Every plant releases pollen at different times throughout the year. However, spring is the time when most of them flower and cause the dreaded allergic reactions. We give you some tips for dealing with allergies.

Allergy is an exaggerated response of our immune system to an aggressor agent (allergen), which is perceived as harmful, although it is not actually dangerous, and which causes several symptoms, from mild discomfort to more severe disorders. Now that spring is here, pollen is the most common allergen.

Pollen allergy

Pollen is a substance produced by the male reproductive system of flowers. Its function is to transport sperm reproductive cells to the female reproductive system in order to produce fertilization and generate the fruit.

Grasses (common grasses), olives and ashes —which blossom between April and June— have the pollens that usually produce most allergies. Allergies occurring in February and March are caused by pollens from trees such as pine tree, birch, ash and plane tree.

As a consequence of the fight between the allergen (pollen) and the defensive weapons of the immune system (antibodies), a series of chemical substances (histamine, serotonin) are released and cause the typical allergy symptoms. Although they may vary a little from one person to another, the most common symptoms are: itchy and irritated nose with congestion, watery discharge and sneezing, itchy eyes with tearing, itchy and irritated palate, and sometimes coughing and difficult breathing with wheezing and whistling.

If your allergy is caused by pollen, you should avoid direct contact with it, as much as possible. In order to do so, we have the following tips for you:

  • Keep the windows closed at night.
  • Reduce outdoor activities during the hours when there is more pollen in the atmosphere or on windy days.
  • Keep windows closed when traveling by car.
  • Choose coastal areas for vacations.
  • Wear your sunglasses when going outdoors.
  • Try not to eat certain foods containing common allergens with pollen (banana, chestnut, kiwi, carrot...).

Plants that may help you

Black currant and fumitory are two examples among several medicinal plants that contribute to alleviating allergy symptoms due to their anti-inflammatory action. There are some plants can also be used to soothe coughs, relieve itching, while other plants relieve breathing difficulty by relaxing the muscles of the bronchi, such as elecampane, plantain, hyssop and helichrysum. The rose bush and eyebright can relieve nasal and eye discomfort.

Tags #health #allergy

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