Spring is in the Air and So is the Pollen

Photographer: dan, www.freedigitalphotos.net


Spring is in the air–wait, was that just snow I saw coming from the sky? No I see blooms starting on the tree outside, it must be spring time. Although I did see on weather.com that there is snow in the forecast for the weekend so it must still be winter. Didn’t Punxsutawney Phil report that spring was on its way?

Depending on where you live, you may feel that spring is here or you may feel like this winter will never end. For those of you in the south or east, it looks like spring is arriving a little early and aren’t you all the lucky ones. I on the other hand,  unfortunately reside in an area where winter drags on forever. Every now and then, spring shows its face with little glimpses here and there, teasing and toying with my emotions.

One day the sun is out and temperatures creep up into the high 50’s maybe even reaching 61 or 62 degrees. The very next day snow is falling, the wind is blowing and we are lucky to make it to a high of 40. This continuous game of up and down goes on for months before the weather evens out and stays warm. We joke around in our house about how the weather for baseball season is so much worse than football season could ever get. A little backwards I know. But seriously, I spend majority of the baseball season bundled up in my ski gear, hiding under a blanket shivering and hoping that the game does not run long. Then football comes around and I am getting sunburned if I forget to apply sunscreen.

So here I am wearing short sleeves one day and a turtleneck the next trying my best to manage the change in temperatures. While all I really want is for spring and summer to arrive and the weather to be nice.

I can honestly say I love all of the seasons, I just prefer to be warm. If I can stay inside curled up by the fireplace with a lovely cup of chai tea, then it can snow all day. But if I am going outside, I demand some sort of warmth. Funny because I do love skiing in the winter, I just won’t go unless the sun is out. I know people say that in the winter you can put on as many layers as you need to stay warm but in summer you can only take so much off–I don’t care, I would rather be near naked and hot then have ten layers on and still freeze. Thus summer is the ultimate season for me.

So why is it I am already suffering from seasonal allergies when the weather is continually turning from warm to freezing and spring does not appear to be on its way? Shame on you Punxsutawney Phil, I had so much hope in your prediction this year. That will teach me to trust a groundhog.

My eyes are itchy, my nose is running and my ears are plugged, I hate you spring–wait I just said I love spring time, oh I am so confused, probably from the Claritin. 🙂 Let me try this again, I love the warmth that comes with spring and summer, I just hate the itchy eyes and runny nose that comes as well.

I don’t know about you but when the pollen count picks up my eyes become a red and itchy mess. Not to mention my nose runs which plugs my ears and has me either constantly blowing my nose or sneezing. I know I am not the only one out there that battles this. At the very least I ruined my two boys by sharing my genetics with them and giving them this lovely gift. My oldest gets sent to the nurse’s office at least once per year because some teacher has never seen such red itchy eyes with the exception of pink-eye. So of course she sends him to the office because he must have pink-eye and no matter what he tells them they are convinced he is wrong. The nurse on the other hand knows our situation well. She does her duty and checks to make sure it is not really pink-eye, calls me and says “allergies again?” and then sends him back to class to explain to his teacher that his mother will give him medicine tonight and put eye drops in his eyes and that it is nothing to worry about tomorrow.

Then there is my youngest who is seven and can’t control the itching of his poor little eyes. Itching only makes them worse, but no matter how much I try to convince him, he still struggles with keeping his hands off. The only thing that makes it better for him is Benadryl which you all should know how I prefer to stay away from medicine (see “Will Chicken Noodle Soup Really Cure the Common Cold“). Not to mention the fact that I cannot give him Benedryl if he is going to school that day because it makes him very sleepy. So what’s a girl to do, go to the doctor for help? If you read “What’s Your Excuse” you also know how I feel about that.

There has got to be some natural remedies that will make my spring and early summer more allergy-free. I refuse to accept Claritin and Benadryl as my only solutions. I will do what I have to do so that none of us will suffer, I just want a healthy alternative to medicine.

I have been looking for alternatives to medicine and here are a few of the solutions other people have offered.

Close your windows. That is a nice thought if you don’t like fresh air. I know the idea is to keep the pollen out of your home but first of all it is still cold here and I don’t have my windows open and I am still suffering. Second when it does warm up, I will want the fresh air circulating through my home, not to mention the fact that I will be out in the yard planting flowers and adding to the problem.

Eat foods high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. According to a German study, those people who consumed higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, like in salmon, walnuts, and tuna, suffered fewer seasonal allergy attacks. This is an interesting concept, I may have to try it.

Eat local honey. One advisor suggests that if you consume at least one teaspoon of honey per day and your pollen allergies will vanish. Here’s the catch–the honey must be locally made. By eating local honey you are ingesting local pollen. Thus later when you breathe the pollen in, your body does not recognize it as foreign and violá allergies are cured. I am not sure whether it is my love of honey that makes this idea sound so incredible or that on some level it makes a great deal of sense. Either way, I think it is absolutely worth a try.

Drink water with lime and honey. Every morning prepare a class of lukewarm water with half of a lime squeezed into it and mix in a teaspoon of honey (maybe if you make it local honey you will get double the results). Drink this concoction to flush out the toxins in your body. This will supposedly help combat allergy symptoms. Sounds interesting and water with lime and honey doesn’t sound too bad. What do you think, is it worth it?

Additional vitamin C. We all get a decent dose of vitamin C when we eat fruits and vegetables. However, because vitamin C is known to boost your immune system as well as lowering hystamine levels, if you were to add an additional supplement you would be theoretically lessening your seasonal allergy symptoms.

These are all interesting ideas though I am not sure how many of these will actually work. I think I will try them out on myself first and see if I get any results before moving on to feeding my kids honey on a daily basis. I will let you all know if I find a solution. In the mean time, I welcome you comments if you have suggestions for a solution to my allergy problems!


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5 Responses to “Spring is in the Air and So is the Pollen”

  • I have to agree with Chris on using a Netti pot. My doctor rdnemmeceod it to me because I have asthma which leads to chronic bronchitis. Well every time I would get a cold, it would end up in my chest and end up on antibiotics ..it was a vicious cycle. I started getting REALLY sick (green means infection) so I relented and tried the Netti Pot. Within a few days I was feeling SO much better, and I am now a total believer!!! I have not been on antibiotics all winter a FIRST for me!!! Even my doctor mentioned I had not been in for my usual bouts of bronchitis and I told her I took her advice and had been using the Netti pot. These can be found at CVS, Stop and Shop, and I assume any pharmacy chain. If you cannot locate it, ASK. You will be amazed how much relief you will have from using one!!!! I have been using it for my seasonal allergies, and have been able to sleep without using the usual sinus meds, nose spray ect even helps my eyes!!!

  • Amy in StL:

    There should be a local Apiarist group where you live. Growing up my dad always gave me a spoonful of his honey a day. (From his bees, I did not intend for that to sound naughty.) My piano teacher chewed the caps that dad removed from the comb and swore that his severe allergies were cured by that. It really works, it’s also yummy on bread with butter if you can’t just swallow a spoonful.

    • Thanks Amy. I am just amazed that so many people are swearing by the honey trick. I am absolutely going to start taking a spoonful each day and giving my boys the same.

  • Sandy:

    The local honey works. One spoonful everyday, not in tea because the heat makes it not work, everyday. It may be to late for this season but it will help in the fall. I know a family that is off all allergy meds, prescription and over the counter because of eating honey. Until the farmers markets start you can get local honey at Whole Foods and other local grocery stores like Scolaris.

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