Dealing with pollen allergies
Spring has come and allergies abound.

Many prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals are available for the treatment of seasonal allergies.  Oral medication and nasal sprays are most common.  Most of these products contain antihistamines and/or decongestants.  While often effective for quick symptomatic relief, long-term use of such medications may produce unwanted side effects.  Many people seek alternative treatment for the bothersome symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.

Since pollen is the main culprit in seasonal allergies, practical steps can be taken to minimize its effect.  During the warmer months (Spring through Fall) it is advisable to use an air conditioner in your home and in your place of business, whenever possible.  Air conditioners filter out much of the pollen responsible for allergies.  In addition, an indoor air purifier may also help to keep the air you breathe free from pollen.  It is also a good idea to avoid the outdoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m, as this is usually the peak time period for airborne pollen.

Some clinicians believe allergy sufferers should avoid, if not eliminate dairy products from your diet, especially cheese and milk. Dairy products have been associated with increased mucus formation and heightened allergic susceptibility.  It is also been reported that fruits in the melon family including watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe, aggravate pollen type allergies. Eliminating such foods may prove helpful.

Two herbal products in particular have reportedly shown effectiveness with allergies. They are butterbur and freeze-dried nettle leaf. The recommended dosage for butterbur is 50 mg, twice a day.  Nettle leaf should be taken in a 300 mg dose twice a day.  Both products can be taken in combination with each other during the allergy season, or at the onset of symptoms.

Butterbur and freeze-dried nettle leaf are available in well stocked health food stores and on line.