Late summer and early autumn usually means weed pollens, particularly ragweed for many allergy sufferers. The fall can be just as troublesome as the spring, and with such a wet season preceding us, we can anticipate high pollen counts for prolonged periods of time. Accordingly, one would take precautions to reduce exposure to pollens such as limiting early day outdoor activities, keeping windows closed, and cleaning outdoor pets before they come into the home.
In addition to taking measures to reduce exposure to fall pollens, many people also supplement with over-the-counter anti-histamines, nasal saline or decongestants. There are also several plant-based therapies which have shown benefit:
• Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) – Commonly used for headaches, two studies confirmed its efficacy in head to head trials versus OTC antihistamines. Make sure you purchase "PA-free" formulations to avoid liver toxicity
• Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) – Although evidence is lacking for its role in treating allergies, I have had several patients report dramatic improvements in rhinitis symptoms from using Nettle formulations.
• Quercetin – Provides Flavonoids, a potent anti-inflammatory, which has been demonstrated to have anti-histamine properties in test tubes. Lacking clinical evidence but testimonials from patients carry weight, given its low risk.
Lastly, consider the role of diet, emotions and stress in inflammation. Remember that the body is always trying to restore homeostasis, so try and lead a lifestyle that fosters this process.
Avicenna Integrative Medicine
1000 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite E200
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 977-9300 | www.avicennamd.com
Maziar Rezvani, MD, FAAAAI serves as director of Avicenna Integrative Medicine and Avicenna Allergy and Asthma. He specializes in integrative medicine and allergy, asthma and immunology, and his interests include the role of inflammation in various disease states, diet and nutrition, and botanical medicine.
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