Most of us look forward to the warmer weather every year, but if you’re one of those unlucky allergy sufferers, it can mean bouts of sneezing, a runny nose, headaches and watery, itchy eyes. Warmer weather is the peak time for airborne allergens such as pollens, dust, grasses and animal dander, leading to immune activation and an increase in hayfever (allergic rhinitis) and sinusitis.
Allergies and the immune system
An allergy is an abnormal immune system response to a substance that is usually harmless to most of us. When you're allergic to something, your immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harmful to your body, so it establishes a protective defence mechanism by producing large quantities of defence molecules called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. This triggers the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals that cause inflammation and irritation, producing those uncomfortable allergy symptoms.
Knowing what you’re allergic too can certainly help you reduce your exposure to allergens and increase your level of comfort.Our top picks for Spring include:
Horseradish is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine (WHM) as an expectorant to clear mucus from the respiratory tract and as a decongestant to relieve nasal congestion. Horseradish contains sulphur compounds that help to thin down thick viscous mucus making it easier to expel from the respiratory tract.
Garlic is traditionally used in WHM as an expectorant to clear mucus from the respiratory tract and to improve cough productivity and relieve cough.
Eyebright is traditionally used in WHM to relieve symptoms of hayfever and sinusitis. Eyebright is also traditionally used in WHM to support healthy mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and to relieve bronchial mucus congestion and reduce excess mucus.
Baical scullcap is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as an expectorant to clear respiratory tract mucus and to expel or disperse lung heat.
Vitamin C supports immune system health and function to help fight illness in the body. Supplementation of vitamin C has been found to support components of the human immune system, such as natural killer cells and white blood cell function, processes known to help fight infection.
For traditional symptomatic relief of hayfever and sinusitis with added immune support this Spring, try Herbs of Gold Hayfever & Sinus Ease. See more here