Seasonal allergies come in two primary waves: fall and spring. In this article we take a look at the root causes of seasonal fall allergies, how they differ from those in the spring, and a few supplements which can ward against the symptoms of fall allergies.
Fall Allergies vs. Spring Allergies
Many people experience allergies with the changing of the seasons. Seasonal allergens in the air enter the body, and the immune system overreacts to these harmless substances, causing sinus inflammation, sneezing, coughing, red and watery eyes, and other symptoms. Fortunately, some natural herbs and supplements can support the immune system and help prevent an allergic reaction.
In both allergy seasons, the foremost allergen for most people is pollen shed from plants during reproduction. In spring, a wide variety of trees and grasses shed pollen, which causes an allergic reaction in many people.
In fall, a few specific plants shed allergy-causing pollen; The foremost is a wild plant called ragweed, and it flourishes in the East Coast and Midwest regions between August and November, peaking in September.
Ragweed, along with a select few of other plant species, thrive and shed pollen in the time when it’s cool at night, and warm in the day. Moreso, an allergen of a different kind can strike in August and September, and that is mold. Mold grows indoors and out, and thrives in high heat and humidity. These two allergens are common in some parts of the country, and present a combined threat of seasonal allergies in the fall.
Six Supplements for Fall Allergies
Many of us are inclined to take an over-the-counter treatment if and when fall allergies strike. Those who are particularly conscientious will seek natural products to prevent them. Here’s a look at six nutrients and substances which can treat a fall allergy attack, or in some cases, prevent them.
Quercetin is an excellent plant-derived compound which can work as an antihistamine, similar to some typical OTC allergy treatments. The bodily release of histamine is a common factor to sinus allergy symptoms. It is also an anti-inflammatory. Quercetin can be useful when taken alone, or when used alongside some other natural treatments.
Butterbur is an herb with anti-inflammatory properties which can mitigate allergy symptoms. At least one significant study has shown it so effective as to compete with Zyrtec, a standard OTC allergy medication. Butterbur is extra helpful because it does not cause drowsiness.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. In concentrated form, bromelain can reduce swelling and mucus production in the nose and sinuses. Worth noting is the fact that a few slices of pineapple will likely not provide enough bromelain to make a significant effect, so a bromelain supplement is the way to go.
Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil that can help clear the sinuses if you experience fall allergies. Eucalyptus has a powerful fragrance. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to boiling water and inhaling the steam can liberate the sinuses if they are inflamed and congested.
Turmeric contains a powerful active ingredient known as curcumin. Curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce the inflammation and sinus symptoms of a fall allergy response. It’s recommended to take turmeric a few days each week regularly going into fall, since this will prepare the body for an allergy response. This is one of the best ways to reduce the course and severity of fall allergies if you experience them.
If you know that you’re liable to experience fall allergies, don’t go into the season unprepared. Keep one or more of the supplements above on hand, as they are excellent alternatives to typical over-the-counter allergy meds. It’s recommended that you talk to your doctor before using a supplement for the first time.