The pollen count in the DC area went through the roof last week and will be continuing to climb for at least the next several days, according to both Pollen.com and Weather.com’s Pollen Forecast. Some of us don’t much notice except for the green film on our cars and perhaps a little stuffiness in our nose, which is getting a filtering workout with all the junk in the air.
Others react more strongly. For allergy sufferers, beautiful spring days wreak havoc on our respiratory systems. It can start at any time. For my son, his first experience of allergies was four years ago, when he was five. We’ve been on a journey since the second year to strengthen his system.
If this year’s pollen is causing you troubles, here are some natural remedies you might want to consider to help treat the acute symptoms and also to bolster your immune system and reduce reactivity.
- Nettle and Eyebright (herbs)
- Vitamins C and D
- Cod Liver Oil
- Essential oils – eucalyptus can help open breathing passages and there are many other oils to help with seasonal allergies
- Homeopathic blends for allergies, molds, tree pollen, etc. or focus on the specific symptoms and consult a book to see what fits
I always recommend seeking the advice of a trained healthcare practitioner to discuss the right remedies for your child. Ones who use muscle-testing or applied kinesiology might really be able to find the remedy that will yield the best response.
A good practitioner can check for food sensitivities — which might be causing an inflammatory response — as well as other causes for the symptoms. It could be as old as preconceptual or in-utero issues, as I think it is partly with my son, or there could be a reaction to long-term exposure of chemicals, pollutants, mold or even synthetic fragrances. If you have not tried eliminating dairy, that’s a good place to start as it causes lots of people to make extra mucus.
Over-the-counter and prescription allopathic medication might help in the near-term, but if it’s putting undue stress on the liver, it might actually weaken the body’s ability to flush out toxins and could contribute to a worsening of the problem in the long-term.
Gentle ways to help a child detox include:
- Starting the day with warm water and lemon, or warm water and a few drops of unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar
- Baths with Epsom salt and dead sea salts (use a chlorine filter for the water)
- Neti pots nasal rinses or nasal sprays — simple saline, xylitol, homeopathic, or those with colloidal silver if you’re comfortable with that
Other modalities that might help include bodywork, such as
- Acupuncture (some practitioners can use needle-less approaches with children)
- Osteopathy and craniosacral therapy to calm the central nervous system
- Chiropractic to address structural issues that may contribute to poor drainage
- Massage techniques and reflexology
And allergy elimination and energetic techniques like NAET, BioSET, NMT and Total Body Modification can also help reset the body and change its reaction. We’ll be looking for more posts on these alternative measures and will add more links and directory listings in the near future.
Finally, look at your home.
- Rid your living space of any synthetic fragrance products — especially laundry detergent but also cleaning products
- Keep the windows closed until the pollen counts go down and wash everyone’s hair as soon as they get inside
- Consider investing in an air purifier
This is our fourth season with my son’s allergies, the second year we’ve worked ahead of time to prevent them through acupuncture, energetic medicine, bodywork, supplements, air purification, and more.
The duration of his allergies last year was much shorter and the intensity decreased, but he did still have to stay inside for several days and experienced some eye puffiness in addition to redness and tearing. This year, his eyes have still bothered him and have teared some, but so far we have not seen the puffiness of years past, and he’s not had to limit his outside time nearly as much.
My hope is that eventually his system will become strong enough and clean enough that it will not react so severely to the onslaught of air pollutants we get in the springtime. I think my many years of using allopathic allergy and sinus medications only contributed to health problems by artificially masking the symptoms of inflammation while stressing my system even more. A clean diet and other modalities have instead gone after the causes of inflammation.
What works for you?