7 Tips for Easing Spring Allergies, from an Integrative Medicine Physician

pollen flying from tree


It's hard to see the beauty in the budding tree when those buds make you sneeze every two minutes and your eyes itch like crazy. But that's reality for spring time allergy sufferers: watery eyes, stuffy nose, sensitive skin...the list goes on and on.

Not only do people with seasonal allergies have to contend with a constant barrage of symptoms, but those symptoms can lead to equally constant fatigue. This happens because when allergies hit, the body's immune system goes into overdrive, sapping energy and causing the allergy sufferer to feel irritable and tired.

If this sounds familiar to you, Integrative Primary Care Specialist Dominic Patawaran, MD, says, "The most important thing you can do is try to control triggers. If you minimize your triggers, you minimize the severity of your allergies."

Some of Dr. Patawaran's tips revolve around controlling triggers, but he also offers helpful integrative approaches to easing allergy symptoms. Read on for his seven tips to help keep seasonal allergies at bay.

Change your air filters

This includes heating, air conditioning, and duct filters. Pollen, animal allergens, and mold spores all circulate through the home and get caught in filters. Change the filters at the beginning of spring (and every season) to keep dust and other allergens that have collected over the months to a minimum.

Drink stinging nettle teas

Researchers have found that stinging nettle may reduce histamine, which the body produces in large amounts to respond to allergens. The tea is made from the leaves, stems, and sometimes roots of stinging nettle. Try drinking the tea even before your allergy symptoms start to prepare your system for the coming season.

Minimize dairy products

Commercial dairy products tend to include a protein called beta-casein. This protein comes about during the pasteurization process, and the immune system tends to fight it, which results in increased inflammation and mucus production. So skip the cheese, and instead incorporate nutritional yeast for a rich, nutty dairy substitute.

Vacuum regularly

It's a chore and a workout at the same time! This will help you control dust, pet hair, and other allergens that accumulate throughout your house over time. During allergy season, vacuum at least twice a week, and find time to Swiffer your floors each night.

Use a neti pot

Developed in ancient India, the neti pot became popular in the United States in 2007, when introduced on the Oprah Winfrey Show. It's a form of nasal irrigation that uses a saline-water mix to rinse the nasal passages. Use either distilled or sterile water, or boil water for a solid five minutes and let it cool before adding the saline mix. The saline rinse clears mucus and moisturizes nasal passages. It also soothes dry nasal passages while simultaneously washing away dust, pollen, and other irritants.


Take Natural D-Hist

This decongestant and antihistamine narrows the blood vessels in the nose and blocks the histamines brought on by allergies. In doing so, it relieves symptoms such as nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and itchy throat. Talk with your doctor before incorporating this medication into your routine.

Try Boswellia

Boswellia extract comes from the boswellia plant, and is known for easing symptoms from inflammatory diseases. For allergy sufferers, it works by inhibiting the mast cells that trigger histamine. Check with your doctor to make sure boswellia doesn't interact with any other medications you're taking.

If you have questions about your allergies and other ways you can alleviate symptoms, make an appointment today with Dr. Patawaran by calling (312) 276-1212. You can also read more about an integrative approach to health at RabyInstitute.com.

"Dr. Raby is professional, humanistic, compassionate and sincere."
- Raby Institute patient