Uh-oh, It’s Sneezin’ Season:
10 Tips to Managing Autumn Allergies

Autumn is here. Is your body ready for it? Or are you one of the runny-nosed masses who dreads those Indian summer days because of all the ragweed-filled breezes and sneezes they bring? Well, I’d like to help you change all that – without drugging yourself senseless with Benadryl or prescription drugs. Here are a few of my favorite tricks of the wellness trade to help you welcome the season with open arms, clearer nasal passages and less watery eyes:

1. Get Your Gut in Order

When your microbiome is in balance, and those billions of bacteria in your gut are being fed well, the more resilient your body is and the less likely it is to succumb to seasonal airborne irritants. In the fall, particularly for those who suffer with allergies, a daily probiotic can keep your microbiome defenses high. Even the World Allergy Organization has recognized  the link between an impoverished microbiome and an increased susceptibility to allergens.

2. Don’t Eat Allergens

In autumn, when all those ragweed and mold spores are being blown about in the wind, you should be mindful of not eating allergens as well as not breathing them in. Topping the list of edible irritants to eliminate during allergy season, if not year round: processed foods, genetically-modified foods, sugar, gluten, dairy. Back off the caffeine and alcohol, too.

Sensitive to ragweed? Then during the October high season, also consider avoiding the kinds of produce that can aggravate symptoms further, such as bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, tomatoes and zucchini. Also put teas like chamomile, Echinacea, and hibiscus on hold ‘til ragweed season’s past.

3. Clean Up Your Act From the Inside Out

If autumnal allergies are an annual downer for you, then take your wellness up a notch and try a cleanse. Doing so will help cut your toxic load, also eliminate most (if not all) of the most common allergens from your diet. Reducing toxins and allergens reduces your vulnerability to the effects of seasonal allergies. Better yet, a cleanse will also lessen the strain on your liver, giving it the support it needs to better manage sneezin’ season.

4. Eat Tasty, Colorful Veggies That Tame, Not Inflame

What you eat impacts how well your body handles the season. To do it well, look for foods that deliver the allergy-relieving goods. With vitamin A – especially the carotenoids – vitamin C and quercetin on your team, allergic inflammation will have a tough time gaining the upper hand.

Tops on the-tamp down list, not surprisingly, are the power greens – like broccoli, collard greens, kale and celery. Next, add some autumnal orange, like carrots and pumpkin, to your allergy-fighting mix. Top off your tank with onions and garlic which deliver a tasty dose of quercetin which inhibits the release of histamines – the annoying chemical culprit that makes eyes and noses run. Another tip: up your intake of flaxseed oil and zinc for an added anti-allergy boost.

5. Keep Allergens Off of You

Pollen clings, so after being outside, peel off your “outdoor clothes” and shoes when you get inside and leave em by the door or a hamper, so you’re not tracking allergens through the house. Shower before bed and wash hair, clothes and sheets frequently – and don’t forget the pillowcases which spend the most time nearest your mouth and nose. If you plan to work outside, raking leaves or harvesting those end-of-season veggies in the garden, consider wearing a surgical or painter’s mask – and try doing outdoor chores late in the day when pollen counts tend to drop.

6. Make a Bowl of Anti-allergy Soup

Warm up the season with this allergy-fighting, super-simple soup recipe by herb expert James Duke, Ph.D:

  • Boil an onion (with skin) and a clove of garlic.
  • Add ½ cup chopped leaves and diced taproots of evening primrose.
  • After boiling for about 5 minutes, add a cup of nettle leaves and a cup of diced celery stalks, and boil gently for another 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Before eating, remove the onion skins and eat the soup while it’s still warm. Season with wine vinegar, black pepper, hot pepper, turmeric, curry powder, or celery seed.

BE WELL BONUS:

Other easy-to-incorporate allergy-fighting tips:

  • Give your nose a rinse: Use a traditional neti pot or saline solution spray to rinse sinuses and nasal passages
  • Get steamed: Try taking a sauna or two every week during allergy season to help relieve sinus congestion, aid relaxation and boost immunity
  • Skip the convertible: Drive with the windows up, not the top down!
  • Lay off the drugs: Instead consider a natural, non-pharmaceutical product with a targeted blend of nutrients and botanicals, like Allergy Support Formula, which support immune balance during the allergy season.

PIONEER IN FUNCTIONAL AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE

For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How To Be Well, The New Health Rules, 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat, Revive and Total Renewal.

After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalities.

In 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non- Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness.

He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, "If antibiotics are right, he'll try it. If it's an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things."

In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives.