By Kay Leaman, HealthyDay HealthyLife

Do you know someone who suffers from allergies? I know I do. And even though I’ve never experienced the effects of seasonal allergies, I know that it is something dreaded by all those who do.

Allergy – An abnormal immune response to almost any substance, pollen, dust, animal dander, etc. which ordinarily does not affect most people. Reactions can affect one or more areas of the body including the skin, respiratory tract, eyes, etc.

The inflammatory response of allergies is characterized by a release of free radicals which in turn further accelerate the inflammatory or allergic response. Our bodies release histamine and other inflammatory elements in response to the invader (pollen, etc.). Results of this process are over stimulation of mitochondria (energy producing part of our cells), mucus production, smooth muscle spasms found in the lungs and intestines.
Symptoms consist of runny nose, sneezing, coughing, burning eyes, rash or blisters, diarrhea, gas bloating and headaches.

Antihistamines – These products reduce the release of histamines, but they don’t affect the release of the other inflammatory elements.

Honey – Locally sourced honey introduces small amounts of pollen into the system. These small amounts teach the body to recognize pollen as an ‘ok’ element which in turn can reduce or stop the allergic reaction.

Various essential oils – Essential oils are not created equal. It’s also important to remember that these oils have strong medicinal purposes and not all oils can be taken or applied in the same way. One oil to consider is Eucalyptus oil. You can apply a few drops on a towel; place the towel over your nose and mouth (avoid touching the skin where the drops are located), take several slow deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Some research suggests the oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and can make breathing easier.

Vitamin D – This nutrient helps to regulate immune system cells and the release of chemicals that can produce allergy symptoms.

Saline nasal spray – The saline cleanses the nasal passages and sinuses. This tends to be easier than a neti pot.

Peppermint tea – You can drink a cup of hot peppermint tea. Inhaling the steam and drinking the tea seems to work as a decongestant and expectorant (breaking up the mucus).

Grape seed extract – Anti-allergy and anti-asthma supplement (Dr. Lad McNamara). Using a potent and pure grasped extract with vitamin C has been one the most impressive supplements used to ameliorate symptoms of allergies and asthma.

Allergy medication is big business and it has its place. But, as with any medication, the side effects can far outweigh the benefits; just watch a few commercials. I know first-hand how some of these natural remedies have positively impacted allergy sufferers allowing them to manage their symptoms and be able to enjoy the outdoors again. You can contact me, Kay Leaman, at

Here’s to summer!