Skies are blue, the birds are singing, spring is finally here. Then it starts. You begin sneezing, your eyes water and your head pounds. With spring comes hay fever season. Most people with hay fever and other airborne allergies wait out their misery with patience and antihistamines.

But there is another way. Alternative ways to relieve allergy symptoms are increasingly popping up on store shelves. However, very similar to medications, herbs, supplements, and homeopathic allergy supplements, all work to decrease the symptoms. Ultimately, the underlying cause has to be found and treated.

Allergy is a general term describing the body's attack on compounds in the body. Allergies can be induced by eating certain foods, touching particular chemicals and other substances, or breathing irritants like pollen, spores and animal dander. Airborne allergies, which mainly affect the respiratory system, are especially difficult to control.

Hay fever is the most common and familiar form of airborne allergies. The coughing, sneezing, itchy throat and eyes, and sinus headaches associated with it are usually seasonal. This doesn't mean that hay fever is restricted to one season though. If you suffer from spring hay fever, then tree pollens are most likely responsible. Summer sneezing begins when grasses and weeds release their pollen. Ragweed contributes to autumn nose blowing.

Herbs are wonderful medicines for airborne allergies. But for the most part they don't take care of the underlying problem. The simplest way to treat allergies is by removing the allergen or substance that's causing you misery. Where airborne allergies are concerned, sometimes this can be done, sometimes it can't. If you're allergic to cats or dogs, it's easy enough to avoid those animals. However, if you have hay fever, the problem is harder to solve.

One way to ease allergy symptoms is by building your constitution. Let's pretend your body is a table. Each leg of your table represents a different aspect of your lifestyle: one is diet, another is exercise, the third is stress and the fourth sleep. The more you take care of each of these legs, the stronger your table is. If, however, you eat poorly or don't exercise, then your table's legs become shaky.

The top of your table is your genetic makeup. What you put on top of the table are your allergies. If you have many allergies (most allergic people are allergic to more than one thing), your table has to hold a heavier load. If your lifestyle or legs are weak, then your table may collapse when many allergies are piled on top. So there are two ways to ease allergy symptoms: by improving your lifestyle and by diminishing your exposure to allergens.

  1. Remove all processed foods from the diet, and eat foods in their most natural form.
  2. Eat plenty of colorful vegetables – aim for 3 different colours per day.
  3. Include garlic and onions in your diet as they help cleanse the blood and reduce allergies.
  4. Avoid sugar and alcohol as they depress the immune system, thus increasing allergy symptoms.
  5. Remove mucus forming foods from the diet (milk, cheese, bananas, oranges).
  6. Add turmeric to your cooking as it is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Improving each leg of your table – diet, exercise, stress, sleep – will not only strengthen your table, but will also allow you to move through the allergy season with little discomfort!