Alternative Health

How to prepare for allergy season

man with allergies rubs eyes

How to prepare for allergy season

Any hay fever sufferer who remembers sitting exams on a day with a high pollen count will tell you that the unofficial ‘allergy season’ is tougher on certain people than others.

Some allergies are the result of an immune system response to substances in your environment that are hard to avoid, such as pollen, dust or dander (flakes of skin) from pets. These are called allergens, and your body treats them as hostile invaders.

Allergy responses such as sneezing, itching or a runny nose are triggered by ‘histamines’ – chemicals naturally made by your immune system to help fend off these invaders.

Allergy symptoms can often be treated effectively with over-the-counter antihistamine medicines. However, one downside of some (but not all) antihistamine medicines is that they can make you feel drowsy.

As well as manufactured medicines, there are also antihistamines that exist in nature. These include those found in common nettles: their benefits can be enjoyed as a refreshing herbal tea (and that way they won’t sting you).

There are also many vitamins and minerals that are known for helping you maintain a healthy immune system more generally.

Taking supplements isn’t a silver bullet to rid you of your allergies. However, certain minerals and remedies might help you maintain a healthy immune system and so head into allergy season fighting fit.

Taking quercetin and bromelain ahead of allergy season

Quercetin is a yellow plant pigment with antioxidant properties. It can be naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, including apples, cherries and onions.

Some studies have suggested that quercetin may lessen the inflammatory nature of some allergic reactions, though further studies are needed to gain a clearer picture.

Nature’s Truth Quercetin Complex Capsules also contain bromelain, an enzyme that is found naturally in pineapples. It’s thought it might lessen the respiratory effects and inflammation associated with some allergic reactions, though again more research is needed to confirm these benefits.

Vitamin C for allergy sufferers

Many people reach for vitamin C at the first signs of a cold – but did you know vitamin C might work as a natural first aid for allergy sufferers?

Some studies have suggested that taking 2,000mg of vitamin C a day could help reduce histamine levels.

Other studies have suggested that the ingestion of vitamin C may decrease inflammation and swelling at the site of an allergic reaction.

Also read: What are the benefits of vitamin C?

Zinc for a healthy immune system

Zinc is an essential mineral that contributes to maintaining a healthy immune system. It can be found in foods including meat, nuts, seeds, chickpeas, lentils and beans.

Zinc is present in many multivitamin and mineral supplements. Some people choose to take a zinc-only supplement, to ensure they’re reaching their daily needs.

Also read: The nutrients you need to support your immune system

Fish oil for allergy sufferers

Some studies suggest that fish oil might be helpful for allergy sufferers, as well as those with asthma. This is because of the presence of the omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which are commonly believed to be anti-inflammatory.

If you are someone who doesn’t exclude animal products from your diet, you could try a fish oil supplement, such as Nature’s Truth Cod Liver Oil, which is a source of omega-3s. With a soft gel casing, they’re easy to swallow, too.

Natural remedies for easy breathing

As well as dietary supplements, you could also consider whether aromatherapy remedies might bring relief to your allergy symptoms.

Nature’s Truth Pure Breathe Easy Essential Oil is a botanical blend that may help to relieve congestion. Its strong, pleasant herbal aroma includes refreshing notes of menthol and this plant-based blend also includes eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, tea tree, and ravensara oils.

Unscrew the cap and take in the scent directly from the bottle, add a few drops to a diffuser or dilute with a carrier oil and add a few drops to your bath.

Keep up with the latest health advice from Nature’s Truth here.

[Disclaimer] Check with your GP before starting a new supplement regime.

Essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil before applying directly to skin. Always read the instructions on the bottle.

Nature's Truth

Nature's Truth

Writer and expert