Wednesday, October 12, 2011
It's ragweed season
If you thought that spring was the only bad time of the year for allergy sufferers, you have another "think" coming. For some, fall is a tougher time of year than spring and the culprit is usually the pretty yellow clusters of wild flowers that cover the sides of our roads in the south. I know that is the problem in our family. My husband and daughter really suffer in the fall and have recently had some bad days.
The problem is that ragweed grows so prolifically and it almost impossible to keep away from, if you cut grass, go to outdoor events like football games, or do anything outside during the early fall. Fall is so pleasant in our area. The nights are cool and crisp in perfect contrast with the hot and muggy summer days just past, and it is hard to remain indoors on pleasant days.
There are a number of natural ways to try and keep allergy problems at bay. The good news is that when the frosts begin, the ragweed will die away and when the ragweed goes, most of the allergy problems improve.
I also have some practical tips for dealing with allergies.
Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich greens like kale, collards and broccoli. Onions and garlic have natural ingredients that help fight infections and can help keep you clear. Pumpkins and most root vegetables -- all the deep, rich, colorful vegetables are high in antioxidants and can really help. I recommend soups with plenty of garlic, onions and root vegetables. The hot liquid will help clear the sinuses and the rich vegetables will build your immune system.
Shower and wash your hair after being outside for any period of time. It's better to wash those allergens down the drain rather than keep them in your hair and on your pillow all night.
If you can, spray your nose with saline solution to wash the pollen away.
Take a teaspoon to a tablespoon of local honey every day. It's kind of like a homeopathic remedy because honey is made from nectar and pollens. Make sure it is local -- just any honey won't help.
Keep weeds at bay around your house and lawn. Don't let ragweed grow in your surrounding area, if possible.
A three-letter word, tea. Tea is rich in antioxidants, especially green tea. There are some herbal medicinal tea blends with ingredients that some people swear make a huge difference in their health. If nothing else, the hot tea will soothe and the heat and warmth will open up the sinuses.
Close your windows! Don't let the ragweed blow into your domain. Clean regularly to keep the allergens out. If you are really bothered, use a dust mask while cleaning and clean hard surfaces with a mild soap (like Dr. Bronners) and vinegar. We love the tea tree oil soap.
We have been using a product called Aller-DMG. It seems to be helping around our house. The ingredients: A compound of Vitamin C, quercetin, bromelain, NAC, Perilla and grape seed extracts. I would recommend asking your doctor about this medication before trying it, but it is worth looking into and is something we use with success. It is supposed to be especially good for those with nasal and skin allergies.
Another highly recommended herbal medication that is supposed to be very safe is Freeze-dried Stinging Nettle. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends this and it is safe even during pregnancy.
This entire year has been tough on people with allergies. I hope some of these suggestions might help. Please let me know what kind of things help with your allergy woes.