Central Texas allergen levels for the week of 1/5/2014. Source: Pollen.com
The new year hasn't been so happy for many Texas residents as the Juniper family of flora, commonly referred to as "cedar," has unleashed pollen all over large swaths of Central and Southern Texas. A perfect combination of temperature and wind conditions have sent allergen counts to record highs, and since 90% of allergy sufferers feel the effects of cedar pollen, misery and Kleenex use is up there too.
But while some turn to the same over the counter medication to get them through the season, consumers are increasingly looking to natural solutions to either compliment and boost the effects of their daily regimen of medication, or to replace that medication altogether. Natural solutions are proving effective as they get to the root of allergy symptoms, or just address the allergies in new, more holistic ways to great success.
Lexi Hagenson, a Chicago-based licensed acupuncturist and certified herbalist, has several recommendations for fighting back against allergies, the natural way.
First, she recommends the use of a Neti Pot, which can be found in most health food stores. Just follow the directions on the package. "It's the most effective way to remove pollen, dust, environmental irritants and mucus from your sinuses, without causing dryness or rebound congestion often experienced from pharmaceutical decongestants." While it's not the most pleasant experience, nasal irrigation like with a Neti Pot soothes and protects nasal passages, something most allergy sufferers desperately need.
Second, she recommends weekly acupuncture treatments for a month or two. "This 3,000-year-old practice can remarkably improve quality of life for allergy sufferers, even those who don't see results from conventional anti-allergy medications," says Hagenson. Numerous scientific studies have shown that acupuncture is effective for addressing all manner of maladies, even if how it works isn't immediately clear to Western physicians. But adds Hagenson, "acupuncture works both locally by [alleviating] head, neck and facial symptoms, and throughout the body by promoting healthy circulation and decreasing areas of hypersensitivity and stagnation."
But finally, and perhaps most rapid-acting, Hagenson recommends the use of formulas based on Chinese Herbology, such as Rootology: Breathe Free. Not as well known in the U.S., Chinese Herbology is different than other natural allergy remedies, such as Homeopathy, Stinging Nettles, Quercetin, or herbal tinctures, because it starts working immediately, in about 20 minutes, on the same biological systems as Sudafed, but more gently and effectively. While Chinese formulas can vary, even when addressing the same ailment, Rootology's Breathe Free formula is made of 13 concentrated herbal extracts, each with specific functions as detailed on their website. Of the two most prevalent ingredients, Hagenson says, "xanthium fruit and magnolia flower are two extremely effective herbs for alleviating nasal symptoms like profuse nasal discharge and itchiness." She continues, "when taken regularly for a period of time, Rootology can actually help the sinus passageways work more efficiently." To those who may be skeptical, especially if they're not familiar with the herbs, Hagenson offers, "just give it a try! If after two or three doses you feel no change you can always quit with no harm done, especially with the thirty day guarantee. But I highly doubt there won't be a noticeable difference."
Dr. Joan Lehach, MD, a highly regarded allergist in New York City agrees. "I have been practicing Allergy and Clinical Immunology for over 25 years and I am really excited to recommend Rootology, a new all-natural product that really works. It immediately alleviates sneezing, nasal itch, congestion and rhinorrhea (runny nose) without side-effects. Rootology is first line in my practice."
With these tips, hopefully you'll find your way through cedar season, especially the natural way.
You can find more information about Rootology:Breathe Free, including expert and customer testimonials and a description of exactly how it works at www.RootologyHealth.com