Spring is typically the most difficult season of all for allergy sufferers and 40 million Americans will spend the next several weeks dealing with itchy eyes, runny noses, persistent coughs and perpetual sneezes.  Allergy symptoms are usually triggered by pollen in the air. Pollens are tiny powdery grains that are released from flowering plants and then carried through the wind. Pollen can land in a person’s eyes, nose or lungs. Because the body senses that allergens are invaders, the immune system kicks into high gear and will do everything it can to flush them away. This prompts your body to produce chemical called histamine that triggers the troublesome allergy symptoms.

Many allergy sufferers are under the mistaken impression that the only way to treat symptoms is by taking either over the counter or prescription medications. Many of the commonly prescribed medications have unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous, side effects. Some of the medications can be habit-forming. The fact of the matter is that there are many natural alternatives that can effectively relieve allergy symptoms.

Butterbur, grape seed extract, Echinacea, pine bark extract and cat’s claw are often recommended by holistic practitioners for allergy sufferers. Natural saline nasal washes can also provide significant relief because they help to flush out pollen and reduce or thin out mucus. Xlear, which is available from the Institute for Vibrant Living, is a natural, non-addictive formula which keeps nasal passages irrigated, thereby reducing the chances of invasion by allergens.

Some allergy sufferers obtain relief from acupuncture, which can stimulate points outside the body to change reactions to allergens within the body.  Acupuncture can also boost the immune system, which is where allergic actions begin.

Diet has a critical role to play in the treatment of allergies.  Saturated fats, preservatives, fried foods and sugar can worsen symptoms.  Dairy products should be avoided because they tend to thicken mucus which makes it harder for the body to flush out toxins.

The treatment plan for allergy symptoms will vary from person to person depending on your geographical location, age and lifestyle.  Talk to your holistic practitioner to develop a natural approach for spring allergy relief so you can explore the wonders of nature and embrace the season of new beginnings without pesky allergy symptoms.