Controlling Allergies

by Melissa Minoff, ND, LAc

The beautiful tree in front of my house blooms with yellow “pollen puffs” every spring. I am terribly allergic to the tree pollen, and while I love the tree, it comes with a fair share of misery each year.

Here are my tricks for keeping my allergies under control while the tree is in bloom:

  1. Neti pot nasal irrigation: I rinse my nasal passages before bed to remove the pollen that gets stuck in there. If your sinuses and nasal passages are really swollen, the neti pot can make things worse — the water gets in and can’t get out. In this case, use a saline spray bottle to rinse in and out (not up and over) to help get the pollen out of your nasal passages.
  2. Nettles and Quercitin: I take 2-4 capsules every 2 hours as soon as I start getting sneezy. Yup, nettles are the leaves of the stinging nettle plant. They are nutritive and contain many minerals. Quercitin is a flavonoid found in foods, such as berries, parsley, capers, buckwheat, onions, and peppers. It’s like a super strong Vitamin C.
  3. Other supplements that help include Vitamin C, Omega 3 oils like fish or flax oil, probiotics, and dark berries.
  4. If I’m playing outside anywhere near the tree, I take a shower and wash my hair before I go to bed. I vacuum the house frequently and keep our HEPA filter running throughout the season.