This season was a tough one for many kids, (and adults alike!), sensitive to environmental allergens. The abundance of wind and pollen can trigger the production of antibodies and cause the release histamine and other molecules that lead to inflammation of the nasal passages and eyes. The resulting symptoms are itching, swelling, mucus production and often, a tired and irritable child.
Luckily, there are some measures and foods to help manage the immune response and associated discomforts.
The first and most obvious adjustment is to be proactive about reducing exposure. This may mean using specific anti-allergy air purifiers or a shower head filter to reduce unwanted airborne or waterborne chemicals/pollutants. Breathing good and air and rinsing with clean water are two ways to lower the toxic load on the body and modulate the immune response. Also, make sure to wash clothes and bed sheets in fragrance-free, chemical free detergents. Shower at the end of the day to get rid of any pollen you may have picked up during the day.
Eat a diet rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine foods. Allergies are exacerbated when the body is triggered by certain foods so eliminating trigger foods and introducing supportive foods can make a huge difference!
Avoid: Dairy, fried foods, rich fatty processed foods. Do this 100% for at least two weeks
Include: Quercetin rich foods – green and white onion, blueberries, elderberries, cranberries, broccoli and dark leafy greens like spinach and dandelion
Anti-histamine herbs – parsley, thyme, turmeric, ginger, chamomile, and nettle.
3. Support the Gut:
A compromised intestinal wall is heavily implicated seasonal allergies. Eat according to the above mentioned and add probiotics, enzymes, and gut-healing nutrients such as L-glutamine. Gelatin is another delicious way to nourish the gut. Add it to smoothies, sauces or soups!
4. Home Acupressure:
Massaging acupuncture points on your child is something you can do at home. Hold points for up to a minute. You can hold longer on older children.
5. Herbs and Supplements
The kind of herbs will depend your child’s unique pattern. The reason herbs occasionally don’t work is because of inconsistency or not eliminating certain foods. Especially dairy!
For supplements, try Nettle leaf (100-400 mg 3-4 times/day) and quercetin (200-1000 mg 3-4 times/day). Be careful with quercetin though if your child has dry or bloody noses.
6. Nasal Rinsing:
Neti pots clear the nasal passages and get rid of mucous build up from dust and pollen. This takes some practice but is very effective if you can get your child to do it!
Allergies can annoying but they don’t need to prevent your little one from enjoying the outdoors this season. Try these suggestions and let us know how you do!
Written by Carla Vidor – To book your next acupuncture appointment, call (424) 744-8366.