Dr. Dawna Ara, DACM

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Tis the Season For Stuffy Nose, Itchy Skin, and Watery Eyes

Autumn is here and the Santa Ana winds are blowing pollen, dust, and mold through the air causing peoples allergies to act up. An allergy attack can feel like a cold or flu leaving you feeling miserable.

Headaches from sinus pressure are common as well as runny nose itching sneezing and coughing. Before you go to the drugstore and purchase antihistamines here are 5 natural things you can do to keep your allergies in check this season:

1. Get a netti pot.

When suffering from nasal allergies a netti pot can save your life. Use it twice daily to irrigate your nasal system and clear out unwanted allergens from your nose. A netti pot can wash away allergens, lessen mucus, and and relieve sinus pressure. They cost about $10 at your local drugstore.

2. Increase your intake of horseradish, chili peppers, and hot mustard.

These foods are natural decongestants. They cause your nose to run and therefore expel allergens. Add them to your diet by cooking them in your favorite dishes.

3. Replace your air filters with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter attachment.

HEPA filters can trap dust and mold spores and stop them from circulating in your home. Use them with your vacuum and air conditioner system.

4. Get a weekly acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture works by balancing the body and strengthening the immune system. A weekly acupuncture treatment will not only help keep allergy symptoms away but it can also help other symptoms not related to allergies. You may notice that after your treatment you can sleep better, you are less stressed, and the back pain that has been bothering you for weeks has practically disappeared!

5. Use herbal and natural supplements instead of over the counter antihistamines or prescription steroids.

When it comes to allergies and herbal medicine you have plenty of options. Here are just a few natural supplements you can take:

  • Astragalus otherwise known as huang qi, is an amazing Chinese herb that can strengthen your immune system. You can buy it in single herb form or in a formula with other immune boosting Chinese herbs.
  • Ginseng aka ren shen is probably the most famous Chinese herb. It too strengthens the immune system and can be taken alone or in a formula with other Chinese herbs. Ginseng will also give you a natural boost of energy and help combat stress.
  • Quercetin a bioflavanoid, can block the release of histamine and prevent inflammation.
  • A daily multivitamin is a good start but if you want added defense against allergies then especially increase your intake of vitamin A, vitamin C & vitamin B complex.
  • CoQ10 is also an immune booster that counters histamine.

As always consult your primary care physician before making any major health decisions.

About Dr. Dawna Ara, DACM
Dawna is an acupuncturist, herbalist, functional medicine practitioner, a mom, wife, writer, nature lover, chef and whole foods advocate. She teaches her patients how to live a healthy lifestyle.