Treating pollen allergy naturally

Pollenallergie natürlich behandeln

Pollen allergy is one of the most common allergies. In Germany, around one in four people is allergic to pollen. Allergic symptoms are also becoming more common among children and older people, whereas a few years ago most people who were allergic to pollen were between 20 and 50 years old. The symptoms are annoying and can severely limit those affected. This guide will therefore provide you with all the important information on pollen allergy and you can read about possible natural treatments that can alleviate allergic symptoms.

pollen allergy

A pollen allergy is usually triggered in childhood. Those affected often suffer from the symptoms for their entire lives. But adults can also develop an allergy to pollen. The name is made up of the Greek words "allos" - different and "ergon" - reaction. This means that when an allergy occurs, the immune system does not react normally, but differently than usual. The body develops a hypersensitivity reaction.

The symptoms are caused by pollen from grasses, trees, bushes and other plants, although usually even small amounts are enough to cause symptoms. Often, those affected are not only allergic to one type of pollen, but often to several at the same time. Cross-allergies can also occur (read more about this later).

Origin

And how does an allergy develop? When pollen comes into contact with our mucous membranes for the first time, the immune system may perceive the pollen proteins as an attacker. During the sensitization phase, it remembers the allergen. The next time it comes into contact with the pollen, the immune system identifies it as a threat again and fights it. During this process, histamine is released, which triggers allergy symptoms such as itching, swelling, etc. in the affected areas.

Pollen count

The wind spreads the tiny pollen from plants around the area. They can travel many kilometers. Pollen generally flies from February to November. However, this period can vary from year to year depending on the weather, climate and region. For example, it is worth noting that pollen now begins to fly 20 days earlier than it did 20 years ago. This can most likely be explained by the milder climate and the associated milder winters that have developed over time.

A pollen calendar is a useful tool for allergy sufferers. It lists the different flight periods for different types of pollen, so you can use it to determine when allergy symptoms are more likely to occur.

Symptoms

When pollen comes into contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes or nose, this leads to an autoimmune reaction in allergy sufferers. The following symptoms can occur:

  • Redness, tears and itching of the eyes (conjunctivitis)

  • Sneezing

  • Swelling of the nasal mucous membranes, stuffy nose, runny nose (flushing nose)

  • Skin reactions

  • Scratchy throat

  • Occasional cough (may develop into allergic asthma over time

  • Occasionally headaches, sleep disorders, reduced performance due to e.g. mucus accumulation in the sinuses

Impact on everyday life

The effects of a pollen allergy on everyday life can be very restrictive and become an enormous stress factor. The problem is that contact with pollen is difficult to avoid. Those affected cannot really enjoy the beautiful spring and summer months in particular. The symptoms cause a lot of stress, both consciously and subconsciously, and reduce the quality of sleep, the ability to concentrate and thus the quality of life. This can ultimately lead to persistent tiredness and irritability and also have a severe psychological impact.

causes

The exact cause of pollen allergies is not yet fully understood and is still the subject of intense debate. The reason is probably a mixture of genetic and environmental factors.

In recent years, hygiene standards have become much stricter and our immune systems are no longer exposed to as many bacteria, viruses, etc. as before. This can lead to the immune system being under-challenged, which can lead to overreactions to substances that are actually harmless.

In addition, the urbanization of many habitats has led to a smaller area for nature and plants to spread out and a significant increase in air pollution. This leads to changes in plants and can also lead to an increased formation of more aggressive proteins in their pollen. This is because plants try to generate their survival by releasing more pollen.

diagnosis

If you experience allergic symptoms for the first time, it is advisable to make an appointment with your GP. In most cases, the GP will carry out a prick test after taking a medical history. This involves spreading liquids containing allergens on the arm and inserting a needle into the skin. After a few minutes, an allergic reaction to the corresponding allergens will be apparent. A blood test can also be helpful. An increased IgE value can indicate an allergy.

Cross allergy

A cross allergy occurs when people who are allergic to pollen also experience allergic reactions after eating different foods. The reason for this is that the proteins in pollen and some plant-based foods are similarly strong. The human immune system can quickly confuse these protein molecules from food with those in pollen, which is why an allergic reaction is triggered. In this case, the body has not been able to distinguish between the two different proteins. For example, people who are allergic to early bloomers often react to nuts, apples, carrots or celery at the same time.

Home remedies

In addition to antihistamines or desensitization, natural home remedies can also help against allergic symptoms. Oils in particular have proven to be effective against pollen allergies. They can be mixed with water and inhaled or added to a hot bath.

Black cumin oil

Black cumin oil is a valued spice that is still relatively unknown in the western world. It has been used for more than 2000 years to refine dishes and also as a medicinal product. Its ingredients have many positive properties for the body. It contains a large amount of unsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 acids. It also contains essential oils for clearing the airways and nigellone, which helps against asthma attacks. The gamma-linolenic acid, which is part of the black cumin oil, also helps regulate the immune system and can thus relieve and neutralize allergic overreactions. These properties make black cumin oil a very good herbal alternative for allergy-related complaints. 1

Click here for FürstenMED black cumin oil 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a real all-rounder and also helpful for allergy-related complaints. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and relieves symptoms such as itchy eyes or nose, or a sore throat. For more severe symptoms, it is recommended to take it diluted with water up to three times a day. If you don't like the slightly sour taste, you can add a spoonful of honey. This also has the advantage that the body can get used to the pollen contained in the honey. If consumed regularly, it has a similar effect to desensitization.

Quercetin

Quercetin is a polyphenol and flavonoid and is particularly common in the plant kingdom, where it protects plants from UV rays, predators, viruses, fungi and bacteria. 2 As a secondary plant substance, it is an important component of the human diet and is considered one of the strongest antioxidants. However, since it cannot be produced by the body itself, quercetin must be ingested through food. In connection with allergies, quercetin has a great effect because it inhibits the histamine receptor. The level of histamine levels influences the severity of allergy symptoms. 3

Travel/Vacation

Another tip is if you have the opportunity to travel during the peak pollen season. The best places to go are near the water or in the mountains. By the water, the salty sea air and the wind that blows through the respiratory tract help, while in the mountains the pollen density in the air is significantly lower due to the high altitude. This helps you to relax and not be constantly exposed to the annoying symptoms. 4

hygiene

It is recommended that you wash the pollen off your skin and hair in the evening with a shower or a hot bath so that you can temporarily rid your body of the pollen and have a symptom-free night. It is also important that you put on fresh clothes after showering so that you do not come into contact with any pollen that has stuck to your clothes.

( Tip : When taking a bath, you can also add one of the oils described above to add another soothing measure against allergy symptoms.)

Conclusion

Pollen allergies are the most common allergies. More and more people, especially in industrialized countries, are suffering from the symptoms. The reasons for this are most likely the increasingly warm climate and the increasing environmental pollution, which makes the pollen of plants more aggressive. 5

Symptoms are annoying and can severely restrict everyday life. Since pollen season takes up a large part of the year, you should do things to alleviate and neutralize the symptoms.

In addition to antihistamines, there are also a number of natural ways to combat pollen allergies. Black cumin oil is particularly suitable, as it treats the symptoms of an allergic reaction using plants.

Additionally,

  • Shower/bath in the evening

  • Various oils (peppermint, eucalyptus, etc.)

  • Mountain and sea air

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Important: This guide is intended as a source of information only. Always consult your doctor if you have acute problems. Under no circumstances should you change the dosage of your medication or stop taking it yourself.

Sources

  1. Chrubasik-Hausmann, PD (no date). Black cumin. Freiburg.

  2. Salehi B., Machin L., Monzote L. et al. (2020) Therapeutic potential of quercetin: new insights and perspectives for human health. ACS Omega.

  3. Anand David, AV, Arulmoli, R. & Parasuraman, S. (2016). Reviews on the biological significance of quercetin: A bioactive flavonoid. Pharmacognosy reviews.

  4. DAK Gesundheit. (2013). Spring joy instead of pollen frustration. fit! .

  5. Dürr, C., Heimgartner, S., Gehrig, R., Caversaccio, M., & Helbling, A. (2008). Pollen allergy; Clinical aspects. Part 1. Switzerland Med Forum .


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