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Strategies to Combat Allergies
Life comes to full bloom this time of year. Flowers brighten the landscape and farmer’s market’s showcase bountiful harvests. Flip flops and t-shirts make their way back out of your closet. Life just feels easier accompanied by warm sunshine and longer days.
With that full blooming comes exorbitant amounts of pollen in the air. For some, this can put a real damper on spring fever as allergies leave you with red, itchy eyes and a runny nose. You may feel the need to shelter yourself indoors to avoid worsening symptoms. Don’t hang up your hat just yet! Read on to find out how to prevent allergies from raining on your parade.
Allergies mainly relate to a weak liver. The liver is the largest organ in your body and arguably, the hardest working. Aside from processing the body’s fats and filtering the blood, the liver is also tasked with the all important job of detoxification and plays a key role in maintaining your immunity and synthesizing hormones. The liver works overtime in spring as it thins the fats out of winter’s thick blood, preparing your body for warmer weather. With such a long todo list, the breakdown of histamines in the liver can be compromised this time of year, lowering your anti-inflammatory response to allergens.
So how can you lighten your liver’s load? Bitter taste is the flavor to savor. Grace your plate with bitter greens like dandelion, arugula, chard and kale. Bitter herbs such as aloe vera gel, guduchi, milk thistle, gentian, nettles and turmeric cleanse the liver, reduce inflammation and encourage the release of excess fat – a recipe for success in combatting allergies.
A hint of sour taste also offers support. Add a wedge of lemon or lime juice to your water and on top of your meals. Grapefruit makes a great breakfast. Light and refreshing, it uniquely offers both bitter and sour tastes to assist your liver in getting its work done.
Raw beets are another great food to imbibe during allergy season. Grate them on top of your salads or as a brightening garnish to your cooked meals. Beets are a cholagogue, meaning they stimulate the liver to release bile which encourages detoxification and clears heat, abating your body’s inflammatory response.
Try using a neti pot in the morning to rinse pollen residue and keep your sinuses clear. Follow it by dabbing each pinky finger in coconut or olive oil and moistening your nostrils with the oil. This creates a protective barrier to prevent irritation from allergens. Also as part of your morning routine, mix two tablespoons of local honey in three cups of room temp water and drink up. Avoid hot foods or drinks for two hours after drinking to be sure the honey is not heated any higher than your body temperature. Room temperature honey is nectar. Heated honey becomes toxic. Grapefruit makes a great post honey water breakfast. Finally, brighten your day by rinsing the eyes with rose water to relieve red, itchy eyes.
Use these tips to ensure you too are in full bloom come summertime!