For humans, summer is a wonderful time of relaxation, going out with friends, sitting outside, and dreaming of what’s to come for the future. But for plants, this period of increased sunshine and warmth means that it’s the perfect time to release their reproductive products! Then they get in your nose and eyes, making you sneeze all day long. This can be embarrassing and annoying while taking OTC drugs can provide unwanted side effects and risks to your long-term health. Therefore, here is this summer’s natural guide to healing your seasonal allergies.
What is Grass Pollen Allergy?
The summer is the ideal time of the year for short plants like grasses to reproduce by spreading their pollen everywhere. Each little blade of grass is hoping that their pollen will be able to reach a female blade that will collect the DNA in the protein of the pollen of a male to fertilize a seed. If this does happen, the blade of grass’ life purpose is fulfilled and its gene pool is passed on to another even more sexy blade of grass in the future.
If you have small children that have grass allergies, you can tell them that the little blades of grass kiss and make grass babies.
However, since nature is imperfect and severely flawed at times, the excess pollen in the air can get trapped in the mucus membranes of your eyes, mouth, and nose. In special individuals like us, our bodies don’t recognize this substance as grass sperm, but as a deadly invader that needs to be eliminated at all costs.
So our immune system produces pro-inflammatory chemicals like histamine to try to kill and get rid of the invader. But, as you might already know, this does not work efficiently at all. You just get a puffy face, sneeze, blow your nose, itch, etc.
And the pollen is still gonna be there.
Is There a Way to Treat Summer Allergies Then?
Yes, of course there is.
I’d want to put a stick of dynamite up my nose every day if there wasn’t. And there are many natural lifestyle changes that you can make to simply diminish the types of reactions you have to all your allergies: food, seasonal and otherwise. (1)
Many people might argue that “there is no cure for allergies,” and while they are correct, there is no vaccine or magical food that will get rid of your allergies, there are definitely ways to help treat and deal with these annoying conditions.
What I’m also trying to highlight is: There are things we should STOP doing that worsen our allergies. And that should be the first step to treating them.
Just like there is no CURE for any other health condition or disease, there is no cure for seasonal allergies. But since allergies are a condition, they can be treated. And they can be treated to a point where your symptoms are diminished and don’t bother you. That’s like not having the allergies at all, which is basically the best we can get to a “cure” for health conditions.
I can allude to allergies being as treatable as a condition like acne: there’s obviously something causing it in your body (hormones, dirty skin, diet, genes) and things to do to treat and prevent acne. There are things that we can do to make acne worse—just like allergies.
Natural Ways to Treat Summer Allergies (Grass Pollen Allergy)
First, let’s start off with discussing a few factors in your lifestyle that can contribute to the worsening of seasonal allergies.
Limit your alcohol consumption
The best advice as an expert allergy sufferer that I could give would be to limit or stop drinking alcohol. Of course, it’s fun and fine to enjoy in moderation, but binge drinking should be avoided entirely by everybody because this destructive habit makes every health condition worse.
Alcohol seriously depresses the proper function of your immune system because it acts as a toxic poison that is very stressful to get out of your body. On its way out, alcohol causes destruction to your tissues and dehydrates your cells in addition to causing essential nutrients to leech out of important organs. (2)
Your body needs these nutrients and healthy cells to function effectively.
I think that society ignores the seriously harmful effects that alcohol has on the human body because they don’t want to even consider it… Simply because they like how alcohol makes them feel.
From personal experience, I can tell you that eliminating alcohol from my lifestyle has made the most dramatic impact in decreasing the severity of my allergies. I used to drink in serious moderation, too. I would have maybe a glass of wine per day with a meal, but even that made my allergies much worse.
My advice wouldn’t be to demonize alcohol, but appreciate it in moderation as best you can. Of course you can still enjoy a cold beer at the pool, but binge drinking will always have negative effects in the long term. (3)
Prepare for high pollen count days
Use a pollen tracker to see how high the pollen counts are for your area before going outside for the day or opening windows. These trackers are very helpful and can track all types of environmental allergens.
On high pollen count days for grass, you could take your emergency antihistamine(which you shouldn’t be dependent upon). It is always best to have no histamine in your body, and sometimes taking risky drugs is beneficial to your health. Just like you need antibiotics to treat an infection, you can take advantage of antihistamines because histamine is inflammatory to your body.
Inflammation is the root cause of most conditions and disorders, so it should always be in your best interest to soothe inflammation above anything else. Once your symptoms are manageable, you can start to think about eliminating drugs from your lifestyle for the health benefits thereof.
Eat healthier to support your immune system
For treating my grass pollen allergies, I’ve tried several types of diets to see if they would impact the severity of my seasonal allergies at all. What I’ve taken away from years of experience is that quality is much more important than quantity in almost every sense.
I’ve found that consuming large amounts of sugars and simple carbohydrates worsened my allergies. This is likely because sugar depresses your immune system in a similar way that alcohol does. If you think about it, yeast ferments sugar into alcohol and this is exactly what happens in your body. We have yeast in our colons that do just that, however, it isn’t really noticeable. The yeast feeds on the simple, processed sugar and produces alcohol as a byproduct that is absorbed by your intestines. (4)
I also believe that grains are more stressful on the systems of the body because they are harder to digest and assimilate, regardless of whether “gluten” affects you or not. Of course, bread compliments many meals and is very enjoyable, but I find that avoiding whole wheat or whole grain gluten-containing foods make me feel more sluggish and exacerbates my health conditions/symptoms like seasonal allergies.
Incorporating a diet with a foundation of fresh produce will be beneficial to your immune system. Try replacing mealscontaining bread and meat with meals that heavily incorporate fresh organic vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. These foods are natural for humans to eat and you will find the most benefit from incorporating them into our daily diet.
Try fasting every once in a while
If you consider human evolution, people not belonging to a society would often fast for a good majority of their day and would sometimes go 2 days without eating a meal. As hunters tried to kill their next meal, they’d eat a few berries and vegetables here and there. Then, they’d make a kill and feast immensely. I think that’s how evolution got us to our state of health today.
Considering that, I think it is important to give our digestive systems a break every once in a while. If there is no food to digest and process in our bodies, the energy and enzymes that would go into doing that could be redirected to other systems of our bodies.
Considering recent research, fasting enables our immune systems to function better. During a 24 hour fast, white blood cells increase in quantity, our brains are more quick, and our bodies shed unhealthy extra fat. (5)
Considering the society of certain groups of people and religions, those who incorporate fasting into their lifestyles seem to die the least from heart disease. They also seem to live the longest. Mormons and Muslims, who fast the most, seem to live the longest free from disease. (6)
From my experience, fasting seems to help me in many aspects of my health. My sleep is better quality, I’m more focused, feel more lean and energized, and to top it off, I don’t sneeze uncontrollably and want to die because of my allergies!
I make sure to fast at least 1 day of the month for its health benefits.
Try a natural antihistamine
There are a few natural supplements that act as natural antihistamines that can really change the game during the summer grass pollen allergy season. One of the most effective is quercetin, a natural flavonoid found in citrus and raw vegetables. It can be found in high concentrations in onions and garlic.
A concentrated supplement will do your body much more benefit than eating 5 onions. Organic quercetin acts as a mild antihistamine and anti-inflammatory that can benefit your body in many ways without the uncomfortable or addicting side effects.
Organic quercetin’s other health benefits include:
- Improved heart health and cholesterol
- Increased natural energy levels
- Increased ability to breathe
- Clearer thoughts
- Feelings of motivation
- Soothing of nerve pain
- And more.
Deal with your nutrient deficiencies
Many people suffer from specific hidden nutrient deficiencies. It is common for people to have deficiencies in sulfur, silica, and magnesium. These minerals are very important for immune functions, therefore exacerbating allergies.
Sulfur, silica, and magnesium are all deficient in our fertile soils due to recent decades’ industrial use of the land. Fresh food can be seriously deficient in nutrients while not physically showing it and this is especially true for non-organic foods. A supplement is recommended if you don’t think that you eat enough raw, organic foods that were grown in nutrient rich soil. (6)
Try stabilizing your inner ecosystem with probiotics
Recent research shows promise for probiotics for the treatment of all kinds of allergies. It’s possible that symbiotic bacteria can help us digest food and produce essential nutrients that can be used by our body.
Research in animals shows that probiotics are essential for animals to digest certain foods like cellulose-containing plant material and meat. This might make sense and soon be discovered the be another essential for general health. (7)
Drink plenty of healthy water
Hydration is already the most important factor of your wellbeing. Water can also be a great source of minerals if it comes from a natural source with no added contaminants. They may not be environmentally friendly, but imported water bottled at glaciers and volcanoes are full of minerals like silica and magnesium that is very hard to get elsewhere in food.
Tap water may be a risk to your health because there is too much controversy on whether or not the content of tap water is healthy enough to drink. Filtered water is recommended before drinking tap water. Making your own healthy drinking water is the most economic and environmentally friendly way to get hydrated.
Proper hydration with water and electrolyte minerals is essential for supporting your immune system and cell health. Your seasonal allergy symptoms will not nearly be as bad when you’re drinking adequate clean and natural water.
Get enough restful sleep
Rest is on par with hydration when it comes to your health. Deep sleep provides necessary regeneration time for your body. So it might be important to keep a schedule and try to get up earlier so you can get enough sunlight during the day for a natural sleep cycle.
All these lifestyle tweaks help me feel so much better through the day. It feels much better to be free from grogginess, sneezing and itching. If you have anything that helps you treat grass pollen or summer allergies, please leave me a comment below and tell me about it!
Talk to you soon,