medications are antihistamine (histamine blockers) because histamine causes the first inflammatory response in the body which triggers the immune response. The inflammatory and immune response cause the allergy symptoms to essentially ‘detox’ these pollens. You can reduce the release of histamine in the body though by simply ingesting more vitamin c. Histamine is are lemon, limes, peppers and camu camu berry.

3. Eat Quercetin Rich Foods: Quercetin is an antioxidant found in onions, apples and red wine. This antioxidant fights inflammation (which is one of the symptoms of allergies) and helps reduce the immune systems reaction to allergens by stabilizing the response of histamine in the cell. These quercetin rich foods (along with others) help to reduce inflammation and the allergy response overall.

4. Improve Liver Drainage: Your liver is responsible for cleansing and purifying the blood. If the liver isn’t properly draining (removing¬† impurities) the immune response is stimulated more frequently causing allergic reactions more often. Raw unpasteurized honey, herbs and vegetables improve the liver and it’s ability to drain. Beets are also a great liver food, combined with other vegetables, roots and herbs.

5. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Inflammation is one of the key responses of allergies. By eating more anti-inflammatory foods and plants you reduce the inflammatory response and allow your body to deal with these allergens without restricting airflow and sinuses to breathe properly. My favorite anti-inflammatory is turmeric liquid extract. It’s great to have on hand and take daily for the many health benefits.

A natural product to clear your sinuses that my girlfriend likes and uses is xclear sinus clear nasal spray on amazon. It’s cheap and more effective than other over the counter chemical based solutions. I hope these tips and ideas help you reduce sinus and allergy symptoms this spring and with each year to come.