Pollen Allergies Natural Remedies

Today, pollen allergy is a serious problem, and over 50 million Americans suffer from pollen-related allergies every year. It is in fact the sixth most common chronic health problem in the United States, and it accounts for 14 million visits to a health care professional annually. Alarmingly, this problem has grown substantially in the past 15 years.

In this article, we will in a nutshell discuss pollen allergy, what causes it, and some natural remedies for spring pollen allergies.

Pollen: Pollen is a fine powder produced by flowers; it is usually round, albeit it can come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Pollen produces the male cells, which take part in the process of pollination. Pollination is a process through which these male cells are transferred to the female reproductive cells. Pollination can occur either through the help of the wind or through insects such as bees that carry the pollen, aiding in the process of pollination.

Pollen Allergy: Pollen that is transferred through the wind is lightweight, and these are the ones that tend to cause pollen allergies in humans. A pollen allergy is the inhalation of pollen that results in hay fever asthma and various other allergies. Pollen enters the body through the eyes, nose, and the throat. Once it enters the body, it stimulates the production of antibodies. These antibodies then attach themselves to mast cells. Mast cells are cells present in tissues that contain histamine. Simply put, histamine is responsible for allergic and inflammatory responses in the body.

Pollen-Forecast: Countries like the US and the UK provide a pollen forecast just like the weather forecast, forewarning you about high contents of pollen in the air. This is specifically helpful for those who are suffering from pollen allergies. Pollen content is highest in the air between 5AM and 10 AM, especially on hot and windy days.

Listed below is a typical forecast of pollen for any given year.
  • End of March to mid-May – Tree pollen
  • Mid-May to July – Pollen from grass
  • End of June to September – Pollen from weeds
For a more detailed report, there is something called a pollen calendar that you can check to find out the exact concentration and type of pollen in your locality.

The type of pollen and the source varies from place to place, with some areas having higher concentration of pollen than others. For instance, certain states in the United States have higher pollen concentrations than others such as Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana have higher concentration of pollen when compared to states such as New York and West Virginia.

Pollen Allergy Symptoms: Some of the common symptoms and side effects of pollen allergy are listed below.
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Red and swollen eyes
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itching of nose
  • Itchiness in throat
  • Sinus congestion
  • Asthma
Pollen Allergies Natural Remedies: There are a few pollen allergy home remedies and tips you can follow to help manage these allergies.

  • Cleaning the Nostril with Salt Water: Nasal irrigation is a process through which salt water solution (saline) is passed through the nose to clear the nostril of pollen. This is done using a small ceramic pot with a spout called a neti pot. This helps manage mild pollen allergies that result in headaches and sneezing.
  • Plant-based Remedies: According to Indian, Chinese and other ancient medical practices, there are a number of herbs that can help manage pollen allergies. Some herbs that are believed to help manage pollen allergies are natural antihistamines such as stinging nettle, butturbur and quercetin. Quercetin is an antioxidant that helps in the suppression of the release of histamine from mast cells. This substance is found in high levels in foods such as tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, lemons, onions, lettuce, tea and wine.
  • Omega 3 fatty Acids: Healthy fats are foods that help fight allergies to a large extent. Ensuring that you eat foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids content such as fish, walnuts and flaxseeds will help manage allergies to a large extent.
Tips to Manage Pollen Allergies
  • Avoid going out when pollen concentration is very high.
  • Dry your clothes in the dryer, rather than outside where they can acquire pollen on them from wind or insects.
  • Always keep windows and doors closed to avoid pollen from getting inside the home.
  • Use humidifiers, air filters, and air conditioners as they help lower pollen levels inside the house.
  • Vacuuming the home regularly can also take care of this problem to an extent.
  • Window fans will suck pollen from the outside into the house. Therefore, it is best to avoid using these.
While allergy medication, allergy shots, and other medication to help manage the symptoms of allergy are commonly used, the best remedy of all at this point of time is avoidance. Ensuring that you do not go out when the pollen concentrations are high and making sure that your home is pollen-free is the best way to manage pollen allergies.

However, if your symptoms are mild to severe, it is a good idea to check with your doctor as to what your options are to help manage the allergy.

  1. http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/asthma/allergens/pollen/
  2. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/health/public/pollen-forecast/
  3. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/summer06/articles/summer06pg20-24.html
  4. https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/anonymous.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfto=false&_pageLabel=spotlightArchive&contentPage=spotlight/May2012/spotlight_may2012_allergies.html