In Lima, where I grew up, we don’t have clear-cut seasons that come with all their usual symptoms. Yes, it’s colder in the winter than it is in the summer, and people get more flus and other respiratory problems then. But spring and fall are just the mild and almost imperceptible transitory periods that happen in between.
There, people are prone to be allergic to the high humidity in the environment, the dust that covers everything (because it doesn’t rain and there’s hardly any wind), and smog caused by old cars. I remember sneezing my way through grade school and high school, so much so that I had a cute wrinkle on my nose from all the scratching that went on since I was little till my late teens.
Once I moved abroad, I found it interesting that the environment could change but allergies were always present. In New York, where I live now, I see few people (or none) suffering from the allergies I grew up surrounded by, but I’ve been introduced to a large selection of new ones. Spring allergies are probably the biggest.
The fact that some people develop allergies, and others don’t, always made me question whether this problem had more to do with the allergen itself than with the person. Holistic health expert Andrea Beaman points out that allergies are a symptom telling us that there’s an internal imbalance that needs to be addressed. Her theory is that when our bodies are irritated due to bad digestion, eating foods that cause excess mucus, and being exposed to too many toxins, then we are susceptible to so-called allergens.
What can you do to bring your body back to balance and stop being an easy target for allergens during the spring (or any time, for that matter)?
- Start with your diet. If you feel some food doesn’t go well with your body in any way, stop eating it! You can choose to go deeper and get tested for food allergies, or do a simple elimination diet at home. This alone will greatly reduce your spring allergy symptoms.
- Go on a detox. As I mentioned in my last post, spring is the perfect time to cleanse your body from the inside out, and this practice will help you cope better with external factors. If you want to take this one step further, get a colon hydrotherapy or enema during your detox program, or even do it periodically during the whole season. Using a neti pot for nasal irrigation is another detoxifying method you should consider. The cleaner you are on the inside, the healthier you will feel on the outside.
- Mark Hyman recommends taking probiotics, exercising, meditating, and following a healthy anti-inflammatory diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 oils, as an effective treatment. All these things help reduce the inflammation in your body, which makes you prone to allergic reactions.
- In her article, Andrea Beaman also recommends consuming local raw honey. This honey will carry the very pollen that makes you sneeze and your eyes itch, and taking it in small doses acts like a vaccine, helping your body produce the antibodies it needs to deal with them. What medicine could be sweeter than this?