Julia Fountain ND
1. Upgrade furnace filters to an allergy asthma rated type and change at least once per season. Ducts can be cleaned but don’t have them sprayed.
2. If pillows, mattresses and duvets are old…replace them. Also put them (at least pillows and duvets) out in the sun as UV kills dust mites, aspergillus etc. Beat them well with something (golf club, hockey stick tennis racquet…) before bringing in. Vacuum mattress. If possible, Vapor-Steam them 1-2x/year.
3. Shower before bed, using shampoo to remove pollens from the hair.
4. For temporary relief, go to the shore of one of the Great Lakes and make sure there is an onshore breeze (no pollens). If the allergy is an outdoor environmental airborne allergen, congestion should clear in about 10 minutes.
5. Keep windows closed in the bedroom until allergy season ends. Consider a HEPA room filter in the bedroom.
6. Use a neti pot daily during allergy season (at bed and in the am) to clear pollens from the nasal passages and to prevent infections from seeding in the sinuses.
7. Eat 1 cup of berries per day. These contain bioflavonoids which stabilize mast (allergic) cells and prevent histamine release.
8. Increase astringent foods: pomegranate, organic lemon and lime ZEST (they help to break up mucous).Use citrus zest in marinades, teas, dressings.
9. On acute allergy days: Use Rooibos tea, nettle tea, Master Cleanser instead of water all day. Nutritive and a source of bioflavonoids. Master Cleanser: 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice (1/2 lemon), pure grade B maple syrup to taste, 1/10 tsp cayenne pepper (red) or to taste, 12 oz of purified water (warm). Make a gallon of Master Cleanser and drink it warm or at room temp all day.
10. This is a most important time to avoid/minimize food allergens and intolerances. They contribute to mucous production.
12. Do a Vitamin C Challenge leading up to allergy season. Start with 1000 mg vitamin C. Increase by 1000 mg/day until bowels become loose. The next day, decrease to 2000 mg/day maintenance through allergy season. Vitamin C stabilizes histamine-containing cells and is nature’s best anti-histamine.
13. Schedule a naturopathic consult to review naturopathic alternatives to anti-histamines and nasal sprays. These are often as effective, with fewer side effects.