Is Spring… the ahh choo Season for you? Allergy symptoms are common this time of year, simply from breathing the pollen in the air. But allergies are also dose dependent, which means that they depend upon your total exposure to allergens, both outdoors from pollen but also indoors. Even though you cannot control the pollen that is in the air it will affect you less if you are exposed to less allergens in your home.
The amount of allergens in your home is something you can control by knowing what to do and what to look for. If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, here are some natural ways you can decrease those allergy symptoms.
Lessening allergens in your home
- Pillows: place non-latex foam pillows in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes weekly to kill off dust mites. Buy new pillows every 2 or 3 years for sanitary reasons because by 10 years old your pillow’s weight will be over ½ dust mite feces which worsens allergy symptoms.
- Carpet: vacuum with a hepa filter vacuum weekly
- Shelves: wipe down with a moist cloth, not dry, weekly
- HEPA filters: place around your home and run at night. You can also get HEPA filter type fans that go in your windows so you can have fresh outside air without the allergens coming in.
- Houseplants: Many plants act as natural air filters. A great resource for this is: “How to Grow Fresh Air” by B.C. Wolverton
- Candles: Avoid petroleum based candles. Choose soy or beeswax candles. Better yet if you want pleasant scents without the danger, try a high quality essential oil with a diffuser. Avoid plug in “air fresheners” which add toxic chemicals to the air that can harm children and pets.
- Cleaning Products: you can make your own natural products using ingredients like vinegar, baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Or you can buy non-toxic cleaning products like those offered by Shaklee. If you do not know a Shaklee distributor, you can go on-line to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an account for orders. We use Shaklee laundry detergent and cleaning products at our office and home. None of our hypersensitive patients have reacted to the products we use. Also if buying store bought green products, go for the fragrance free ones.
- Use fragrance free dryer sheets: the ones from Shaklee are non-toxic. The usual ones you get at the store with the heavy fragrances often contain formaldehyde.
Lessening allergens from pets
- Dogs: Wash monthly and brush weekly
- Cats: Clean litter box daily and brush your cat weekly. Every other week, completely empty the litter box and soak with a chlorine-free bleach for 30 minutes. Wash and then re-fill the litter.
- Birds: Clean out cage at least every other day. Also to lessen allergy symptoms, pick up feathers as soon as possible.
Taking Care of Yourself
- Wash hands often with warm soap and water. Avoid using antibacterial soap.
- Wear a filter mask when cleaning the house or taking care of the pets. Also when doing yard or garden work. Also to avoid allergy symptoms especially use a filter mask when cleaning out old papers or books or stored stuff in closets, attics or basements. You can find filter masks at most any hardware store or stores like Home Depot or Lowes.
- Nasal irrigation: daily or every other day with a Neti pot using saline water or with a saline spray using filtered water. If using a Neti pot or similar device, use 8 oz of water for each nostril. The saline kills any bacteria and the water flushes out allergens from your nasal passages.
- Avoid the allergy triggers that you know
- Eat local honey or bee pollen: start with ¼ or ½ teaspoon daily. Do not give honey to infants younger than 1 year old.
- Choose fragrance free personal care products
- Choose all natural citrus free, lactose free, coal tar coloring free, chemical free multiple vitamins.
- Take high quality fish oil supplements. We have several types available at the office and can order one that will match your needs for taste and ease of taking from our suppliers. If you take fish oil regularly, just before your allergy season, increase your dosage. Often boosting fish oil intake will calm allergy responses.
- Have your vitamin D levels checked. Around here, many people are low in Vitamin D. If you are low, take a high quality vitamin D that also contains K2. The addition of K2 will make sure that the calcium that the D helps you absorb will go into your bones and not into soft tissues like discs, tendons or arteries.
- Take a good probiotic.
- Get your chiropractic adjustment: at least once a month. The adjustments help you stay healthier, and the cranial and sinus release work can help your sinuses.
Adapted from articles in the emerson element magazine Issue #2, 2018: www.emersonecologics