By Dr. Sheena Wu, ND


As spring blooms and temperature arise at last, for many it also signals the dreaded seasonal allergies – relentless sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and itching.

If you’re among the one-quarter of Canadians grappling with seasonal allergies, here are some tips to help you enjoy the season –


  • Herbal Teas: Sip on herbal teas like peppermint, ginger, chamomile, turmeric, or nettle – the anti-inflammatory and antihistamine compounds can relieve symptoms like nasal congestion and itching.


  • Nasal Irrigation: Flush from neti pot or nasal spray helps remove allergens, congestion, and soothes irritation and dryness by moisturizing nasal mucosa.


  • Steam Inhalation: Steam from a bowl of hot water or a steamy shower helps clear nasal congestion. Add 3-5 drops of essential oils like tea tree or eucalyptus for an added boost but use caution as too much can be over-stimulating.


  • Local Honey: While the evidence is mixed, some do find relief in consuming a spoonful of local honey for pollen desensitization over time. (*NOT for babies under 1 years old!)


  • Quercetin-Rich Foods: Quercetin, a natural antihistamine and antioxidant, can be found in foods like onions, apples, citrus and more.


  • Gut Health: 70-80% of immune cells are housed in our gut. Avoid sensitizing foods and maintaining a healthy diet and gut microbiome helps regulate immune response and reduce allergy severity.


  • Allergen Avoidance: Minimize exposure to allergens by closing windows during high pollen days, using HEPA filters indoors, and showering after outdoor activities to remove pollen from your skin and hair.


As your Naturopathic Doctor, I can further formulate a treatment plan tailored to your case – this can include acupuncture to modulate immune response, supplementation, herbal remedies, and guidance on diet and lifestyle.

Remember, finding the right approach may require some experimentation. With a combination of preventive measures and personalized treatments, you can embrace the beauty of spring without the sniffles and sneezes.

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