Most people welcome spring with open arms, embracing the warmer and longer days, flowers blossoming and summer on its way, but for others spring is a time of the year they would prefer to hide from. Seasonal allergies are often triggered at this time of the year with wood smoke from burning off, allergens in the air such as pollen and with the humidity beginning to rise, mould also becomes an aggravating factor. So what can we do to help reduce our response to these?
You may have been told that you could benefit from using mucolytic remedies, but what does that mean? Mucolytics break up mucus and help your body then expel it and include fennel, ginger, cinnamon, aniseed, garlic and pineapple. What is also particularly beneficial about pineapple is that the whole fruit (core included) contains bromelain that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory as well as mucolytic. Nasal sprays can be a godsend for some, especially if they include xylitol and saline to help reduce nasal dryness and clear build up of thick mucus. Essential oils often used in nasal sprays include thyme and tea tree which also help reduce the bacteria from growing and adhering to the nasal passages.
It may seem like a distant connection from the nose to the gut; however intestinal and nasal bacteria balance is also important when treating sinusitis. Prebiotics and probiotics help ‘keep the balance’ and disruptions to this beneficial microflora may exacerbate allergy symptoms. Over 80% of your immune system is in the gut, so keeping this nice and healthy is very important in controlling seasonal allergies.
Some of the major dietary factors that exacerbate sinus include dairy products, salicylates, wheat, wine, sulphites , MSG (just to name a few!) and each individual may be sensitive to one and not another. The take home message of managing your allergies during spring is minimising your triggers, checking in to see that your diet is highly anti-inflammatory and free of any personal allergens, spring clean your home with chemical-free cleaning products to minimize triggering allergenic responses.
It almost goes without saying add as many stress-reducing strategies to your day to help nurture your nervous and immune system. Stress is known to affect the inflammatory response in the body. Ensure you are looking after yourself, resting when needed and enjoying “me time”.