Spring has sprung. I was in New Mexico last week and my allergies were terrible. Yes, Albuquerque is one of the worst allergy cities in the country. Tons of pollen as well as dust off the desert.

This got me thinking about allergy reduction and prevention.

I recommend several different things.

First, diet. Reducing or eliminating sugar and all processed and refined foods can make a tremendous difference in the immune system and reduce sensitivity to allergens.

Second, cleaning. You must do a thorough job of cleaning your house of dust and pet dander and fur, as well as trying to eliminate any mold sources. The bedroom is where we spend as much as one third or more of our life. Launder all bedding in hot water and dry on High. You can even use 80 Mule Team Borax in the laundry to boost the cleaning. Dust the bedroom completely, pulling out dressers and beds from the wall, and dusting behind. Use the vacuum with the brush attachment to really suck up the dust. Or dust with a damp cloth to pick it all up.

Third, reduce exposures to toxic materials. The immune system is often aggravated by personal care products and home products that we use every day. Worst are things that are scented.  Switch to all unscented products or natural brands from the health food store that are less aggravating. Change laundry soap to unscented, and get rid of fabric softener, unless it is one of the natural brands. I often smell laundry soap and fabric softener on people and I actually react right there. I think many others react like this too.

Fourth, improve immune health. Rest at least 8 hours per night. Exercise at least 30 minutes of walking per day, drink at least 1/2 gallon of water daily, eat only whole foods you prepare yourself, reduce eating out, and take supplements that help with allergies. I really like the bioflavonoids for this, including Quercitin, Rutin, and Hesperidin, they reduce the tendency of the body to produce histamines, the things that make your eyes red and itchy, and make red blotches on skin. Fish oils are also good, take the recommended dose to really be effective. And some people like to use things like ginger, cayenne, turmeric, nettles extract, N-acetyl cysteine, bromelain, and others. Get a consultation from a professional before using these things to make sure they are right for you.

Chinese medicine also has herbal formulas that treat allergies. These must be chosen based on your diagnostic pattern to be most effective, so see a practitioner for this. Herbs that are commonly used in these formulas might include honeysuckle, forsythia, chrysanthemum, mint, as well as others to help your Qi flow be better.