Spring is finally here! The warm sun, the chirping birds, and the beautiful weather practically invite you to play outdoors and revel in the mystery of new life!
The flowers, in all their colorful glory, are blooming and their sweet smells just fill you joy and wonder...
...Until the sneezing, wheezing, and itchy eyes start.
For some, Spring is not the herald of new life bursting with possibilities but a time of misery. For those with seasonal allergies, Spring is a time in which managing allergy symptoms is a must just to get through the day.
If you're one of those who suffer from seasonal allergies and just can't take the thought of another itchy eyed, sneeze filled, drowsy diphenhydramine (branded as Benadryl) filled day, then look no further than these 4 natural remedies for managing seasonal allergies.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the original heavy lifter when it comes to getting allergies under control. Most people think of this amazing vitamin in the context of it's deficiency, which causes scurvy, a disease marked by weakness, anemia and skin disorders.
While vitamin C is a crucial nutrient needed for everything from immune support to collagen production, it has another little known super power.
Vitamin C is a mast cell stabilizer. This means that it helps to reduce allergy symptoms by reducing the release of histamine into your blood stream.
When your body recognizes an intruder (like pollen for example) as foreign, it builds up an immune response. Cells in your body, called mast cells become activated and release granules of histamine and many inflammatory molecules into the bloodstream causing all of the symptoms you know (and hate): wheezing, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, as seasonal allergies.
Vitamin C prevents this from occurring by inhibiting excessive activation of the immune system caused by the mast cells. The best thing about vitamin C is that it is not only helpful for seasonal allergies but has been shown to alleviate symptoms for those suffering from asthma as well.
I really like Natural Factors Vitamin C because my kids love the taste (and so do I)! They're chewable and come in different flavors. I admit that the tropical flavor usually wins at my house but the orange is pretty good too.
Quercetin can’t be beat when it comes to heading off the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Quercetin is a plant flavonoid or pigment found in many different fruits and vegetables. It is found in particularly high amounts in foods like onions, apples, and citrus.
While quercetin has many benefits like anti-inflammation and cancer preventative, it is also a potent allergy suppressor. Like vitamin C, quercetin helps to stabilize mast cells and prevent large amounts of histamine release into the blood.
With less histamine release comes less allergy symptoms.
Interestingly while quercetin can be found in the foods stated above (apples, citrus fruits, and onions), it is also found in high concentration in canned capers. Other foods high in quercetin are fresh dill weed, dock leaves, and hot wax yellow peppers.
If you find that those foods just don't seem appealing, it may be better to just get a quercetin supplement. I like the one from NOW foods because it not only has quercetin but also the next heavy hitter on our list, bromelain.