Step 1 – Understand the Cause:
As modern science doesn’t fully understand the cause of Spring allergies we will look at the natural health sciences. According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, funnily enough, the problems we can experience during spring – hay fever, sinus trouble, allergies etc – are not essentially caused by Spring. They originate in winter/late winter more than spring itself.
As we tend to eat more food, heavier foods and exercise less in winter, the food we eat is often poorly digested. The results of this poorly processed food (impurities) get stored in our tissues.
When the weather is cold (e.g. winter), the impurities are as if harder and more
solidified (more like lard), thus producing the imbalances we commonly associate with winter – stiffness, joint/arthritic pain, heaviness etc.
As the weather warms up in spring however, our bodies warm up, and the impurities start getting melted down into a more liquefied form. These ‘liquefied toxins’ are then released throughout the body and can block the channels of our body.
Our immune system can get compromised and we cannot defend ourselves properly against the allergens that increase during spring.
More allergens combined with blocked channels and a compromised immune system – that’s the key cause for increases in spring allergies.
Things To Help:
The first and foremost step is to eliminate the impurities built up in the body over winter.
1. Spring Clean:
Try either taking a much lighter diet for a week or two (avoid the foods listed in 2.) or have a fruit or liquid only breakfast once or twice a week.
E.g. just drink fruit or vegetable juices (or eat some light fruit if hungry) up until lunchtime.
* This will give your digestion a rest and allow your body to do some internal cleansing.
2. Reduce/avoid Heavy, Hard to Digest Foods:
Eat predominantly light,’fresh’, natural whole foods. i.e. fruits, vegetables & wholegrains.
Avoid/reduce yellow cheeses, ice cream, heavy desserts, fried foods, red meat and ‘old’ foods – leftovers, tinned food and processed foods where possible.
* If you want your body to behave intelligently, eat intelligent foods.
3. Exercise More:
Exercise helps clear the body channels and strengthens the immune system. Obviously avoid allergy triggers such as cut grass to begin.
4. Avoid Sleeping In:
According to Ayurveda, sleeping in after 6.30 – 7.00am is disastrous in Spring and for allergies generally as it increases heaviness and sluggishness and blocks the bodily channels.
5. Morning Cleanse:
Take the following’spring cleansing drink’, first thing each morning.
3/4 Glass of warm water (preferably boiled first).
10-20 drops of FRESH LEMON JUICE
2-3 pinches TURMERIC POWDER
10-20 ml (3-4 tsp) of’good quality’ALOE VERA JUICE
* Drink it warm (that helps the cleansing effect).
* Females: Leave out the Aloe Vera during menstruation.
6. Drink Warm/Hot Water or Ginger Tea:
Warm water (as opposed to cold water) is a great way to help flush out toxins and clear blocked channels. If you tolerate it okay (be a bit more careful in summer), adding 1-2 slices of fresh ginger can help further.
7. Spice It Up:
Increase spices that either help open your bodily channels (e.g. black pepper), reduce the production of impurities (e.g. cumin), stimulate digestion (e.g. ginger) or are directly anti-allergenic (e.g. turmeric). * Turmeric is fantastic for allergies. Sage and coriander can also be good.
Symptomatic Hay Fever Help:
* The following are obviously not ‘treatments’, but can help reduce symptoms.
1. Oil Your Nose:
If you get hay fever or are susceptible to it, keeping your nose well lubricated (oiled!) is important. By the end of winter, many of our tissues can become quite dry, particularly those directly open to the environment (e.g. the nose). Dry tissues are more sensitive to allergens, so regularly applying some sesame or almond oil to the insides of your nostrils (sniff it up) can help.
Put a couple of drops of eucalyptus type essential oil in a bowl of hot water and inhale for 3-5 minutes (cover your head with a towel).
* You can also add few drops of the same essential oil on a hankerchief to carry around with you during the day.
3. Consider a mask if you are out in the garden or near triggers.
4. Change your clothes after being near known allergens.
However, appreciate that pharmaceutical medications do not treat the cause of any
allergies, so will never be a long-term fix. Like all drugs, they simply mask the underlying cause while suppressing the symptoms.
If taking medication in the short-term, be extra vigilant with balancing your body from within (through detoxing, eating ‘whole’ (real) foods, getting enough quality rest, so you can hopefully reduce any medication over time.
Remember, it’s never truly the allergens (dust, grass, pollen etc) that is the real problem, it’s our body’s inability to effectively deal with them.
We can forever run away from or isolate ourselves from the allergens…or build-up our inner defences and create invincible balance, so that we don’t get so affected by them.
Good luck for a happy, allergy-free Spring.
* The above is just general advice. If you have a specific condition/problem we obviously recommend you seek specialist medical advice and/or consult a qualified natural health practitioner for individualised recommendations.