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Holly Dunbar, CMT, RH (AGH)
Spring Allergy Relief
New Moon Body Work and Botanicals
. http://www.newmoonbody.com

Spring Allergy Relief

Seasonal allergy help is best approached pro-actively two to three months prior to the typical start time of ones allergies. Using tonics that are specific to immune support will strengthen the immune system for a more appropriate response when the invaders of pollen descend. Two to three months of using immuno-modulating herbs such as reishi and shiitake mushrooms, schizandra berry, Siberian ginseng, and ashwagandha, or a combination of, will typically decrease the severity of allergy symptoms when they do start. Since we are well upon the season, this advice applies as food for thought for next year, or the Fall season.
This is an excellent time however, to adapt the diet to lighter foods by decreasing meat and dairy consumption, and adding more dark leafy greens, such as kale, collards, endive, escarole, dark colored lettuces, and arugula. Consumption of dark leafy greens, especially combined with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, encourages bile release and helps dissolve excess fat and phlegm in the body, which is important if one tends to create a lot of mucus in the allergy season. Herb teas made with dandelion root, chickweed, and burdock will also help clear excess.
Nasal clearing herbs can be used once plants begin to bloom. A specific herb used in Chinese medicine for this is xanthium. Xanthium is used to open the nasal passages and relieves sneezing and itchy symptoms of the throat, eyes, and skin. It is usually combined with phlegm resolving herbs in a formula, as most Chinese herbs are employed, such as magnolia bark, citrus peel, and pinellia. Phlegm resolving herbs in the Western herbal tradition include thyme, which is easy to make as a tea, horseradish, radish seed, and hyssop, to name a few.
A neti pot can be used daily to wash excessive mucus, and cleanse the nasal passages of pollen debris, all of which facilitates better breathing too. Regular use of a neti pot can prove to be a valuable tool for the allergy sufferer, and is a good practice for anyone who snores, is prone to congestion for whatever reason, and wants to keep well in the cold and flu season.

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