Beat Seasonal Allergies the Natural Way

Anatomy of Allergies


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Seasonal allergies plague sufferers with aggravating symptoms, which can reduce productivity; impact quality of life; and increase the risk of developing asthma, chronic sinusitis, and nasal polyps. Those with seasonal allergies may wonder, why me?

Staying immune 

The immune system constantly responsible for scanning the body for precancerous cells, sensing and fighting infection, regulating inflammation, and maintaining tolerance to the body’s cells and tissues as well as to external antigens.

Immune tolerance is the prevention of an immune response against a certain antigen. This is important for maintaining overall balance in the body and preventing autoimmune and allergic reactions. But when it comes to seasonal allergies, tolerance to a normally harmless antigen, such as grass or birch pollen, is lost.

What’s in a name? 

Allergic rhinitis is an immune-mediated reaction in the nasal passageways that may cause symptoms like nasal congestion, runny nose, frequent sneezing, and itchy nose and eyes. Also known as hay fever, it often co-occurs with asthma and conjunctivitis.

Seasonal allergens are airborne particles from the environment (including pollen, trees, ragweed, and mold) that  trigger allergic rhinitis upon inhalation in those who are hypersensitive. Symptoms often wax and wane with the season.

Perennial allergens may cause allergic rhinitis in hypersensitive individuals all year long. Common perennial allergen sources include pet dander, house dust mites, and cockroaches.

Feeling sensitive 

Allergic rhinitis is a hypersensitivity reaction, in which the immune system inappropriately and excessively fights back against the antigen as if it were a threat.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms can present very quickly after pollen antigen recognition. Usually, hypersensitivity reactions happen within 24 hours of antigen exposure.

Contributing factors 

There are genetic, epigenetic, socio-economic, and environmental risk factors for seasonal allergic rhinitis.

The “hygiene hypothesis” suggests that a lack of early life exposure to microbes and antigens may impair increase susceptibility to allergic diseases.

Geographic distribution influences the risk of seasonal allergy.

Climate change and air pollutants are acknowledged aggravators of allergic rhinitis.

Treatment options 

If over-the-counter allergy medications just aren’t cutting it, consider asking for help.

Allergists may offer skin prick tests and intranasal, oral, or corticosteroid treatment.

Acupuncturists can provide individualized acupuncture treatments to lower nasal inflammation, reduce nasal symptom score, soothe itchy palate, reduce sneezing, and improve quality of life.

Naturopaths offer a whole-body approach to testing in addition to food sensitivity testing as seasonal allergies may present with cross-reactions to food.

Individually curated treatments involving nutrients, herbs, homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, and lifestyle modifications may optimize immune system functioning. 


Lifestyle strategies 

  • Wear a hat, glasses, and nasal filters when outdoors.
  • Irrigate nasal passageways via neti pot with distilled water and salt.
  • Keep windows closed and use HEPA air filters.
  • Mop floors and wash curtains, carpets, and bedding regularly.
  • Eradicate mold.


Supplements for seasonal allergies 

  • quercetin
  • green tea
  • propolis
  • bee pollen
  • probiotics
  • butterbur
  • vitamin c


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