Good news! There are natural and safe ways to help ease the discomfort of environmental sensitivities.
Dreaming of the summer months ahead? Although the transition from cold to warm temperatures can add a little pep to our step, these changes are also accompanied, unfortunately, with environmental sensitivity. Occasional itching, sneezing, running noses, and low energy, may put a damper on our plans to be outside more enjoying the weather!
Here are some natural, safe ways to support your body when experiencing environmental sensitivity that won’t leave you feeling sluggish or weaken your immune system. (1)
This one might seem obvious, however do you truly know what is causing your environmental sensitivity?
The top culprits that can trigger our bodies include:
- Dust mites
- Insect stings/bites
- Mold spores
- Pet dander
So if you are trying to avoid triggers, you will want to consider a few things:
1. Make sure to clean your home often. The accumulation of dust, pet dander, and tracking outside pollen inside can build up in your house quickly! Try to clean and vacuum where dust and dander can accumulate easily like blinds, curtains, in the corners of the room, and underneath your sofa.
2. It may benefit you to get a food sensitivity test done. There are many food sensitivity tests you can now get delivered straight to your door, allowing you to easily swab and send back for analysis!
3. Until your environmental sensitivity calms down, it is best to avoid being outside with high amounts of pollen. Staying indoors while the transition of seasons is happening can really help relax your body's immune system.
HEPA Filters and Dehumidifiers
By stripping the moisture from the air, as well as trapping airborne irritants such as dust, pet dander, and pollen, these external home appliances can help reduce allergens and limit the growth of mildew and mold.
Although scientists are still researching this approach, many naturalists and holistic practitioners recommend taking in local honey to support your immune system. (2)
A 2015 review of 23 studies found that probiotics can help support the immune system when the body is experiencing mild and seasonal environmental sensitivities. (3) The good bacteria in probiotics is known to help your microbiome become more diverse. Once your microflora is enriched, more good bacteria help to balance the unwanted bacteria in your gut, strenghtening your immune function. Taking a probiotic supplement is a great way to support your body's immune system thoughout any season!
Eucalyptus, frankincense, and peppermint essential oils are all known to help with environmental sensitivity when applied to the skin alongside a carrier oil or diffused in the air. One study from 1998 showed that peppermint oil treatments may support the body's immune system. (4) Another study in 2016 found that frankincense oil, when inhaled, relaxes the immune system, allowing it to calm down and supporting its natural reparation process. (5)
Saline Nasal Irrigation
This procedure helps to rinse the naval cavity with a saline solution; making the mucus in the passageways thinner and easier to remove. This handy tool resembles a small teapot with a longer spout, commonly called “neti-pots”. You can also use bulb syringes or squeeze bottles. You want to always make sure you are using distilled or sterile water (which you can purchase in stores), boiled and then cooled tap water, or water passed through a filter. (6) If you do not wish to make your own saline solution, you can purchase it online, however, it can be cheaper and quite easy to research how to make your own.
Instead of feeling stuck with a seasonal sensitivity that limits you for a few weeks out of the year, focus on building your immune system and implementing healthier tactics in order to support your body through the changing seasons of the year!
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. Readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither the author(s) nor the publisher of this content take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
- Hamilton, Susanna M. “New Study Suggests Antibiotics Can Weaken the Immune System.” New Atlas, 4 Dec. 2017, newatlas.com/antibiotics-counteract-immune-system/52457/.
- Asha'ari ZA, Ahmad MZ, Jihan WS, Che CM, Leman I. Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Saudi Med. 2013 Sep-Oct;33(5):469-75. doi: 10.5144/0256-4947.2013.469. PubMed PMID: 24188941; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6074882.
- Zajac, Alexander E, et al. “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Probiotics for the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis.” International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25899251.
- Juergens, U R, et al. “The Anti-Inflammatory Activity of L-Menthol Compared to Mint Oil in Human Monocytes in Vitro: a Novel Perspective for Its Therapeutic Use in Inflammatory Diseases.” European Journal of Medical Research, U.S. National Library of Medi
- Choi, et al. “Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Oil on Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 13 Mar. 2016, Commissioner, Office of the. “Is Rinsing Your Sinuses With Neti Pots Safe?” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/rinsing-your-sinuses-neti-pots-safe.