Pollen season is in full swing here in Iceland with pollen from grass and from Birch trees being widely reported as particularly troublesome at the moment. Pollen allergies are caused by the pollens in the air that trees, grasses and weeds release to fertilize each other. When any of the pollen you're allergic to lands on your eyes or nose, your immune system reacts. Your body releases an antibody called immunoglobulin E, and the antibody seeks out the allergens so that your mast cells can destroy them. In the process, chemicals are released -- including histamine, which is what causes your allergic symptoms (1).
Although many people rely on 'over the counter' preparations to get through pollen season, there is a growing interest in learning how to manage unpleasant symptoms using a more natural approach. More and more people are turning to essential oils to help them in their battle against pollen with Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint and Melaleuca being top favourites in our house. What each of these great oils have in common is an ability to support healthy immune function. Remember, it's an immune system reaction that causes your body to respond to pollen in the first place, so anything you can do to support healthy immune function will strengthen your bodies natural ability to deal with pollen. So, how do these amazing natural products help? Well, Lemon and Peppermint essential oils support a healthy respiratory system, Lavender is a great natural stress-buster and Melaleuca is very supportive for the skin.
There are a number of ways you can use these wonderful oils, choose the ones that suit your situation best:
- Aromatically: add one drop of each oil to a water diffuser and diffuse when needed throughout the day or while you sleep.
- Topically: Add 2 drops of each oil to a 10ml glass roller bottle, top with a carrier oil and apply topically when needed or try the Touch Range from dōTERRA that contain essential oils diluted in Fractionated Coconut Oil. Simply unscrew the lid and apply as needed.
- Internally: TriEase Softgels were developed to protect against seasonal and environmental elements and to promote a healthy respiratory system when needed most. Each softgel contains equal parts of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils, known for their ability to maintain clear breathing and a healthy immune response when combined together.
There are also a number of things you could try to minimise your reaction to pollen:
- If pollen from Birch trees are an irritant for you, try using Birch pollen honey pre-seasonally. Preliminary research demonstrated that those who ate Birch pollen honey pre-seasonally had much better control of their symptoms (2).
- Eat raw local honey. Local honey works to relieve symptoms because it contains local pollen that is causing your allergies.
- Make and eat bone broth regularly. Bone broth is known to contain anti-inflammatory amino acids that could be supportive for your overall health, including the immune system.
- Eat probiotic-rich foods. Probiotic-rich foods can support a stronger immune system, improve digestion and increase energy levels. Try including more of the following foods in your diet year round but particularly during pollen season: kefir, sauerkraut or kimchi, kombucha, natto, yogurt and raw cheese.
- Drink probiotic-rich, raw, organic apple cider vinegar to boost your immune system and support the health of mucus membranes. In a research study investigating the role of probiotics in human infections and autoimmune diseases, probiotics showed therapeutic potential for diseases, including several immune response-related diseases, including allergies (3).
What are your tried and tested ways to reduce the impact of pollen season?
- HowStuffWorks.com Contributors "What is a birch tree pollen allergy?" 12 April 2011. HowStuffWorks.com. <https://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/outdoor-allergies/birch-tree-pollen-allergy.htm> 26 June 2019