After another seemingly-endless winter, spring has arrived in all its glory! But with the long, luminous days, comes the onslaught of high winds, pollen clouds, and dust mites galore.
Hello, seasonal allergies, welcome back.
So while some are gearing up for the myriad of adventures the new season brings, others are stocking up on Benadryl and battening down the hatches.
If you’re in the latter camp, don’t shutter your windows just yet. Effective, holistic seasonal allergy treatment — without the groggy-eyed, zombified state OTC options are known for — is possible with just a little bit of strategy and supplement support.
In this article:
- What are seasonal allergies?
- What is holistic seasonal allergy treatment?
- 3 major components of true holistic seasonal allergy treatment
- Our favorite supplements for seasonal allergies
- Treating seasonal allergy symptoms
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies are basically the Earth’s way of reminding us that spring isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, symptoms of seasonal allergies vary:
- Itchy eyes
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
The culprits? Pollen, mold, and other irritating pollutants just under our noses. The symptoms we experience are, in a nutshell, responses caused by our immune system’s overreaction to these common allergens.
Listen: Immune Health: Boost or Bust? | Wellness Upside Down Podcast Ep. 12
These allergies are, rightfully, the bane of many people’s existences — over 60 million in the U.S. alone, to be precise. Sufferers typically experience an uptick in symptoms during the seasons when trees and plants are pollinating. That is, spring, summer, and fall which arguably the best times of year.
Seasonal allergy sufferers aren’t doomed to navigate these seasons between sneezes and sniffles though. With a little bit of holistic knowledge and a well-stocked supplement cabinet, you’ll be out smelling the roses in no time.
What is Holistic Seasonal Allergy Treatment?
To start, holistic treatment for seasonal allergies is not anti-medicine, despite what you may have heard.
The word holistic has weird connotations in our day and age. Most associate the term with homeopathy, Goop, or snake oil salesmen but at its root, it basically means whole picture thinking.
Our approach to seasonal allergy supplements is considered holistic because it takes into account the whole picture of your life. These guidelines, set in place by Woodstock Vitamins founder and pharmacist of 20 years, Dr. Neal Smoller, address not only your immune system, but also environmental toxins and symptom management too.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, then you already know that they can make even the most mundane tasks seem like a Herculean effort. So, we asked Dr. Neal to break down his holistic allergy treatment strategy into the simplest and most effective path possible — scroll on to get the scoop.
3 Major Components of True Holistic Allergy Treatment
1. Environmental controls (bedroom and houses)
The truth is, you probably won’t get allergies if you never step foot outside. But that’s not very practical for most humans, is it?
Instead, it’s important to start with the environments you can control — your home.
Your home, lovely as it is, traps a shocking amount of dust, dander, and debris in its nooks and crannies. Combat exposure to environmental irritants by making a few simple lifestyle changes like: adding hypoallergenic covers to your pillows and mattresses, improving household ventilation and air circulation, and going full spring-cleaning mode on your carpets and furniture.
For nighttime allergy sufferers, if you’re interested in actually sleeping well again you should implement that first step as soon as possible.
2. Blocking Histamine
Histamine, if you’re unfamiliar, is an organic compound and a crucial component of both our immune systems and inflammatory responses.
When exposed to pollen and other allergens, however, histamine can go a little haywire. It overreacts for some people, causing a flush of histamine throughout the body, and needs to be mitigated for most allergy sufferers.
To block histamine, most people have two options:
- Grab an over the counter antihistamine like Benadryl that can induce drowsiness and yucky feelings.
- Opt for a popular herbal option, like stinging nettle, and run the risk of getting contaminated plant matter due to the lack of quality regulations for the supplement industry. Or the wrong dose. Or a capsule with nothing in it.
Which is not to dissuade you from natural options, actually. Nettles, and the other plant pigment it’s often paired with, quercetin, can be highly effective options for histamine-blocking, but only if the manufacturer meets rigorous quality standards.
Listen:The Supplement Quality Standard | Wellness Upside Down Podcast Ep. 24
3. Timing and Consistency
If you’re reading this before your seasonal allergies have made you feel really miserable — jumpstart your holistic treatment strategy right now. Like, right this minute.
Starting your immune support and histamine-blocking supplements before the apex of pollination can be a make-or-break factor in your holistic seasonal allergy treatment.
For serious sufferers in particular, the timing component is crucial. For sufferers of every scale, however, consistency is key to finally getting relief from your seasonal allergy symptoms. Set a schedule for your supplement support strategy, and stick to it like your quality of life depends on it.
After all, it does.
Listen: Supplement Strategy | Wellness Upside Down Podcast Ep. 4
Our Favorite Supplements for Seasonal Allergies
When it comes to supplements, we at Woodstock Vitamins will always start with the Vital 5. Why?
The Vital 5 were designed by Dr. Neal after two decades of people constantly asking him, “What supplement should I take?” These 5 essential supplements impact multiple body systems, are backed by the best science, and almost all of us are lacking in them.
When it comes to seasonal allergies, the probiotics and Vitamin D included in the Vital 5 support the immune system, giving it the fuel it needs to stay balanced during allergy season. Start there!
Woodstock Vitamins Allergy Support Capsules
For additional allergy support during high-pollen seasons, we made an immune-boosting, non-drowsy, comprehensive formula that ticks all the boxes.
Meet Allergy Support.
Why we love it:
- Capsules for maximum absorption and quick dissolving
- Sophisticated blend of allergy support herbs
- Optimal doses of nettles and quercetin
- Meticulously processed for pristine purity
Neal selected this formula specifically because it is a comprehensive option to address the root cause of allergies and allergy symptoms.
Using Allergy Support routinely prior to the start of allergy season straight through the end of it is truly the optimal Supplement Strategy.
Treating Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Holistically
Prevention is pivotal when it comes to seasonal allergies, but let’s face it, nobody’s perfect. When the wheezing and sneezing strikes, symptom management is your next best bet for relief.
One of our favorite, albeit unsightly, options for clearing out those canals is a Neti pot. Used once a day throughout allergy seasons, Neti pots can be a highly effective, healthy option for symptom relief — as long as you don’t accidentally rinse away your soul like this person from the commercial:
Finish your Neti pot routine with a post-flush yoga flow to drain the deep reaches of your sinuses. Pair this practice with the heavy-hitters below if you’re fed up with being stuffed up.
We’ve spent nearly 15 years identifying the best products to support allergy symptoms, and we’ve simplified it to three options (one for each symptom):
When it comes to a stuffed up nose, there’s nothing more natural than sniffing some garlic, cayenne, or horseradish!
Sinus Blaster is our top-selling nasal congestion support supplement. When taken by mouth (please don’t put it up your nose!), it works aromatically to tickle those nasal passages and keep them clear.
Why we love Sinus Blaster:
- Targeted blend of natural aromatics — food and herb — for deep decongestion
- Supports and strengthens the immune system
- Derived almost entirely from whole-plant sources
- We test all of our herbal supplements for contamination, heavy metals, pesticides and other harmful chemicals
- The hair-of-the-dog flavor will make you want to speed up your recovery so you can stop taking it!
A cough is almost guaranteed for allergy sufferers. There are what seems like a million cough support options available, from OTC pharmacy items to every “natural” option under the sun.
We’ve selected this unique formula that throws everything (and the kitchen sink) at the problem. We call it Bronchial Syrup. (Ignore the picture, we’re updating the online photos as we speak!)
Unlike other formulas, this one’s made to kick butt. Proper doses, well-crafted herbs, in a sophisticated formula.
Why we love Bronchial Syrup:
- Refined blend of cooling and moisturizing herbs for lung and throat relief
- Properly extracted herbs that are free of creepy solvents like hexane and acetone
- 100% label transparency — what you see is what you get!
- Proper doses of powerhouse herbs: slippery elm, wild cherry bark, and more!
- Kick it up a notch with some ginger using our PRODUCT HERE.
A non-Woodstock Vitamins product rounds out our top picks. Xlear Sinus Care Spray.
This looks like a conventional saline nasal spray at first pass, but it has a secret weapon: xylitol from birch bark.
The xylitol AND saline help moisturize and clear the nose. The xylitol naturally prevents mucous and other gross stuff from sticking to surfaces — including your nasal passages.
Why we love Xlear Nasal Spray:
- Contains xylitol to prevent mucous from sticking to surfaces
- Xylitol is a sweet-tasting compound, which is what gives Xlear its relatively pleasant post-nasal drip
- Addition of ultra-soothing aloe vera gives more immediate relief for congestion
- Capsicum, a natural antihistamine, clears sinuses and nasal passages
- Alleviates headaches caused by sinus pressure and congestion
Spring Has Sprung But Seasonal Allergies Don’t Have To Ruin Your Fun
What’s our Holistic Care Plan for managing allergies? Simple:
- Minimize exposure to allergens, and do the work in the house to keep dust, dander, and pollen to a minimum
- Start using allergy support products now (assuming you’re reading this during allergy season!). Get a head start on cleaning up the histamine and stay consistent for best results. We recommend Allergy Support for all the science AND success.
- Stock up on some symptom-busting supplements. Sinus Blaster, Bronchial Syrup, and Xlear are our top recommendations.
Take control of your health, kick the cough to the curb, and enjoy all this season has to offer with strategic, holistic allergy treatments. And if you need someone in your corner to help fight back against the snivels — hop on a Counterside Consult for expert, one-on-one guidance for allergy relief.